How To Streamline The Recruiting Process: A Guide For Hiring Managers

Posted on March 06, 2019

You want to fill a position and, ideally, you would like the best possible candidate as soon as possible. But what’s a reasonable timeline to expect for finding and hiring a qualified candidate?

When you work with a headhunting firm like MacDonald Search Group, we make recruitment efficient and effective. In our combined 70 years of experience placing qualified candidates, we’ve perfected the process of finding and placing talent and now we are sharing our secrets.

How Long Should the Recruiting Process Take?

A search can’t be too quick, and it can’t be too long.

Hiring is an important decision for both the organization and the individual. They are evaluating your organization just as much as you are reviewing them. This decision should be given the time and information necessary for both sides to make a confident and committed decision.

Over the past decade, MacDonald Search Group has averaged 60-65 days from receiving a mandate to a candidate's first day in the new position. Of these 2 months or so, only 2 weeks is usually needed to gather qualified candidates for consideration. Assuming two weeks of notice is included in this time frame, that leaves up to half of the total recruitment process time in the hiring organization’s control. So there is a lot you can to do make filling a position faster and more effective than the average.

Here’s exactly how you can streamline the recruitment process:

1. Prepare a Process For Recruitment

By establishing a framework of the steps and practices in your organization’s hiring process, you eliminate any uncertainty about what you’re getting into when you set out to fill a position. While it’s important to infuse the process with your unique culture, an effective recruitment process will have four main steps:

Screening Interviews

The first interview with a candidate should be held with either HR or the hiring manager. This interview should be conducted with a structured process and aim to determine fit, rather than to assess abilities and experience.

Follow up Interviews

When you’ve narrowed down the candidates to those who would be a good cultural fit, a follow up interview should be scheduled. Now it’s time to dig deeper into their qualifications and abilities. Evaluations and assessments can be valuable tools, but should be reserved for the final interview, rather than being used as a screening mechanism. After all, someone may be having an off day and using this limited information to eliminate them from consideration is selling you both short. If a third interview id necessary, it can still fit within this time frame.

Reference checks

When you believe you’ve found your perfect match, seek insights from others whom have worked with the candidate. Details on behavioural tendencies and work habits can help you make the call between two awesome prospects.

At MacDonald Search Group, we often know the references of candidates, as each consultant has worked in our specialized verticals for years. This gives us a unique advantage in gaining honest and well-rounded feedback.

Job offer

Everyone has a large emotional investment in the hiring process and feel pressure when it comes to the job offer stage. But, if the previous steps have been effective, this should feel more like a formality than a negotiation. Understanding and respecting what will make a solid offer that both parties are pleased with is a result of open communication and honest feedback.

In each of these steps, you can lean on the consultants at MacDonald Search Group for assistance. We have built rapport with each candidate that we put forward and can provide insights and support to assist with streamlining the process. We are here to help make sure your process is effective and create a win/win experience for you and your new hire.

2. Anticipate and Avoid Delays and Complications

Even with an excellent process in place, wrenches can still be thrown in the works of streamlining the recruitment process. There are a few repeat offenders in creating delays and complications:

Busy People

Everyone is busy. Sometimes when other’s priorities don’t align with yours, your hiring meeting mysteriously falls off their calendar. By setting expectations of each stakeholder’s required time and involvement, you guard against this pitfall. More on that soon.

Last Minute Interruptions and Changes

The cost of delaying the hiring process is huge. By gaining buy-in from those involved in hiring, your efforts are more likely to be supported. Involve the repeat offenders in the procedure planning process. With some skin in the game, they are more likely to uphold the established rules.

Changed Deliverables and Missed Commitments

Things happen. When they do, getting to the cause of them and applying those learnings can help keep them from happening again. If the plan is going off course, consider if it’s because adjustment are necessary? Maybe your process can be improved, or maybe your communication can be clearer. Take stock and press on.

Lack of Foresight

A benefit of having a set a process is that you can anticipate what will happen next and be prepared for it. If you know you’ll need to book interviews, hold time on calendars and in meeting rooms before you have all the details ironed out. If you know you’re going to give an offer, have an offer letter drafted before you reach that stage.

Anticipating these common hangups can help you avoid them all together and keep your recruitment process streamlined. What are some concrete ways to stop these productivity roadblocks? Set expectations.

3. Set Internal Expectations For Hiring

Everybody wants a streamlined recruitment process, but few put in the diligence to plan effectively for one. An effective hiring process will involve people from many areas of an organization. Managers and peers have pressing work that often takes precedence over hiring activities.

What Happens When Expectations Aren’t Set

Recently, a client interviewed a candidate before Christmas. The conversation went well and when they came back from the holiday break, they wanted them to meet the team. At this busy time of year, the stakeholders had a lot going on and kept putting off the meeting. They ended up delaying the second interview by 12 days, leaving a gap of 4 weeks between activities for this applicant.

The problem? Remember one key point – time is never your friend in the recruitment process. Qualified candidates will be scooped up by the competition or lose interest and confidence in an organization when there are large gaps between recruitment activities.

Set Expectations, Get Commitments

To avoid the slow and painful degradation of your recruitment process, it’s imperative to set expectations with all stakeholders in hiring. Getting commitments from all those involved and making appropriate space in their calendars for the time needed to hire the right person is possibly the single most impactful way to keep the process moving.

Streamline The Recruitment Process

Remember that recruitment is the candidate’s first impression of your organization. You can make it the best and most compelling impression by creating a streamlined recruitment process. The best experiences attract the best talent.

If you’re ready to have a position filled as efficiently and effectively as possible, we’re here to help. MacDonald Search Group consultants are experts in their verticals, so no time is wasted in finding and vetting candidates. Contact us today to get started with a free recruitment consultation.