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6 Ways to Streamline the Hiring Process

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Quick Look: After two years of layoffs and furloughs, employment has rebounded and the competition to secure top talent is higher than ever. Job candidates are being heavily recruited, weighing multiple offers, and comparing salaries and benefits to see which company is the right fit. As with any hot commodity, it’s crucial to move fast before the opportunity is swept away, which is causing employers to tighten up their hiring process.

Hiring new employees requires the same time and effort as any other company initiative. A failure to prioritize the interview process or being too slow in decision-making can hold companies back from being competitive. Though some roles may require a lengthier hiring timeline, streamlining the process will help secure the best candidates for any current job openings. When evaluating areas for improvement, here are tips employers can keep in mind.

1. Establish consistent communication

Nothing is more frustrating for interviewees than lulls of time between communication. Updating candidates, from the HR introduction through to the official offer (or decline), makes applicants feel prioritized and keeps them engaged with the process. It’s also beneficial to send a follow-up email to job candidates post-interview regarding next steps, even if a decision hasn’t been made.

First impressions are key and the entire hiring process is essentially a get-to-know-you phase before a candidate commits to a company. When there’s no communication, it’s likely the candidate will move on to their next opportunity even if the interview itself went great.

A professional and courteous approach will help the process run smoother and set clear expectations.

2. Create interview flexibility

Anyone who’s ever been on the job hunt knows how difficult it can be to juggle interviewing with present job responsibilities. Often employers assume candidates can automatically accommodate their schedules and set interviews at peak hours of the day. It’s best to offer a few different options, including evenings and weekends, especially for in-person interviews.

Video conferencing is another way to provide interview flexibility for job candidates. Zoom increased its number of participants by 2900% due to the pandemic, making virtual meetings more of a rule rather than an exception. Also, meeting virtually prevents drive time, potential traffic delays, and parking issues.

To further streamline scheduling, use calendar software. Candidates can view available time slots and choose the one most convenient for them, which avoids unnecessary back-and-forth communication to secure a mutually agreed-upon time.

3. Be clear on the offer

Small- and medium-sized business (SMB) employers should be upfront about what they can offer. According to a recent LinkedIn study, 61% of job candidates want to see compensation listed in the job description. In response, many companies now include salary ranges in job descriptions to demonstrate transparency and filter candidates.

Though SMB hiring budgets may not be able to compete with larger companies, evaluating a complete compensation package can still help secure a solid candidate. Research shows 42% of adults are willing to give up a percentage of their salary for more flexibility at work. Today’s candidates also value remote work opportunities, as well as voluntary benefits like mental health support and financial counseling when seeking new jobs.

A better work-life balance is a priority post-pandemic, which means it’s not always all about the money. There are a number of ways SMBs can attract top talent without compromising their hiring budget. Additionally, relying on outsourced HR services through a professional employer organization (PEO) can provide expertise and guidance to find what works best.

4. Follow an interview protocol

While it may be tempting to wing it, establishing a set protocol ensures all bases are covered during the allotted interview time. Every person involved should review the candidate’s resume in advance, ensure they don’t have a scheduled conflict, and be prepared with relevant questions. It doesn’t reflect well on a company if the candidate is prepared for the interview but the internal team is not.

The interview should typically be broken down into three main parts: introductions, company questions, and candidate clarifications. Before sitting down, decide the necessities versus the nice-to-haves. For example, personality tests and multiple interviews may be nice to have should time permit, but in today’s competitive job market it’s best to speed up the process and include only what’s needed to qualify a candidate. 

5. Leave a good impression

Avoid distractions to give complete focus to the interview. Temporarily turn off computer notifications and silence phones. A lack of eye contact, multi-tasking, or being repetitive shows a disinterest in the candidate and can leave a poor impression. 78% of job candidates believe the way they’re treated in the hiring process is a direct indicator of how a company treats their employees.

Also, once a decision has been made, inform all interviewees, whether they’ve been hired or not. There may be candidates with potential who may be promising to reach out to in the future. With people switching jobs more frequently, a lot can change in a short amount of time, which means leaving the door open is a courteous, not to mention smart, idea.

6. Work with a PEO partner

Job seekers expect an exceptional experience beyond the standard interview process, which requires a certain level of preparation and personalized support PEOs offer. Unfortunately, not all PEOs operate the same. Recruiting support is often not included as part of packaged HR solutions. However, working with a PEO like ExtensisHR provides SMB leaders tailored services and a dedicated team of experts to address and manage all things recruiting.

Now is the time to streamline the hiring process so quality candidates don’t pass you by. In addition to recruiting services, ExtensisHR also handles all HR needs, including payroll and benefits administration and risk and compliance management, leaving you more time to focus on your company’s next phase of growth. Contact our team of experts today.

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