In our personal and professional lives, what do we covet the most and often consider irreplaceable? Time.
“Time is free, but it's priceless,” said best-selling author Harvey McKay. “You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back.” Jay Shetty created a video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqVd3q3CdrY] about the value of time and gave the analogy that we’re all given 86,400 seconds every day. Yet we waste so many of those seconds on meaningless tasks. If $86,400 was deposited into our bank accounts each morning, we would never think of wasting that amount of money every day!
In recruiting, it takes an average of 42 days to make a hire. Estimating that only 6-8 hours of this is spent in direct communication with or even discussion about a candidate, this means there is tremendous hiring lag in your process between your first touch point and a formal offer. This is remarkably wasted time on two fundamental levels. First, it means your recruiting team is spending too much time pushing a rock (the hiring decision) up a hill that’s too big (your hiring process). Because studies of long time-to-hire processes don’t correlate to better hiring. Second, and maybe more importantly, it means you’re missing out on great hires because the best talent is only available on the market for 10 days on average. Similar to pocket listings in real estate where brokers often keep their best properties reserved for private showings and the public is never able to put in an offer — many top salespeople, engineers, and college grads in your field are often gone before you can talk to them!
Scott Wintrip, author of High Velocity Hiring [https://www.amazon.com/High-Velocity-Hiring-Talent-Instant/dp/1259859479], delivered a great presentation at our Dallas Instahiring Conclave about how organizations can hire faster while not sacrificing quality. Below are some of the tips and ideas he shared about reducing time to hire:1. Simple is sustainable: As you select HR technology software, ask yourself if the choice fulfills the reason you selected it in the first place: To hire or manage better or automate a necessary step that can be done better with technology. Are you choosing technology that keeps your hiring fast and accurate or is it just adding more features and decisions to your process? Scott suggests asking three simple questions to evaluate a tool’s effectiveness. (If you can’t answer yes to all three, he says you haven’t found the perfect tool yet. And remember what’s simple to your team probably communicates a similarly positive message about your company to your busy candidates.)
- Does it reduce your effort?
- Is it easier to use?
- Does it give you better results?
2. Know your must-haves: Similar to dating, finding a great match for your organization starts with knowing yourself first. What skills do you need to move Product Development, Finance, or Sales forward this year, for example? I/O psychologists call these a postion’s KSAOs (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics). Giving us memorable terms we can apply in daily life, Scott referred to these as your “dealbreakers” and “dealmakers.” In his dating life, his #1 dealbreaker was the person couldn’t have an overly complicated life. In a job, it might be the candidate needs 3-5 years experience leading a team and this requirement is non-negotiable. Scott provided this helpful matrix for making great talent decisions:
- What are your dealmakers in a top candidate? (They should have all of these qualities.)
- What are your dealbreakers? (They should have none.)
- What are the qualities that can boost their success? (They should have some.)
- What are the qualities that can block them? (The best have less.)
3. Patterns are proof: Resumes and CVs are full of anecdotal evidence of someone’s ability to perform a job, not indisputable facts. The best recruiters look for patterns in a candidate’s work that demonstrate their ability to do a job. Take, for example, a marketing manager who says in an interview that they’re highly analytical. But when you ask them to build a sample spreadsheet showing the metrics they typically track for a key campaign, they have trouble. Or you ask an administrative hire for specific examples showing their attention to detail and after a long pause, they only provide a very general response. Asking for patterns of proof upfront can save you time in the end debating a person’s ability to perform a job because, well, you’ve seen proof! Here are two of Scott’s tips for finding proof:
- Don’t let candidates simply “tell, sell, and swell” their abilities. Ask them for concrete examples or how they would think through a problem.
- Build a process that lets you “see, hear, and experience” their abilities (e.g., through an experiential interview or watching them perform a function in Excel via a recorded assessment).
Building a fast hiring process is becoming every company’s best talent strategy because highly qualified applicants can easily have 3-5 companies interested in them. The slower your process is, the greater the chance your best candidates will accept another offer. Hopefully the tips and frameworks mentioned above will speed up your hiring and help you keep your recruiters doing what they do best: Building relationships and hiring great people.