Hiring excellent candidates fast is the dream scenario for any recruiter, but getting it right isn’t the easiest process. Finding the best-fit candidate rarely happens by accident, and recruiting is a complex HR function. The hiring journey involves several steps and lots of people, and hiring the right person can take weeks or even months.
But just because hiring takes a long time doesn’t mean you’ll find the best candidate — a lengthy hiring process is among the top three reasons candidates lose interest in a job. The faster you can hire, the less likely you are to lose excellent candidates to the competition. Unfortunately, the average time-to-hire is 44 days across industries, a full one-day increase from last year.
If you’re tracking this important HR metric and yours is following a similar trend, it might be time to implement or upgrade your ATS software. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can help reduce your company’s time to hire and bring in quality candidates.
Keep reading for nine effective strategies to accelerate hiring, find the best person for every role, and how a modern hiring platform can help.At 44 days, #TimeToHire is at a record high — and it’s costing companies top talent. Find out how you can speed up hiring and still snag A-players:
1. Create Compelling Job Descriptions
A well-crafted job description acts like a magnet that draws in the right talent. Well-written job descriptions aren't just lists of requirements and duties. They give candidates a glimpse of your employer value proposition (EVP) or the benefits you have to offer as an employer.
But be sure you’re aware of ways your descriptions could push job seekers away. You're more likely to attract a diverse pool of candidates that are genuinely interested and suited for the role when you:
- Eliminate overly gendered words to increase gender diversity in your applicant pool.
- Focus on skills over experience to attract applicants with different backgrounds.
- Avoid buzzwords that might alienate some applicants.
ATS Tip: Look for an ATS that offers AI-assisted job description tools. You’ll be able to create new job descriptions and get open roles posted faster than ever.
Your Guide to ATS Software
Dig into what an Applicant Tracking System is and what it can do for your HR team and your entire organization:
What is an ATS?
2. Leverage Employee Networks
Did you know that employee referrals have a reputation for being one of the best candidate sources? Referred employees are four times more likely to be hired, and 46% stay for at least three years. They also help HR save thousands of dollars in hiring costs.
Employee networks are a goldmine of potential talent. They're more likely to refer candidates with both the skills you’re looking for and who are aligned with company culture and values. Referred employees also tend to have a higher level of engagement from the start because of their existing connection to your company.
3. Embrace Workplace Flexibility
If your open roles can be done remotely, it’s worth considering widening your search and reaching out to top talent outside of the usual geographical area. Flexible work locations are popular with candidates — nearly 53% of applications submitted on LinkedIn were for remote positions. 63% of job seekers said whether a job is remote, hybrid, or in-person is the top factor in their decision to accept a job offer, and 87% of people with the option to work remotely choose to do so.
Flexible work schedules are another excellent way to offer this benefit for roles that can’t be done remotely. Schedule flexibility can help employees achieve better work-life balance and improve their well-being, and it’s an appealing benefit for job seekers. Increase your applicant pool and find great employees faster with flexible work options.
4. Understand Your (Employer) Brand
Your employer branding conveys the company culture to job seekers and establishes your company’s reputation, which impacts who applies. You communicate your employer brand through job postings, careers page, and social media presence.
If your branding is inaccurate, you could end up with an influx of unqualified candidates and high turnover rates. With excellent employer branding, you can increase the number of applicants you receive and the chance that they’ll be a good fit for your company.
5. Give Fewer Interviews
Wondering how to improve recruiting and differentiate your company for candidates? A shorter interview process is an excellent way to stand out at a time when candidates report sitting through more job interviews than ever. According to NPR , some white-collar job seekers are sitting through eight or nine interviews — and in one case, an incredible 29 interviews. But subjecting candidates to this much scrutiny could drive them away.Are you interviewing candidates eight, nine, or even 29 times? Instead of vetting candidates, you could be driving them away:
Create interview guides for every role to reduce the number of interviews needed. Interview guides help ensure your interviews are standardized and cover all the essential questions. They also help decrease bias and more accurately compare candidates to one another, enabling more informed hiring decisions.
What Candidates Want: Transparency
A lack of transparency was cause for frustration for one job seeker who sat through nine interviews before being rejected.
“I enjoyed all the conversations I had with the team but the process was draining and there wasn’t any clarity around compensation of the role upfront,” Ayomi Samaraweera told CNBC Make It. “Or clarity of what the process would look like from my first HR call.”
Keep candidates in the loop about what’s happening during the hiring process and what to expect during interviews for an edge over your competitors.
ATS Tip: Look for an ATS equipped with Interview Scorecards, which your hiring panel can use to score candidates and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. With this feedback to back them up, Scorecards also help your hiring team feel more confident in their hiring choice.
6. Increase Hiring Team Collaboration
One purpose of an ATS is to increase collaboration among the hiring team, making it easier to work together and keeping everyone on the same page. A centralized dashboard provides real-time visibility into the hiring process, acting as a hub where all hiring team members can access and track candidate profiles, notes, and interview feedback.
With the ability to leave comments, rate candidates, and share insights, team members can make informed decisions collaboratively. Your HR team can also easily coordinate interview schedules and even conduct virtual interviews seamlessly within your ATS platform, eliminating scheduling conflicts, speeding up interviews, and reducing time-to-hire.
7. Automate to Alleviate Busy HR Teams
A major barrier to better recruitment processes is simply the time it takes to do a great job.
Automation means that with the right ATS, you can automate time-consuming tasks and reduce the time your team spends on administrative work. Automate workflows like:
- Posting jobs to a variety of job boards
- Adding interview links to emails for fast scheduling
- Informing candidates who weren’t chosen via text or email
- Engaging passive candidates in your talent pool with updates on relevant job openings
ATS Tip: Artificial intelligence (AI) in HR is becoming increasingly common as software solutions add it to their products. Look for an ATS with AI to reap the benefits:
- Quickly write job descriptions, emails, offer letters, and more
- Answer questions instantly via chatbots
- Gain deeper insights that augment HR decision-making processes
8. Learn From Your Data
When you use ATS software to manage recruiting, you’re gathering tons of data that you should learn from and apply to your hiring strategy. Here’s just a glimpse of what your recruiting data can show you:
- Which candidate sources are the most reliable
- Potential bottlenecks during recruitment
- Valuable hiring metrics like time-to-fill and time-to-hire, as well as trends in the data
ATS Tip: Look for an ATS provider with more than just a few reporting templates. The best ATS vendors can build customizable dashboards and reports for your business.
9. Embrace Agility
Whether you’ve been in HR for a few years or decades, it’s no surprise that embracing agility makes this list. This advice applies to nearly every HR function: even if it’s an improvement, don’t assume your current hiring process is as good as it gets. Evaluate your strategy regularly, monitor significant recruiting metrics, listen to feedback from candidates and employees, and be open to making changes.
You don’t have to compromise the quality of your candidates to get them in the door fast when you use recruiting software. An ATS can help you standardize your hiring workflows so you can build qualified talent pools and hire employees quickly.
Not sure what your business needs in an ATS? Take the first step toward tech-powered recruiting processes with our ATS Buyer’s Guide.
Download the ATS Buyer’s Guide to learn:
- How to get leadership on board with upgrading applicant tracking software
- What to ask vendors during demos
- How to find software that can scale along with your business