The Need for Speed in the Hiring Process

Doug Horn on December 17, 2014 10:17:00 AM EST


The need for speed. It’s not just a video game or a legendary “Top Gun” quote. In the world of business, it’s so much more.

A company’s hiring process can go perfectly at every level in terms of execution, but if it is too slow, it is inherently flawed. Slow hiring processes may upset candidates, cost businesses money, and reduce the number of future applications by talented workers. Speeding up each step of the process could be the key to finding quality employees, rather than harming a company’s reputation.

When candidates apply to jobs, and especially when they interview, they want to hear feedback from their potential employers. Failure to do so will not only cultivate animosity, but also negative word of mouth. In fact, 44% of those who did not hear back from an employer when they applied for a job said they had a worse opinion of that employer. One of our top employees at RecruitiFi was dragged through an interview process lasting eleven months by a top technology firm. We scooped her up in less than a week once we realized the caliber of the person we were interviewing. It is stories like these that make you wonder how lenient big companies believe their applicants are.

Quality candidates do not stay on the market for long periods of time. ERE says that the top 10% of candidates are often gone from the marketplace within 10 days. By losing out on the best candidates, organizations hurt their potential for growth and are likely only helping their competitors.


Slow hiring processes also cost companies millions of dollars. We’ve talked extensively about how time equals money, and how empty desks equate to lost productivity. The recruiting loss of a game-changing purple squirrel is actually over $1 million each, according to ERE. Additionally, by waiting to hire candidates, companies will find themselves in bidding wars with competitors, forcing them to pay up to 25% more for the same talent.

Considering this, it is worth examining the ways by which organizations can expedite their hiring processes.

  New Call-to-action

Utilize Internal Referrals

We’ve discussed in the past how referrals are the most reliable source for quality hires. Not only are referred employees 10 - 30% less likely to quit, but they also yield a higher profit per employee while having significantly better performance on high-impact metrics like patent creation. Additionally, they are easily one of the fastest methods to hiring new employees. When a position opens up, hiring managers should consult their existing staff for any potential referrals before heading to job boards and recruiters.


Write Clear Job Descriptions

Clear, well-written job descriptions by hiring managers help candidates applying on job boards and third-party agents recruiting for companies know what the requisite experience and skills are for each job. At RecruitiFi, the companies that provide the clearest job descriptions are consistently delivered the most talented, interested, and relevant candidates. Additionally, thorough job descriptions will allow human resources to more quickly identify candidates that they believe will be solid fits.


Only Interview those about whom you are Really Serious

One of the most time-consuming parts of the hiring process is the interview stage. Not only does it take time to coordinate schedules for both the company and the candidate, but multiple hours of a workday can be swallowed by an interview that involves multiple employees. Right now, the average number of people who apply for any given job is 118, with an average of 20% of applicants earning an interview. Companies need to do a better job of only bringing in the best of the best, as interviewing undeserving candidates is just a waste of time.


Quickening the pace of one’s hiring process could be the key to finding better talent and saving valuable time and money. By following the above steps, companies should be able to eliminate unnecessary steps that stop them from finding the best and brightest.