Employers are spending more time than ever filling open positions. The latest MRI Recruiter Sentiment Study, released in 2015, reported that 37 percent of some 446 MRINetwork recruiters surveyed said that presenting job offers typically took them three to four weeks.
Another 31 percent of recruiters surveyed said they weren’t finding enough suitable candidates to fill open positions, citing this shortage as a major factor holding them back from hiring.
And that’s a problem, because the more time recruiters spend chasing after that “purple squirrel,” the more likely they’ll be to miss out on talent that is currently available. So, how can employers speed up the hiring process?
Here are three strategies for accelerating the search:
1. Look inward and implement an employee advocacy programme
Before trying to fill positions, employers need to know what talent they have on their hands. Perform assessments of your current staff to identify where talent is being used and where it is potentially being wasted. It may be time to hand out much-deserved promotions or implement solid retraining programs to sculpt the team to its best form.
It’s important, too, to utilise employees as a major marketing asset. Employee-advocacy programmes encourage the workforce to raise brand awareness through digital media and other channels.
An ideal employee-advocate will help you build a sense of ownership and loyalty to the organisation, while generating positive exposure and representing the best interests of the company.
These programs matter because they increase exposure to the public (through social media and brand pages), promote employee engagement while improving internal communication and guide efforts to provide customers with genuine interactions that are real and meaningful (through recommendations from family and friends).
A 2015 report by Hinge Research Institute and Social Media Today that surveyed 588 professionals who used social media for business purposes found that high-growth firms – those with revenue growth greater than 20 percent – were more than twice as likely as all other firms to have an employee advocacy program.
Start your own employee advocacy program by promoting a social media policy that encourages employee participation: Initiate an ongoing training course that provides materials that can be used to share the brand, and incorporate your brand into the overall marketing plan to measure the impact of its reach.
Employers can use the strong company culture an advocacy program facilitates to help build a referral culture into their companies, providing incentives for referrals and good hires.
Referral programmes can increase the quality and speed of hiring while inspiring employee engagement.
When employers trust their staffs, move to incorporate employee advocacy and referral programs and develop an accurate perspective on the talent they have, they can determine exactly what talent they need. Then, they can hire qualified candidates faster.
2. Screen candidates faster
Employers should set shorter time periods for job postings, to avoid wasting time. One way is to refer to previous postings and cut 20 percent off their running time to test whether that has a measurable negative effect on the quality of hire. Chances are it won’t.
Next, enforce strict limits on resume-review time periods. Hiring managers should be aware when they reach the deadline.
Resume reviews are a great opportunity to identify high-demand applicants. And, once recognised, they should be categorised as high priority. These individuals may be the talent that has been falling through the cracks.
Focus on moving these candidates through the steps within two to three days. Services like Interviewed can help with the process.
3. Make a competitive offer from the get-go
What happens when an employer chooses a candidate to hire? According to the 2015 CareerBuilder study, 38 percent of the 2,002 employers surveyed said that it can take them more than three days after an interview to extend a job offer. The solution is obvious: Make the offer timely – and personal – to demonstrate genuine interest.
The offer should also be competitive. Eighteen percent of the employers surveyed in the CareerBuilder study said that candidates rejected their initial job offers and negotiated for a better one. The message here: If the offer is competitive, employers won’t waste time on salary negotiations.
Hiring managers should further avoid basing salary offers on the candidate’s previous salary. Instead, research the position and make like Vito Corleone – make them an offer they can’t refuse.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.