Nothing has had a greater impact on hiring in the past 20 years than speed. Both companies and candidates operate with unprecedented agility, and this change has revolutionized the hiring process in many ways for both parties. The days of recruiting nine-to-five are long gone, and have been replaced by round-the-clock communications with individuals on both sides of the negotiating table.
Quality job candidates are constantly being pursued by employers, and are fully aware of the advantages they hold in the supply-and-demand paradigm. When desirable candidates express interest in a new opportunity, it indicates that the position offers something of value they are not being afforded in their current job. This window of opportunity for the candidate and company must be pursued with haste and focus, and firms after the most talented candidates must expedite and streamline their hiring processes accordingly.
Build Relationships Early
Preparation is key to a successful hiring process. Candidates are always checking their phones for the latest opportunities that offer career advancement or quality of life enhancement. The most favorable candidates are accustomed to entertaining options: they can afford to be picky, and they know it. And when these candidates decide to pursue their opportunities, companies must be in-step with their processes and prepared to act fast — there’s no time to play catch up.
From day one, the most prepared companies establish direct access to quality candidates via multiple channels, from emails and phone calls to texts and even social media. Companies who fail to build sustained and meaningful relationships with candidates are less equipped to take advantage of opportunities that arise suddenly — and in today’s hyper-connected world, the best opportunities materialize with short notice. Likewise, hiring managers must be equally connected to and aligned with human resources at their company, so that communications between candidates and firms are consistent, prompt, and actionable.
The Power of Immediacy
Although the hiring process will always require thoughtful deliberation and diligent attention to detail, it is becoming increasingly time sensitive. There was a time when hiring managers would speak with candidates to schedule an interview at some mutually convenient time in the following week — but not any more. Companies must immediately, and proactively, respond to communications from quality candidates, as those candidates represent unique opportunities to add value to the organization — not to mention the fact that these opportunities are always on the move. In other words, if your company schedules an interview with a talented candidate in a week’s time, you may lose that candidate to another firm who was willing to act faster.
Every submitted resume must be promptly vetted; every phone call needs to be answered instead of letting it going to voicemail; and every email must be responded to with expediency. Implementing a strategic and streamlined system to process information and updates from candidates is the only way to ensure that your company never loses an opportunity to a lack of diligence. Additionally, hiring managers and human resources need to be on the same page with regard to where candidates are in their hiring process — and be communicating with those candidates every step of the way.
Manage Time Wisely
Just as streamlining resources and response strategies are imperative to achieving success in the hiring process, leveraging human relationships with equal intelligence and efficiency is critical to being nimble in an industry where time is money. Acting fast when top candidates apply for positions, following up promptly and thoroughly, and making decisions quickly are the only ways to ensure you’re not wasting candidates’ time — or squandering opportunities.