Viewpoint: Signing up to signing on

The importance of speedy hiring procedures

In today’s candidate market, companies can no longer afford to drag their feet when it comes to hiring. With top talent often entertaining multiple job opportunities, lengthy time-to-hire rates and prolonged interview processes can result in highly skilled candidates accepting alternative offers if a hiring business is too slow to make a decision.

So, what advice should search professionals offer to their clients to help streamline hiring approaches?

Reducing and co-ordinating stakeholders

It can be tempting for businesses to involve more and more stakeholders in hiring decisions. However, multiple decision-makers and unnecessary layers of sign-off invariably lead to much slower decisions. When too many participants have a say in the progress of a candidate, one person’s doubts can spread and put the decision-making process on hold.

Prompting clients to distil their interview processes down to two or three key stakeholders per interview is vital for ensuring that internal processes remain streamlined.

Allocating specific competencies for stakeholders to focus on can also speed-up hiring processes and keep candidates engaged. For example, advising internal recruitment teams to assign each interviewer with a specific remit to analyse talent on – such as skills, personality type or cultural fit – can help to prevent the same interview being repeated throughout the hiring process.

Prioritising in-person meetings

Although a combination of in-person and online interviews is now a normal part of recruitment procedure, in-person meetings are often far more successful at helping interviewers acquire a better sense of a potential employee.

Instead of recommending multiple online assessments, remind clients that one in-person meeting can iron out issues and allow interviewers to proceed with greater confidence, keeping time-to-hire rates low and maintaining needed momentum to uphold candidate engagement.

In-person meetings are also often more effective at making talent feel wanted. For high-level hires in particular, candidates still want to feel that their potential new employer is willing to woo them. In a market where talent may be fielding multiple offers, clients that have made the extra effort to pursue a candidate often find themselves ahead.

Reinforcing the value of external support 

Considering the invaluable expertise search firms can offer when it comes to efficiently sourcing, screening and evaluating candidates for specialised roles, it is important to remind companies that professional external recruiters can assist from the get-go.

Companies tend to use their internal talent teams to tackle the job first, even if they aren’t fully equipped to vet for highly specialised roles. By the time search firms are called in to support, considerable hiring delays could have already taken place. To avoid this, search professionals should stress the need for transparent and consistent exchanges of information between themselves and HR teams, positioning themselves as partners to their clients rather than extra resource in the later stages of the hiring process.

Speed is of the essence in securing the best talent. Reinforcing this can be the difference between a client netting the best candidate, or seeing ideal hires slip through their fingers.

Naveen Tuli is managing partner, EMEA & APAC, in-house counsel group at Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Image credit | Shutterstock


The Last Word November/December 2023: Paul Chamberlain

The posts are deliberately cryptic but I do have contacts on LinkedIn who DM me to ask if the com

10 November 2023

Soundbites: November/December 2023

Miles Greenslade

IT/Telecoms, HR 10 November 2023

Editor's leader November/December 2023

What I mean is, our team receive proclamations day in and day out about ‘this is good – all busin

10 November 2023

My Brilliant Recruitment Career: Jemma Simpson

What was your earliest dream job?

10 November 2023