How Long Should You Wait from "Hello" to "You're Hired"?

We know finding the right candidate can be like finding a needle in a haystack. You want to be sure you hire the right one, so it’s logical you want to take your time. But don’t let time be an interference.


The hiring process should be about getting to know the candidate to figure out if they’re the right fit for the position. It shouldn’t have to be lengthy process (although sometimes it’s inevitable).


Realistically, this process should take no more than four to six weeks. And even that’s pushing it. Screening should take no more than a week, actual interviews in one to two weeks, decisions another week, and the offer the next. Bam!


When the process lags, it’s usually because:


  1. There’s a lack of organization
  2. The abundance of potential candidates is overwhelming
  3. Sometimes more than one person is involved in the process


Don’t get me wrong, I know sometimes it takes longer depending on the people involved in the process and the industry itself. I know this and am in no way hating on it. That’s why it’s important to be organized and stay on track when you’re hiring. Be mindful of the candidate experience and how long you make your candidates wait. Come up with a plan and stick to it. You’ll find your hiring process much easier and effective.


Take a look at these tips to get you saying “you’re hired” in no time:


Screening Tools


Screening candidates before you interview them can save you tons of time. Using multimedia screening tools like video or phone screenings are quite simple and are probably the best way screen candidates, especially if you expect a heavy amounts of applicants. You save time and you get the best candidates right in front you.


Job Description Perfection


Like the saying “build it and they will come,” the right post will attract the right candidates. Inaccurate job descriptions can cause major time issues when recruiting. Based on the job description, you can get different kinds of candidates. It’s during this time that we could have found the perfect candidate. If you’re not describing exactly what you’re looking for--experience, qualifications, credentials--then you’re going to be nixing lots of people. And there goes more time. Before recruitment of a position begins, make sure the job description reflects EXACTLY what kind of candidate is needed to fill the role.


Get the Right People Involved


Experience shows that when the right person/people are involved during the hiring process, it moves forward much more quickly. When too many people are involved (especially when the position is not high-level), the process can become stagnant – and that’s when candidates move on and get frustrated. Either the hiring manger, recruiter, or direct supervisor should be the ones interviewing/making offers.


Increasing your speed of hire will get you higher quality hires. Remember, most great candidates are on the market for days not weeks. You need to work fast. If your company can't make a speed hire, the likelihood of finding top talent will likely diminish. 

Views: 203

Comment by pam claughton on March 24, 2011 at 12:12pm


I was at a conference yesterday where the CTO of a local startup spoke of how he handles interviewing and recruiting and it was impressive. He asks every employee who they know that is exceptional, then he calls the person and invites them in and his goal is to go from initial interview to offer in 7 days or less.


Comment by Ty Abernethy on March 24, 2011 at 12:21pm
Wow, that's brilliant!  Or insane!  Or both!  But I really like it.  First, you're getting people hand-picked by your current staff, so they will likely be a good cultural fit.  Also, your employees know that their referral of an "exceptional" candidate will reflect upon them, so they're only gonna recommend someone sharp!  Second, pulling the trigger fast shows top talent that you value them and you know what you want.  Thanks for sharing Pam!
Comment by Ray Colby on March 24, 2011 at 12:30pm
Wow Great idea!


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