#FirstInHR? Determine Your Hiring Timeline in 1, 2, 3!

When you first start hiring for your small business, chances are you’re not going to have a solidified process in place. Larger businesses have the luxury of talent acquisition pros and other hiring professionals as a resource, but if the hiring duties are solely left up to you and your small team, it can seem overwhelming.

From constructing the job description, placing the job advertisements, sorting through resumes, screening applicants, conducting interviews all while trying to understand the legalities that involve your compensation and benefit offerings; the hiring process can quickly leave small business owners in the dark when it comes to building the team they need to grow.

If you’re new to the dealings of HR, then now’s the time to assess your hiring timeline. Follow these three steps to attract and obtain qualified talent in a timely manner without sacrificing your organizational needs.

Step #1 – Identify Missing Links

Evaluating how well your workforce meets the demands of your organization can help identify the missing links in your team. Implementing project management software like BasecampYammer and Hall allows you to track the inner workings and pinpoint where productivity is being jeopardized.

Open communication and collaboration needs to be continuously available amongst management so that the hiring demands can be properly considered.

“These days, while it may not take a village to find a candidate, there are times when it definitely feels that way. The hiring process isn’t always easy or smooth, but reinforcing your organization from the ground up is the key to building a robust recruiting team.” –Kathleen de Laro, Entelo

Schedule time to check in with the hiring manager every other month to figure out if there are identifiable holes in your workforce. The right applicant tracking system allows you to collaborate internally by delegating tasks and sharing applicant information with key decision makers. Instead of trying to hire for a position to fill every hole, opt for building revenue-generating activities around a new position.  Bad hiring decisions account for as much as 80% of employee turnover; therefore, it’s critical to identify significant holes where positions are truly needed. 

Step #2 – Test the Waters

After you’ve identified the missing links in your workforce, it’s best to select a position to test your current hiring process. Hiring for a front desk administrator is a viable option for testing purposes because it’s not as critical to your organization’s mission.  To best assess your current timeline you should track the time it takes to:

  • Create/ place job advertisements
  • Scan applications/resumes
  • Contact candidates
  • Conduct screenings and interviews
  • Evaluate and make hiring decisions
  • Propose offers and any follow-up correspondence

Take this process further by finding out what really attracts candidates by A/B testing your job descriptions. President Obama raised an additional $60 million during his presidential campaign by using A/B testing, which is known to be the most used method to improve conversion rates in marketing. Additionally, the applicants to actual hire ratio should be tracked to see how many candidates apply compared to the amount of positions available, which can be done with the help of an applicant tracking system. ATS systems provide a customizable recruitment workflow to track the progress of each applicant from start to finish.

Step #3 – Track the Candidate from Start to Finish

While step two focuses on recording the time it takes to complete each task; the third step actually evaluates the time in-between these components.

Ask yourself:

  • How long did it take to receive applications after the job ad was placed?
  • How long did it take to contact qualified candidates from the time their application was received?
  • How long did it take to move through initial calls, screening actions and interviews?
  • How long did it take to make a decision and communicate an offer?
  • How long did it take for the candidate to accept the offer?
  • How long did it take from acceptance to the actual start date?

When you see gaping holes in this timeline, it’s time to start working with the hiring team to fill them. Shorten each actionable time framework by 2 to 3 days in every category to shorten your hiring timeline. A slow hiring process damages your company’s credibility as an employer. While the following advice is critical to large business, it also plays a role in small companies: 

“As a corporate recruiting leader, know that in a highly competitive college marketplace, there may be nothing that damages corporate recruiting results more than slow hiring.” – Dr. John Sullivan

Following these three steps can get you the information you need to assess your current hiring timeline and build a scalable process that works for your organization in a timely manner. With the right ATS your company can provide candidates with a seamless hiring process and shorten your time to hire.

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photo credit: miguelavg via photopin cc

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