When it comes to hiring quality candidates, one of the biggest barriers to success is the time it takes to evaluate and eventually hire candidates.
By the time it takes to evaluate a candidate's application, resume, interviews, and then get all the paperwork in order for an official offer, the candidate could be hired away instantly. Fortunately, speeding up your hiring process as an employer or manager doesn't need to be some radical change that costs a fortune.
The most effective method of speeding up the hiring process only requires a few simple changes that can be quickly implemented to see drastic results in hiring trends and quality candidates. We've outlined why you should speed up the hiring process, the biggest time wasters in the hiring process, and the simple ways you can speed up hiring.
As an employer or manager, speeding up the hiring process might sound like a liability or a costly venture. One key question that often arises is, "Why should we consider speeding up the hiring process? Our process is fine as it is." While your hiring process might be good as it is, there is always room for improvement with a few simple changes.
Oftentimes it can seem like changing up the recruitment strategy will cost thousands of dollars or significant amounts of time, but employers and hiring managers can drastically increase their hiring effectiveness and decrease the hiring time. In the increasingly competitive healthcare industry, employers need to be gearing up for the fight over top quality candidates more than ever before.
One of the biggest areas for improvement in every sector is the time it takes to hire quality candidates. According to Workable, the average time to hire in the healthcare industry is roughly 10 to 17 days. This number is expected to get smaller and smaller with each passing year due to the massive growth and candidate demand in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is expected to grow roughly 18 percent between 2016 to 2026 while adding roughly 2.4 million new jobs, according to the BLS.
As the demand for qualified healthcare candidates steadily rises over the next decade, the time to hire will significantly decrease as employers, hiring managers, and recruiting managers snatch up new job seekers and candidates as they apply or become available. Other industries have an average time to hire of 49 days. This means that those employers and hiring managers within the healthcare industry need to act quickly to secure the best candidates or risk losing out on great hires.
The healthcare industry is one of the most unique industries in that every single employee, job seeker, or job candidate needs to have a special set of skills and training to succeed in their role. Unlike other industries where people can quickly change their roles or responsibilities and perform adequately, the healthcare industry requires candidates and job seekers to be trained and possess certain skills to perform their job.
This means that healthcare employers are constantly seeking job seekers and candidates who possess certain skills and training because it's an expensive and time-consuming process to train or develop new employees. The problem with a lengthy hiring process is that it significantly increases the chances that employers and hiring managers will miss out on the candidates that match their needs.
For every candidate that has the certifications, licensure, skills, or training you're looking for — you can almost guarantee that a competing organization or healthcare facility will be looking for the same type of candidate at the same time. This means that employers and healthcare facilities cannot afford to wait for extended periods of time or drag out the hiring process because of outdated systems or principles. The hiring process needs to be sped up to attract and hire the best candidates to significantly increase their talent pool.
Another overlooked reason for why employers should consider speeding up the hiring process relates to the company, organization, and facility branding. One of the biggest barriers to finding and hiring quality candidates relies on two things, 1.) The candidate experience, and 2.) The expectation of the hiring process based on perception.
No job seeker wants to sit around for months hoping to be considered for a position that they're interested in. They'd rather know exactly where they stand in every stage, and that the hard work they've put in to fill out the application, attend every interview, and answer every question is being reciprocated on the employer's side. Candidates often talk about their experience with each employer's interviewing process to their peers and friends. The last thing you want to happen is that people are talking negatively about the hiring process and hiring pace.
Many job seekers don't enjoy sitting around waiting each day in limbo hoping to hear back from an employer when they can be considering other job opportunities and collecting a potential paycheck.
If candidates frequently experience lengthy delays, long hiring times, or delayed candidate selections — they won't think twice about sharing those details with their friends in the future. For every person who is offended by the hiring process, time, or candidate experience — the odds of missing out on top candidates significantly increase.
The reason for this is that those future job seekers and potential candidates don't feel like the effort of submitting an application, going through the lengthy interview process, and bad candidate experience outweighs the potential job opportunity. They'd much rather just avoid all the hassle and explore other opportunities where the hiring pace is quicker and the candidate experience is better. Is your hiring process sending the wrong message and ruining the brand's reputation
For every day that a position is open, the business and organization are losing money steadily. Unfortunately, attracting, evaluating, and hiring candidates can be an expensive process. Employers, hiring managers, and recruiters can spend thousands of dollars on marketing open jobs alone. Then once an adequate number of applications has come in, thousands of dollars is spent on evaluating candidates, hiring them, training them, in addition to any lost productivity during the time the job was open.
One of the biggest costs associated with hiring quality candidates is the productivity that was lost during the time the job was open. To calculate the potential productivity cost that employers are exposed to, all you have to do is look at the expected position salary, working days, and vacant job days.
The number of working days for the average worker each year fluctuates between 250 to 261, depending on holidays and weekends. For every day that a position is open, you can divide the estimated position salary by the total working days. The average nursing salary is: $66,640 according to our Job Salary Trends.
When you divide that by the 252 estimated working days in 2020, that equals $264 per day. This means that a cost of a vacant position significantly increases each day and the productivity lost during that time only compounds as well. Using our estimated time to fill per hire in the healthcare industry, the cost of a vacant nursing position in the healthcare industry could be anywhere from $2,640 to $4,448 in ten to seventeen days. With the rapid changes in the healthcare industry, ten to seventeen days can pass in a blink of an eye — so it's easy to see how the cost of a vacant position can rapidly increase over a short period of time.
Stop spending thousands of dollars in marketing costs and productivity loss by a lengthy hiring timeline, marketing efforts that don't work, and utilizing a complicated hiring process.
There are several elements that add up to lengthen the hiring process and slow down the speed at which you hire quality candidates. If your organization has several or one of these issues, evaluate how you can potentially improve to cut down the hiring timeline. Several of the things we're about to mention are outdated techniques that your organization or staff might still be using, so it'd be best to consider eliminating them altogether.
One of the biggest time wasters in the hiring process that you can eliminate is writing bad job descriptions. You might think that the job description is fine because you copy and pasted it from a previous listing, or it's "what the job is". But the truth to the matter, is that candidates are evaluating job listings differently today than they were yesterday. This means that your job listings cannot be the same as they were five, ten, or even fifteen years ago. Job seekers respond to different things, and you will attract different candidates with different types of job descriptions that are appealing or engaging.
Writing a solid job description that is both apppealing and engaging to a potential candidate is tricky, but it's a skill that can be developed over time. The job listing is the first chance that you get to connect with a potential candidate to entice them about the position, so you don't want to create ambiguity or cause a headache before you even get a chance to interact with or meet them.
Sometimes employers think that they should create broad job descriptions and interested candidates will stand out when they begin to ask questions about the role or demonstrate that they're passionate about working for the organization. The problem with this is that it leads to confusion and frustration in job seekers because they then have questions that they feel compelled to ask, or they skip over the position because they're still not quite certain what the role is. Both of these headaches cause the hiring process to lengthen as you could potentially miss out on qualified candidates, or are forced to go through extra steps to educate potential candidates — and then give them adequate time to evaluate whether or not they'd like to continue considering the position.
The key to avoiding writing bad job descriptions is by crafting engaging, and appealing job descriptions that not only highlight what the job entails, who the ideal candidate might be, and what they need to do to be successful in the role.
The next gigantic time waster that employers and hiring managers can get rid of to speed up the hiring process is evaluating resumes manually. Modern applicant tracking systems do this for employers already. Most modern applicant tracking systems allow you to scan applications, resumes, and cover letters. These systems will then pull keywords, skills, experience, and more from the information so recruiters and hiring managers no longer have to spend countless hours doing this busy work.
From there, these modern applicant tracking systems can also be set to compare the applicant's information and documents to the actual job listing itself. Some even go further by highlighting a match percentage to highlight and rank the ideal candidates. While these systems do save a lot of time, they're not perfect! Some candidates might accidentally get eliminated from consideration by the automatic scanning process because of poor formatting issues, font issues, etc. With any set of positives from these new systems, there is the potential for a negative or two — you just need to be aware of them.
Scanning resumes manually can be a lot of work when you have hundreds of applicants applying to a new position. Modern applicant tracking systems can cut down on these applicants significantly by narrowing down the pool of potential candidates to list only the relevant results. Instead of having to review one hundred resumes manually, hiring managers and employers can have the list down to a handful.
Being forced to scan hundreds of resumes significantly increases the length of time that a candidate needs to wait in limbo as they hope to hear from a response from the organization reviewing their details. By cutting down the time it takes to review resumes, the timeline gets shortened and candidates no longer feel like they're waiting to hear a response on where they stand in the evaluation process.
We've all seen some ridiculous candidate evaluation, selecting, and hiring requirements. One of the biggest things that lengthens the hiring process or slows it down is forcing candidates and job seekers to go through unnecessary extra interviews. In large organizations like a hospital or healthcare facility depending on the role, extra interviews might be a requirement with no way to eliminate them or potentially get around them.
For instance, a CFO's evaluation process and interview process will be much lengthier than an Administrative Assistant — there's nothing you can change about it. This is in large part due to the role, the responsibilities, the daily interactions each role would have, the teamwork needed in each role, etc. There are a lot of factors in play. The key thing to remember is that every hiring process and hiring timeline should be evaluated to identify unnecessary steps that frustrate candidates.
One example of unnecessary interviews is the example below:
There are several interview steps in this example that don't need to be included for plenty of roles in the healthcare industry. Each interview step typically takes a week per round, and then there is a week or two in-between each step. This means that a candidate could be waiting weeks to months before they are narrowed down or offered the position. As we've highlighted earlier, organizations can no longer wait weeks to months to fill a position, as qualified candidates are off the table and in a new role within days.
Take the time to evaluate whether or not you're wasting time in the hiring process with unnecessary interview steps or hiring stages that aren't helping you select and hire the best candidates in a timely fashion.
There are several ways that employers, hiring managers, and recruiters can speed up the hiring process and hire qualified candidates quickly. The best way to implement these methods is to conduct a brief audit of your current hiring practices and timeline and identify ways in which you can improve them.
One of the easiest ways to speed up hiring qualified candidates is by taking advantage of your existing workforce and the talent you've already developed. Most often, some of the best hires will come from those employees who already work for you. Employees who already work for you have a good understanding of the company culture, the company mission, organization values, standard procedures, employee expectations, and more. These are all things that cost both time and money whenever you're exploring potential new candidates.
You can significantly decrease these unnecessary expenses and look for candidates internally who are interested in advancing and taking the next step in their career. Another fantastic benefit of hiring internally is that it helps eliminate some ambiguity for role expectations. Those employees who already work within your organization or healthcare facility have a strong understanding of the role that they're applying for — because they've most likely worked closely with the individual who held the role previously.
This means that those candidates who are interested in the potential role or have applied to the role from your organization are confident that they're both interested and capable in their abilities to perform the job. This means that you can decrease the potential risk of working with an unknown commodity in a role that they're unfamiliar with.
Hiring internally means you don't have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars advertising your jobs to find external candidates that don't work out.
One of the best ways that you can speed up your hiring timeline for candidates is to use new technology. A recent advancement that has proven to speed up the hiring process is using new technology that allows employers and hiring managers to connect directly to job seekers at a time of their convenience, or interact with them on their own schedule. One example of this recent advancement is SMS Messages to candidates, or video interviews. There are several different platforms that you can utilize for video interviews like Skype or Spark Hire. Platforms like Spark Hire allow you to screen candidates more efficiently. You can ask screener questions as you would in a standard interview, but on the timeline of the candidate.
Trying to schedule an interview means that every person involved must be on the same timeline, or take extra steps to make sure that they're free when everyone else is. This means that an interview that might take thirty minutes to an hour could be delayed a week or two because everyone's schedule is packed to the brink. With video interviews, questions can already be staged and the candidate can be sent an invitation to complete the video interview on their own time. These video interviews and video interview platforms are a great way to once again demonstrate that your organization is willing to do whatever it can to accommodate candidates on their schedule, and also significantly shortens the hiring timeline.
Video conferencing, video interviews, and live conversations over the internet are a great way for you to also get a gauge on what kind of individual the applicant or job seeker is. One of the biggest reasons interviews still exist is because it offers employers and hiring managers a chance to get a feel for each candidate's personality, ask some important questions designed to get a glimpse into their talents and skills, and evaluate whether or not they can do the job they applied for. Video interviews accomplish that with ease, and you can also look back at them at any time — which can't be done with standard interview techniques.
Standard interviews offer a one-time evaluation, and the only thing you have to remember everything is the notes you take. Video interviews allow you to go back, re-watch, and review the candidate's answers whenever you want.
Another recent technology that we've mentioned is SMS Messaging. You can utilize text messaging platforms that allow you to directly connect with job seekers and candidates through text messages which they can answer on their own time. This allows you to get a direct connection with them and follow-up with them whenever you have a question about their credentials, or give them an opportunity to seek answers from you and your organization. Technology allows employers and hiring managers a chance to connect with their candidates, and offers opportunities to significantly decrease the hiring timeline.
The next way to speed up the hiring process of qualified candidates is to make an offer quickly. Unfortunately, making an offer relies on a lot of things that are directly out of your control. Some of these things include paperwork, approval, response time, etc. The problem with this is that you need to take advantage of areas where you can cut down the time it takes to send an offer out, which we've highlighted earlier. If you find a candidate that you're interested in or believe would make a good fit in the role, then you need to make an offer quickly.
At the bare minimum, you need to express that you have a strong desire to have them work for you and that you'd like to know if they'd be interested. By making an offer quickly, you express your desire to have them work for you and force the ball to be in their court. They have to get serious about whether or not they're considering the job opportunity.
Because the consideration process might take a day to several days for the candidate, it's a good idea to give them ample time to consider the position. The sooner you send out an offer and make a choice on the candidate you'd like to offer the opportunity, the hiring timeline can decrease exponentially.
One of the biggest things that can cause a drain on hiring processes and lengthen timelines is by spreading misinformation in the job posting and through candidate correspondence. As we've outlined earlier, your job posting should contain all the important information that a candidate needs to know about the role and the responsibilities they might have, in addition to any benefits or perks that come along with working in the organization.
For the things that a potential candidate or job seeker is confused about, each question will significantly increase the timeline of the hiring process. A candidate might ask a question, and then it could take several hours to a day to respond to them. With each question or concern, the timeline gets longer and longer.
As we've highlighted earlier, take the misinformation out of the question and provide job seekers and candidates with all of the information they need to evaluate each job posting and consider the position.
Hire by dates are a great way to hold yourself and your organization accountable to ensure that you stick to a strict timeline in your organization's search to fill an open job. In addition, they give job seekers and candidates a better picture of the timeline that you're looking to fill the role. As we've highlighted several times throughout our simple ways to speed up hiring, there is only a limited time where you can truly attract and hire the best candidates who are available.
Now more than ever, employers and organizations need to be efficient with their time in evaluating and selecting candidates. Hire by dates ensure that you not only reduce the time it takes to evaluate and hire a candidate but also ensure that you increase your chances of being competitive in the ever-increasingly competitive healthcare industry as it competes for top talent.
Hire by dates are also a great way for you to potentially encourage candidates who are close to accepting other offers to "explore potential offers" or "consider other options". In other words, it gives you the potential to force the hand of the job seeker or candidate to potentially delay accepting an offer they've already been given by going through the consideration process with your organization.
Job seekers and potential candidates will also value the timeline you've placed on the job posting because you're demonstrating that you respect their timeline and want to provide as much information to them as possible. Top candidates often consider the evaluation and consideration process as a reflection of how the overall organization works. If you put a timeline and hire by date on your job posting, you're demonstrating to potential employees that your organization is like a well-oiled machine with expectations and deadlines to follow.
Another overlooked benefit to putting a hire by date is that you can often be the first offer on the table for some candidates who are hoping to switch jobs quickly. The longer that a job seeker explores potential opportunities, the more potential offers they'll have on the table and the more expensive it can get. The last thing you want to happen is to get into a bidding war with other organizations when you could've easily been the first offer on the table and scooped up the employee before others could put their two cents in.
One method that employers and organizations can use to drastically speed up hiring is by avoiding using the shotgun marketing method with their job postings and job listings. Because the healthcare industry is so competitive, it might seem like a great idea to spend your recruitment budget wherever you can to increase the likelihood that you'll find quality candidates.
This method is known as the shotgun marketing method, because it's like a shotgun blast where potential solutions are flying all over the place and aren't very effective. The problem with this is that organizations are not only wasting money, but they're also wasting their time.
Organizations need to cater their marketing efforts to attract quality candidates with resources and marketing methods that actually work. In the healthcare industry, HospitalCareers is the most efficient and cost-effective method for sourcing and hiring quality healthcare candidates. When organizations and employers use the mass marketing method to send their job postings everywhere and on every platform, they're significantly increasing the chances that they'll only receive spam applications.
Spam applications only increase the likelihood that a reliable and qualified candidate will get overlooked, and cost HR professionals time and money sorting through applications to identify which candidates they should actually consider.
Niche marketing solutions mean that employers no longer spend thousands of dollars and can spend their marketing budgets and recruitment budgets on solutions that actually work towards finding quality candidates for the roles that are available.
Employee referral programs are a great way to source talent and receive recommendations from those employees you already trust. We've talked at length about employee referral programs in another blog post, Ways Healthcare Employers Can Attract The Best Candidates, where we go on to discuss all the fantastic benefits associated with employee referral programs.
Employee referral programs are a great way for you to potentially source candidates at an affordable rate and significantly speed up the hiring process by using more affordable marketing techniques like word-of-mouth and referral bonuses that incentivize employee adoption. Employee referral programs make it easy for existing employees to share new job postings that they've heard about with individuals they trust or feel would make a fantastic employee in the role.
Another benefit to employee referral programs is that existing employees also act as an educational resource for potential candidates. Existing employees who are participating in the employee referral program can answer common questions that a candidate might have, which means less time HR professionals and hiring managers have to spend answering questions — which can drastically decrease the hiring timeline.
Another fantastic way to drastically decrease the hiring timeline and speed up your organization's hiring process is by taking advantage of any automation you can. Earlier, we mentioned how resumes can automatically be scanned, sorted, and narrowed down by modern applicant tracking systems — but the benefits don't stop there. Modern applicant tracking systems allow you to shape and change your hiring process however you and your organization see fit. This means that you can also automate some of the other things that take up a lengthy time in your hiring process.
For instance, you can also establish skill tests within your applicant tracking system. They don't have to be a direct part of the application, they can be an automatic reply or notification sent out to candidates after they've submitted their application. This means you don't have to ask each candidate to come in for a separate date to complete a skills test in addition to an interview, as you can have them do it on their own time quickly and efficiently.
There are also outside resources that you can use to take some of the burden off your organizations plate as well, like reference checking. There are companies who will also check references for you like Skillsurvey, who takes the time to follow up with references that job seekers or candidates have listed and then provide you with all the information you need to make a decision on each candidate. Speed up the hiring process by automatic as much as you can.
The next way that you can speed up hiring quality candidates is by following up and communicating frequently with the job seekers and candidates who have applied to your job postings or job listings. One of the biggest barriers to speeding up your hiring process of quality candidates is the communication barriers that might arise. Some of the biggest communication barriers that arise are just the time it takes for candidates to reply to the messages and correspondence you send them.
When you take days or weeks to reply to their messages, emails, or letters — you're sending the message that their comments don't matter to you and that you don't value their time. It doesn't need to be true to be the message that you're sending them. You should value their timeline and be proactive about the communication channels between you and your candidates and take steps to constantly communicate with them and follow up frequently with them.
Following up frequently with them can be as small as reaching out to them to let them know that you're still evaluating candidates, where they stand in the consideration process, what the remainder of the consideration and evaluation timeline looks like, and more.
Too many employers, hiring managers, and HR professionals only follow up with candidates or job seekers when they have an update. The problem with this is that candidates can quickly move on to other jobs when they don't hear anything.
You've probably heard this before, but you should always be searching for potential candidates. The goal of this process is that you're constantly working towards developing a talent pool that you can utilize in the future when potential job openings become available. Talent pools take a long time to develop, and modern applicant tracking systems or other tools make it easier than ever for employers and organizations to develop talent pools and pipelines that can be useful any time a new position becomes available.
Unfortunately, modern organizations spend thousands of dollars hoping to find candidates when a position becomes available — when they could have already developed a considerable list of candidates from the get-go with a talent pool they fostered earlier. Even if you don't have any open positions, you should constantly be reaching out to potential candidates, gauging their interest in working with your organization and the roles you frequently hire for that they match.
Some of the best ways to build your talent pool and increase your networking efforts is by utilizing social media, taking an active approach in reaching out to LinkedIn professionals, reconnecting with applicants from previous positions and job postings, building your potential candidate audience through blog posts and newsletters. The next thing that employers and organizations can do to enhance their talent pool for future job postings is to take better notes, get a better understanding and complete picture of what each applicant brings to the table. This way you don't have to do any extra work in the future that you normally would because you've already spent countless hours and time doing all the research and hard work.
Speeding up the hiring process is one of the most important things that any organization can do to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive hiring marketplace. Speeding up the hiring process and timeline not only increases the quality of candidates who apply for open job postings but also saves time and money. Every organization should put an emphasis on identifying potential ways their hiring process can improve, and implement some of the simple ways we've mentioned above to speed up the process.