It takes an average of 24-28 days to fill sales, engineering, IT, Operations and other similar positions… And when it comes to quality – the best candidates are off the market in 10 days. Moving fast in the hiring process is critical when your business is growing and you need good people in your office…yesterday. Not only do unfilled positions cost you production – it costs you thousands of dollars in potential revenue.
Here’s 5 ways to make the recruiting process faster when you are in a high growth period and help close the gap on your untapped revenue and production.
1. Recruitment Marketing – here’s the secret sauce you're missing:
Don’t lose the war on talent before you make it to the front line. Invest time in the beginning to have your job descriptions and messaging at an elite-level because it will prevent you from needing to rethink everything if candidates aren’t engaging with you and you hit a roadblock.
The most important thing you can do in your job descriptions:
Define your ideal candidate – both with your team and on paper. Make sure you know exactly what you are looking for. Reevaluating who you need for the job mid-way could cost you weeks or months. Or even worse – you hire the wrong person because you didn’t define the needs well enough before pulling the trigger. And when you're hiring at high volume - multiple people for one department...that's not a mistake you can afford to repeat.
By making it clear in the job description – expectations are set for both you and candidates. To define the ideal profile - identify 4-6 “Must-Have” core characteristics of this candidate. Then make the description “You-Centric”. Rather than listing a requirements sections, list the characteristics of this ideal candidate.
For example: “You are collaborative – eager to work across multiple functions and take direction when needed.” Or “You are process oriented – focused on execution, prioritization and time-management.” When there is a baseline skill that is needed in order for the candidate be qualified you can still make that "YOU-Centric" and tie it into identified characteristics. E.g. “You are an expert in Salesforce – able to execute and develop new processes to create an efficient sales pipeline.”
Look at past winners on your team to determine these characteristics and skills – it will help boil down the “Must-Haves vs. the “Nice-to-Haves” when defining this ideal candidate.
2. Recruitment Marketing continued.: The #1 Tip for Messaging
Of course, not all candidates are coming to you through your website or job boards. Outreach to passive candidates is needed – which are those that aren’t actively looking and makeup over 75% of the workforce.
So, what’s the strategy? - Should you write a custom message for each candidate or can you have success with template messages?
For positions where you are on-boarding classes of new hires – it may not be feasible to draft a custom message for each candidate – you simply won’t be able to reach the type of volume needed. But for positions that are high-level, hard-to-fill, niche roles – it may require a more custom approach.
Regardless – one thing remains true for any message that you send...
Drive home the value! Segment these ideal candidates for each job into different demographics or personas based off what is important to them on a professional and personal level.
Then determine what the value is. There’s 3 options to consider – the value of the company, the value of the role, or both.
For example, with a junior sales candidate – the value may be around career progression. And how this role could help set the course for the rest of their career.
Or for a more seasoned professional – you may to choose to focus on location – and the opportunity to work out of the city and closer to home.
The great things is - now that you've identified the ideal candidate profile - revisit and determine what the value is that will appeal to them.
Compelling messaging is key for setting up and speeding up the hiring process – it’s the tool the can separate your recruitment process from everyone else’s.
3. Remove Subjectivity out of Interviewing: Implement structured interviews.
The goal of a structured interview is to have candidates be evaluated on the same playing field. This is done by using standardized questions that are designed to assess characteristics.
Revisit your job description and the key characteristics that you identified for the ideal candidate profile. Ask questions designed to score them on these characteristics. When you’re in high growth mode and hiring multiple people for one type of position this is especially helpful because you have a repeatable process. Here’s an example, for salespeople the key traits/characteristics you may identify could be initiative, communication and perseverance.
For evaluating “Initiative” ask them about how they would develop a 30-60-90-day plan for themselves.
Or for “communication” – test their ability to talk about something they’re passionate about. And evaluate how they communicate and articulate that.
The goal is to have consistency and score their answers. To do this create a scoring system. Use a scale from 1-5 to keep things simple. 1 being a very poor response and 5 being an excellent response. Have everyone on your interview team complete this score card - each of them asking different questions to get a variety of answers. Or you could divide different focus areas for each interviewer – where someone will focus on initiative or someone will focus on perseverance. That depends on the size of your team – which should also be a consideration when thinking about the volume of your hiring.
The biggest impact a structured interview will make is eliminating gut reactions – where your team is split on someone and no one can quite put a finger on the true area of concern.
This will serve a purpose for second interviews because you will know which areas of concern to readdress if you decide to move forward and track if they are able to score better on areas that are deal breakers.
4. Develop a Recruiting Plan using Benchmarks and Goals
You have to know the numbers you need to hit every day, week and month in order to hire quickly. Recruiting should be extremely metrics driven.
To arrive at the right benchmarks and goals to hit – look at your overarching hiring goal.
Let’s work through it with an example – you need to make 20 hires in 5 months. For this example – let’s say all priorities are considered equal that’s 4 hires a month. How are we going to get to 4 hires per month? Start from the beginning of your pipelining and outreach.
Hypothetically, this is what you may find, every 10 unique outreaches = 1 phone screen. 1 out of 4 screens lead to an in-person interview. 1 out of 3 interviews lead to a second interview and further. From there 1 out of 2 remaining candidates get hired. Got that? By working backwards you know that to get 1 hire you need to build a pipeline of 240 candidates.
240 outreach messages = 24 screens = 6 in person interviews = 2 second in person interviews and beyond = 1 hire
Once you’ve got those metrics– divide and conquer to ensure you’re hitting these numbers on time in order to reach that 5-month goal.
But how do you get this data from the start? Look back at past hires and study those metrics– hopefully you have that tracked. Or start new and evaluate after the first month.
5. Go to the Experts
The tricky part is if you don’t have a month to evaluate.
And when you’re scaling and trying to make hires quickly - dividing and conquering can be a challenge with the bandwidth that you have.
You may be looking at a few options:
A full-time recruiter or an addition to your team. But what happens once the spike in hiring levels out? Sure – you may always have needs – but eventually the bandwidth could exceed the needs.
Or you may be looking at a staffing agency with commission-based recruiters where you only pay for the hire made. But guess what – a headhunter is not going to put the time and effort to get this messaging, job descriptions, structured interviews or recruiting plan in place for you to make sure you’re making the right hire. Their goal is to make a hire, any hire, so they can get paid – not create a long-term strategy.
That’s why Talent Retriever aims to solves all of these problems by providing high growth companies a team of full-service non-commission-based recruiters that strategize and execute full service recruitment when you’ve reached the capacity of your internal bandwidth. We operate as extension of our clients to help them reach their hiring goals on time and on budget.
Interested in learning more? Click here and talk to the experts in high growth recruiting.