How to Speed Up Your Long Hiring Process

How long does your company take to hire? The average number of days companies take to hire for one position has risen to almost 24, while five years ago, it was only 12 days. What’s going on?

Why is a long time to hire so bad?

First, it costs your company money. If it takes three weeks to fill a position, that role is sitting empty instead of being productive. Employees are juggling extra tasks in the meantime, making them less efficient in their usual roles.

Second, it disrupts a project’s timeline, slowing progress and creating backlog. Deadlines are missed, teams are overworked and issues are unresolved until a key person is hired to fill the gaps.

Third, from a candidate’s perspective, it makes your company look bad. Sitting and waiting during each phase of the process for a company to make a decision, set up an interview, or contact references is a painful experience. The hiring process impacts how a candidate feels about a company – a great hiring process puts a company in a positive light and leads to recommendations, while a slow hiring process hurts a company’s reputation.

What is taking so long?

Why are companies taking so long to hire? With so many new tools and technology to help, surely hiring should be getting faster, not slower. The issue is in how these tools are used, and how they are integrated into a hiring process.

For example, with online collaboration so prevalent, it’s easy to bring in all interested parties into many hiring discussions. Whether email, skype, or an online application, managers and recruiters can all weigh in on each candidate, anytime, anywhere. However, the more people that are involved, the longer the process takes.

Another issue can be when a company’s process has not evolved to suit current methods. When transitioning from a manual, spreadsheet or paper-based system, basic changes will have to be made to fit and take advantage of software systems. What steps can be eliminated? Are you taking full advantage of online tools, or are your trying to shoehorn a manual process into an online one?

A third hold up lies with people. Managers do not need to be a part of the entire process from start to finish – this is generally a waste of their time and expertise. Recruiting professionals can take ownership of accepting, corresponding and screening candidates before involving the hiring manager.

How can I streamline my hiring?

Here are some actions you can take to work towards a faster time to hire:

Eliminate steps from your hiring process. Before you laugh this off as “easier said than done” consider the tools available to you. Pre-screening questionnaires or surveys could eliminate the phone screen, and online reference checking can reduce time spent chasing down references. We are not suggesting talking on a phone doesn’t provide useful information, but reducing the amount of calls will save an incredible amount of time for each candidate.

Conduct video interviews. This can be done live, which saves time due to fewer scheduling hassles, and is able to involve parties from various locations. Another option, video interviewing software such as SparkHire, allows candidates to record, edit and upload answers to your questions on their own time. Now trying to find time to bring candidates, HR and managers together is not a problem, and can save you days.

Respect your recruiting professionals. Managers or business owners do not need to spend their time sifting through every application. Save the initial stages of hiring for a dedicated person who can weed out unqualified applicants, and move promising candidates forward. Whether using an external recruiting company, or an internal HR person, they should have the authority and knowledge to make decisions early in the process.

Measure your progress. If you know your time to hire, you can set goals, and see how you are improving, and where the main hurdles are. Numbers don’t lie, and without a way to analyse your hiring process, you won’t know how bad, or good, it is.

What methods are you using to speed up your hiring? Leave your tips in the comments below.


Guess what? HireGround offers a whole bunch of features that will save you time! Check out our StartDate software here.