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How long is too long? Planning your recruitment process

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Finding the right candidate for an open position can be inordinately challenging. The costs of getting it wrong are estimated at three times more than the annual salary paid to the new hire. In not wishing to make an expensive mistake, there can be a tendency towards an inordinately lengthily recruitment process comprised of many stages. Yet this can be very off-putting to candidates. 

Drawing out the hiring process can be counterproductive. Candidates may find it demotivating to the point of simply walking away. This means that if recruitment processes are too long, with no clear end in sight, organisations will be shedding good candidates. In fact, research shows that 78% of candidates will drop out of recruitment processes that are too long or complex. Planning recruitment processes effectively is critical to avoiding these issues. Recommendations are:

Plan the timeline end to end upfront – a solid and robust hiring process can be achieved within as little as a fortnight, if well planned. Plotting out the timeline for each stage of the recruitment process including screening, interviews and offers can help contract the time frame. This can make the whole process much more palatable and motivating for candidates. 

Minimise the number of rounds – do you really need more than two rounds to pick the best person for the job? If so, ask yourself why? Rather than lengthening the process with various stages, it is better for candidate retention (and potentially sanity!) if the recruitment activities are improved such that two good rounds can pinpoint the best person. Evaluate which parts of the recruitment process add value, and which are a bit of a comfort blanket, and eliminate the latter. 

Manage the logistics – once it is clear who is needed and when those people are required to take part in recruitment, organising the practicalities will help in avoiding unexpected delays. For example, booking time in the relevant parties’ diaries upfront for interviewing means that the process does not have to later be held up because this planning did not occur in advance. Booking rooms is another activity easily organised early on. Factoring in time for finalising the decision on candidates is also a key part of this. Taking care of the logistics means the potential for setting realistic candidate expectations on timelines and actually meeting them. 

Track candidate drop-out rate – starting to track data on drop-out rates can provide interesting insight to where recruitment processes might be demotivating or off-putting. If candidates frequently drop out after specific activities or stages, this is very telling. Don’t ignore what the data tells you. If you do, you risk losing great people. 

At SureSkills, as recruitment experts, we can provide sage advice on the recruitment process to help you avoid missing out on top talent. 

Why not contact SureSkills today to find out how to refine your recruitment process? 


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