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~by Haley Lynn Gray~

How long is your hiring process? It should probably be shorter.

A staggering 99% of Australian CFOs say it is challenging today to find skilled finance professionals. Yet companies could be letting quality talent slip from their grasp by unnecessarily dragging out the recruitment process.

Research by Robert Half reveals a clear disconnect between the length of time companies take to recruit new talent, and how long job seekers are prepared to wait.

For staff-level employees for instance, the recruitment process takes an average of 2.5 months. For management-level staff, it takes an average of three months to bring a new recruit on board.

By contrast, a survey of 2,000 Australian office workers found one in three say 15-21 days is too long for a hiring process. A further 28% believe 7-14 days is too slow. This suggests an apparent disconnect between the average recruitment process length and the time job seekers say is too long.

Delays can mean missing out

It’s understandable that hiring managers want to invest time identifying the right candidate for the role. But a long, drawn-out recruitment process brings a risk of missing out on top talent – and that’s because job seekers rarely apply for just one position at a time.

One in two (47%) professionals simultaneously apply for ten roles or more. This significantly increases the likelihood of receiving more than one job offer, and seven in 10 job seekers say they regularly receive multiple offers.

Aim for a rapid response

Finding the right person for the job can be tough in today’s candidate-short market, but prompt action is needed to reduce the risk of losing high caliber professionals to another company.

Aim to keep quality candidates up-to-date with what’s happening in the hiring process, and once the preferred candidate is identified, secure their services as quickly as possible. At most, candidates should only have to wait a few days before receiving an offer.

Seven steps to fast-track the hiring process

Hiring managers can streamline and accelerate the recruitment process through seven key steps.

  1. Set up the process – minimize the number of internal stakeholders involved, understand market salaries for the role, and secure budget approval.
  2. Create a compelling job ad – distinguish must-have skills, and promote the position through a variety of channels.
  3. Evaluate resumes and shortlist top applicants – keep the hiring criteria in mind when developing a shortlist.
  4. Conduct interviews – aim to complete all in-person interviews on the same day or over a couple of days.
  5. Shortlist candidates and make a final decision – promptly check references and ensure all internal stakeholders agree on the preferred candidate.
  6. Keep candidates informed – regularly touch base with shortlisted candidates regarding the progress of their application.
  7. Make an offer – finalize the contract and employment package, and extend a job offer as soon as you’ve selected the preferred candidate.

For a more in-depth look at how your company can secure top quality candidate, download the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide.