Need More Hours in a Day? Nip Recruiting Process Time Wasters in the Bud

How many of your ordinary talent acquisition tasks waste resources instead of contributing to great hires? Nip them in the bud, and you’ll gain more time to focus on what really works.

Time wasters plague every industry. All that you need is a quick scan through Quora to find a list of recruiting pain points that’s half a mile long or at least seems to be. The upside is that once you identify sneaky time hogs, you can course-correct to a better way.

RELATED: 5 Ways Data Driven Recruitment Strategies Deliver Quality Candidates

Here are just a few ways to streamline recruiting for better results for you and the candidates you want to hire.

Stop: Sourcing Afresh Every Time

Instead: build your talent pipeline for a steady stream of candidates.

The talent pipeline is an invaluable tool. If you start sourcing from ground zero every time there’s a new position to fill, you’re missing out on one of the most precious commodities available to recruiters. A dynamic pipeline helps you fill jobs quicker and more effectively with less work.

Honestly, what’s not to love?

The best pipelines are ever-growing pools of pre-sourced candidates. The candidates might not suit the company’s current needs, but they’re important because of their potential.

Some may be previous applicants who didn’t fit one job but still have excellent skills. Some people may find their way into the pipeline through referrals. Some may be college students brimming with promise and others may be people whose careers are developing and you’ve got your eye on them for the future, says Oracle.

Recruiters should always be sourcing and keep the people in the pipeline engaged. Because so many of the best candidates are already employed, many of them won’t see a new job ad unless they’ve got a relationship with the recruiter in place.

According to Brazen, recruiters should ”adopt a proactive approach to recruiting by building relationships with talented professionals on an ongoing basis.”

Recruiting process
Pay no attention, it’s just a figment of your imagination.

Stop: Chasing the Purple Squirrel

Instead: remember that finished is better than perfect

”A good purple squirrel will work for peanuts (also known as the pay and benefits you’re willing to offer) and just happens to live in the same town as your company. For every purple squirrel hire out there though, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of open, unfilled job openings.” – Harvard Business Review (HBR)

Every recruiter wants the best possible candidate for every job. Unfortunately, striving for the pinnacle of perfection wastes time and can turn out empty pockets.

If you skip over a qualified candidate with solid skills in the hopes of finding a rock star, you’ll spend more money along the way and still probably hire someone less than ideal.

Finished is better than perfect. Harvard Business Review says that for every mythical ”purple squirrel,” recruiters and hiring managers overlook too many perfectly suitable candidates. Worse, the squirrel with the best qualifications and aptitudes who works for pennies might turn out to be nuts in the long run.

Stop: Avoiding New and Better Technology

Instead: embrace the technology that’s available

This point can’t be overstated. The recruiting industry is changing quickly, and technology is changing almost everything.

If the learning curve seems too vertical to try, you can count on other recruiters zipping past and snagging the brightest for their talent pipeline.

Growing and emerging technology can:

  • Match jobs with candidates on numerous levels for a better fit
  • Source candidates from across the web, sometimes in the most unusual places (such as Pinterest or Snapchat!)
  • Screen candidates for a better applicant pool
  • Place relevant job ads in front of people who are most likely to click

That’s really just the beginning.

Technology for the recruitment industry is evolving quickly for better processes that usher in more great talent and help keep them engaged so the competition won’t nab them first.

Undercover Recruiter says some tech has affected permanent change. Here are just a few of their examples:

  • Short-form job postings grab attention instead of turning off candidates
  • Mobile optimization has adapted to how candidates find jobs
  • Technology enables a quicker application response time
  • It also broadens the recruiter’s candidate reach
  • Social recruiting is possible through new technology and it tells you more than just a resume can
  • Tech helps facilitate transparency for both the candidate and the company
  • It helps match better candidates with better jobs
  • New technology gives virtually limitless business and personal/candidate branding opportunities
  • Machine learning continually improves over time

Technology makes recruiting better for both the recruiter and the candidate. In a competitive era, that’s worth its weight in gold.

Recruiting process
Too much of a good thing is too much work for too little reward.

Stop: Accepting as Many Applicants as Possible

Instead: employ better screening and trim applicant volume to only the best candidates

According to a Glassdoor survey, ”the average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days.”

We get it. Interviewing is time-consuming by nature. And with more applicants, it seems as if you’ll stand a better chance of finding a diamond. If you need applicants, you might as well make it rain, right?

That’s not always true. Sometimes, too many applicants turn hiring into the proverbial needle in a haystack. Remember, finished is better than perfect.

About 44 percent of job openings are filled within the first month. That’s according to a study by Indeed. For the fortunate portion of the market, those numbers are pretty good. However, everything takes a nosedive after 30 days.

The same study explains that there’s nearly a 60 percent chance that a job that isn’t filled within a month will remain unfilled for 3 or more months. ”These delays can have serious consequences for businesses, potentially resulting in longer working hours and lower quality work as a result of staff shortages,” says Indeed.

Trimming down the volume of applicants saves time on unnecessary interviews and helps shorten the path to great hires. It doesn’t equal limiting yourself; the opposite is actually true, at least when you approach it the right way.

With better sourcing, job matching and fine-tuned applicant screening, fewer unqualified people clog up the application review process. That’s better for recruiters because it makes you look like an efficient sourcing machine.

It’s better for hiring managers, too, because they’ll waste less time poring over documents that should never have made the cut. And it’s great for candidates, too. Nobody wants to waste time.

Interviews take longer, says Glassdoor, because businesses need more and more information before committing to a hew hire. To keep the process manageable, trim the fat, stop hoping for a miracle in the bunch and opt for a handful of excellent candidates instead of a truckload of wishes.

Stop: Asking for Personal References

Instead: focus on relevant work references

When was the last time you based a decision on personal references? Has it ever happened? Given the choice, which applicants always have, no one would list a reference who’d speak ill of them. Instead, people tend to cherry-pick references who’ll sing their praises.

It’s a process that looks great on paper. Unfortunately, it wastes time and yields minimal, if any, authentic information about the candidate. believes if you take the time to check references, then the references should be worth your time.

”Personal references are almost always not chosen wisely. They either cannot speak to the candidate’s work ethic or performance, or they are not able to give a truly objective point of view. Stick to requiring work or education references. Who are you going to get more relevant information from, their neighbor or their old boss?”

Stop: Asking Creative, Clever (Silly) Questions

Instead: stick with what’s relevant to the job

The early 2000s saw a surge in clever, creative questions for job candidates. They were intended to see how well a person could think on their feet and draw out more of their personality.

Silly questions waste time, and there’s little more than anecdotal evidence that they help paint a better picture of the candidate. says brain teasers and other irrelevant questions ”will not get you the right candidate.”

A recruiting process isn’t a best practice just because it’s an industry mainstay. If you don’t evaluate efficiencies, you’ll never uncover the slippery details that cost you time, money and ultimately great hires.

Every task takes time and time is proverbially money. The trick is ferreting out time wasters and either leaving them behind or replacing them with something better.

For example, you’ll probably always need to post job ads. The old-fashioned way makes every job a unique chore that includes choosing the best platform for exposure. Write concisely instead of asking candidates to commit to an annoying long job ad. Embrace programmatic job advertising and let artificial intelligence make smart, quick, data-based decisions while you tend to something else that needs your direct attention.

Your recruiting processes might seem to work beautifully from cruising altitude. On the ground, however, you’ll likely find time wasters that need to hit the road.

What’s all the fuss about programmatic advertising? Check out our Webinar: The Emergence & Impact of Programmatic Advertising on Recruiting and find out!

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