Is your hiring process too slow, cumbersome, and dysfunctional? Before you answer, consider this. What’s the purpose of your hiring process? Because if it’s to fill needed positions within your organization with the best candidates as soon as they’re needed (if not before), then anything that interferes with the purpose is counterproductive.

Don’t Stop Reading

Okay, I know you know that. I understand it sounds obvious, but there are times you’re letting the obvious get in the way of the hiring process. Let me give you one example.

How many times have you conducted an interview and determined you had more qualified candidates than the interviewee, or that the candidate didn’t qualify for the position, and how many of these candidates continued to waste your time following up with you about the position? How many candidates have you interviewed that you wouldn’t hire and yet they called you back about the job?

Responding to unqualified candidates is a waste of time, and it’s your fault. Rather than end the interview with some version of “We’ll call you” tell them you have a more qualified candidate. Be polite, thank them for their time, say something nice about their resume or work experience, but let them know. I’ve seldom had a candidate upset when I’ve told them the truth; just the opposite, most have thanked me.

It’s not fair to keep people hanging who don’t have a chance, and it’s a waste of your time. Besides, if everyone you interview calls back will you remember them all? Will you know who you wanted to call you back and who you weren’t interested in? When a candidate calls me back, it’s because I asked them to and they call at a time I preset.

The Best Employment Candidates Will Not Wait on You

“In a recent study, staffing agency Robert Half surveyed job seekers to determine what they find most off-putting about the hiring process. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they were frustrated about waiting extended periods of time for updates after interviewing, while 35 percent disliked being subjected to multiple rounds of interviews and skills evaluations. When asked about the appropriate length of a hiring process, 39 percent of respondents considered seven to 14 days to be too long, and 24 percent viewed 15 to 21 days as excessive.” How long are you making job candidates wait for a hiring decision?

“When forced to endure a lengthy hiring process, nearly 40 percent of job seekers lose interest in the position and pursue other opportunities, and 18 percent decide to stay put in their current job.” Business News Daily — If you want the best candidates don’t make them wait.

What Can You Do?

Quit Wasting Time

The first step is to eliminate the nuisance of unqualified candidates following up. Let them know they don’t qualify or that you have a more qualified candidate.

Know the Candidate You Want

Know your needs. Be clear about the qualifications, experience, and personality you want for the position. Create a job profile, use a job description, and consider the character traits of your most successful employees.

Create a Follow-Up System

Rather than leaving candidates to wait indefinitely, create a follow-up system. Would you like to know the easiest most efficient follow-up system ever? I mentioned it earlier. Give qualified candidates a time and day to call you back. It puts the responsibility on the interviewee and informs you of their commitment to the position. If they don’t call back why would you pursue them?

Get Everybody on the Same Page

Everyone involved in the hiring decision should be on the same page including skills needed, cultural fit, hiring date, salary, and training.

Cut Out Redundant Steps

If your hiring process consists of three or four interviews, personality profiles, and skills tests, it might be driving the best candidates away. Cut out the overlap and streamline your hiring process.

What do Job Candidates Expect?

Unemployment is at a seven year low. Job candidates don’t have to wait on you. It’s a sellers’ market. It’s not only that unemployment is low it’s that people expectations of the hiring process are changing. If your process includes multiple interviews, numerous profile tests, and inconsistent follow up, then it’s getting in the way of your purpose. If you force candidates to jump through hoops for 14 or 21 days or longer, then many will decide they don’t want to work for an organization that does this. Is you hiring process getting in the way of hiring the best candidates?