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BFS Capital Blog

Move At “The Speed Of Business” When Recruiting And Hiring

March 5, 2014

For some time, business has been speeding up on all fronts: Instant ordering, real-time conversations with customers online, overnight shipping and same-day delivery. It only makes sense that the whole recruiting/hiring process would be speeding up, too.

But how do you consolidate a process that has a number of important and necessary steps? And can you really quickly recruit and hire without cutting crucial corners and compromising in ways you’ll regret later?

Experts say there are good reasons to pick up the pace of recruiting/hiring. But a lot of organizations either can’t be that nimble or believe that a long hiring process nets them better employees. But at Adecco Staffing USA EVP Joyce Russell says that with today’s workforce, good talent can come and go in the blink of an eye. And the thing to remember in moving quickly is that hiring is equal parts ‘people decision’ and ‘business decision.’ Open positions and inefficient, drawn-out hiring and onboarding are usually costing your business money.

Russell suggests several ways you can speed up the hiring process:

  • Tap into your internal network. Employees and their networks are great sources of referrals and candidates. Plus someone already on staff might be interested in changing jobs.
  • Write a clear job description. Doesn’t everyone? Actually, no. Ambiguity about the job is a big factor in hiring going off the rails.
  • Be even more selective about candidates. First-round interviews, whether in person or by phone, are the most time-consuming. But you can save hours if you learn to trust your gut when you’re reviewing resumes initially.
  • Eliminate some steps by thinking ahead. For most, there’s an established sequence to the hiring process. Revisit your process to see where you can combine steps, move them up or eliminate them altogether. Example: Russell says checking references doesn’t have to be at the very end with the offer. Instead, move it up and be checking references concurrently during final interview rounds.
  • Create a long-term plan. Anticipating your talent needs for the next 12 or 24 months is one step that can reduce the mad scramble when an opening occurs. Russell even suggests having informational interviews to develop a pipeline of potential candidates before there are actual openings.
  • Consider outsourcing at least part of the process, like recruiting and initially screening candidates. It could save you time and money in the long run. contributor and venture capitalist Schuyler Brown turns the old adage, “Hire slow and fire fast,” on its head, referring to the whole hiring process as a “real time suck.” He looks to social startup founders for some tips for losing the waste factor as you set out to bring the best people into your business:

  • ABR, or Always Be Recruiting. It’s not something you do just when you have an open position, but a question you ask yourself every time you meet someone: Would this person be a good fit?
  • Avoid in-person meetings. A point of reference for an efficient process that zeroes in on the strongest candidates: A book called Who: The A Method for Hiring.
  • Listen to your gut. Listen hardest and pay attention to those nagging doubts that say “Something’s just not right.”
  • Be a little strange. Seriously! Don’t be afraid to be creative and fun, especially when demonstrating the true nature of your business culture and values.

Image courtesy of 89studio /