Tech skills are in high demand — and tech candidates with the hottest skills can land multiple job offers at once. If you’re looking to fill a tech skills gap at your business, you need to make sure you work fast to extend a final offer before someone else does. But you don’t have to “compromise quality” to speed up your hiring process, says Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network.
“Companies that care about culture may still conduct various rounds of interviews to determine culture fit. However, given we’re in a tight labor market, hiring managers understand they need to move fast to get top talent,” he says.
Here are five tips to help speed up your hiring process, so you won’t risk losing out on the top candidates in your market.
Ensure that every candidate has a clear understanding of the interview process and expected timeline. Make sure to reach out early if there’s software they need to download for a video chat, if they need to submit a portfolio or if you need references. And always check in with candidates when the process or timeline changes, says Gimbel.
If a candidate can’t get into the office or if last minute travel plans interfere with a scheduled interview, avoid pushing it out to a later date. Make use of video chat services, like Skype or FaceTime — you can always plan to schedule a follow-up interview if it goes well.
Streamline your technology
If your business relies on multiple HR platforms or apps to manage candidates, consider consolidating logins and eliminating redundant apps or software. The more administrative redundancies or roadblocks that you can eliminate, the better.
Even something as simple as “logging in and out of systems” can slow things down, says Rosemary Haefner, CHRO of CareerBuilder. But it’s an easy fix if you can invest in a platform that “enables one login for multiple functions.”
Take time to research the latest HR tools and software to make sure you’re using the best choice for your business. New products and services are constantly released, so every few years you might find something that can replace multiple apps or services that were adopted in the past.
Simplify the application process
Today, candidates use mobile devices to find and apply for jobs, which means they expect a mobile-friendly experience. If your application process is confusing or tedious, you risk turning off potential applicants.
“Unclear application instructions, a career site that isn’t mobile-optimized or having to re-enter information from an uploaded resume are all contributors to a bad online candidate experience — a common problem that can cost a company more than just a few application submissions,” says Haefner.
Technology makes it easy to build an easier online applicant portal. You can even rely on services like LinkedIn or other job boards, which let applicants apply with just one click.
Make hiring a priority
Not every company has dedicated recruitment staff, but if a hiring manager is “juggling multiple priorities, deliverables and deadlines while interviewing for open positions,” it can stall the process, says Gimbel.
If you’re trying to hire candidates with competitive skills, you’ll need to shift workloads around to make hiring a top priority. Whether you outsource hiring to a third-party recruiter or lighten the workload of hiring managers, it’s one step that can help get candidates in the door as soon as possible.
Make use of references
Checking a candidate’s references is typically the last step in the hiring process — but it doesn’t have to be. Try reaching out to references earlier in the interview stage. It will give you a good idea of a candidate’s fit before investing too much time.
“References should be a crucial part of the hiring process, not a box to check off. When you like a candidate, start talking to references right away. References will either validate your opinion or tell you to walk away,” says Gimbel.
Even taking one or two steps to speed up your hiring process can make a difference in how quickly you can extend a final offer. You don’t have to rush vetting candidates, but if you can shorten the timeline, you stand a better chance of landing your top choices.