7 of the Biggest Hiring Time Wasters and How to Get Rid of Them

February 1, 2017 Mary Lorenz

time waster

When it comes to hiring today, employers need to move quickly. In-demand candidates are not going to stick around before they are snapped up by competitors. So how can you trim the fat and speed up your hiring process without being hasty? Try eliminating these common time wasters from your hiring process.

Time Waster #1: Not Taking Advantage of Social Media

Social media is a fast and easy (and free) way to advertise your job opportunities, communicate with candidates, educate them about your company and build awareness about your corporate culture. The more job seekers understand about your company and what you are looking for, the more likely they are to weed themselves out (if they are not a good match), and the less time you will spend sorting through irrelevant resumes.

There’s also a reason 60 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates, according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey: Social media helps employers gain insight into candidates’ personalities, interests and accomplishments that they might not get from a resume. Oftentimes, they can use social media to verify information job candidates have provided on their resumes, or get a feel for whether or not the candidate is a good match for the position.

Time Waster #2: Crazy Job Titles

Advertising for a “Sales Rock Star” or “Software Ninja” may seem like a way to stand out from other companies, but candidates aren’t searching for these titles. Optimize your job titles for search, and save the fun, creative stuff for the description itself. The right keywords will also serve to optimize your job posting for search engines like Google.

Time Waster #3: Vague Job Descriptions

Writing comprehensive job descriptions can be a bit time-consuming; however, the more time you invest writing out thorough, specific job descriptions, the more time you will save later on. The more specific you are about the scope of the job, the responsibilities and the skills and experience required for it, the more likely candidates are to weed themselves out; thus, you won’t find yourself swimming in a sea of resumes from unqualified applicants.

In addition to specifying the necessary qualifications needed from applicants, try to include keywords to make your job descriptions more SEO-friendly. This will increase the likelihood your job descriptions will show up in organic searches – and in front of the right people.

Time Waster #4: Third-Round Interviews and Beyond

Sure, if you’re hiring for an executive position, it makes sense to do multiple rounds of interviews; however, putting candidates for entry- or mid-level positions through third-, fourth- or even fifth-round interviews is oftentimes just an excuse to delay making a hiring decision. Not only is this a waste of time – both yours and theirs – you may lose the candidate to a competitor in the lengthy process. If, however, you have so many interviews so the candidate can meet different members of the team, consider a well-planned group interview to save time (and unnecessary frustration).

Time Waster #5: Brainteaser Questions

Employers like to ask brainteaser questions to assess candidates’ creativity and ability to think on their feet; however, many companies – including Google – have eliminated this practice in recent years, as they have found they are poor predictors of actual job performance. “Employees don’t experience this particular type of pressure on the job,” writes The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova. Instead, she suggests two research-backed practices:

  1. A standardized interview process, which means asking every candidate the same questions in the same order. “This produces a more objective measure of how each candidate fares, and it can reduce the influence of thin-slice judgment, which can alter the way each interview is conducted.”
  2. Focusing on behavioral interview questions that examine both past and future behaviors. “The ubiquitous interview question ‘Describe a situation where you did well on X or failed on Y’ is an example of a past behavioral measure; asking a programmer to describe how she would solve a particular programming task would be a future measure.”


Time Waster #6: Personal References

While professional references – people who have worked with the candidate previously – can help you gain insight into a candidate’s skills, abilities and work ethic, personal references – friends, family members or acquaintances – won’t provide such insight. Save time by asking specifically for work or (if the candidate is a recent graduate) educational references, and then make sure you ask the right questions to get the most out of reference checks. 

Time Waster #7: Using Outdated Technology (or No Technology At All)

Talent acquisition technology has become a necessity in today’s competitive recruitment landscape – no matter how good your recruiting team may be. After all, “Your recruiters can only do so much – you need technology in place that can automatically facilitate communication with and re-engage candidates when your recruiters aren’t able to,” writes Tim Sackett in “6 Ways to Maximize Your Recruitment Spend.”

The right tools can help you save time on everything from posting and distributing jobs, to searching resumes and managing candidates to re-engaging with candidates. Take some time to evaluate your own recruitment technology. Where is it falling short of meeting your needs? Ask your recruiters what their biggest challenges are and what recruitment tools will help them do their job better? (Not sure where to start? Consider Tim Sackett’s list of must-have talent acquisition technology.)

Don’t just look internally, either. Consider the candidate experience. Is your career site hard to navigate and in need of an update? Is the online application process clunky? The more you streamline the application process and make it easier on candidates, the faster you can bring them into your organization – before you lose them to competitors.


Want more hiring advice? Check out Hiring Tips from Famous CEOs

 

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