Expedite the hiring process: A small business owner's guide

Expedite the hiring process: A small business owner's guide

Striking the right balance between screening employees before you hire them and onboarding them efficiently and effectively so they can start work in a timely manner is key for small business owners. While you want to take certain steps during the hiring process to ensure you get the best candidates, it can be helpful to keep things moving along so your potential new hires stay interested in the position. If you're wondering how you can expedite the hiring process at your company, use this helpful guide.

Why is it important to expedite the hiring process?

According to SHRM, it can take up to 47 days to hire a new employee, with the average time taking 30 days or more. If you need to fill a position quickly, this time can really set you back and hamper productivity. It's important for you to know your time-to-hire metric, as it can help you determine your recruiting strategy. This number tells you how many days it takes for your company to select and hire a new candidate. Using this metric, you can make your hiring process more efficient.

Although you do want to get through the hiring process without any hiccups, it's also a good idea to take your time so that you hire high-quality candidates who will stick with you for years. If you can, consider automating some of the hiring process to make it go smoothly every time you have an open position.

How to expedite the hiring process

Your company wants to keep as many of its employees as possible, but when the time comes to hire someone new, don't let the lengthy hiring process bog down you or your candidates. To expedite the hiring process, here are some steps you can take:

Keep it up to date

Whether it's marketing or technology, the world of recruiting and hiring is constantly changing, and you have to stay updated with the trends. Having a modern hiring process makes it easier for you to find the perfect candidate and show them everything your company has to offer. Consider instituting applicant tracking software that helps you prescreen potential new hires. You could also use automated emails to keep job applicants posted about where you are in the hiring process and what they might need to do to advance to the next phase.

Use social media

Social media is another important tool for recruiting managers and small business owners. Today, more and more people are looking to social media for information, including learning about companies where they're considering employment. To keep your company front and center in the minds of job seekers, you need to use social media advertising to your advantage. Make sure that you use posts from you and your loyal customers or other employees to cultivate the right image for your organization. You want to keep it positive and upbeat while also ensuring that the image is realistic and not misleading.

Get creative with advertising

In addition to using social media to advertise your job openings as well as your company, you need to think about creative ways to get your job posting out there and what it will say so that it attracts the right person to your open position. Write a job description that gets the attention of the reader by letting some of what makes your company unique come out in the words you use. Be authentic. If your brand or culture is funny or quirky, express that. Use whatever you think will help make it obvious with regard to the kind of person you're looking for.

Of course, you still want to create a clear and concise job description. This helps the potential candidate understand what you'll expect from them and the credentials they need to have to perform the tasks associated with the role. By being upfront with job expectations, you can limit the need to terminate someone's employment at a later date.

"Although you do want to get through the hiring process without any hiccups, it's also a good idea to take your time so that you hire high-quality candidates who will stick with you for years."

Consider internal employees

All too often, in the scramble to hire someone to fill a vacant position, your internal employees get overlooked. However, these employees are vital assets to your business. If you have a mechanism in place that allows your internal employees to train and apply for open positions, you can save yourself time and money. The reason for this is that you won't have to worry about the employee's fit within the company and their training time will likely be shorter.

Additionally, promoting or encouraging employees to change positions within your organization can motivate them to work toward a goal. If they're given a chance to apply for an advanced position or they can move around within the company, they're more likely to experience job satisfaction. This can help with avoiding burnout, too.

Be prepared for interviews

Holding interviews is a big part of the hiring process, and one of the most challenging to expedite. Before you decide to bring someone on board with your company, you definitely want to meet with them. An interview is the best way to get a first impression of someone. It helps you decide if you and your other employees can work together with the newcomer. So, while interviews can be tedious, you can use these interview tips to expedite the hiring process and get your interviews done:

Conduct phone interviews

Both phone and video interviews are modern marvels that have been a blessing for those working in HR. In a phone or video interview, you can meet with a potential new hire to get a feel for their personality and ability to perform the job. Once you've gotten to know them, you can decide if you want to meet with them in person.

Think about asking your top choices to send you a video of them answering questions. Then you can analyze a group of videos at once, as opposed to conducting several long interviews at different times throughout the week.

Strategize interview schedules

Another thing to think about when scheduling interviews with candidates is the timing. Be strategic when you set up interviews. For example, flexibility can be a bonus when trying to work around other people's schedules, particularly those who already have a job. Set up the interview at a time that works for the job candidate as well as yourself. It might be beneficial to have a few interviews close together to help you better recall each person but keep in mind that you don't want to do so many that you feel overwhelmed by the end of the day.

Prepare offer letters

By the time you're ready to conduct an interview, you probably have a good idea of which candidates will best fit the role. Having offer letters ready for the candidates you're most interested in hiring can help expedite the hiring process. You don't have to provide the offer letter immediately, as you'll want to think over your options to ensure you're making the best decision, but having it ready to go can speed up the process.

Remember to negotiate

Before signing anything, the employee may try to negotiate the terms of hire. It's best to be prepared for negotiations going into the hiring process. So have your highest salary amount, benefits you can offer, and any other negotiable points of the contract ready. Know what you can do to recruit them, but don't forget that you still need to operate your business at a profit and within a budget, and sometimes you might have to let a good candidate go.

You want to keep up with all the modern trends in recruiting and hiring so that you can get the best candidates to work for you. These tips for expediting the hiring process can help your company recruit the talent it needs fast, so you can get more job applicants.

Find out more about hiring employees for your small business:

Upcoming interview? Learn the top interview questions for small business owners to ask.

Become a more strategic recruiter for your small business with these five tips.

Keep things at your company fresh by learning how to attract the next generation of workers.

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