Seven Ways to Hire Faster

By Rebecca L. Worters

Your intentions were good. You told yourself you’d have the new person on board in time to overlap with the outgoing person. But the search drags on, and you’re stuck thinking that you don’t have time to do that person’s work OR hire the new person. A lose lose situation. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s what to do to hire more quickly:

  1. Create a timeline. As soon as you know the position is going to be vacant, create a timeline that spells out what you’ll do when. Major milestones include developing a position profile, writing an ad, placing ads, recruiting, screening and conducting interviews. Although you may not stick to your timeline exactly, at least you’ll have a reasonable plan that will motivate you to move your search forward.
  2. Recruit electronically. Instead of waiting for print media to be printed, advertise your position immediately online. Chose targeted sites that cater to the type of professional you are seeking. This strategy will generate quicker response, sometimes within hours of your posting.
  3. Get applications by e-mail. E-mail is quick and easy to organize. It’s also easy to forward to other people who are involved in evaluating candidates. Keep in mind confidentiality though. If a candidate is applying confidentially then be sensitive to that and don’t forward the e-mail to a big group.
  4. Don’t wait. When you see a promising candidate, screen him or her by phone right away. And don’t wait until the reply deadline to start screening candidates out. Notify candidates who clearly aren’t qualified by e-mail and it will save you work down the line. They’ll also appreciate the quick feedback.
  5. Be selective. For every finalist you’re considering, ask yourself if you could imagine that person working in the position. If the answer is no, move on. Interviewing non-viable candidates wastes time and energy.
  6. Reserve reference checks until the end. Only conduct reference checks on the last finalists. Reference checks are time-consuming and should only be conducted when you are serious about hiring someone. Many candidates are reluctant to allow a potential employer to conduct reference checks with the current employer unless an offer is pending.
  7. Write it up. When you make the offer, have a pre-written letter that spells out the offer, benefits and other information the candidate needs to know. Give a candidate only a few days (maybe over a weekend) to think over their answer. If the candidate accepts, ask him or her to sign the agreement letter within 24 hours.
  8. Get help. If your search has sunk to the bottom of the priority list and you don’t even have time to save time, getting a professional to help you in the hiring process can be cost effective.

By following these steps, you can hire faster and better. Then you can get back to doing YOUR job.

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