10 Effective Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process

April 30, 2024
10 Effective Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process

It can be difficult to attract, hire and retain top talent in a competitive industry, but the people within your small to medium-sized business (SMB) are your most valuable assets. Still, building the right team takes time— according to Indeed, the average hiring process tends to take anywhere from a week to 30 or more days. This can strain smaller businesses, but it doesn't make the process any less important. The average cost of hiring the wrong employee for a role is about $17,000, which means the hiring process for SMBs is even more crucial. Creating an efficient hiring process is one of the best ways to potentially save time and resources without sacrificing quality. Whether your SMB is looking to scale or simply have a new job opening, streamlining your hiring process can help avoid wasted resources and increase the chances of hiring the right employee.

The Importance of Hiring Decisions

Good hiring practices increase an employee’s likelihood of having the right skill set for the role they are being hired for. Strong hiring practices can also help you identify candidates who will contribute positively to your workplace culture. When companies recruit individuals who align with the organization's values and goals, this practice fosters a sense of commitment and loyalty. This, in turn, boosts employee engagement and employee satisfaction. On the contrary, poor hiring decisions may lead to increased turnover, low morale and a negative impact on overall team dynamics. Businesses can secure the talented and motivated workforce essential for adapting to industry changes and staying competitive by investing time and energy into hiring.

10 Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process and Find the Right Candidates

As an SMB, attracting top talent can be challenging, but it's not impossible. To help you fill empty positions at your organization and to find the ideal candidate, you can do a few things to improve recruitment strategies.

1. Consider Your Business Needs

With a clear understanding of what your SMB needs, finding and hiring the right fit will be efficient and effective. Before you begin, consider the knowledge, skills and abilities that will help you reach your company's goals. Once you have determined those needs you can better define the position you should hire for next. Think about your mission statement, core values and the future of your SMB. Defining these areas helps you articulate your culture to candidates.

When hiring within a specific department, allow team members to be part of the recruiting process. Managers and individual contributors have excellent insight regarding what the department needs from a new team member in order to be successful.

2. Write Strong Job Descriptions

Finding the ideal candidate for a role starts with the job descriptions. Simplify the language within job descriptions and be direct about what's required. First, identify and list the new hire's responsibilities and how they'll fit into the company's mission. Then, list the desired skills and experience level required, but keep in mind that asking for an unnecessary number of years’ experience or putting a cap on experience can lead to claims of age bias As well, asking for many years of experience for an entry-level position is probably not ideal. Top talent within the industry won't settle for lower pay, and true entry-level employees won't waste their energy. Be realistic, and candidates who fit the description will apply.

3. Promote Team Members from Within

Another great starting option is to look at your organization's current workforce. If there are any individuals qualified for the role you're hiring, give them an opportunity to apply. Hiring or promoting within your organization means you'll have better insight into the candidate and a true understanding of their work ethic and results. It helps to reduce the chance of a “wrong fit” hire. Just make sure that the selection process is based on their accomplishments and potential rather than only looking at tenure.

4. Evaluate Your Pre-Screening Procedures

Resumes will give you insight into an applicant’s professional experience, but they might not have enough information to allow you to find the right candidate. Including pre-interview questions on the application can give you information beyond the resume. Examples include, “Why are you considering a position at our company?” and, “How would your previous work experience help you succeed in this role?” Collecting answers to pre-interview questions will help you improve your selection process while helping to save time and resources. Pre-interview questions can also help shorten interviews later on and give you the time to focus on creating a better overall in-person experience. However, questions should take no longer than 20 to 30 minutes—asking for too much too soon can make it difficult to attract candidates.

5. Perfect Your Screening Process

One of the best strategies for streamlining recruitment and hiring is to analyze and simplify your screening process. For example, scheduling interviews with candidates who don’t match your company’s needs is a waste of resources. Instead, limit the rounds of interviews to candidates who have been screened with phone calls to help save time. Gathering and confirming basic information about the person over the phone is a straightforward process that can save time in the long run.

Then, when you're ready to start the interview process, avoid scheduling several rounds of interviews with different people in your SMB. This can get redundant and may take up a lot of everyone's time. Instead, try an interview panel. Consider limiting the number of interviewers involved in the process. Any more than four or five is likely unnecessary and may over-complicate the process. More interviewers and greater complexity also result in higher costs, which isn't ideal for SMBs.

6. Standardize the Hiring Process

Every potential new hire should undergo the same recruiting procedure and interview process to help reduce inconsistencies and maximize efficiency. Uniformity in the process makes it easier to compare candidates, thus allowing for more informed hiring decisions. Standardization can include predefined sets of interview questions, different types of evaluations and the utilization of an applicant tracking system (ATS). Doing so will help create a more efficient hiring process and save you valuable time. Moreover, standardization of the recruitment process can limit bias and subjectivity, which is essential in the talent acquisition process. Background checks and reference checks must comply with federal, state, local and industry requirements and timelines, which may vary by jurisdiction, so decide as a company whether to apply the same legal standard across all candidates regardless of their intended work location.

7. Create Pre-Set Interview Questions

Each candidate should be asked the same questions. This allows them all to be evaluated using the same criteria. Questions can vary based on job position, but it's important to keep things consistent if hiring for a specific role. You can follow up with questions if the answer isn't as detailed as you'd like but have them written out to improve efficiency. It's also important to focus on relevant and essential functions questions or topics and avoid questions about or that could reveal protected classes, .

8. Think Past the Position

The motivation, ambition and potential of candidates who may not have the experience should also be considered. Naturally, they shouldn't be brought into a role that requires specific skills they cannot be trained to accomplish. But if you're looking for someone to fill entry-level roles, a person's accomplishments or drive can give you a good idea of how they can benefit your business.

9. Work with Professional Recruiters

Working with professional human resource experts through the hiring process from start to finish is also beneficial, especially for SMBs with limited time and resources. The recruiting process is time intensive and if you aren't available to fully commit and invest your time and energy into the process, outsourcing the recruiting can help your company thrive. Plus, having a dedicated provider allows you to spend time working on your business's bottom line. You'll still be involved in the decision-making process, but the tedious parts of recruitment will be automated and handled by professionals.

10. Invest in Onboarding and Training

The hiring process isn't over once you've made your decision. New employees must undergo onboarding and training to fully integrate into your SMB. The onboarding process is as important as the interviewing process, so it's worth the investment. During onboarding, remember to introduce your company culture and values, and provide essential information on responsibilities and tasks in order to help your new hire be successful.

For access to a team of HR experts and help with organization consulting, work with TriNet. As a professional employer organization, TriNet offers SMBs access to traditional healthcare and insurance benefits alongside a variety of non-traditional benefits that are cost effective and to help you attract top talent. Learn more about how TriNet can help today.

This communication is for informational purposes only, is not legal, tax or accounting advice, and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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