by Josh Tolan, UndercoverRecruiter
The culprit seems to be the slow hiring process, leaving room for high-demand talent to receive offers from other companies.
A surprising 49 percent of candidates declined job offers because they accepted an offer from another company during the second half of last year. The percentage increased 16 percent from the first half of the year, showing the increased haste with which companies are making quick offers to snatch up candidates.
If you don’t want to lose out on top talent, you’re going to need to move forward quickly on making an offer. Follow these tips to help you make faster job offers:
1) Connect personally ASAP:
You’ve heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words,” right? Well, we should follow that rule when assessing candidates. To speed up the job offer process, it’s best to read past the paperwork and get up close and personal to see what the candidate really has to offer.
Depending on the type of position you’re hiring for, your candidate may have a lot of face-to-face contact with customers. For those candidates, personal appearance, body language, and presentation skills will matter. Other positions require communication with customers over the phone or online, so you’ll want to look out for clear communication and a friendly tone.
Whether your initial meeting is in-person or through a video interview, you can gauge a candidate’s communication style quickly by simply initiating the connection. To speed up the process however, consider inviting candidates to a video interview that can be done on the ease of their mobile device. This easily can cut out a few days or even weeks from your hiring process.
2) Don’t let your schedule get in the way:
Trying to match up candidate and employers schedules for interviews is a common roadblock we encounter in hiring. Instead of trying to coordinate an interview at a time that works for your candidate to come to the office and spend an hour or more, meet through video.
With a video interviewing platform, the interview doesn’t even need to be live. You can send a set of questions to candidates that they can record answers to whenever it’s convenient for them. Then, once they send the interview answers back to you, you can review them at your convenience. Scheduling conflicts are a roadblock that can be diminished easily with an interview that can be conducted at any time, virtually from anywhere.
3) Collaborate with your team early:
A candidate’s introduction to the team doesn’t usually happen until much later in the interview process, though it should probably be moved to the top of the priority list. You should introduce your candidates to your team early on to see if they might fit into your team’s culture.
Instead of gathering everyone for a panel interview or passing physical copies of the candidates resume around the office, have a centralized digital process where resumes, portfolios, video interviews can all be accessed. You don’t need to involve everyone in every step of the process, but you will save time and heartache by collaborating to ensure team alignment.
4) Keep your top candidates in the loop:
It’s common for candidates to not receive communication from employers about their application status. In fact, CareerBulider found 62 percent of candidates say companies have been unresponsive to their applications.
Not only that, but unresponsiveness continues after the interview process, with 33 percent of employers not following up with candidates to let them know they didn’t get the job.
When it comes to your top candidates, respond quickly because a slow response might be interpreted as disinterest. By the time you reach out for a second interview, your candidate may have already moved on assuming they were no longer in the running.
Communicate your entire interview process from the start so the candidates know what to expect. Keep in touch with your candidate every few days to let them know where you are at in making a decision.
5) Be ready to negotiate pay:
More experienced candidates tend to negotiate the first job offer, according to CareerBuilder. Forty-five percent of workers aged 18-34 negotiate a first offer, and 55 percent of workers 35 and older said they would negotiate a first job offer.
Have a plan in place for negotiations so you are prepared to gracefully handle the conversation. If higher pay isn’t an option, consider offering a perk like a flexible schedule, which 33 percent of employers say they’ve counter-offered in place of more money.
If your candidates are really talented, you can’t expect them to wait around as your company encounters blockages in the hiring process. To fill vacancies with your ideal candidates you need to act faster than you think. Don’t let avoidable conflicts like schedules, slow team decisions, or unexpected negotiations get in the way. Communicate with your top candidates regularly to tell them where you’re at in the process and how much you appreciate their patience.
Of course, the real time-saver is in the beginning, seeing candidates virtually in-person so you can make a decision for who you want to hire faster. The faster that decision is made, the faster you can make an offer.