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Aug 5, 2014

Think you have a top candidate secured and ready to accept an offer? You better act fast.

Top talent in today’s workforce is in high demand and by the time you’ve made an offer it’s likely that they’ve probably already accepted one elsewhere. The only way to avoid missing out on top talent is to cut down your hiring process and find more efficiencies.

Stop missing out on these great hires and follow these suggestions to help you slim down (and speed up) your hiring process immediately:

1. Cast a smaller net

Rather than casting a wide net and accepting hundreds of resumes from multiple sources and job boards, take a more methodical approach. Utilize the more niche job boards and social networking sites that let you get in front of the professionals you need to fill the position.

Ask yourself what your ultimate goal is to start with — do you want to find the best candidate, or are you just trying to weed out the bad ones?

This is highly dependent on the amount of hires you need to make and what type of position you’re trying to fill. Just remember that the best approach in any situation is really to choose quality over quantity. For example, an ideal number of candidates for one position could be 80 applicants.

2. Get rid of your bottlenecks

Although it can be a little tedious, documenting each step of your hiring process will help to determine exactly what you’re doing and how long each step is taking.

Once you’ve done this, you can get an idea of what is taking up the most time and then figure out how to eliminate or streamline the process.

Some ways to streamline your hiring process might be by using a scheduler app for coordinating interviews or finding a program that helps store, screen and search resumes. You can also see about removing some of the leadership team that is required to approve candidates, or focusing on quality over quantity when submitting applications.

3. Utilize old and new metrics

Measuring within the hiring process is not a new concept. However, with new technologies, HR professionals have the ability to refine their metrics and better align them with their organization’s goals and vision.

For instance, most everyone uses the metric time-to-fill. To truly make this a meaningful metric, you need to be able to define what a good hiring time is within your company and for that specific position.

You should also consider measuring where candidate sources are coming from and which mediums are bringing in the highest quality prospects. Other metrics may include the quality of a hire, cost-per-hire or benchmark data that allows you to uncover internal or external data to use for developing a more strategic hiring process.

4. Get proactive with passive candidates

According to research by LinkedIn, three-quarters of the fully employed workforce around the world consider themselves passive candidates and 45 percent are fully open to considering a new opportunity. Additionally, we found that 35 percent of salespeople are casually looking for their next opportunity, even if they don’t plan to change jobs.

Based on this information, you should consider putting more focus on these passive candidates who aren’t necessarily actively looking for a job, but interested in making a change.

These candidates are not as likely to respond to job board postings, so they require a more active recruiting process.

You will need to provide them with a compelling and authentic story of the company and help them imagine their role within it. This could include connecting with them on social channels, and then sharing targeted posts and news about the company that will attract these candidates.

5. Respond to the evolution with something new

Our industry is evolving at a rapid pace in response to the evolution of the workforce as a whole.

Based on this and your thorough review of your hiring process, you may consider revamping your interview process altogether. In reality, this may be something you are forced to do once you identify all of your bottlenecks and realize there is a more efficient way to hire altogether.

Some things to consider might be to hire during slower times around the holidays or in the middle of the summer. You should also consider hiring not only when a need comes up, but rather when a great candidate comes up. After all, if you have an interested top-notch candidate, why wouldn’t you snatch them up before a competitor does?

Great talent and great cultural fit doesn’t come around often, so you need to make sure you are ready and prepared to make offers faster and land great people for your organization.

Taking the steps to revamp your hiring process and cutting out the inefficiencies will help to ensure you’ll land that top talent over your competitors.