How randomness delays the hiring process, and what to do about it!


How randomness delays the hiring process, and what to do about it!

Chris Mannion

We covered some basic ways to track and improve recruiting performance, but the real world application is more complex. One of the biggest frustrations for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers is waiting, be it for a follow-up email, interview feedback, or qualified prospects.

There are two main causes of waiting time:

  1. Demand for a resource exceeds available supply. This could be an overloaded inbox delaying follow-up emails, a busy work schedule delaying interview feedback, or competing priorities delaying prospect screening. Tracking and proactively managing capacity ←LINK→ is a great way to mitigate this and accelerate hiring.
  2. Supply or demand varies over time. For example, seasonality in the campus recruiting cycle leads to spikes at each stage of the process. We’ll cover more about this type of waiting time in this post.

Where Variability Comes From

We already took a deep dive into how variability impacts time to hire.  It’s also important to recognize where variability in your hiring process is coming from in order to address the problem. There are four main causes of variability:

  • Uncertainty in when prospects will enter the process. This could be related to when an inbound candidate applies to a job posting or when / if a sourced passive candidate responds to outreach.
  • Variability in the time taken to move a candidate through a stage in the hiring process. This could be due to call rescheduling or differences in time taken to complete different stages, especially if an assessment is involved or hiring managers request multiple interviews.
  • Random availability of recruiting resources. Often hiring processes are delayed due to busy interview panel schedules, but this could also be a limitation of physical rooms for in-person interviews.
  • Inefficient candidate workflow processing. Candidate hand-off between stages can mean a candidate sits in the wrong stage for an extended period before processing. This can happen when requirements for the next stage in the process are unclear or when members of the hiring team are not alerted to a new candidate entering their stage of the process (e.g. recruiter to coordinator hand off for interview scheduling).

How Variability Impacts Recruiting Performance

Variability makes demand for recruiting resources difficult to predict, which often leads to long delays in the hiring process. The total impact is often hidden by candidate drop out rates, but the negative loop is simple to understand:

  • In-demand candidates are likely to be moving through parallel recruiting processes when they are ready to move to a new role. 
  • Strong candidates are more likely to drop out of slow recruiting cycles as they receive competitive offers and a better experience from other companies. 
  • As stronger candidates drop out of slow recruiting processes, average candidate quality decreases, lowering pass through rates and delaying the hiring process further.
  • The slow hiring process leads to a negative candidate experience and impact on the employer brand. This could mean fewer interested candidates at the top of the funnel and lower offer accept rates at the bottom of the funnel.

Ways to Address Variability to Improve Candidate Experience

Option 1: Improve Recruiting Capacity

  • Proactively mapping recruiting team staffing levels to meet seasonal demand will lead to accelerated processing times and fewer impacts to hiring performance
  • Build excess capacity into the recruiting team and utilize that capacity during low-demand periods. A great use of recruiter time during quiet periods could be helping to redesign the recruiting system to reduce future variability.

Option 2: Improve the Recruiting System

  • Pooling resources together can help reduce the processing time. For example, a pooled pipeline requisition for similar roles can allow candidates to be shared across individual requisitions to improve pass through rates.
  • Look for ways to reduce controllable variability within the system, such as mapping and streamlining recruiting workflows by analyzing historic candidate time-in-stage to find the biggest workflow bottlenecks.
  • Introduce a prioritization triage step to flag high priority candidates for faster processing. Proactively communicating expected waiting time for candidates in-process can be a huge lift to candidate experience.

Want to talk more about improving your hiring process? Please reach out!

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