You think you may have found your ideal candidate, not only do they tick all the boxes from passing the initial phone interviews and in-person interviews to acing your assessment & skill tests, they seem to also be a great cultural fit. Their qualifications match the job you want to fill, but while deciding whether the candidate might actually be perfect for your organisation, the applicant has taken another job in the meantime.

Hiring speed or the length of recruitment process is noted as one of the most important HR problem areas today according an survey. In this week’s blog post we discuss the theme of time and speed in the recruitment process and its crucial role as a determining factor to landing your ideal candidate or losing them.

The war for talent

You’ve probably heard this statement before and there couldn’t be a truer description for the BPO industry today, particularly for lower level roles. In a competitive and tight market like the BPO industry in the Philippines, with concentrated areas like Cebu and Manila, the “war for talent” comes down to time – how long does it take to get from the interview stages to signing a job offer? You’ll see BPOs implementing strategies such as “one day hires” and other similar job offers to entice candidates.

Top talent, at any level, will also likely be in contact with several other firms during their job search. Recruiters and companies can miss out on the best talent because they took too long to make a hiring decision, forcing applicants to take current offers from competing companies rather than wait for a potential offer.

At the Executive Level

Time is also a defining factor for higher level executives in Australia though possibly for slightly different reasons.

Many candidates view the recruiting process with a firm as their first impression and as an indicator of what it’s like to work there. When an applicant doesn’t receive timely feedback, they may start having negative thoughts towards your organisation seeing it as a reflection on their worth or value. They may think “they don’t like me” or “I must be their second choice” or perhaps “they’ve gone with someone else”.

According to Robert Walter Whitepaper Insight Series, 2012, the speed of the full hiring process (from application to offer stage) has a significant impact on a candidate’s experience. 78% of job seekers believe a full recruitment process should take less than four weeks. The paper concludes that from their numerous surveys, a recruitment process that lasts either a longer or shorter length of time outlined in these expectations is going to affect a professional’s perception of an employer and its brand and – ultimately – his or her decision to accept a job offer.

“The early bird gets the worm…You snooze, you lose…”

The message from this post is this: if you find a great candidate (which, let’s face it, can be hard to come by), tell them and try to speed up the recruitment process to show them that you are seriously interested. It’s important not to take this advice to mean that you need to take shortcuts on your hiring process, but rather be more focused on what you need to know, eliminating excuses and procrastinating on your decisions. You simply must hire fast, because if you don’t, the competition will take the top talent off the market.

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