Time-to-Fill

How to Keep Job Reqs from Getting Stuck in the Slow Lane

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upset driverSlow drivers are frustrating. Especially when they hang out in the left-hand passing lane. They backup traffic and create unnecessary delays.

This same issue is happening in organizations. Hiring managers are taking their foot off the gas of the selection process. Staffing professionals and corporate recruiters end up getting stuck behind them, unable to move things forward efficiently.

How does this play out? It often goes like this. You find a candidate who’s a good fit. Upon presenting her to the hiring manager, there’s enthusiasm about her potential. So you initiate the interview process. Things start moving forward but suddenly, there’s a scheduling traffic jam. The hiring manager gets busy and ostpones an interview. Then there’s another delay when a key decision-maker goes away on vacation. Days turn into weeks, then a month, then two. Before long, your candidate becomes another recruiting mishap when she takes a job with a faster moving competitor.

Hiring doesn’t have to get trapped in the slow lane. Exploring upfront issues of time and access to people can help you avoid slowdowns and stalls. The conversation goes like this.

“To make sure I can do my best work for you, it helps if I know about constraints around time and people. What time constraints are there in the coming days and next few weeks? What about people? Who else will be involved in interviews and hiring decisions? What constraints are there for accessing these individuals?”

Digging into these details helps keep the process flowing. Especially if you pre-book interview slots in advance to work around the constraints you’ve uncovered.

The best way to solve a problem to is to keep it from happening. Having a conversation about time and access to people up front will help keep you from getting stuck in the hiring slow lane.

Scott WintripHow to Keep Job Reqs from Getting Stuck in the Slow Lane
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How to Audit the Effectiveness of Your Hiring Process

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Auditing your company’s balance sheet can tell you a lot about the health of your organization. Auditing your hiring process can tell you a lot about the health of how you choose your employees. Scott shares fives questions you can use to complete your assessment.

Scott WintripHow to Audit the Effectiveness of Your Hiring Process
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Got Election Fatigue? Channel It Into Hiring Speed

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Got Election Fatigue?

We’re days away from the end of one of the longest, most painful hiring processes I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Next Tuesday, November 8th, it’ll finally be over. One of two candidates will get the job.

You guessed it, right? I’m talking about the Presidential Election—which I like to think of as the American people filling a soon-to-be-vacant spot in the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.

This round of Executive Branch hiring has been interesting and occasionally entertaining. But overall it’s been a slow, painful ride to get to the point where “We, the People” can offer someone the position of President of The United States.

It’s been dragging on for over a year. Many people made their choice long ago. A handful are still up in the air. They’re waiting until the last minute to decide. Why? They’re afraid of making a bad choice.

Thankfully, this chaotic, unpredictable, interminable job interview has a hard end-date. The loser will cast blame; the winner will heap praise. Pundits will analyze and say even more than they have already. I know I’m not alone in hoping we learn something from all this, and the next election won’t be quite so bad.

Well—here’s to hoping.

Believe it or not, there really are lessons to learn inside all this madness. Lessons those of us in the business world can use to hire top talent more quickly and efficiently. Here are a few:

LESSON #1: Delayed decisions don’t create better hires.

Lesson #1During this election, we’ve operated under a faulty premise. We assume the long process will result in a quality choice. How’s that working out for us? Not so well. We’ve ended up with the opposite: our final two candidates both have obvious, glaring flaws. Polls rate Clinton and Trump as the two most unsatisfactory candidates in decades.

When it comes to hiring, most organizations operate under the same faulty premise. They think the more time, money, and energy they expend, the better the hire will be. It gives them a sense of control.

But it’s a false sense of control.

Taking lots of time to hire doesn’t save companies from bad hires; it only saves people from making decisions. It’s not that these are bad people. No one wants to make a hiring mistake, so they put it off and hide behind process and procedure. I don’t blame them…they’ve simply bought into a bad idea. The old way of hiring is to keep a job open until the right person shows up. The result is long time-to-fill, lots of open seats, higher expenses, more effort, and frustrated leaders.

LESSON #2: Being slow to hire has consequences.

Lesson #2590 days and counting.

That’s how long this election has been going on. Compare that to Canada: in 2015 they took 78 days. In the U.K.: 139 days. A long election cycle is distracting, exhausting, and expensive. It keeps candidates stuck in campaign mode instead of doing the work of governing.

Slow hiring is no better. The longer it takes to hire, the longer a job remains open. Work piles up, which creates extra demand on everyone from staff to leadership. Not to mention to gradual accumulation of unnecessary expenses including but not limited to overtime, lost business, and missed opportunities.

LESSON #3: This is how it’s always been done, so it must be right.

Lesson #3During the primaries, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders touted a similar message: the status quo is broken. This resonated with millions of voters, making both campaigns more successful that anyone thought possible. However, after the primaries, both Democrats and Republicans went back to their same old tricks. The deluge of negative ads, campaign surrogates spewing soundbites on TV, and daily robocalls threatens to drive us all insane. It’s no wonder we have election fatigue. Politicians say Washington needs fixing, but they certainly aren’t interested in fixing the way they campaign.

When it comes to hiring, many organizations are no different: they keep doing things the same old way, even though the same old way is ineffective. Why? It’s easier to maintain the status quo, especially if you’re afraid changing things won’t work. Companies are stuck in the slow lane of hiring, losing valuable time and top talent to faster competitors.

Election fatigue isn’t just about the long campaign process. It’s also about powerlessness. Our powerlessness. As citizens, there’s nothing we can do. We can’t make this election any better or faster. As a business leader, however, you’re not powerless. You can make things better and faster. You have the power to effect change in your organization. What better way to channel that power than to implement a fast and efficient hiring process?

You already have a perfect example of how not to hire: the absurd, lumbering monstrosity known as the 2016 Presidential Race.

If you’d like more details on the three key fundamentals of a speedy and efficient hiring process, read When It Comes to Hiring, Top Leaders Never Go With the Flow.

 

Scott WintripGot Election Fatigue? Channel It Into Hiring Speed
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Fast and Accurate Hiring Should Be a Basic Human Right

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Fast and Accurate Hiring Should Be a Basic Human Right

The rights of people around the world have been a hot topic for centuries. Most people in the modern world agree certain rights should be inalienable, such as freedom of speech, religion, liberty, security, and personal privacy. The concept of individual rights has also found its way into commerce, including a patient’s bill of rights in healthcare and list of passenger rights for air and rail travel.

The naming of rights in commerce creates a framework of expectations for consumers, which means companies have to create sets of required practices to fulfill these expectations. As long as these rights are thought through carefully and the practices executed consistently, basic rights create a positive outcome for the consumers covered by those rights.

Everybody wins.

That’s why I believe it’s high time fast and accurate hiring becomes a basic right. Not a consumer expectation, but a right shared by people on both sides of the hiring dance. An honest-to-goodness human right. By no means am I suggesting that hiring is as important as the aforementioned inalienable rights. What I’m saying is that by reducing time-to-fill, or even better, cutting it to zero, everyone involved in filling jobs benefits.

Because the hiring dance has gotten a little bit out of hand.

Think about it. When a job opens, the clock begins to tick. With every passing minute, that open seat is an expensive distraction. The department manager has to manage or delegate the extra workload. HR has to add one more task to its already overflowing plate. The talent acquisition team has to scramble to fill one more open job. Overtime pay builds up. Expenses increase across the board. Interviews consume too much time — round one, round two, round three. Then come the references, the background checks, and the offer. Then offer is rejected (the gall!) and the second choice candidate has already moved on. So, you start again. More expense, more overtime, more interviews.

Now think about the candidate’s experience. Like a three ring circus and obstacle course combined, the path to a new job is often fraught with frustration and peril. You submit your resume and wait. You apply online and wait some more. If you’re lucky, it only takes weeks to get “the call”. After the call you get your hopes up, but then you hear nothing for days or even weeks. If you’re lucky, you land a face-to-face interview, during which you learn the process requires two more rounds. If you make it that far, you find yourself jumping through hoop after hoop, answering question after question, often the same ones again and again. After round three, you’re hopeful, even gushing with optimism, only to have your hope dashed on the rocks: you find out you’re only one of several finalists being called back for an unplanned round four.

Sure, not every hiring or interview experience goes this way. However, I suspect you’ll agree that even when hiring goes relatively well, it still takes way too long and involves far too much effort. It should be no surprise that top talent and hiring managers are pushing back. Talented people know they have choices, and more and more are choosing to work in companies that engage in sane and efficient hiring practices.

That’s why I’m proposing—at least in the employment world—that fast and accurate hiring be considered a basic human right. It’s time to stop the madness.

Fast and accurate hiring as a basic human right isn’t about settling or compromising. It’s about creating a better outcome for everyone. Just like free speech protects the unique perspectives of individuals and freedom of religion allows people to develop personal connections to something bigger than themselves in the way they choose, the freedom of a fast and accurate hiring process makes sense for everyone. Managers can focus on leading and nurturing their teams. HR has a few less things on its plate. Talent acquisition can build better pipelines of top talent. Candidates can get jobs now, not months from now.

Bill of Rights

To adopt a fast and accurate approach to making quality hires, I suggest taking the following steps:

  1. Declare It
    Take a stand. Be the leader who declares that your company will implement faster, more efficient process and make it a basic right for everyone in the organization.
  1. Be Determined
    Stay the course. Be intrepid. Navigate through any obstacles. Expect the biggest ones to be colleagues who say it can’t be done (for ideas on how to implement a faster process, watch the video entitled From Long Time-to-Fill to Zero-to-Fill in Just 30 Days in my Scott’s Blog ).
  1. Demonstrate Improvements
    Share your success when seats are filled quickly. Use these examples to enroll others in the initiative.

Protecting rights, especially those that safeguard the health, safety, and freedom of people, will always be one of the most important things to fight for in life. When you take a stand and demand the basic human right of fast and accurate hiring, you’re also taking a stand for the sanity and well-being of everyone involved. These rights, once secured, serve as a foundation for more rights. Fast and accurate hiring means everyone gets a good job and there’s always enough candidates to fill an open spot.

Now those are rights worth fighting for.

Scott WintripFast and Accurate Hiring Should Be a Basic Human Right
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Powerlessness and Hiring Don’t Mix

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Powerlessness and Hiring Don't Mix

Feeling powerless is one of the darker aspects of being human. Whether you’re a parent who can’t stop an illness from ravaging your defenseless child, or you’re at home on the couch watching a television newscast about the latest violent attack in the Middle East, you all—we all—experience powerlessness at some point during life. Much of it, like incurable diseases, can’t be stopped. Some of it, however, like the powerless feeling many people have during the hiring process, can and should be minimized or eliminated.

Powerlessness is front and center in my life today as I watch my wife go through a round of chemotherapy. A few months back, this beautiful, amazing woman found a lump—a lump that turned out to be cancer. I’ve felt powerless many times in my life, but this experience beats them all.

While I’m grateful to be healthy and capable of being helpful, I’d trade places with her in a heartbeat. I think most husbands would feel the same. They’d gladly sacrifice themselves. I say cut me open. Pump toxic chemicals into me. Hell, I have no hair so I’m already one step ahead. Just don’t make me watch the woman I love and adore go through this. She’s dealt with enough in the past six months with her father dying from cancer and her mom being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Enough already.

I wish I could will this feeling away. I wish it were that easy. That’s not possible, though, and therein lies the rub. The way I see it, when you’re feeling powerless you have two options: you can move through it or run from it. The former approach processes the feeling and the latter ignores it. One is productive; the other isn’t. Unfortunately, when people experience powerlessness during the hiring process, they tend to default toward the latter.

It’s a problem.

Top talent who can’t get an employer to respond or act quickly will go somewhere else. Hiring managers who can’t get their internal people to fill an open job quickly will look outside the system. Staffing agencies and recruitment firms who can’t get their customers to promptly reply to candidate submissions will shop talent to other customers.

It makes sense to cut and run when things aren’t working. It’s easy to understand why people do it. What companies need to understand is that it’s not productive. You can’t run from powerlessness—you have to move through it.

You have to engage.

There’s a direct relationship between powerlessness and engagement. The more in control the candidate, hiring manager, or staffing agency representative feels, the more invested and engaged they are in the process.

The Power Spectrum of Hiring

We may be impotent before some things, but we have real power to change others. When hiring, the ability to create an experience wherein all parties feel empowered is well within our control—all we have to do is follow the three S’s:

  • Schedule
  • Share
  • Surprise


Schedule
A long, drawn out series of interviews makes no sense when you need the seat filled yesterday. It makes even less sense if you want to create an engaging, potent process. One well-planned phone screening is all you need to gauge if a candidate is a good fit. One well-planned live interview allows you to see, hear, and experience if the good fit is a match made in employment heaven.

Because of their importance, the three S’s are an integral part of the High Velocity Hiring process I’ve pioneered and rolled out at hundreds of companies across the globe. The results speak for themselves: the retention rate at these companies is more than 90%.

Share
Transparency creates trust, which becomes the foundation of a budding employment relationship and solid rapport with candidates, hiring managers, and staffing partners. Share not only how you’re shortening and streamlining your process, but also exactly what will happen during it. You don’t have to give away personal secrets or tricks of the hiring trade you use to ascertain traits like honesty or follow-through. Simply share what, who, when, and why: what decisions and choices will be made, who will make them, when they’ll happen, and why they’re made. When all the stakeholders know what’s happening beforehand, the hiring process becomes fast, lean, and efficient.

Surprise
Unpleasant surprises have no place in a process that begins a relationship, but positive ones are welcome, remembered, and passed on. Surprise candidates by making them smarter during the hiring process. This includes giving them access to educational materials or industry insights. Hiring managers dream of being surprised by faster response times than promised. Staffing partners go out of their way to help customers who skip excessive interviews, trusting both that the firm sent the right person to do the job and will replace them if the hire goes south. Planning surprises ahead of time allows them to be used consistently and generously as a tool for keeping all parties positively engaged.

 

While I’m powerless over my wife having cancer, I can and certainly will remain engaged in the process, doing my part to help her manage her treatment, recovery, and healing. I plan to meet everything head on and move through my feelings of powerlessness. Her prognosis is good and that gives me tremendous hope. The prognosis is also good for companies that do everything within their power to minimize and eliminate powerlessness for candidates, hiring managers, and staffing partners. Those that do won’t have to hope people stay involved—they will because the company made it so. Those that do won’t have to wish the hiring process produced positive results—it will because they made it so.

It will happen because they engaged. It will happen because they made it happen.

 

Scott WintripPowerlessness and Hiring Don’t Mix
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