Why Speed of Hire Is So Important in a Candidate-Driven Market

In a candidate-driven market, jobseekers rule the hiring process and if yours is taking too long, top talent will turn to the competition to get employed faster. John Sullivan—PhD and Professor of Management at San Francisco State University—recently discussed why a speedy hiring process is so important for recruiting high-quality candidates.hiring
At the May 2019 RecruitCon event in Austin, Texas, Sullivan gave a lively presentation that focused on improving your hiring process. We’re covering some key takeaways from his session, below.

Why Is This Important?

In order to improve your hiring process, you must first understand why speediness is so important. As businesses continue to grow and change with the times, they’re now seeking skilled talent to help them advance forward. However, that talent is hard to come by.
Sullivan reports that the demand for talent has increased, while the supply of actual skilled talent has decreased. In fact, for some “future critical” jobs the demand is insane, Sullivan says, especially in areas like machine learning, cybersecurity, and quantum computing. When you combine that with the fact that most skilled talent is currently employed, it makes the hiring landscape even harder.
Sullivan adds that when currently employed candidates are seeking out newer opportunities, if they’re hit with a slow hiring process, they will choose to stay with their current employer.

Speedy Hiring Can Improve the Quality of Candidates

In addition to helping to ensure candidates won’t drop out of your hiring process, when your company has a faster hiring process, you’re also increasing the likelihood of hiring more high-quality candidates. Sullivan offered six key reasons for why you’ll improve the quality of hire with a speedy hiring process:

  1. Speed means fewer dropouts of in-demand candidates. Again, if your hiring process is slow, top candidates will drop out of the running. Sullivan says “in-demand candidates are the first to drop out or ghost in frustration.”
  2. Slow hiring means only the average remain. Once your top performers drop out of the running, you only have lower performing talent to choose from.
  3. Fast decision-making attracts the best. According to Sullivan, the best talent sees fast hiring as a reflection of your corporate culture.
  4. Top candidates decide quickly. Sullivan reiterated the fact that faster hiring decisions mean that your “bird in the hand” offer is the first to be available for acceptance.
  5. Fast hiring reduces candidate bidding. Sullivan also said that if you make an offer before the candidate is bid on, then the salary cost will be lower. This allows you to afford higher quality talent. If you wait too long, the candidate may receive a better offer from your competition, resulting in a bidding war, thus increasing the salary cost.
  6. Top diversity candidates are gone quickly. High-quality candidates want to work in diverse workplaces, and if your hiring process is too slow, you run the risk of losing these candidates to a more diverse company.

How to Convince Your Executives and Hiring Managers

So now that you understand why a speedy hiring process is so important, it’s time to convince your company’s decision-makers to improve the hiring process. Some RecruitCon attendees raised a valid concern, saying they are just low-level recruiters and it’s not up to them on how fast they hire.
Sullivan offered this tip to attendees: Show them the money! By that he means, show your organization’s decision-makers how much it’s costing your company to leave that position unfilled. Show your hiring managers the turnover cost of that position every time an employee leaves it.
By showing how much money is going down the drain, your executives and hiring managers should realize that “time to fill” is now just as critical as the quality of hire. Sullivan also offered these three reasons why a slow hiring process is bad for business, to drive this point further home:

  1. Lower-performing new hires. If your hiring process took too long, and now you’re only able to hire mediocre candidates, Sullivan says those new hires will perform significantly lower on the job.
  2. Lost talent contributions from diverse hires. With highly-qualified, diverse candidates in key jobs being in high demand, a slow hiring decision—made long after most firms have made an offer—will dramatically hurt your diversity hiring.
  3. Replacements get up to speed much slower. Sullivan says that the delay in filling positions means a new hire’s training will be delayed, and it will take much longer for them to get up to speed on the job.

Not only will a slow hiring process be costly for the business, but it can also hurt recruiter morale. Sullivan says that recruiter frustration may result in weaker hires, as slow hiring may impact recruiter energy, effectiveness, and even turnover. According to Sullivan, the morale of recruiters increases with fast position closures.
In order to increase recruiter morale and find top talent, you must improve the speed of your hiring process today. In part two of this article, we’ll cover a few tips Sullivan provided to attendees to help speed up the hiring process.

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