Today’s job market is the most competitive that employers have seen in the last 50 years. Unemployment has reached its lowest point since March of 2001. This means that when a company needs a specific role filled, there are only a handful of candidates applying, and those people have options. Options create problems for employers, especially when one company could have a longer hiring process than its competition, possibly losing potential hires to the elongated procedure.
Quality Candidate Conundrums
Qualified talent is difficult to come by in this era because good employees are often already hired since companies want to retain talent. That leaves two conundrums for human resource departments and staffing companies. The first issue in question is when a candidate is in the market, are they looking for a good reason? In other words, good candidates shouldn’t be in the market because they should be employed, as they excel in their work. The second hurdle is that if a quality candidate is in the market, they are not available for long. One way to combat these two issues is to streamline the hiring process to either secure the best talent quickly or to disqualify candidates quickly, who are in the market for the wrong reason (sloppy attendance, poor production, etc).
Vetting a Candidate Quickly
As a staffing agency, we see our most successful clients hired within two interviews. The first should be a phone screen. Recruiters within a staffing agency often can qualify a candidate based on their skillset alone (excluding criminal records, drug screenings and a full personality evaluation) within five minutes on a phone call. For instance, a role that will be client-facing will evaluate much of the interview process over the phone. Recruiters and hiring managers can vet if a candidate has the personable characteristics, or what the industry describes as sharpness, in that first phone interaction. Listening for cadence, tonality, a lack of background noise (windows down and radio on are more common than one would think), professional language and lastly, if they listen and answer your questions. These questions should be yes or no. A candidate can answer yes confidently over the phone but hesitation may then show through in a face-to-face interview. A no in the phone interview phase easily disqualifies someone and both the candidate and the intended employer have saved valuable time.
As for face-to-face interviews, this step should be thorough. Chatting in person provides the opportunity to test candidates (in a software, IQ or Wonderlic), discover personality fits and above all, ask some of the same questions that were asked in the phone screen to discern untruthful candidates who may provide different answers than the first interaction. Inviting candidates back for another meeting should only be a consideration if you would have experienced a strong candidate on a bad day or perhaps they were shy. Not every hire will be a home run, no matter how hard or long the interview process is.
The competition is out there looking for the same qualities in a person that you are. Streamlining your hiring process will beat out the competition, if you offer first, then you have the ball in your court. The difference between having strong employees that you want versus the competition having that same person, could be a make or break a situation for a company’s growth.
Need help vetting candidates or finding the right fit for your company? We can help! Find out how our process works in our infographic.