The simple answer to this question is any amount of time that causes you to lose the best talent for the position. Unfortunately, determining the length of the hiring process is really not that simple. I used to advise companies to “hire slow and fire fast.” Because of the nature of the world today, I have had to revise this advice to”“hire carefully, fire carefully.” People misunderstood my earlier admonition to hire slowly as a reference to time. However, I meant to imply a reasoned, deliberate process that also needed to be conducted as quickly as possible.
“Time is of the essence” is an old saying (and a legal saying) that advocates accomplishing tasks in as short a period of time as possible in order to obtain the maximum benefit. This statement is as true today as it was when it first appeared in our lexicon. In fact, today this perspective can provide you with a competitive advantage in acquiring a new talent and putting them to work as soon as possible. According to a survey from Dice Holdings published in the Wall Street Journal, in 2014 employers were taking an average of 24.9 days to hire. A year later, another measure from the same researchers indicates that the average time to fill a vacancy has risen to 27.8 days. Economist Steven Davis said this trend suggests that “it has become harder for employers to find the right person for the job or that the recruitment and hiring process has become more cumbersome and drawn out—or both.” If a company had a process in place to avoid this rising metric, they would gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace. A faster hiring process takes talented candidates away from their competitors and starts producing revenue from new employees more quickly. But how can you speed up your hiring process without sacrificing attention to detail?
What companies need is a method that allows them to identify, court, and then hire talented candidates faster than everyone else. Here are several suggestions to consider when revisiting your hiring process.
Following these steps could improve the speed and accuracy of your hiring process. Simply snagging a candidate one day earlier than your competition could mean millions in revenue. It is important, however, to be refining your process consistently and constantly. Get feedback from everyone involved and change what you do to make it better. Remember that recruiting talent, regardless of the level, is one of the best management skills anyone can have. Value the people that have a great “eye for talent.”