The resounding theme these days is doing more with less, leading to a lack of urgency in filling vacant roles. We get it. Many companies hold it conventional wisdom that frugality with regards to recruiting is a smart play when keeping a budget and hiring process lean. I get push back sometimes because it’s difficult to picture an additional line item doing anything but complicating the recruitment process and detracting from the bottom line. But in fact, quite the opposite is true.
A major pitfall is failing to make this simple paradigm switch: we are in a job seeker’s market. The pendulum has swung to the opposite side of the spectrum from the recession ten years ago. The newest stats from the Department of Labor put unemployment below 4%, the lowest since 1969—even lower in some industries (including many that the military-experienced favor like technology). Organizations and hiring managers need to be ready to compete to fill open roles. They need a hunter mentality.
Two clients, in nearby cities within the same state, in similar industries, needed to fill the same competitive position. Company A had some hesitations going in. Lack of experience with the process required a certain amount of trust that wasn’t second nature. But it took less than an hour working closely with the hiring manager to identify the list of required skills and the specific communities with military-experienced candidates who possessed these transferable skills. Our team moved quickly to screen candidates within an 8-business day window. The hiring manager then conducted a handful of phone interviews over two days, resulting in a shortlist of three candidates—any of which would have been a perfect hire—that interviewed onsite. The position was filled on day 26.
Company B was a different story. The hiring manager declined a call to discuss the technical requirements of the position, citing time constraints. Even so, the opening was nearly identical to Company A’s, so putting forth one of the other top three candidates from their recent search should have been a slam dunk. Indeed, his screening was seamless and the job order was a perfect match—so imagine my surprise when I received word the candidate was not a fit. By the time the call asking for feedback was returned, the candidate had accepted another position. Company B’s role? Vacant for four months and counting. When a position is open for four months, the cost—including lost productivity, missed revenue opportunity, and the costs associated with covering gaps like burnout and overtime—far exceeds any placement fee.
What did it cost?
In summary, the time and expense Company B thought they were saving was totally negated. The expense saved in filling a critical open role in 26 days is conservatively in the thousands. How can your organization gain the upper hand in a competitive hiring environment and save money doing it?
- Make hiring a priority. Don’t delay in filling vacant positions.
- Have a skills-based job description. If your Talent Acquisition team doesn’t possess deep technical knowledge, bring in the hiring manager to fill in those gaps. A skills-based job description like the one built for Company A cracks opens the candidate pool. Less than an hour of discussion could speed up the hiring process by days or even weeks.
- Leverage outside screening capabilities. Phone screening is time intensive and having to balance it with ongoing operational responsibilities drags out your hiring timeline. Outsourcing frees up hiring managers to focus on the crucial in-person interviews: assessing character traits, finding a cultural fit, and really selling the opportunity.
- Avoid gaps in the hiring process. Keep your candidates busy moving through the funnel. A speedy and streamlined recruitment means that top candidates are less likely to be pulled away by competing offers during the interview process—a legitimate concern in the current market.
Saving time and saving money is critical to running a lean organization and hiring process. Bradley-Morris is your partner in achieving those goals, with a full suite of targeted hiring solutions to make it happen.
by Janie Young