The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve and has a significant impact on businesses across industries. While some organizations have had to drastically change their day-to-day business operations – or even temporarily halt business – others are facing an increasing demand for quality employees.
First and foremost, a top priority for any business leader during these uncertain times is focusing on the health, wellbeing and safety of their people – including loved ones, employees and customers. But business leaders also have a lot of decisions to make regarding how to run their organizations given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
Many employers across the country have unfortunately had to lay off employees – at least temporarily – while others are in a rush to hire qualified staff. However, given the other critical steps that need to be taken to run any business effectively at this time, there might not be many resources available to focus on hiring.
Whether your organization has an immediate hiring need or is looking to make your hiring more efficient once you’re actively recruiting again, we’ve pulled together several ways your team can save time and resources on hiring below. With the extra time back in your day, you can concentrate on other key business tasks to set your business up for success.
Tap into candidate screening tools
Many hiring managers and HR teams spend a significant amount of time manually reviewing applicants, many of which are unqualified for open roles. To avoid wasting time on applicants who aren’t a fit, you can tap into candidate screening tools, which will ensure only the most qualified applicants reach your hiring managers for review and potential next steps.
One candidate screening tool you can leverage is prescreen surveys. With prescreen surveys, once an application is submitted, the applicant will receive an automated survey that can assess his or her fit for the role. Prescreen surveys can include knockout questions, so job seekers who don’t meet the basic requirements of the role – such as availability or certification requirements – can be eliminated from the process before your team has to spend time reviewing their applications.
Another screening tool your team can tap into is skills tests. Many candidates might stretch the truth on their resumes and skills tests can help ensure your team only spends time and resources on applicants who actually have the skills required to succeed in your open roles.
For example, a candidate might say he or she is proficient in Microsoft Excel or simple mathematics on his or her resume – and even in the prescreen survey – but the only way to test their knowledge is through an assessment that prompts candidates to apply these skills. This helps you weed out candidates who don’t have the required skills for the role and only focus on those who pass the skills test. Skills tests are available to measure both hard and soft skills, and for specific roles. Each assessment can be completed by candidates in just a few minutes, and tests are automatically scored with the results sent directly to hiring managers.
Simplify candidate communications
One hold up in the hiring process is often communicating back and forth with candidates. In some cases, your team might end up playing phone tag with a candidate while in others, a candidate might overlook one of your emails about scheduling an interview. This can have a variety of implications, including slowing down the hiring process, taking up a lot of your team’s time that can otherwise be spent on more pressing tasks, and frustrating candidates.
To save time when it comes to candidate communications, you can tap into candidate text messaging. Candidates are more likely to engage with text messages than they are to other forms of communication. According to Hireology data, across industries, candidate text messaging has a 71 percent average response rate, which is 19 percent higher than candidate emails.
Some examples of ways you can tap into candidate text messaging include: reminding candidates to take a pre-screen survey and coordinating interview times. Candidates can also easily reach your team to confirm interview times, reschedule an interview or clarify directions. If you’re putting your hiring on hold for the time being, you can keep in touch with candidates to let them know you’ll reach out once your active hiring picks back up.
Centralize interview feedback
Given the unfortunate layoffs many industries are facing, your team might see an influx of applicants looking for new roles. Many of these applicants are eager to get started in their next role, so it’s important to keep your hiring process moving along as efficiently as possible.
To make the hiring process more efficient and ensure your interviews are both compliant and impactful, make sure to ask candidates the same interview questions. Doing so will also make it so it easier to gauge how each candidate would potentially fit in your open roles.
Post-interview, your team should make an effort to collect and circulate feedback in a timely manner, which can be streamlined using centralized interview feedback. Rather than taking disorganized notes, leveraging technology like a centralized hiring platform enables your team to score all interviews on an objective, uniform scale.
For example, each interview question can be scored on a scale of one to five or using terms such as poor, adequate, good and excellent. Using this scale, a final interview score is automatically calculated, empowering your team to share feedback with candidates quickly – even as soon as the same day as their interviews. Not only will this help you get candidates on board sooner if you have an immediate hiring need, but it will also help you save time, rather than manually comparing interview feedback among your colleagues.
Automate reference and background checks
Candidates might get through the prescreen survey, skills testing and interview stages of your hiring process with flying colors, but to save your team from extending a hire to someone who isn’t a fit – and potential liability down the road – you should verify each candidate before extending a job offer. This can be made possible through automated reference and background checks.
When it comes to automated reference checks, candidates simply fill in their references’ contact information and surveys are automatically sent out. This helps your team avoid playing phone tag with potential references – which would ultimately slow down the hiring process. And for background checks candidates submit the required personal information and the rest of the process is taken care of automatically.
Improve your hiring process with data
While the tools outlined above can help your team save time on individual steps throughout the hiring process, there’s also an opportunity to look at your hiring holistically and identify actionable steps for improvement. By taking action to identify what’s working and what’s not with your hiring process now, you’ll start saving time on hiring efforts immediately and be ready to continue hiring efficiently once this crisis has passed.
As you assess whether or not your hiring process is working for your organization, actionable data can help you make more informed decisions to drive efficiencies. Hireology customers have access to Insights, actionable Q&A analytics that answer questions such as: How fast am I hiring? Is everyone following my hiring process?
Armed with this data, you can better understand which steps you need to take to make the hiring process more efficient. If the data shows candidates have traditionally been held up during the initial review process, for example, you can identify ways to speed up this step – such as tapping into prescreen surveys. And if you notice a certain location or hiring manager tends to skip steps in the hiring process, you can outline ways to hold them accountable to following each step before hiring picks back up.
It’s critical to have the right people in place during both good times and bad. By following these steps to make your hiring more efficient, you can secure top talent – both now and for open roles down the line. You’ll also save time and resources on your hiring efforts, which can then be reallocated to other strategic tasks as your team navigates these uncertain times. For additional tips on how to streamline your hiring, read our resource, “The Seamless Hiring Process Playbook.”