9 Steps To Fix Your Hiring Process

Just about every organization’s hiring process can be improved by shortening it, if you aren’t convinced, please start here: Why You Need To Shorten Your Hiring Process.

9 Steps To Fix Your Hiring Process

  1. Get buy in from all the stakeholders
  2. Apply to a position at your company using a pseudonym
  3. Document your current process
  4. Ask why each step is included
  5. Decide what steps to remove, shorten, combine or replace
  6. Document your finalized process
  7. Ask for feedback from key stakeholders
  8. Roll out changes in your biggest region or most challenging department first
  9. Check back regularly to ensure compliance

Detailed Steps:

  1. Get buy in from all stakeholders
    • Before you start and throughout the process, make sure stakeholders are involved.
    • Ask questions to highlight pain points of the current process:
      • If we could fill positions one or two weeks faster, what impact would that make on your work load, your department?
      • What about the current process do you not like?
      • What candidates have you lost during the hiring process? And why do you think they fell through?
    • Be prepared with some stats: Why You Need to Shorten Your Hiring Process
    • Once they are on board with fixing the hiring process:
      • In what ways do you feel the hiring process could be improved?
      • What parts of the process are not helping you make a hiring decision? What parts are helping?
  2. Apply yourself to a position at your company using pseudonym
    • Apply using your phone! This will help you test how mobile friendly the application process is – this is critically important with 70% of candidates applying on a mobile device (CareerBuilder, 2018)
    • If possible, try to go as far through the process as possible before someone notices
    • Alternative: interview recent new hires about their experience from applying to orientation
  3. Document your current process
    • Thoroughly document your current process: from a candidate landing on your homepage, to attending new employee orientation
  4. Ask why each step is included
    • Test all assumptions, something may look good on paper, ask recruiters, hiring managers, new hires, if the step works as intended.
  5. Decide what steps to remove, shorten, combine or replace
    • How many interviews are being conducted? Can you reduce, shorten or combine these?
    • Are you insisting candidates make a formal online application before interviewing? Why? Can you have them do this at the interview instead to reduce the fall off rate?
    • Is it taking a week to get a hiring decision from hiring managers? – Set a time limit
    • How long is it taking from time an application is received to when a recruiter reaches out? – Set a time limit
    • How long is it taking from when a recruiter reaches out to when an interview is scheduled – Set a time expectation (room for exception based on candidate availability.
    • How timely are references being completed?
    • Can someone walk in off the street and be hired before leaving your office?
  6. Document your finalized process
  7. Ask for feedback from key stakeholders
    • You should know where you will get the most resistance at your company with a hiring process change, go to that colleague(s) and ask for their feedback. Know your numbers! Be open-minded to their recommendations and reservations.
  8. Roll-out changes in your biggest region or most challenging department first
    • Only have the roll-out meeting if all stakeholders are present – you only get one shot at this
    • Have the regional or department leader open, and make it very clear that this will be the new process.
    • Share the documented new process with everyone present
    • Go step by step through the process
    • Check for understanding
    • Ask what the major changes are for this region/department
    • Write out the major changes on a whiteboard
    • Ask for a commitment to follow the new process
    • Follow up with an email, summarizing the major changes, a photo of the whiteboard is a nice touch.
  9. Check back regularly to ensure compliance
    • Check in with the leader, mid-managers and recruiter(s) of each region or department, ask how the changes are going, what the effects have been and if everyone is following the new process. Attend management meetings as necessary.




CareerBuilder, 2018, Job Seekers Are Now in the Driver’s Seat and Expect Next-Gen Recruiting and New Hire Experiences, Survey Finds, http://press.careerbuilder.com/2018-10-30-Job-Seekers-Are-Now-in-the-Drivers-Seat-and-Expect-Next-Gen-Recruiting-and-New-Hire-Experiences-Survey-Finds


Why You Need to Shorten Your Hiring Process

Making a new offer is often stressful, so much could go wrong, if you hire the wrong person, it will reflect negatively on you, make your job more difficult, take up your time, your team’s time, cost the company money, hurt moral, cost customers, hurt the company’s reputation and it could even lead to lawsuits.

The temptation is there to increase the length of your hiring process, to make sure you don’t make a hiring mistake: have a long application to get all the details you want (not need), send multiple assessments, have many people interview, (that way you can share the blame), etc.

This is counterproductive.

You will often lose the best candidates with an unduly long hiring process. The best candidates know their worth, and will feel that you cannot see their worth if you make them interview several times, often answering the same questions, over and over. I’ve witnessed it many times, where the best candidate gets frustrated with endless interviews, starts to wonder why she has to meet so many different people (she’s also most likely working, so getting time off for interviews is a challenge). Often, she drops out of the process since she feels you failed to see her value.

A few stats to support shortening the hiring process:

  • 60% of candidates quit job applications due to excessive length or complexity (CareerBuilder)
  • Organizations lose 20 percent of candidates after waiting just three days to schedule an interview (Filho, 2018)

The average interview process takes 23.7 days! (Cherian, 2017) It does not take 23 days to make a hiring decision, shorten your interview process and make more and better hires, before your competition steals them away.

If you can make a hiring decision in 10 days or less, you will lose fewer candidates to the competition, since candidates will continue to job hunt while interviewing and it won’t take long for the best candidates to receive additional offers. An unduly long process puts you at risk for losing the best candidates and for competing with additional job offers.

Coming soon: How to shorten your hiring process 




Cherian, J., 2017, 5 Ways Your Losing Good Candidates In the Recruitment Process https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/losing-good-candidates/

Filho, O.G., 2918, How Recruiters Can Foster ‘Hire’ Engagement with Hiring Managers https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/recruitment-onboarding/how-recruiters-can-foster-hire-engagement-with-hiring-managers/