5 Ways to shorten your application process

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As the market opens up, the greatest mistake we’re seeing in recruiting is application processes that are too long.

Candidates will no longer wait around days or weeks for feedback. They won’t jump through the hoops of five-stage interview processes, laden with personality assessments and technical tests. In this candidate-driven market, employers need to step up and improve their candidate experience. It’s a window into what their employee experience will be like too, so it’s important that it’s a good one, and that it’s efficient.

Talent acquisition professionals, whether internal or at agencies, play a significant role in advising hiring managers and teams on the importance of recruiting quality candidates quickly, and will drive this required change.

Here are five concrete ways to make your application process more efficient that you can implement on your team.

1. Define the role clearly before you hire

First, make sure you can clearly describe what success looks like in this new hire, and define what you need. Start with a hiring manager intake form to review where your gaps are, and the candidate profile you’re looking for. At ML6, we spend a lot of time upfront gaining a deep understanding of our client’s business goals and barriers to success to ensure we develop the best, customized strategy for their organization.

2. Simplify the job postings

Identify which requirements are “nice to have” and if you really need to include things like years of experience or formal education in a specific field. Be clear about what problems this new person will solve at the organization, and why it’s important to hire this person now.

This is also an opportunity to re-evaluate your job postings for bias and add more inclusive language. Research shows that women are unlikely to apply for a position unless they meet 100 percent of the requirements, while men will apply if they meet 60 percent of the requirements. Use gender neutral pronouns (they/them) in the description and title, and avoid biased language.

3. Speed up interviews

After interviewing, candidates lose interest with each passing day they don’t hear back, and the potential of another company coming in with a better process or opportunity increases over time too. If the gap is too long, many self-respecting candidates will even withdraw their candidacy. That’s why it’s important to be clear about what the candidate can expect from the start, and that the interview process is short.

As you’re re-evaluating your interview process, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are all of these stakeholders essential to helping determine who the best candidate is for this role? If yes, why?
  • Can any of these stages be combined so that the length of the process can be condensed in order to accommodate candidates that are required to take time away from work in order to attend an interview?

4. Keep communicating

Be open, transparent, and quick to provide feedback and candidates will reciprocate by keeping you posted with other opportunities they have on the go. By communicating about the process and next steps with clear dates, it helps set expectations for the candidate and keeps them engaged.

The feedback can be as simple as “we enjoyed the meeting today and will provide you with feedback and next steps as soon as we complete our other first-round interviews later this week.” If a decision has yet to be made on their candidacy, send them a touching base email every so often to let them know that.

5. Hire a recruitment partner

For more advice and help with your recruiting efforts on how to make them more efficient and attract the right candidates, is to work with an external partner. At ML6, we see our role as a true partner which places us in a unique position with our clients, to act as an extension of their team, tackling their challenges as if they were our own and not accepting the status quo.

To learn more about working ML6, read about what we look for in partners.

About ML6

ML6 is a recruitment and talent advisory firm located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We provide customized solutions to support our clients throughout the employee lifecycle. We help our clients attract and retain talent by advising on people programs, processes, and best practices.