According to Hays’ James Milligan, companies would benefit from shorter hiring processes.
I recently met a woman who had just completed her fifth round of interviews at a major tech company in Dublin. She was offered the job offer after a six-week process but by that time, she already had happily accepted another one.
As the country reaches full employment, competition for certain roles has reached record levels. In such a fast-moving market, some employers, particularly in the world of tech, need to shorten their recruitment processes to make sure the best talent doesn’t get snapped up by rival businesses.
Many companies require candidates to undertake multiple interviews with co-workers, senior management and the HR/talent team, sit aptitude and technical tests, and receive in-depth feedback. Only then are they offered a conditional role.
Instead of having this process drawn out over the course of weeks, companies need to challenge themselves to shorten this process.
Companies including Dublin-based tech company Fineos already use a much more scaled-down recruitment process for certain positions. Google Ireland has recently announced its intentions to review and shorten its recruitment process, too. This approach brings advantages to both the employer and the candidate.
What the applicants want
In a candidate-driven market, employees don’t need to wait around for opportunities. That means they’re less willing to tolerate lengthy application processes.
According to the Hays Ireland What Workers Want 2018 report, 81pc of job applicants would consider abandoning an application process that takes 15 minutes or longer to complete. This prevents businesses from ever even hearing from a large portion of the talent pool.
For those who don’t abandon the hiring process, a long application will still be detrimental. The report found that two rounds of job interviews is seen as optimum by both employees and employers.
In addition to providing a negative experience to a potential new employee, a long hiring process introduces unnecessary costs. With several interviews across multiple weeks, an applicant has to bear the burden of extra travel costs. If the applicant is employed somewhere else, they will also have to navigate taking multiple days off.
A shorter hiring process would eliminate these barriers. If the candidate is successful after completing a streamlined hiring process, they can move forward more quickly with a new and exciting chapter in their career. Even if they’re unsuccessful, candidates still benefit. A quick rejection means that they aren’t left in limbo and won’t miss out on other opportunities that might be better suited to them.
How shortening the application process benefits the employer
With a shorter hiring process, the chances of the candidate considering or accepting a counter-offer are reduced (the best candidates are likely to have multiple job offers in the pipeline). This in turn reduces candidate dropout rates and increases acceptance rates.
This optimised recruitment process also allows the company to better promote its employer brand to candidates, as the entire application process can take place in as little as a few days.
Lastly, a shorter process can also bring down costs for the employer. By reducing the time to hire, companies save themselves time and resources that could be better spent on their business and onboarding process.
Which roles are suited to this approach?
Needlessly long application processes are present in many tech fields with skills shortages, including full-stack software development, mobile development, DevOps, security and other similar digital roles. These areas are perfectly suited for a reduced recruitment process.
Employers are snapping up talent at an incredibly fast pace. Companies slow on the draw need to ensure that their recruitment process matches the pace that employees are now coming to expect: clearer application journeys, punctual communication and fewer interviews.
James Milligan is a director at Hays Ireland.