How to Balance Speed and Quality When Making Hiring Decisions

Good things take time — especially in recruiting. The wait for quality hires is stressful for recruiters, who generally want to fill openings sooner rather than later. On average, it takes 24 days to fill a job. This lengthy process can drain a company’s resources, which is why some employers jump the gun by making quick hires instead of good ones.

Recruiters that prioritize time to hire do it for the sake of making immediate placements. They’ll either conduct quick job searches or partner with staffing agencies to expedite that process for short-term gain. Unfortunately, fast hires do little to help long-term retention or build organizational continuity.

A strong foundation comes from hiring quality employees. Finding a balance between quality of hire and time to hire when deciding how to measure the effectiveness of a recruitment and selection process enables you to build a team with lasting viability.

Suitability Over Speed

Diamonds in the rough are rare, which is especially true when it comes to recruiting talent that will make your company shine. Research from 2018 found that 73% of employers struggled to find skilled candidates and that 45% worried they wouldn’t find enough qualified candidates (Source: Manpower 2018 Talent Shortage Survey).

High-quality recruitment takes dedicated and focused research on a candidate’s past; recruiters then use that information to determine what prospects can bring to your company’s future. When recruiters prioritize speed over substance, that big-picture vision gets lost in the shuffle. As a result, you lose the intricacy and detail that a thorough candidate search provides.

A fast hire is great if the person ends up being both a good fit for the job and the company culture, but that’s not always guaranteed. This is why the “time to hire” metric, as currently defined, won’t tell that story. Instead, you should measure the speed with which you onboard a quality hire rather than any hire.

This shift in mindset offers internal and external advantages. Within the company, it gives stakeholders and current employees the peace of mind that qualified team members surround them. From the outside, a commitment to efficient, high-quality recruitment assures potential candidates that they’ll be put in a position to succeed.

It’s Time to Hire for Quality

Fully implementing quality-of-hire measurements isn’t without its own challenges. While connecting with quality employees is the priority, recruiters have their own benchmarks for bringing in top talent promptly. Staffing agents can help narrow the field and put recruiters in touch with candidates who might look great on paper, but it’s an inexact science.

To find the right balance between time to hire and quality of hire, enact the following three strategies:

1. Embrace new tools. The role of technology in recruitment is simple — it does what human recruiters can do faster and with fewer errors. Staffing agencies manually scour résumés in an attempt to bring a company a set number of qualified candidates. Software and recruitment technology, however, take that process one step further.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning show the potential for the use of technology in recruitment and selection. AI-powered recruiting platforms swiftly mine through hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of candidates and assess them based on background, years of experience, and other distinguishing characteristics.

Studies show that recruiters who disregard AI and automation spend more resources yet accomplish less in their recruiting. Quality hires will show themselves quicker with the integration of technology in the recruitment and selection process.

RELATED: AI In Recruiting: What It Means for Talent Acquisition

2. Leave no stone unturned. Employment seekers are told to treat the search like an actual job. Hiring quality employees requires that same level of diligence from recruiters who wish to bring in the best candidates in a short amount of time.

Technology helps identify candidates with the necessary surface-level qualifiers. But a focus on quality-of-hire measures requires recruiters to go beyond those accolades and attributes and get to know candidates on a deeper level.

Make a point to do additional research about candidates. See what their names bring up in a Google search and seek input from previous employers to answer any questions or fill any gaps you might have. These extra steps will decrease your time to hire, bringing qualified candidates to the surface quicker while weeding out unqualified applicants.

RELATED: Introducing Candidate Messaging on Glassdoor

3. Ditch the general approach. About 31% of job seekers expect personalized messaging from potential employers. The fact that nearly a third of all candidates want customized messaging should provide all the incentive you need to provide it.

Expedite your time to hire and improve the quality of your candidates by creating a consistent, relevant, and valuable message for each applicant. After the initial interaction, continue to tailor each corresponding engagement to the specific applicant. Think of candidates like customers — the sooner you can customize your offerings to their particular tastes, the quicker you can bring them into the fold.

Good things — like quality candidates — come to those who wait. Don’t let speed dictate your job search. Instead, design a successful recruitment strategy that prioritizes finding the best candidates as efficiently as possible. Have patience, and the perfect hire will come.

Abby Carter is the content marketing manager of Leoforce, the company behind the People Intelligence platform, Arya. She is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

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