American newspaperman and author Damon Runyon is quoted as saying: “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”

In the world of recruiting, Runyon’s saying holds true. A lengthy candidate search negatively impacts recruiting results and ultimately cripples a firm’s ability to remain competitive in the recruitment of top talent.

Candidate Search Time Slowing Down Across the Board

According to a report from Glassdoor Data, the average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S. In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, you can tack on an additional 4 to 9 days to complete the process. Statistics from the report indicate that this represents a little more than 3 more days than the interview process took back in 2009.

One possible reason for the increase in time to hire may be the additional background checks, skills tests, and screenings that many companies have instituted and that various governmental factions may have mandated.

However, the larger issue may be the inability of firms to get the most from the data available to them from their recruiting software solutions.

How Slow Searches Impact Firms

What difference does a few more days make in candidate search? Here are some ways a slow candidate search process impacts your bottom line:

  • Inability to move quickly means that you will lose out on the candidates at the top of the food chain. Highly qualified candidates will not simply cool their heels while awaiting word from you. For the most qualified candidates, speed matters.
  • A slow candidate search process makes less qualified candidates rise to the top. With highly qualified candidates accepting offers from your speedier competitors, it is the less qualified candidates who will stick around to field your offers. Like your favorite foods, leftovers are never quite as good as fresh picks.
  • A slow candidate search means that your vital job positions are left vacant for a longer period of time. The costs of this can be astronomical, depending on the importance of the position you are seeking to fill. A vacant position not only cannot generate income, but may be costing your firm significant revenue.
  • Even if you manage to find a highly qualified candidate via a slow search, you will likely have to offer more competitive salary and benefits to seal the deal. The longer the candidate has to wait on you, the more likely it becomes that he or she will be offered something more attractive by a competitor. So, even if the candidate chooses your firm, you will probably have to increase the attractiveness of your original offer considerably.
  • Consistently slow candidate search causes damage to your employer brand. Just as positive word of mouth helps you attract more top talent, negative word of mouth from candidates who endure a lengthy interview process will drive candidates away.

The reality is simple. You can ill afford to drag your proverbial feet when it comes to candidate search.

How to Speed Up Your Search Process

That being said, what can you do to speed up the process, while not endangering the quality of your searches? Here are some tips to help:

1) Use big data to your advantage.

In the HRDive article “3 Ways to Reduce Time to Hire”, Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, states: “Using big data to identify ROI and productivity of current recruitment campaigns and recruiters will help make positive changes to the recruitment process. Two-thirds of employers who use big data in recruitment say it lowered their cost-per-hire and time-to-hire.”

Recruiting solutions that include robust reporting features and analytics to get a handle on the data you already have will help you speed up the candidate search process considerably.

2) Double down on collaboration.

A strong talent management system should allow for collaboration among hiring managers, recruiting teams, and C-suite execs. As reported in a ThriveTRM case study, Foundation Talent found the ability to share information and collaborate shaved substantial time off candidate searches and resulted in better hires.

Foundation Partner Jeff Bruce notes: “Bringing client hiring teams directly into the search has significantly increased accountability internally, resulting in timely and accurate data collection and better data input practices. Clients can prioritize candidates that we are actively pursuing in real-time, which helps recruiting teams zero-in on ideal profiles faster.”

3) Achieve a global perspective of your talent pipeline.

The HRDive article states: “When a recruiter needs to fill a position, the first instinct is to go back to strong candidates who they’ve spoken to in the past – but without any way to search through or re-engage those candidates, recruiters lose valuable turnaround time.”

You need a talent management solution that will enable a global perspective of your talent pipeline. This includes a robust applicant tracking system that has strong search functionality. Every candidate search need not be a reinvention of the wheel. There may be a number of candidates with whom you have interacted that may be the perfect fit for your new position, even if they were not the best fit for a previous position.

A talent management system that allows you to see your entire talent pipeline clearly will help you quickly identify candidates that may have previously been on the back burner and reach out to them when a matching position becomes available.

The Bottom Line

In the world of talent management and candidate search, speed matters. A robust talent management system enables a faster candidate search, which in turn leads to better hires and increased productivity. Do you want to see a strong talent management system at work? Schedule a demo of ThriveTRM today.