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How to win business-critical sales talent by cutting your recruitment time

Posted in February 2022

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Would you wait a month and a half to hear back about a dream job?

After analysing 400,000 confirmed hires on its platform last summer, LinkedIn revealed that the average hiring process takes 38 days for sales roles and a whopping 44 days for IT.

As if these figures weren’t concerning enough, the current hiring landscape certainly is.

Business-critical roles have skyrocketed in the aftermath of the pandemic, with Hiring Trends Index data showing sales roles as the second most in-demand for Q4 of 2021.

Candidates are getting multiple offers and counteroffers from potential employers looking to regain ground. With business-critical roles hanging empty, a faster recruitment process could put you in a prime position to snatch the best talent before your competitors have even made an offer.

Common causes of a slow recruitment time

Unclear role requirements

Nothing prolongs a hiring process like perpetual back and forth between hiring managers and department heads. Begin by agreeing on a clear list of technical role requirements and candidate expectations so everyone’s in alignment from the jump.

Unrealistic schedules

The temptation to load your daily schedule with candidate interviews might not be as helpful as you think! With so many candidates to evaluate in such a short time, you run the risk of causing a backlog and falling behind.

Too many stages, too many gaps

It’s not uncommon for hiring processes to have anything up to five stages before the final candidate is hired. Too many assignments and interviews could quickly disengage candidates and bloat hiring times.

Rigid processes

Are you married to your internal processes? Booking multiple stakeholders into a meeting after every interview might be the ‘done thing’, but it’s a needless delay if you’re already looking at the ideal candidate.

How to accelerate your internal hiring process

Open the lines of communication

Finding the right fit for a role requires an in-depth understanding of the technical requirements and hard skills missing from the team you're hiring into. Sit down with management and get the details crystal clear before you even write the job ad.

Choose your stakeholders wisely

More stakeholders mean more friction. Limit the number of stakeholders involved by carefully selecting those who have direct experience with the challenges of the role you’re hiring for. Not every senior staff member needs an invite!

Regularly review your process

Get rid of unnecessary hiring roadblocks by regularly assessing how effective your process is. Are you creating a positive candidate experience? Which stages of the process are working and which could be stripped away or modified? It all adds up!

The need for speed in a contractual agreement

Whilst the approval process can vary from firm to firm, accelerating the contract process can make all the difference to help seal the deal. Time is of the essence; we advise our clients to sign a contract within 2 days of making a verbal offer. After all, a delay of 5 days or more minimises the likelihood of acceptance by over 50%.

Work with a specialist recruitment agency

With quick access to a top-notch talent pool and a valuable external perspective to offer, a recruitment specialist could save you valuable hiring time. They’ll provide a quality candidate shortlist and can advise on the latest hiring best practice, too.

How to streamline the candidate experience

Swap take-home tests for situation-based questions

Take-home tests delay the next round of interviews and force the candidate to book out diary time (which may not be readily available). Swap to situation-based interview questions and let them showcase their skills as part of a real-time discussion.

Set deadlines for feedback

With so many candidates to interview and evaluate, it’s easy to let a week slip past without following up. Keep your candidates engaged with the hiring process by setting hard deadlines for feedback. No later than three days is best!

Limit evaluations

Multiple rounds of candidate evaluations and assessments are off-putting and time-consuming. You might be able to combine several overlapping evaluations into one or identify areas of frustration by asking staff to give anonymous feedback on the process.

Sprinkle in some personality

Adding a personal touch to every candidate is invaluable. From being completely transparent, being proactive in the onboarding process, to being available at every touchpoint, these are some of the simple steps that can build meaningful relationships and inch you further ahead of the competition.

Signed, sealed, and not yet delivered

The timeframe between acceptance and start date, during a candidate's notice period or garden leave, often presents many hurdles for employers. Competing offers from a current employer or intense competition might sway a prospective candidate away, that's why continual communication is imperative post-acceptance. Our research shows that candidates who receive no communication from their future employer for over 6 weeks are 61% more likely to accept another offer or counteroffer.

Use employer branding to gain the competitive edge

Be flexible

Now they’ve had a taste of remote working, candidates are crying out for better flexibility at work. Whether this is the option for remote working, flexible hours, or better work-life balance. By offering it as standard, you’ll position yourself as the more appealing choice.

Build a team brand

Are you offering exciting technical challenges and potential for growth? Do you have a presence at industry conferences and on thought-leadership blogs? Candidates assess a potential employer on the strength of their brand, as well as value alignment.

A strong brand takes time to cultivate, but once you have it, candidates are more likely to stay hungry throughout the hiring process. It also increases the likelihood of attracting talent that matches your company culture.

Interested in speeding up your recruitment time? List your vacancy or Request a call back and start filling business-critical sales roles ASAP.

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