Hiring Hacks to Accelerate Your Recruitment Process

Two hiring managers interviewing a job candidate at a desk in their office. Female job candidate is handing over resume to the female interviewer.

Finding new, more effective hiring hacks is always good, but it’s especially relevant in the current market. Though hiring seems to be slowing down from the frenzied pace of the past two years, it’s still a hot market in which the top candidates are snapped up quickly. 

We compiled the best hiring hacks to speed things along, helping you source candidates more easily and move them efficiently through your hiring funnel. 

Why Accelerate Your Recruitment Process?

Win top talent

Right now, the number one reason to move quickly when hiring is that your top choice for the job will likely be off the market in just a few weeks. Even as interest rates climb and inflation rises, job openings remain consistently strong, which means it doesn’t take long for anyone who’s looking for a job to find one. 

Being expedient in your hiring process will help you increase acceptance rates and hire the best applicants more often, leading to a stronger overall workforce. 

Control costs

Hiring is a costly endeavor. Each search eats up more money the longer it stretches on. 

Accelerating your hiring process will help you reduce recruiting labor hours and recruitment marketing costs, which can significantly impact your budget over the course of the year. 

Maintain candidate engagement

Candidates are more impatient than ever, and the quality of their experience drops with each additional day in the hiring process. More than half of candidates say they expect to hear back from companies in a week or less after submitting an application. 

Even long applications are a turn-off; seventy percent of today’s job seekers say they wouldn’t bother with an application that takes longer than 15 minutes to complete. So, it pays to examine your hiring activities and those you require candidates to complete to enter your funnel. 

Related: Candidate Experience Best Practices

13 Hiring Hacks To Speed Up Your Recruitment Process

1. Shorten your application

With the stat on applications we just mentioned fresh in your mind, it pays to take a closer look at your application process and cut out any steps that aren’t completely essential. 

Make sure you aren’t requiring candidates to do duplicate work, like filling out their basic personal details on the first page and then entering them again in the resume section. Whenever possible, allow document uploads (like a PDF resume and cover letter) instead of forcing candidates to copy and paste their application materials into a text-entry box. 

2. Rethink paid ads

Unpopular opinion: paid job ads on LinkedIn sites can slow down your hiring process. 

Do such ads have value? Absolutely, especially when you’re looking to reach candidates who are outside your typical talent pool. But they can also considerably increase the volume of applications you receive, many of which will come from candidates who are applying for anything and everything regardless of their qualifications. That adds work for your recruiting team.

No algorithm can replicate what a human recruiter can do. So, before you bump up your ad spend, we recommend zeroing in on your sourcing efforts to make sure you’re fully capitalizing on every opportunity to reach passive job seekers who aren’t necessarily responding to paid ads. 

3. Go organic

If you want to accelerate the screening portion of the hiring process, concentrate on the quality of candidates versus the quantity you’re bringing in. Rather than blanketing broad audiences with paid advertisements, focus your organic sourcing efforts on more targeted groups where the right candidates are likely to be found. 

Niche Facebook groups, subreddits, Slack channels, and even community message boards can be effective tools for getting in front of candidates with the right skills in your desired geographic location. 

4. Bump up your referral bonus

Referrals reliably produce the best ROI of any hiring channel. Getting more of them can kick up the pace when hiring for key roles. One way to increase referrals is to make them more lucrative for your employees. 

Even if you don’t have additional cash to devote to higher referral bonuses, simply reminding your employees to submit referrals regularly can make an impact and bring in new leads. 

Related: How to Make Your Employee Referral Program a Powerful Recruitment Tool

5. Look inward

If there are already qualified candidates in your ranks, you might be able to eliminate the sourcing step of your hiring process entirely. 

Don’t rely solely on employees to monitor and apply for open roles. Actively recruit from within the same way you would when targeting external candidates. Consider also the options to cross-train or upskill workers from different departments.

Prioritizing upward mobility aids in retention and increases employee engagement, so it’s a win-win for you and your staff. 

Related: How to Conduct an Internal Interview

6. Refine your poaching technique

Poaching talent from the competition is hardly a new hack; recruiters have been doing it for ages. But the landscape has become crowded. Top professionals receive messages from recruiters regularly, most of which look nearly identical. If you want to stand out, you need to do it better. 

Refine the message you’re using to reach out to employees of the competition. Your generic recruiter introduction message won’t do. It needs to address the question, why them? Why specifically would they benefit from breaking ranks to join your team instead?

Also, you might need to widen your definition of who the competition is. Talk with hiring managers for each individual role to learn about indirect competitors that might not be obvious to you. 

7. Leverage customer-facing materials

Your marketing and sales teams have already worked to build a customer base of loyal brand enthusiasts. This group should be on your radar as a viable candidate pool. Since they already know and trust the company, part of your job as a recruiter is done for you. 

Incorporate recruiting messages into customer-facing materials like packaging inserts, social media posts, and branded emails to turn people who love your brand into part of your team. 

8. Automate interview preparation

The back-and-forth involved in scheduling interviews can add days to your hiring timeline. Use technology to automate scheduling, including reminders to cut down on missed or incorrect time slots. 

Streamline interview day by helping candidates prepare as much as possible ahead of time. Send detailed instructions on how to get to the interview location, parking details, enter the building, etc., so you won’t be left waiting for a candidate and watching the clock as the designated time slot slips by. 

After the interview, use automation once more to prompt interviewers to submit timely feedback to keep the process moving along. 

9. Batch your hiring tasks

Use batching–the process of completing similar tasks all at once–to streamline your workflows and cut down on tedious tasks that break up your day. 

For example, send candidates status updates all at once, like on Monday morning, to start the week. This will reduce the number of emails from candidates following up during the rest of the week, giving you more time to allocate to screening or interviews. 

10. Optimize your nurturing materials

You should already be leveraging tools like email drip sequences to nurture candidates. But are you getting the most out of your most effective messages? 

Conduct frequent A/B testing to see which nurturing items deliver the best response/retention rate. Continuously refine these materials and test new messaging to achieve maximum ROI. 

Related: Ways to Hire Faster By Nurturing Candidates

11. Reduce the number of hiring touchpoints

Breaking down your hiring process into individual touchpoints can be eye-opening and tell you a lot about why it takes you so long to hire. 

Analyze how many steps a candidate takes from the start of your application process to receive an offer letter. Then, cut down those touchpoints as much as possible. For example, if you typically have two or three rounds of interviews, consider consolidating them into a single panel interview. This can dramatically impact how fast you’re able to make a selection and get to the offer phase. 

12. Make it a team effort

When it comes to manually sourcing candidates, the more hands on deck, the better. Monthly or quarterly, block off an hour to source candidates with a few colleagues or even your entire team. Some call this a “sourcing jam,” and it’s a great way to tap into the collective network of your department while having fun as a team. 

Before the designated meeting time, send out a list of skill sets or job titles you’ll be focusing on to get the ideas flowing. Have participants bring their laptops, stacks of business cards, lists of attendees from recent conferences they’ve attended, etc. Use a whiteboard to list the names of strong prospects for talent acquisition to follow up with. You can even have prizes on hand for achievements like submitting the most leads. 

Related: How to Involve Employees in the Hiring Process

13. Work with a specialized recruiter

Building a talent pipeline from scratch takes a long time. You can significantly speed up the process–and hiring in general–by working with a professional recruiter. Look for a firm that specializes in your industry or the type of positions you’re trying to fill. Top recruiters can start filling your inbox with highly qualified candidates in as little as 24 hours. 

If you want to build a stronger workforce, reduce your hiring costs and create a positive candidate experience, use the tips above to accelerate your hiring process and stay competitive no matter what the future of the market holds. 

Related: Is Your Business Ready for Professional Staffing Services?

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn