How to Reduce HR Hiring Cycle Time


In order to answer the question “How to reduce HR hiring cycle time?” we need to first understand the problem. Most hiring managers assume that there is an abundance of candidates available in the market. They think that people that would be happy to join their organization and ready-to-go with an arsenal of skills to do the job properly.

When they begin to work with their HR partner or with their assigned recruiter, they really don’t believe them when they are told, “You really have no idea how few qualified candidates there are out there.” As the baby-boomers begin to retire in droves, it will become more and more challenging to fill open positions within our organizations. According to Jim Sirbasku, CEO of Profiles International, The workforce crisis is being driven into a “perfect storm” of catastrophic proportions by…

A significant drop in the growth rate of the labor force
The impending retirement of Baby Boomers
A continuing paradigm shift from physical labor to a knowledge worker economy

Soon, the worldwide demand for labor will outstrip supply by 35 million jobs essentially draining $ 3.5 trillion in annual output from the global economy — an impact sure to be felt worldwide. According to a report from the US Mayor’s forum, 45 major metro markets have seen a decrease in their labor force since the year 2000. The Mayor’s forum also cited that the US labor force growth has been lead by the fast growing Sun Belt and Mountain metros with some of them experiencing employment growth at a 7.7% annual rate. Rapid employment growth continues for cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Raleigh.

As people continue to migrate from colder climates to warmer areas, the loss of human capital will continue to impact large urban areas like Chicago and Boston where job growth is steady and unemployment continues to be very low. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June 2007, 98 metropolitan areas recorded unemployment rates below 4.0 percent, up from 83 areas a year earlier.

So, now that the problem has been identified, how do we get back to the question “How to reduce HR hiring cycle time?” There are three key areas that any organization needs to think about when it comes to reducing hiring cycle time:

Build flexibility into your organization. The HR department needs to work with managers and organizational leadership to create flexible work environments. In large metro areas, commute times have become impossible. If a job is on the other side of town, a potential employee will just not consider it due to the thought of commuting there five days a week. But, if the commute was just two or three days a week (or off hours) and the rest of the time could be spent in a home office, now the job is appealing. Flexible work arrangements for your current employees can also go a long way in reducing attrition and increasing productivity.
Understand what makes your successful people tick. Winning organizations should employ some type of job matching or assessment testing technology to understand what makes top performers successful. Understanding their thinking style, behavioral traits, and occupational interests can go a long way in hiring successful employees. It can speed up the interview process and ultimately reduce attrition. Both will lower HR hiring cycle time.
Grow your organization from within. Count on your current employees to find your new ones. A robust employee referral program can generate an amazing pipeline of qualified candidates who are already pre-screened. Create an incentive that means something and don’t differentiate by grade or position title (how would you feel if your position was valued at $ 3,000.00 while your co-worker’s was valued at $ 150.00?). Have your HR department commit to contacting and at least having a phone conversation with every employee referral. Oh, and get back to the referrer. Nothing is worse than never hearing the outcome of the effort. Experience demonstrates that a robust employee referral program can generate 70% of new hires!

There is a perfect labor storm brewing-fewer people and more jobs. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that finding good people and at the same time figuring out how to reduce HR hiring cycle time is a difficult challenge. By increasing organizational flexibility, understanding what makes your top performers tick, and growing your organization from within, you can begin to make an impact.

Learn more at Talent Insight Group