This segment is for those of you who are, have been, or are likely to be hiring managers. As you begin the staffing process, there is a variety of information you might find useful in making the process move swiftly and smoothly.

Depending on position, it may take 30-60 days or more to fill a position. This can vary even more depending on the complexity of the role, the clarity of the position specifications, the marketplace availability of quality candidates, the competitiveness of your compensation, the number of separate interviews you decide to conduct, your personal participation level, and a host of other factors.

Research tells us that two important outcomes of the staffing process, quality of hire and time-to-productivity, are improved when the following take place at the planning phase:

• Determining and clearly specifying the most important skill sets required
• Analyzing the characteristics of successful employees
• Discussing and understanding the timeline for the hiring process
• Evaluating the performance results of recent hires
• Cultivating passive candidates

In addition, we know that one of the most time consuming parts of the staffing process is the scheduling and conducting of interviews. In some organizations, it is typical to over-interview by including too many different interviewers, and multiple rounds of interviews.

Overall, you can help shorten the hiring process by:
1. Spending sufficient time upfront with your recruiter clearly articulating the critical skills required to perform the job and what you might be willing to trade off if necessary.
2. Partnering with your recruiter to determine the best sourcing strategies to use. Guess what, internet posting and outside agencies may not be the best sources of high-quality candidates.
3. Actively participating in the process. Based on your professional experience and contacts, you may know specific people who should be recruited, or specific sources that should be tapped. Sharing this with your recruiter doesn’t mean you are doing his or her job, it simply means you may be able to accelerate the process.
4. Responding quickly regarding candidates who have been referred. The best candidates may not wait very long for you to respond, or may only be available for a short period of time.
5. Limiting your interview team to no more than 4 or 5 people and the number of interview rounds to no more than 2 or 3, depending on factors such as the use of assessments.
6. Making interviewing candidates a business priority. Much time is wasted “re-working” interview schedules to accommodate other activities. This may be legitimate in many situations but in some, it’s simply a lack of respect for the importance of the process.
7. Actively marketing your opportunity to the finalist candidates. Many candidates have already been identified as strong players in the market and your recruiters have “talked them into” meeting with you. The best candidates need to be sold on the opportunity as much as they need to sell you on their credentials and capabilities.

Most staffing professionals do their best to find you highly qualified candidates that match your specifications. Working closely with them on these items will speed the hiring process for you and ensure the quality of applicant you seek.