The 11 best ways to make hiring more efficient

To help you adopt a more efficient hiring process, we asked HR leaders and hiring managers this question for their best insights.

From using candidate profiles to guide your search to adopting a skills-first approach, there are several ways to revisit, restructure or fine-tune your hiring process to make it more efficient.

Here are 11 ways these HR leaders are making hiring more efficient in their organization:

  • Use candidate profiles to guide your search
  • Reduce manual tasks and integrate siloed data
  • Recruit in sprints to iterate faster
  • Evaluate and understand the job qualifications you post
  • Lower the friction in the application process
  • Build a talent-winning culture and strategy
  • Automate your HR processes
  • Use pre-hire assessment tools
  • Set clear expectations from the start
  • Expand your reach and narrow down your options
  • Adopt a skills-first approach

Use candidate profiles to guide your search

A candidate profile is similar to your typical job description but goes deeper. It describes the job you’re filling in detail, along with the qualifications or qualities that will make someone successful in that role and the specific skills and experience that define an ideal candidate. In some cases, it’s also smart to outline where you’ll find these candidates or the process the team will use to search for and recruit them. Doing this kind of planning before you start your search makes sure everyone is on the same page and is putting their efforts toward the same goal. It also helps you to be more targeted in your search efforts and write better, more accurate job descriptions, so that you attract high-value applicants and aren’t wasting your time going through resumes that aren’t a good fit.

Matt Erhard, Managing Partner, Summit Search Group

Reduce manual tasks and integrate siloed data

Reducing time-consuming manual tasks and integrating siloed data are keys to improving the efficiency of hiring. On the first front – using AI at the top of the funnel for tasks such as resume/qualification screening, scheduling, administration of job-related assessments and asynchronous interviews using state-of-the-science technology like psycholinguistic analysis, can dramatically improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process. To the latter point – using a platform designed to integrate all the hiring data as opposed to one-off solutions used as band-aids where the traditional ATS falls short can also be tremendously helpful.

Fred Rafilson, Chief I/O Psychologist, Talview

Recruit in sprints to iterate faster

A sprint is defined as a short, time-boxed period when a scrum team works to complete a set amount of work and allow the team to test new ideas or refine processes in a short, measurable period. Sprints help leaders and their teams stop bi-weekly to discuss successes to find ways to scale them for future sprints. Before Sprint Recruiting, this success sharing was limited. We usually continued doing the same old thing, the same old way, expecting better results week after week. Our Sprint Recruiting method has allowed us to formalize this sharing to maximize our iterative growth every two weeks. Using sprints is an easy way to iterate to become the organization you envision. Short periods of time with a hyper-focus on what’s working and what isn’t will train your team to constantly look for ways to improve on major KPIs. It’s also a fantastic way to solicit innovative ideas from your team. If you haven’t tried sprinting, you should.

Trent Cotton, Senior Director of Talent, Hatchworks

Evaluate and understand the job qualifications you post

When you begin the hiring process, too often hiring managers throw down a bunch of qualifications they are looking for in the interview process without any thought into how they are going to measure those qualifications. This makes it difficult for anyone who is trying to help the hiring manager, and to keep bias in check. We recommend you can brainstorm all you want for qualifications, but ask, “What do I want to see on a resume?” vs. “What will I look for in the interview stage in terms of behaviors and examples?” Then separate that out on the job ad. For example, you can’t see if someone is a good team player on the resume, but you can ask about projects that they were successful at vs. when they failed as a team and what they learned in an interview.

Michelle Berg, Chief Visionary Officer, Elevated HR Solutions Inc.

Lower the friction in the application process

Historically, we in talent acquisition have had the mindset that if we make our application process more difficult, only the highly qualified and extremely interested candidates will apply. We used it to “weed out” tire kickers and limit the number of resumes we had to filter through. However, that tactic has come to backfire on us. Registering to apply has gone from being a useful tool (if it ever really was) to a turn-off for those highly qualified candidates we so desire. To make recruitment more efficient, my suggestion would be to lower the friction in the application process and give people a reason to self-select out. It seems counter-intuitive, but by doing so, you will find that you are getting better quality applicants.

Brad DiPaolo, CEO, CandidateHub

Build a talent-winning culture and strategy

In this candidate short market, companies who are prepared to “win talent” are far more successful than those who are still “recruiting candidates.” Hiring begins long before advertising a position and depends on multiple internal and external factors. Hiring is not only on recruiters but a collaborative effort by the senior leaders, hiring managers and the recruiter. Talent attraction strategy should be planned at an enterprise level with an employee-first approach, focused on building the process rather than looking at immediate hiring targets. Jobseekers prefer working with a company that can assure a great work culture, led by empathetic leaders and offer flexible work arrangements. Most startups have successfully implemented this strategy and created a sense of belongingness even before the candidate decides to apply for the role. This has helped them win talent over big companies and make hiring more efficient.

Ashwin Sedashiv, Director, Prime Talent Solutions 

Automate your HR processes

Reduce the number of point solutions in an organization’s HR tech stack and then automate and integrate as much of the top of the funnel process as possible. Automating the process will reduce the burden on recruiters, which allows them to focus more on building candidate slates and interviewing. Integration will provide better data collection at every job seeker and candidate touch point, which improves decision-making. Too many point solutions create bottlenecks and poor user adoption, which costs time and money. 

Doug Shonrock, Head of Candidate Experience & Engagement, Joveo

Use pre-hire assessment tools

Too much time is wasted hiring candidates who may end up not being a great fit for a role. Whether they leave or you let them go, you’ll have to spend more time and resources to fill that vacancy all over again. Your goal should be to reduce your turnover rate, and pre-employment testing is an incredibly efficient way to streamline your process and find the right people.

Linda Scorzo, CEO, Hiring Indicators

Set clear expectations from the start

Are your hiring team and candidates on the same page? Be clear about what the job entails, how performance will be measured, what compensation looks like, what the company culture is like and what the team is looking for in a new teammate. By setting clear expectations, applicants will be more likely to self-select, and you can focus your time and energy on high value candidates. Don’t forget to communicate your expectations to your team as well — that way everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.

Ben Travis, Founder, HR Chief

Expand your reach and narrow down your options

By using specific criteria and job-related questions, you can identify which candidates best match the position. This can save a lot of time and energy in the long run. Before posting a job, take the time to develop a clear and concise job description, allowing candidates to self-select. Then, incorporate targeted questions into the interview process to identify the most qualified candidates. Ask about specific experiences and skills related to the job and behavioral questions that will give you insight into how they would perform in the role. Finally, expand your reach to increase the chances of finding the right person for the job. Utilize social media, job boards and professional networks to reach a wider pool of candidates. By taking these steps, you can streamline the hiring process and make it more efficient.

Chris Lewandowski, President, Princess Dental Staffing

Adopt a skills-first approach

Make job descriptions clear. While it is important to “sell” in a job description, it is also important that the role can be easily understood; otherwise, you may miss out on great applicants and waste time going through a lot that are not a fit. I recommend taking a skills first approach. Ensure the skills needed for the role are clearly stated and then use a tool that can surface skills-based matches so your talent team can focus their time on screening applicants that are a match. I also recommend being open to candidates who are a great culture match and have a proven track record of success but may require some training and upskilling to meet all the needs of the role. The perfect candidate isn’t always out there but investing time in growing the candidate is a win-win.

Leah Carr, CEO, tilr