How to speed up your hiring process

Today’s job seekers expect to be hired quickly. This article explains how you can speed up your hiring process, from sorting resumes to interviewing and more.

6 minutes

A group of workers in casual business attire sit around a conference table smiling

One way to combat this challenge is to speed up your hiring to accommodate today’s eager job seekers. Ideally, with quicker decisions, you’ll land more, and happier, candidates. Here—via the nifty 10-step timeline below—is how to expedite your hiring process to the right pace, without going warp speed and compromising its integrity. 

1. Revise job description.

First things first: job description. You must make sure every job description detail—department hierarchy, day-to-day functions, setting, necessary experience, required skills, etc.—is accurate so that candidates can gauge the fit. But don’t overthink it; sometimes we can drown in details. And don’t over approve it; sometimes one or two sets of scrupulous eyes is sufficient. Not to mention, companies in your local market and competitors across the nation are rushing to post the same job ad.

2. Post job ad.

Change the “Potential Duration” from “One day” to “One minute.” Well, not quite, but there are companies such as ZipRecruiter that allow you to, in their own words, make a “single click” to post your job ad to “100+ job sites.” Oftentimes, major staffing companies have access to similar technology, saving you the tedious, multiday task of posting jobs on what seems like a million boards. Talk about full coverage and maximum efficiency.

3. Resume collection.

Here, let’s assume that you’re waiting a full week to collect resumes, regardless. So, five days. This will be important when we do some math at the end of the article.

4. Sort resumes.

Resume parsing technology is a game changer. Determine keywords, set rules, funnel in resumes and voila… the dozens of unfitting resumes are gone and the few fitting resumes (and interview-worthy candidates) are on your screen the next day, ready to review. Thanks to this automation, gone are the days of resumes covering your desk—and clouding your mind—for nearly an entire workweek.

5. Contact candidates for interviews.

There’s a lot of chatter about how long employers should wait on candidates to get back to them during the interview process. The general rule of thumb seems to be two days max, but we’ve seen companies hold off for four to five days, although that’s really pushing it (and not a positive sign about the potential interviewee’s communication—a top soft skill). In fact, unless the candidate had an emergency, two days is plenty; otherwise, maybe they’re just not that into you.

6. Conduct first interviews.

We’re the first to admit that it’ll be tough to pull this off, but we’ve also seen it happen time and again. If you can coordinate it and have the bandwidth, interview two, three or even four candidates in one day. There are two major benefits: first, it helps expedite the process, which is mutually beneficial, and, second, it enables you to remain consistent with your questions and better compare the interviews since they’re all fresh in your mind.

7. Conduct second interviews.

Same theory here as conducting first interviews, but with an added suggestion: group interviewing. With multiple interviewers, especially those who have a say in the final decision, you eliminate the need for more individual interviews, which can prolong the process for days. With a group interview, everyone can vet the candidate at once. This arrangement also helps the candidate get to know the personalities behind the brand and ask questions to a variety of managers and directors, each with a different perspective. It’s a win-win.

8. Screen candidate to confirm decision.

When we say, “screen candidate,” we mean background checking and drug testing. Yes, it’s true; because of the changing mindset around cannabis and shrinking talent pools, a small number of America’s companies have stopped drug testing. But the vast majority of companies continue to test and check, and they can—even are—accelerating this process. If your vendors are taking too long, discuss matters with them. Even shop around. In many cases, a 24-hour turnaround is possible for negative drug test results, and a three-day turnaround is possible for background check results.

9. Offer candidate (and negotiate if necessary).

Simply put, assuming your top candidate has enough interest in the job and promptly communicates their expectations, this process can’t drag out. Not only because of the recruiting costs, opportunity costs and lost productivity associated with an open, unfilled position, but also because candidates have leverage in today’s market.  You’re not their only option, so help make your offer their best option by beating your competition to the punch.

10. Complete onboarding paperwork.

We’ve all started jobs in which HR emails us paperwork, HR emails us additional paperwork, and your future boss emails you forgotten paperwork. Then there’s more administrative hurdles around 401(k), insurance and more. Don’t get us wrong; this is all necessary and worthwhile, but it should be as streamlined as possible. Internally, this process should be something you can execute without a hitch, so when your new employee starts, they can focus on integrating into your culture and you can initiate the training bit of your onboarding.

That’s our 10-step timeline. Again, every company has a different set of factors and types of workers, but the aforementioned tips can work for your organization. How well can they work? Let’s do some math to give you an idea.


Current Duration:39 days, Potential Duration:21 days, Time Saved:18 days

Time Saved Percentage = 46%

Since time is money, there’s also quite a bit of potential cost savings hidden in that 46%. We hope that that fact, along with the probability that you’ll more often land preferred talent, motivates you to revisit your hiring process and consider how it can be expedited, either with a more holistic focus or a one-step-at-a-time approach. Because as technology changes and candidates gain more leverage, the hiring process inches closer and closer to the front and center—if it’s not already there.