Speed is the new normal. We work in a world that churns data at the rate of 4.4 zettabytes a year (predicted to be 44 zettabytes a year by 2020). We communicate with each other in minutes; waiting more than 12 hours is now a faux-pas in answering business emails. Nearly a third of us respond to emails at work within 15 minutes. Texts, in seconds. Talent is no different: a singer performs the first few bars of a pop song (average length in 2008: 2.36 – 45 minutes), and a judge on The Voice slams down on that red button: I want you. That’s how we need to respond to top talent in HR: fast and decisively.
In terms of hiring, speed is key to landing the best. We may not be able to make a decision in a chair turn, but we can certainly out red-button the competition. It starts with recruiting: teams need to function fast, stay hungry, keep it urgent. But it’s up to recruiting leaders to make sure they have the tools they need to do so.
Here are four key reasons to spur your hiring process on:
Don’t waste money. Time is money, said Benjamin Franklin, 18th-century arbiter of rightness and innovation. A recent survey of 88 leaders at $50 million + companies found that nearly half of CEOs (48%) feel their companies have lost money due to inefficient recruiting. Productivity in recruiting is a science in itself, but like any field, low productivity uses the same resources for less results. The challenge for an organization’s internal HR programs is often getting the C-suite, financial folks, and other departments to get on board. Everyone understands ROI.
Don’t hurl talent down a black hole. Studies on candidate engagement show employer engagement starts far before hire and communication is key. “Black hole syndrome” happens when a candidate somewhere in your hiring process (including first encounter) doesn’t receive any acknowledgement. It’s a terrible first impression. Even simple triggers that register a resume was received are key. This is not the day or age, or for that matter, these are not the generations to go radio silent on.
People expect it. For most of the fresh talent you’re going for, time has been profoundly downsized, and that includes response times. Millennials to Gen Z to Gen X to Boomers, all of these are generations view radio silence as a big No. Your radio silence, just a figment of some administrative delay, may translate in into ghosting — basically, a deep and hurtful form of rejection. And we all exist in a mobile, social, hyperconnected, you know what I’m talking about even before I finish this sentence era of communicating, where there simply is no reason not to be there. A study of recruiters setting up for 2015 found that 73% of recruiters planned to deepen their investment in social recruiting. 94% of recruiters were regularly using LinkedIn to find talent, with 79% landing a hire on the site. The etiquette on social is different: it’s faster, and you can’t forget that.
It’s already built, so — come get it. Not just the technology but the methods we adopt are already working. That includes some major shifts in how we present information itself, from far more searchable job descriptions to increase SEO to masking “irrelevant” information in an effort to screen for inclusion, not bias. This is happening in STEM hiring in particular, and it’s a fascinating way to answer the need for better diversity. (What that says about the nature of impressions is another thing.) Another change that’s already happened is our ability to harness analytics and predictive metrics to show what works and who will work — and where we’ll need more talent.
The argument for looking forward and not dwelling on hindsight has never been as clear. But hurry up. As we realize we are all fishing the same pools, but not all of us have the fanciest packages to offer, demonstrating small but mighty efficiency may draw in that hungry candidate. And even on the most basic emotional level, it’s the yes that takes the first impression, and drives that initial engagement we all want our employees to have. Consider the audience cheering when that button gets pressed: it’s the yes that drives the cheers, and makes up keep watching, and keep trying.
This article was written by Meghan M. Biro from Forbes. This reprint is supplied by BNY Mellon under license from NewsCred, Inc.
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Meghan M. Biro, Contributor