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5 Keys to Streamlining Your Hiring Process

February 7, 2017


Now that you have made the decision to streamline your hiring process, what happens next? First of all, it’s great that you’ve made this decision! An efficient hiring system not only increases a positive candidate experience and reduces time to hire, but can translate into financial savings for the company.

A more streamlined hiring process will allow you to fill open positions with quality candidates much quicker than a non-streamlined process. However, before you can jump into this process, there are a few guidelines you should be aware of to help make this project run as smoothly as possible.

1) Plan

For a full hiring process revamp, the planning stage is absolutely crucial. This means understanding the position(s) inside and out. This includes being aware of what competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities) are needed for successful job performance. This information, often obtained through a job analysis, helps inform the decisions of how, when, and where in the process those competencies should be measured.

Distinguishing which competencies are necessary on day one of the job, which competencies can be trained or taught, and which competencies are more crucial than others, are important steps in the planning process. Without this information, it will be difficult to create a streamlined process.

2) Automate

Creating automation means the candidate is able to progress through the hiring steps without the intervention of the HR team. Some examples of automation may include the candidate moving directly to the application after clicking on a job posting, moving directly to any assessments after the application, or any other scenario in which the candidate is able to progress themselves without the manual intervention of the HR team.

This not only empowers the candidate to take charge of his or her application, but also reduces the amount of time that a member of the HR team needs to make a change in the process.

3) Use Knockouts

In the context of a hiring process, a knockout step is one which acts as a pass/fail barrier. This means that you will only be moving forward with the candidates who meet a predetermined minimum standard for the activity, and disqualifying from further consideration any candidates who do not. We always recommend to consult your legal team during this process to ensure legal defensibility.

Asking candidates questions about basic qualifications and requirements of the job are often configured as knockout questions. The candidates who answer these questions correctly will then move forward to other hiring steps. Having multiple knockouts in your process, such as application requirements and assessment scores, means less time worrying about whether or not to progress an individual candidate. This, in turn, frees up more of the HR staff’s time, and helps increase the level of automation in the process. Ensuring that these knockout activities are used in a fair and defensible manner leads to the next tip.

4) Remain Objective

Every step of your hiring process should have as much objectivity as possible. In this case, objectivity refers to a common standard or threshold by which all applicants for a given position are compared against. Every candidate should go through a similar process because the only way to fairly compare two or more candidates to each other is to look at their performance on similar hiring activities.

Introducing too much subjectivity into your hiring process decreases your ability to fairly compare candidates and forces you to spend more time thinking about the comparison, which can lead to inefficiencies and poor hiring decisions.

5) Be Consistent

Building off of the previous tip, being consistent in your hiring practices is key to a streamlined process. Making sure that every candidate has a similar experience applying for a given position not only increases the objectivity but also decreases any claims of discrimination or favoritism. Allowing some candidates to skip a step, or moving them along in the process even if they fail a knockout activity, might fill a position more quickly, but it could also lead to a myriad of legal troubles which could cost your organization time and money.

Doing your best to abide by these five keys will ensure that your new and improved hiring process is as efficient as possible and will be beneficial if used objectively and consistently. Through extensive planning, automation, and fair administration, your hiring process can shift from a pain point to a fair, consistent, and streamlined process.

The Ultimate Hiring Manager’s Guide

Rachel Reid Rachel Reid is a Consulting Associate at PSI. She works with clients in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare helping to implement assessments into the hiring process. Rachel’s areas of knowledge include interviewing, human resource development, and developing training materials.