How to be the hiring ninja of the new year

Tagit: HR, Ohjelmistokehitys, Pilvipalvelut / SaaS, Asiantuntijapalvelut, IT, Konsultointi, Valmisohjelmisto, companyculture, culturebasedhiring, hiring


At the time of writing this, it’s nearly December now. Were you planning to have new employees during Q1 next year? If you were, take our tips on optimizing your process.

The average interview process takes now 23 days in the US, and 4 to 9 days longer for jobs in France, Germany and UK according to a new report by Glassdoor. Just four years ago it took just 13 days. While the hiring processes have turned into more qualitative processes, with candidate skills and competencies, motivations and work personalities being tested and evaluated, and several rounds of interviews taking place, all this is adding up, and extending the total length of the process. The longer the process, the less likely the talent will commit to staying in your process. Don’t think for a second, the top talent isn’t getting other offers.

Our top tips for this season:

1. Start attracting and committing your ideal talent before the competition will

Always be a step ahead of the competition, attracting and committing the talents before the competition will do it. Follow your competition, and learn the pattern of their hiring schedule. Then hit it couple of weeks before they most likely will.

2. Avoid starting the hiring when your target audience is busy at work

Even the most demotivated employee will have enough motivation to rush their tasks to the goal just to be able to start the holiday season. Start marketing your vacancy when they have the time to respond to it. Like over the holidays. Or well in advance.

3. Turn your hiring process into an effective project
Schedule every step of it, book everyone who you need to participate in the process, and make sure you will not allow your participants to fail you on the schedule. It will cost you your top talent applicants and put a tint on your reputation.

4. Commit your ideal candidates into your process
Based on our experience, we know talent will commit to your process if you build a relationship with them during the process. If you show their time is valuable and you need them. How to let them know? Communication of a see-through process, and whatever you promise, you must keep. Do not let them down.

5. Start planning!

It’s nearly December. For you to reach the working talent potential right now is going to be tough. They have been sucked into their projects and tasks needing finishing before the Holidays. You will have to make a big noise with your messages in order to get their attention. And you should make this big noise during weekends, in the early mornings and in the evenings. Think about yourself. When would you be best reached at the moment?

If your application period ends just before Christmas, who’s going to screen the applications? To keep your applicant engaged with your process, you should be communicating and moving them forward in the process either to the next Yes or the final no. And this is a weekly activity. Use tailored messages to auto respond, and make sure the arrival of their application is somehow confirmed to them. It really helps in the engagement if you communicate the expected schedule of the process in dates or at least in weeks. Your candidates are able to plan, and they can also rest assured while waiting for you to proceed.

Want to hire talent during Q1?

Think ahead, and kick off your process early January

I’m sure there are differences country to country, but take Finland, our home country as an example. We have a traditional week of school winter vacation between mid February to mid March depending on where you live. This is a month, where all families with children at school will be having a winter vacation. And all those people who have no children or no children at school would be plain mad to take the winter vacation at the same time.

Due to the active nature of this holiday (winter sports or thai beaches and Caribbean Cruises for the sun), you cannot really reach people. Since your target audience may include both: folks with kids at school and folks with no kids (at school), you’re looking at an extended period up to 4-6 weeks when you are not able to reach the full potential of your market. The result: Lack of applicants in your process. Avoid falling into this trap.

What we’re trying to say is that planning ahead, following your competition, building good relations with your candidates and optimizing your hiring schedule are a good thing. Not many companies do this. Could be your winning strike!


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