It is worth defining “efficiency” before we go deeper with our topic. By hiring efficiency, we mean to hire the right person using a shorter period. It does not help to increase the speed of hiring only to find out later we didn’t find the right fit.
Borrowing from a sales concept, we can examine the three stages of hiring for opportunities to enhance efficiency. The three stages are: top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
Improve Top of the Funnel (TOFU) Efficiency
Identify the right platform to attract candidates: It is easy to purchase software that pushes your job description to fifteen hiring websites. However, without careful selection and control, you might end up receiving many applications with a low fit. It is time-consuming to sort through applications to identify the candidates for follow-up interviews. Therefore, it’s important to identify the right hiring platform. For example, StackOverflow.com might be a good place for hiring software engineers since you can see a history of the candidates’ Q&A on the platform, whereas LinkedIn.com can help you target your job descriptions to candidates based on very precise past experience.
Improve Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Efficiency
Screening and interviewing are the typical actions within this step. A useful way to increase screening efficiency is to have a clear set of assessment criteria and apply these criteria uniformly to all candidates. There are two important steps here: setting up a hiring profile and screening based on that hiring profile. The first step requires years of expertise and deep understanding of the job function to know what qualities to look for in a candidate. It can be a time-consuming process but it is important and worth the time commitment. As for the second step, performing the screening, software tools can be used to apply the rules systematically across candidates and greatly increase hiring efficiency. Examples of such software include Koru and IBM Kenexa.
Lastly, Improve Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) Efficiency
Many things can be done regarding this last step. If the candidate advance through all rounds of interviews, what stands between the candidate and a job offer is the reference checks. Reference checks were historically conducted by speaking with former managers of the candidate and make sure there are no last-step red flags. However, as a recent article by Harvard Business Review pointed out, reference checks should not only be conducted with the former bosses but also with former coworkers, because former coworkers usually have a better picture of the candidate’s personality and team-working capabilities.
Remember, efficiency is about speed but also about hiring the right person for the job. By taking all three stages of the funnel into consideration, you should have a clearer picture of where in these steps your organization’s hiring processes can be improved. After all, hiring is a dynamic process. Only those who constantly scan their existing processes to look for improvement can stay ahead of the game – especially in a labor market where demand for top talent greatly exceeds supply.