Why You Can No Longer Take 3 Months to Make Hiring Decisions

Companies that continue to follow dated hiring timelines are finding themselves in a hamster wheel

Brandweek will feature live discussions with marketing pros at ULTA Beauty, Converse, UPS and more. Meet us in Miami Sept. 11–14 to boost your business and elevate your brand.

Top candidates are being snapped up at frenzied rates and businesses are realizing they must act faster to secure great talent. The best recruiting teams, once burned by slow decision-making, have squeezed hiring timelines to as short as 6-business days.

Everyone else is missing out.

Resignation numbers are staggering. According to a recent article, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last several months. A record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs remained open at the end of July.

At WorkReduce, we’re hearing from agencies that have hundreds of open headcounts they’re unable to fill. They’re turning to us as an alternative to help staff up faster, protect their team from further burnout and accelerate their business growth.

However, as the entire sector is fighting to source and hire the same specialist talent, it’s only those with streamlined hiring processes who are getting candidates. We’re in a candidate-driven market, and only the agile and accommodating companies will win.

Why do hiring processes need to change?

Days are numbered for teams that don’t move quickly. Today, many candidates are seeking new employment because they choose to do so and they’re finding a lot of options available. Qualified candidates receive multiple offers and are more likely to make decisions to join companies that can make fast, educated decisions.

Recently, we’ve marketed experienced, fully-screened talent to multiple client accounts. Despite understanding the competitiveness of the current market, some hiring teams are insistent that their entire team needs interviews. In cases like this, the candidate accepts a role on another account by the time those interviews are scheduled.

Worker burnout is at an all-time high

When teams operate with open headcount, the workload demands are placed on the remaining members. And although work may still get covered by an existing team, it’s not a sustainable model. Businesses are running a higher risk of churn if their already exhausted team is covering gaps the hiring team can’t fill.

Indeed’s Employee Burnout Report indicated the following:

  • 67% of workers believe burnout has worsened during the pandemic, which was up 43% over the previous year’s results.
  • 53% of millennials were already burned out pre-Covid—they remain the most-affected population, with 59% experiencing it today.
  • Gen Z is now neck and neck: 58% report burnout, up from 47% who said the same in 2020.

The pandemic’s toll is also more apparent among older generations: Baby boomers show a 7% increase in burnout from pre-pandemic levels (24%) to today (31%). And at 54%, more than half of Gen Xers are currently burned out—a 14% jump from the 40% who felt this way last year.

In a recent article, Visier HR strategist Ian Cook noted that resignation rates are highest amongst mid-career employees. Employees between 30 and 45 years old showed an average resignation rate of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021.

Our experience is that these burnt-out, mid-career employees are the most in-demand.

Businesses seek alternative staffing options to fill seats

Even when securing full-time employees is your end goal, your hiring team has many options to cover those empty seats immediately. Many thriving businesses are established to fulfill this specialized staffing need, offering flexible, part-time, or full-time engagement alternatives.

Staff augmentation and outsourcing don’t have to mean you’re contracting a faceless offshore team. Onshore outsourcing has increased in popularity.

Dedicated outsourced talent can sit virtually on your team, functioning like any other key member of staff. In most cases, their skills, experience, and background have been pre-screened and they’ll be suited to adapt quickly to new work environments, making them an attractive and efficient addition to any team.

Not only are these staffing models valuable and flexible for companies, but it’s also popular with top talent seeking career flexibility and to gain broader experience across their specialized sector. Some firms even offer the security of being an employee with full employee benefits, which helps reduce the churn that would typically occur in a freelancing/contracting environment.

What can you do to make faster hiring decisions?

Consider staffing alternatives to fill gaps. Whether you’re adding fingers on keyboards in a short-term, part-time, project-based, permanent outsourced, or service desk type scenario–it’s always more cost-efficient for your business to fill roles quickly than to have them empty.

Be open to updating the hiring process. Concede that times are tough, and your entire hiring process needs to be altered if you want to remain competitive with top candidates. If the market returns to normal, so can your hiring process. But until then, identify where your sourcing, screening, and decision-making process can be significantly condensed.

Get faster at hiring ‘non-lifers.’ Shorter-term or outsourced support aren’t ‘Lifers,’ so your hiring process should reflect this. Most alternative staffing services provide pre-screened talent and replacement guarantees. Find one you trust. You just need to provide fast offers and onboarding.

Ensure your hiring team is going to prioritize the scheduling. Still need 6+ interviews? Ideally, you’d form a hiring team where only a few are tasked with face-to-face interviews. As many interviews are now held over Zoom, other hiring team members can stay involved by reviewing interview videos.

Hire for skills over experience. If you have an otherwise perfect candidate who doesn’t have the right experience, consider hiring them and providing training in the area where they didn’t meet your ideal. Now is not the time to let go of a great prospect.

With employee churn at an all-time high, and many in the recruitment market already streamlining their hiring process to snap up top talent, can you afford to protect and defend your hiring timeline? Hiring teams currently hold the key to whether a company will survive, thrive or die. What will you choose?