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By Andre Lavoie

We all know that hiring takes a very long time. Unfortunately, time to hire continues to be on a steady rise. A June 2015 report from Glassdoor found that, from 2010 to 2014, the average time it takes to hire an employee in the U.S. increased from 12.6 days to 22.9 days.

When the hiring process takes too long, candidates get frustrated and discouraged, and employers suffer when productivity takes a dive from the position being unfilled.

It’s important to reduce the time to hire without compromising the process and making poor hiring decisions. Let’s take a look at how to do that:

Write Better Descriptions

The way you post jobs impacts who you attract. Simply put, if you use vague terminology, you are going to attract a lot of unqualified candidates. Terms like “team player” and “hard working” do not speak to any specific person and fail to hone in on discernible talents.

Next thing you know, your HR department is drowning in applications with no end in sight. Then, you’re wasting a lot of time and resources screening out people who are underqualified or don’t fit the company.

Be specific and know exactly who and what you want in the role you’re posting. You want to bridge the gap between your company needs and the needs of the job seeker. If a job seeker wants to work for a company that thrives on transparency and your company creates a transparent culture, you need to be clear about that in your posting.

By sharing enough information about the role and company culture, you’ll attract candidates who have the skills needed and whose values are aligned with your own.

The job description should outline brief, but specific, expectations for each duty listed. Ordering tasks and responsibilities by priority provides a clear understanding of the role and illustrates what is most valued by the company.

How this saves time: With accurate descriptions of qualifications and experience required, you will attract better fits and avoid wasting time sifting through a pile of underqualified candidates. Ultimately, it’s more important to attract less candidates who are all highly qualified than a ton of candidates who don’t fit the bill. Having to select the right person out of a small pool of A players is a great problem to have.

Automate Tracking

The application part of the recruitment process creates an opportunity for you to cut down on time to hire while improving the candidate experience. The benefit is two-fold — you attract more qualified candidates with an improved application experience and save time and energy by reducing the legwork associated with tracking and shuffling papers.

A September 2014 report from Jibe found that 23 percent of job seekers would never apply for a job at a company again if they experienced issues while filling out an online application.

Build a positive reputation among job seekers by creating a user-friendly application process. The candidate experience should be your top priority. When candidates apply for a job and your interface is efficient, flexible, and easy to use, they will realize how much effort your company puts toward their employees.

On the other side, your staff should be enjoying the benefits of a fully automated system. The online application needs to be linked to an intuitive applicant tracking system (ATS), where the whole team can communicate and share input on each candidate.

When the tracking and reporting is simple, you can make the best decision possible and narrow down who deserves to advance to the interview process.

How this saves time: The less time spent filing, sorting, and organizing papers and folders, the better. With simple online applications that are integrated with the ATS, you save a lot of legwork and labor. Plus it streamlines the candidate experience, which attracts better talent, and simplifies collaboration.

Conduct Video Interviews

Screening candidates and scheduling and conducting interviews can be costly, in terms of both time and money. This is especially a concern when you’re attracting a large number of qualified candidates.

This is where one-way video interviewing comes in. Conducting one-way interviews via video ensures each candidate receives the exact same experience. It eliminates unconscious biases during the in-person interview and affords each candidate an equally fair opportunity to shine.

So when you’re overwhelmed by a large influx of applicants, you can assign each qualified candidate to this exercise. Use their recorded answers to screen out those who are not going to be a strong fit.

Additionally, when you gather a series of recorded answers from each candidate, the entire hiring team can view them and take notes at their convenience. Engage as many hiring professionals as you’d like by sharing candidate submissions. When making hiring decisions, collaboration is key.

How this saves time: You are actively engaging a large group of candidates with a pre-recorded, personalized tool that will collect a variety of responses your hiring team can analyze. The effort put into building the interview platform is minimal when considering the amount of time it saves you if you had to meet each and every qualified applicant.

These small tweaks to your talent management process will trim down on time, save money, and even improve your quality of hire by enabling you to screen for the best of the best in an efficient way.

How are you reducing your time to hire?

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent management solution that helps companies identify, hire and retain more A Players. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.