All posts tagged: time to fill

Want to hire faster in this new decade? Take these 3 steps

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Much is being written about hiring more quickly and the benefits of a faster process. Unfortunately, people often resist change (even positive change), especially when you try to modify a longstanding way of doing something. This is certainly true in recruiting and hiring. Speeding up the process can be met with intense resistance. Case in point…

At a meeting of a company’s leadership team, Paul thought the idea of fast hiring was “repulsive.” As we discussed how to plan the process, Paul started making passive-aggressive comments. After he said, “What’s next? We’re going to replace our employees with robots, like in that Will Smith movie?” I knew our discussion wasn’t addressing all of his concerns. I asked Paul to explain.

“People aren’t products,” he said angrily. “I can’t believe we’re even discussing such a dehumanizing approach. Picking the right people takes time. Interviews, even if they last all day, are a good investment of our time. We must make sure we’re picking the best people. Besides, good candidates won’t want to be rushed through the process. I’m finding this whole conversation repulsive. I’m sure my team will feel the same way.”           

Instead of trying to convince Paul to change his mind, I decided to let him change it himself.

“Paul, thanks for your honesty. I bet you’re not the only one with concerns about a faster approach.” Two other leaders nodded their heads in agreement. “What would you need to determine if this could work for the company?”

Paul thoughtfully paused before responding, “I’d need to see proof. Absolute proof that this will work for us.”

That led to a conversation about rolling out a faster hiring process on a limited basis to start. Two leaders, who didn’t share Paul’s concerns, agreed to test the process. Choosing a job common to both of their departments, we designed a plan and timeline that could be implemented without interrupting day-to-day business. Two other leaders, including Paul, were designated as auditors, outside observers who would monitor and document the pros and cons as the process was rolled out.

I met again with the leadership team after the beginning of the rollout. The two managers testing the process gave updates, sharing mostly positive news. They had made a few missteps along the way; however, both were upbeat. Both had filled two open jobs and lined up several additional candidates in their pipelines as potential future hires.

During their updates, I watched Paul out of the corner of my eye. He spent the entire time looking down at his notes. He appeared angry, even angrier than when he shared his concerns in our first meeting. I learned why when it was Paul’s turn to share pros and cons as an auditor of the test.

“I hate being wrong,” he said. “But, there it is. I was flat out wrong. There was nothing dehumanizing about a faster approach. If anything, it enabled interviewers to focus on people, not process. This shorter, simpler process allowed them to get to know each other better. Our new hires told me they loved our efficient process, and that it was a factor in choosing to work here.”

When recruiting and hiring, speed and accuracy are not mutually exclusive. Nor are speed and intimacy. A well-designed, well-executed recruiting and hiring process allows people to be fully present and have conversations that matter. These interactions build trust as candidates learn they are dealing with confident professionals, and hiring managers discover which candidates are ready to make a job change. This trust becomes the foundation for the employment relationship, one built on a professionally intimate and efficient hiring experience.

To help navigate through resistance as you work to speed up hiring in your organization, take these 3 steps:

Support people in changing their own mind

Trying to convince someone to see things differently is hard, sometimes impossible. Instead, let him or her do the heavy lifting. Ask a question like I did of Paul: What would you need to determine if faster hiring could work for your team? Integrate the responses into additional questions until you understand the root of the resistance and what will make it go away.

Step 2
Suggest a limited approach

Resistance isn’t always about the change itself. There are times when people want to change but are fearful of the overwhelm it may cause. A limited scope can help. Start with one role; run a short-term test; bring in outside help to lighten the load. By working together, you can drive forward a faster hiring process without driving people crazy with overwhelm and fear.

Step 3
Take the easy way out

Often the path of least resistance is in picking the right person. Seek out an early adopter in your organization, someone who’s known for being first in line to implement new ideas. Work together to plan and execute the rollout. Make adjustments as you learn what works and what does not. Once the speedier process is in place and producing positive results, ask your early adopter to share their experience with others. Nothing enrolls doubters faster than proof positive.

This new decade should include addressing the most vital part of your organization—its people. Having the right people, doing the right things, right when you need them is integral to your organization’s success. That’s why hiring quality people faster than ever is so important. Just don’t go it alone and avoid doing all the heavy lifting by taking the 3 suggested steps. Effective hiring is a team sport. Speeding up hiring requires a team effort.

Scott WintripWant to hire faster in this new decade? Take these 3 steps
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If You Want to Hire Top Talent Effectively Take These 2 Steps

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Lots of companies are good at attracting quality candidates. Some of these organizations have stellar reputations, making it even easier to draw in top talent. Yet, these very same companies struggle at getting people hired. In this episode, I tell you about one such company. A company many of us know and love. You’ll hear how a key leader fixed this common problem in 2 simple steps.

Scott WintripIf You Want to Hire Top Talent Effectively Take These 2 Steps
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How to Keep Job Reqs from Getting Stuck in the Slow Lane

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upset driverSlow drivers are frustrating. Especially when they hang out in the left-hand passing lane. They backup traffic and create unnecessary delays.

This same issue is happening in organizations. Hiring managers are taking their foot off the gas of the selection process. Staffing professionals and corporate recruiters end up getting stuck behind them, unable to move things forward efficiently.

How does this play out? It often goes like this. You find a candidate who’s a good fit. Upon presenting her to the hiring manager, there’s enthusiasm about her potential. So you initiate the interview process. Things start moving forward but suddenly, there’s a scheduling traffic jam. The hiring manager gets busy and ostpones an interview. Then there’s another delay when a key decision-maker goes away on vacation. Days turn into weeks, then a month, then two. Before long, your candidate becomes another recruiting mishap when she takes a job with a faster moving competitor.

Hiring doesn’t have to get trapped in the slow lane. Exploring upfront issues of time and access to people can help you avoid slowdowns and stalls. The conversation goes like this.

“To make sure I can do my best work for you, it helps if I know about constraints around time and people. What time constraints are there in the coming days and next few weeks? What about people? Who else will be involved in interviews and hiring decisions? What constraints are there for accessing these individuals?”

Digging into these details helps keep the process flowing. Especially if you pre-book interview slots in advance to work around the constraints you’ve uncovered.

The best way to solve a problem to is to keep it from happening. Having a conversation about time and access to people up front will help keep you from getting stuck in the hiring slow lane.

Scott WintripHow to Keep Job Reqs from Getting Stuck in the Slow Lane
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Fast and Accurate Hiring Should Be a Basic Human Right

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Fast and Accurate Hiring Should Be a Basic Human Right

The rights of people around the world have been a hot topic for centuries. Most people in the modern world agree certain rights should be inalienable, such as freedom of speech, religion, liberty, security, and personal privacy. The concept of individual rights has also found its way into commerce, including a patient’s bill of rights in healthcare and list of passenger rights for air and rail travel.

The naming of rights in commerce creates a framework of expectations for consumers, which means companies have to create sets of required practices to fulfill these expectations. As long as these rights are thought through carefully and the practices executed consistently, basic rights create a positive outcome for the consumers covered by those rights.

Everybody wins.

That’s why I believe it’s high time fast and accurate hiring becomes a basic right. Not a consumer expectation, but a right shared by people on both sides of the hiring dance. An honest-to-goodness human right. By no means am I suggesting that hiring is as important as the aforementioned inalienable rights. What I’m saying is that by reducing time-to-fill, or even better, cutting it to zero, everyone involved in filling jobs benefits.

Because the hiring dance has gotten a little bit out of hand.

Think about it. When a job opens, the clock begins to tick. With every passing minute, that open seat is an expensive distraction. The department manager has to manage or delegate the extra workload. HR has to add one more task to its already overflowing plate. The talent acquisition team has to scramble to fill one more open job. Overtime pay builds up. Expenses increase across the board. Interviews consume too much time — round one, round two, round three. Then come the references, the background checks, and the offer. Then offer is rejected (the gall!) and the second choice candidate has already moved on. So, you start again. More expense, more overtime, more interviews.

Now think about the candidate’s experience. Like a three ring circus and obstacle course combined, the path to a new job is often fraught with frustration and peril. You submit your resume and wait. You apply online and wait some more. If you’re lucky, it only takes weeks to get “the call”. After the call you get your hopes up, but then you hear nothing for days or even weeks. If you’re lucky, you land a face-to-face interview, during which you learn the process requires two more rounds. If you make it that far, you find yourself jumping through hoop after hoop, answering question after question, often the same ones again and again. After round three, you’re hopeful, even gushing with optimism, only to have your hope dashed on the rocks: you find out you’re only one of several finalists being called back for an unplanned round four.

Sure, not every hiring or interview experience goes this way. However, I suspect you’ll agree that even when hiring goes relatively well, it still takes way too long and involves far too much effort. It should be no surprise that top talent and hiring managers are pushing back. Talented people know they have choices, and more and more are choosing to work in companies that engage in sane and efficient hiring practices.

That’s why I’m proposing—at least in the employment world—that fast and accurate hiring be considered a basic human right. It’s time to stop the madness.

Fast and accurate hiring as a basic human right isn’t about settling or compromising. It’s about creating a better outcome for everyone. Just like free speech protects the unique perspectives of individuals and freedom of religion allows people to develop personal connections to something bigger than themselves in the way they choose, the freedom of a fast and accurate hiring process makes sense for everyone. Managers can focus on leading and nurturing their teams. HR has a few less things on its plate. Talent acquisition can build better pipelines of top talent. Candidates can get jobs now, not months from now.

Bill of Rights

To adopt a fast and accurate approach to making quality hires, I suggest taking the following steps:

  1. Declare It
    Take a stand. Be the leader who declares that your company will implement faster, more efficient process and make it a basic right for everyone in the organization.
  1. Be Determined
    Stay the course. Be intrepid. Navigate through any obstacles. Expect the biggest ones to be colleagues who say it can’t be done (for ideas on how to implement a faster process, watch the video entitled From Long Time-to-Fill to Zero-to-Fill in Just 30 Days in my Scott’s Blog ).
  1. Demonstrate Improvements
    Share your success when seats are filled quickly. Use these examples to enroll others in the initiative.

Protecting rights, especially those that safeguard the health, safety, and freedom of people, will always be one of the most important things to fight for in life. When you take a stand and demand the basic human right of fast and accurate hiring, you’re also taking a stand for the sanity and well-being of everyone involved. These rights, once secured, serve as a foundation for more rights. Fast and accurate hiring means everyone gets a good job and there’s always enough candidates to fill an open spot.

Now those are rights worth fighting for.

Scott WintripFast and Accurate Hiring Should Be a Basic Human Right
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“F” It – The Common Belief That Slows Down Fast Hiring

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageOne perversion mindset is a top contributor to time-to-fill reaching a new, all-time high of more than 27 days:

Fear It

These fears include:

  • The department head who fears it’s too risky to hire someone who is anything less than a perfect fit.
  • The talent acquisition leader who fears that increasing hiring speed will negatively impact accuracy.
  • The staffing firm manager who fears it won’t be worth it to offer risk-free offerings that reduce time-to-fill to zero.

Some people may say this isn’t fear. Instead, they call it being prudent, exercising caution, or avoiding making the same mistakes. Which are simply ways of acknowledging fear without calling it by name.

The only problems I’ve ever successfully overcome are those that I fully acknowledged and understood. The problem always defines the solution. That’s why understanding the fear of fast hiring is so important.

If we don’t, the Fear It mindset leads to the other “F” it:

“F” it. I’m not taking the risk of doing something different. What’s a few more days of waiting anyways?

A few more days is rarely just a few days long. Good candidates end up taking other jobs. Work piles up. Stress increases. Profits decline. All because of a four-letter word.

A process that makes it safe and easy to engage in fast hiring is a requirement for countering this culture of fear.

So, what will you change in your process to get rid of the “F” its?


To join the ongoing discussion on eliminating time-to-fill, go to the Zero-to-Fill LinkedIn group:

Scott Wintrip“F” It – The Common Belief That Slows Down Fast Hiring
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Time-to-Fill Should Be Zero

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageCan your company instantly fill any open seat? When you achieve a zero time-to-fill, which I call ZERO-TO-FILL, you can.

A new LinkedIn Group, called ZERO-TO-FILL, is now adding members who will support one another towards this goal.

Members of ZERO-TO-FILL are committed to hiring that is faster and more accurate. Our shared vision? All jobs and assignments get filled with quality talent the day they open.


  • Staffing and recruitment professionals
  • Talent acquisition and human resource leaders
  • Executives from vendors who provide hiring-related technologies and solutions

Currently, the group is accepting requests to join. Discussions will begin on July 15, 2015.

ZERO-TO-FILL will always be a supportive place to learn, share ideas, and improve the status quo.

Time-to-fill should be zero. This group brings together the parties who can make that happen.

To submit your request to join, go to:

Zero to Fill medium logo

Scott WintripTime-to-Fill Should Be Zero
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