Are Your Jobs Taking Too Long To Fill?

By: Richard Butz

The Problem – Placing Blame: There is very little statistical data published about how efficiently companies manage their recruiting process flow. One of the first signs of a problem is that managers are complaining that it is taking too long to find candidates for their positions; the quality and quantity of candidates are not meeting their expectations; that these open jobs are costing the organization tremendous amounts of money. Another sign of a problem is that Human Resources complain that managers do not make themselves available to interview once a pool of candidates are available, nor they do not give timely feedback once they interview a candidate, thus leaving HR and the candidate in limbo. Placing blame indicates that both parties may not see themselves as a team, collectively accountable for achieving recruiting goals and/or their selection process may be broken.

Companies With No Recruiting Process Metrics: One VP of Human Resources reported, “I can tell you how long, how efficiently, and how much it costs us to process an invoice, but I can’t give you that same information on hiring people into our company. There is something wrong with our business priorities when we put more emphasis on the quality, timeliness, and cost of processing paper more efficiently than we put on our recruiting process.”


  • Creating a selection team for the search
  • Itemize each step of the search process from start to finish
  • Assign responsibility and completion dates for each step of the process

Note: One process flow does not normally fit for all jobs, so you will want to establish process flows for each position, exempt and non-exempt.

Sample Search Process Flow Of Events: Depending on the position, the following is a sample of the steps that occur in a traditional process flow:

  • Job description completed and approved
  • Establish selection team
  • Sourcing – Determine multiple sources of talent to be used
  • Screening Interviews
  • Background information to be presented to selection team
  • Short list of best talent – 5-7
  • First Face To Face Interviews
  • Decision on candidates – reduced to 3-4
  • Second Face To Face Interviews
  • References, tests and/or assessments
  • Create offer letter
  • Final meeting with candidate regarding offer
  • Start date [allow 2-4 weeks notice]
  • Total length of search –
  • Celebrate success – continuous improvement meeting

Note: Each bullet point above must include who is responsible for that step and the completion date for that step.

Partner With A Search Consultant To Create Search Process Flows: If you feel your in house recruiters do not have the ability or time to create a search process flow for each position, partner with a search consultant who has designed numerous calendars of events. This is a variation of the Six Sigma process [used in virtually every manufacturing organization]. This process ensures every aspect of the recruiting process is managed skillfully.

Celebrate Success: Note that on the example above, the final step is to take a moment to “celebrate success” with everyone on the team who worked hard to make this new hire possible.

Continuous Improvement: Following through with the manufacturing analogy, every year the organization is striving to improve their performance….faster, higher quality and less cost. If it applies to manufacturing it can apply to talent acquisition. Creating a process is in effect a score card that will reduce the time to fill each job. In addition these efficiency metrics are great agendas for continual improvement meetings will all members of the selection team.

Richard Butz, Founder of The Center For Leadership Excellence has written and lectured extensively on selection issues. To Learn more about our Talent Acquisition Practice, click here.

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