Have you ever found an extremely impressive candidate for an open creative, marketing, digital or proposal development role, gone through rounds of interviews, and while getting ready to finally extend an offer you find out the person just accepted another job? It’s disappointing to say the least. From delayed stakeholder approvals to competing job offers to salary negotiation missteps, there are numerous factors that impact the likelihood of your dream candidate making it to the final steps of the hiring process. 

In short, it’s a candidate-driven market. And the hiring process simply takes too long at many organizations. If your company or in-house agency has a reputation for having a tediously drawn-out hiring process, you’re at a distinct disadvantage today. Organizations that have a finely tuned, highly efficient process are more appealing to applicants and have a natural leg up on less-agile competitors.

The bottom line is that professionals with in-demand skills have no shortage of opportunities at the moment. Here are five strategies that will help contribute to a faster hiring process:  

1. Pinpoint your needs and reflect them accurately in the job description

It can be challenging to determine if you have the right mix of talent and skills in-house to make a well-rounded creative team. Partnering with a staffing agency such as Cella can be instrumental in identifying your needs with greater precision—from determining headcount to pinpointing the most critical niche skills that you will need for upcoming opportunities.

Once you’ve identified exactly what your needs are, make sure you have all the necessary approvals to initiate the hiring process. You don't want to use up precious time or resources only to find out you actually can’t hire the rock star candidate you've found until late next quarter.

To attract top candidates, compose an accurate and compelling job description. Formulating a concise and clear summary isn’t necessarily easy, but connecting with a staffing partner will help ensure your description is vibrant and spotlights key details about the experience, soft skills and technical abilities you seek.

Have immediate hiring needs?

2. Consider temp-to-hire arrangements

A staffing firm can share insights on crafting an eye-catching job description, but they can also provide recommendations on how to best structure the opportunity. For example, is this particular opening truly best suited for a full-time hire or would a temp-to-hire arrangement offer more advantages?

For organizations experiencing ongoing issues with turnover, engaging in a temp-to-hire search can be beneficial because you can opt for an evaluation period at a length of your choosing before ultimately deciding if you want to hire the candidate. Gaining approvals for temp-to-hire arrangements is often a more streamlined process, and this approach provides additional assurance that the candidate will fit well with your team and is ultimately the right person to bring aboard.

3. Expedite the interview process

The era of endless interviews is over. Or at least that practice needs to be paused to remain competitive. If an interview process is too lengthy or arduous, in-demand candidates will remove themselves from the running and move on to other prospective employers. Try to keep the interview process to two rounds. And make absolutely certain when scheduling interviews that all key decision makers are available, and that they understand the targeted hiring timeline.

4. Don’t delay in sharing honest feedback about candidates

Feel like you’re not meeting the right interviewees for the role? It’s important to provide timely and honest feedback to your HR team or staffing agency. For example, let your recruiter know what a candidate is lacking—or what you'd like to see more of in a candidate profile. The sooner the recruiter receives your input, the more efficiently he or she can tailor the search and present the most qualified talent.

5. Extend an offer the job candidate can't resist

Receiving a lower salary offer than anticipated can obviously result in the candidate losing interest. If that happens, you not only lose your top prospect but you may need to start from scratch to fill the position. And that drain on time and resources can be quite costly.

Think of the big picture and pay competitively. After all, having the right people on your team ultimately leads to cost reductions, lower turnover and improved efficiency. (Check out Cella’s 2022 Creative, Marketing and Digital Salary Guide to make sure that your salary offers are in line with market rates and current industry standards.)

A final word on speeding up the hiring process

Establishing a streamlined yet thoughtful hiring process is a delicate balancing act. Utilizing the expertise of a staffing agency such as Cella can ensure you not only start with a pool of well-qualified creative professionals to draw from—but that the process itself will be speedy, nimble, and achieve what both you and your ideal candidate want: An accepted offer. 

Related post: 5 Things To Look For When Hiring A Creative Staffing Agency