Optimizing your interview process with Jeff Seebinger

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We live in an increasingly fast-paced world where every interaction—be it ordering lunch, planning a vacation or securing your spot in yoga class—has been fast-tracked thanks to technological advances. Uber, Amazon, Netflix and Google have made our society one that expects instant feedback—and our workplaces should be no different.

Making hiring decisions is one of the most important things a company does. It impacts project timelines, culture, brand, success and the bottom line. It may be hard to give up the notion that each candidate needs to be put through five rounds of interviews with ten different people to reach a consensus, but if you aren’t changing with the times, you will be left in the past.

Today, job seekers are overwhelmed with options because, well, they have a lot of them. For hiring managers, HR and Procurement, speeding up the interview process is proving invaluable for securing top talent and optimizing internal workflows. Read our 7 tips from Horizontal Talent Regional Vice President Jeff Seebinger to see if you can improve your interview habits.

Maximize internal processes

Internal procedures that are bogging down your hiring process need to be removed—now. Anything that creates unnecessary backlogs should be addressed, and if possible, taken out altogether. If you partner with an MSP or have a VMS technology in place to manage your contingent labor program, work with them to remove any barriers to hire. Look at your current SLAs and tweak them where needed to improve time-to-fill. Ask staffing suppliers how you can engage with their candidates faster. Cement the importance of a quick, efficient process adding interview process turnaround time as a department KPI. Consult with legal, finance and HR on what procedures need to stay to ensure you are protected, but if something doesn’t seem like it’s required, challenge it. It’s their job to help create efficiencies. Shaving even a day or two out of the process can be the difference between securing top talent and missing out.

Always have a back up and let go of control


Plan for the unexpected. People get sick and emergencies happen. Don’t let the unforeseen hold up the process. Map out the interviewers at the outset, as well as their backup/next in line, just in case any key people become unavailable. We know you’re used to doing it all but times, as they say, are a-changin’. Secure contingent labor partners that do vetting and skills assessments off your plate, so by the time their resume reaches your desk (be it virtual or physical), you only need to do a quick call to confirm they are the best person for the role.

Partner with experts


For far too long, hiring managers have done most of the heavy lifting bringing on contingent labor. They are vetted at a high level through staffing agencies whose recruiters have limited knowledge in the field. To shorten the hiring process, partner with companies that do that work on your behalf and engage subject matter experts to vet and assess that talent on your behalf.

Take candidate engagement seriously

If your company requires a lengthy interview process and doesn’t see itself changing with the times, it’s critical you engage candidates throughout the process to keep them interested in working for your company. Send consistent feedback, provide interview feedback and communicate specific dates if you require a second and third interview.

Understand your target market

Remote work is the future for many employees. If you understand your candidates, you can create a better environment for them. Things like work flexibility and company culture can be the decision between two companies. Remember, they’re interviewing you too.

Utilize emerging technology

Hiring managers can’t assess every skill set effectively. Emerging digital assessment technologies provide remote, flexible, interactive assessments that ask questions to ensure a candidate can perform a given job. They seamlessly vet technical skills, validate credentials and provide subject matter expert interviews so the onus isn’t on the hiring manager, which can significantly add to the interview process. As we look towards the future of work, automation of internal processes, the intake of data, the rise of blockchain and digital assessment tools will improve how we all work. Tasks that used to take days will take hours. Communication will improve. If companies don’t find a way to incorporate these advances into the interview process, it will continue to cost them their biggest competitive advantage—their talent. There are a myriad of options companies have at their disposal to decrease time-to-fill. If multiple people need to interview a candidate, stack the interviews remotely using Zoom or another platform to maximize their time and enable quick decision-making. To make sure the process is collaborative, use cloud-based content sharing systems to capture and share interview feedback with the hiring committee immediately.

Time to brag

Getting prospective candidates excited about your company may not seem like a way to speed up the interview process, but candidates have a lot of opportunities presented to them—especially if they have expertise in emerging technologies or specialized platforms. Candidates, most of them passive and not actively looking, may drag their feet at times. The more you can get them excited about your brand and culture before an interview, the better. Make sure your staffing partner is one that is invested in your organization and prioritizes engagement. It will pay off in the end. Companies that thrive do so by continuously innovating, and hiring is no exception. Quick turnaround in the hiring process is the “new normal.” If you can’t expedite bringing on contingent workers, you will forego talent that can come in and make an immediate impact.

We can help you optimize your interview and hiring process. Don't miss out on talent - get in contact with Horizontal Talent today.

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