The time it takes to finalise a recruitment process can vary dramatically across businesses. A well planned and effective process can take as little as a week from start to finish but quite often processes are stretched out over three to six weeks. In such a candidate-led market, drawn-out processes can hurt your chances of securing the best talent.

The interview stage of a recruitment process can delay the time it takes to hire the right candidate. However, steps can be taken to improve the speed of your interviews and ensure you don’t miss out.

What does an effective interview process look like?

Ideally, processes should consist of an initial phone call or skype meeting to screen shortlisted candidates, followed by a first stage face-to-face interview and then a second stage interview, if required. If there is a need to conduct testing for the role, this should occur between the first and second stage and needs to be tied together quickly. Where face-to-face interviews are not a viable option, panel skype calls are also a great option to keep processes moving and to ensure all stakeholders can meet the candidate.

Aligning key stakeholders’ availability is one of the biggest challenges for businesses, therefore arranging the second stage interview with standout candidates during the first stage is advisable. Not only does this alleviate the back and forth later, but it also reassures top candidates of your interest in them and they are likely to be more bought into the process, reducing the likeliness of dropouts.

The businesses that run the fastest and most efficient processes are organised when it comes to lining up key decision-makers in the process. These leaders recognise that the best candidates are snapped up quickly, so set time aside to prioritise meeting with the best candidates for the roles. 

In addition to this, the key to a smooth recruitment process is providing candidates with an overview of what candidate to expect from the outset. An unexpected test, an extended waiting period between first and second interviews, or even a presentation that they didn’t know they would need to prepare for, can all lead to dropouts in a process. If they have been briefed, candidates will feel more comfortable with any additional assessments.

How can technology facilitate smoother processes?

Video conferences

A live call, Facetime, Hangouts, Skype - not only do these platforms eliminate time constraints, but they also cost a lot less and mean that the interview process can get moving quickly. When there is more flexibly around meeting times, you will get quicker responses.

Following an initial screening, it is also possible to add a second person to a conference call. This might be the hiring manager or line manager joining the interview to ask some further questions and ensure availability for a face-to-face meeting.

Pre-recorded video interviews

Video technology can also be used to pre-record and assess candidates during screening. This also allows multiple stakeholders to review the interviews later and at a time they are available. 

Online psychometrics

Rather than having a candidate come into a physical location for further testing, online psychometric tests are another quick, easy, and flexible alternative to screen the suitability of candidates.


Chatbots can be used to screen candidates at very early stages of a process. AI algorithms can also be used to analyse the suitability of CVs and filter out those that are not relevant so that hiring managers can spend more time assessing the most suitable applications.

Social media

The likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram are all useful tools that can assist in candidate attraction. Professional profiles such as LinkedIn can also provide further insight into a candidate’s experiences and professional qualifications.

Implementing technology into your hiring processes

The logistics sector operates with state-of-the-art systems, highly efficient processes and talented people to move products around the world in the shortest time period. The best people are secured quickly. Adapting your recruitment process by utilising a combination of telephone interviews and skype calls, or other video technology to screen candidates, can significantly speed up the process to secure this talent. The faster a process moves, the higher the chance that the best candidates will be retained throughout.

For example, we recently had a process whereby a client was keen to secure a logistics leader who was heading off for a three-week holiday to Florida. To expedite the final stages of a recruitment process, they conducted a telephone interview from an airport lounge, followed by a video interview with the Exec HRD and CEO while the candidate was on the free Wi-Fi at a hotel conference facility.

At Michael Page, we regularly discuss the need for our clients to be a little bit more flexible. Being open to conducting interviews from remote locations and out of typical business hours reduces the restrictions that often slow people down from joining a business.

If you would like to discuss how we can help support you in speeding up your hiring processes to secure the best talent, get in touch with your local Michael Page office today. 

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