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Ease Hiring Requirements to Increase Speed to Hire

In a warehouse several workers wearing bright yellow safety vests gather around their manager to review a document.

The ongoing labor shortage is intensifying the competition for talent. To ensure they meet productivity goals and deadlines, many companies are beginning to reevaluate their hiring practices to get workers to their jobsites more efficiently.

One solution that is catching on is the easing of hiring requirements. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that employers are easing their requirements for education and experience along with reviewing their approach to background checks.

Aerotek Director of Strategic Sales, Quinn Heimann has over a decade of recruiting experience. We spoke with her to learn which hiring requirements her clients are adjusting and why “speed-to-hire” is becoming a primary concern for potential candidates.

A candidate’s market puts emphasis on speed-to-hire

Employers were beginning to ease hiring requirements prior to the labor shortage, but the trend is gaining traction as the shortage lingers.

Workers currently have plenty of options and companies with antiquated hiring processes are finding themselves at a disadvantage as roles go unfilled — jeopardizing their ability to meet goals and deadlines.

“It's a candidate’s market right now. The candidates that do want to work and are looking for new opportunities, to make a move quickly and aren’t willing to wait long periods of time,” says Heimann.

Speed-to-hire has always been important, but it’s now a critical deciding factor for eager talent seeking quality work and to begin earning quickly.

Heimann points out that there are elements beyond a company’s control that impact their speed-to-hire. Many of the professionals who normally administer drug tests and physicals are now supporting the fight against COVID-19 by assisting with testing and vaccinations. This realignment in the workforce has slowed the testing and background check process, especially in smaller regions.

Identify which hiring procedures can be eliminated

Some testing and background checks are mandatory, but there are measures employers can take to expedite the hiring process.

The loosening of state and local regulations has created new opportunities for companies to expand their talent pool and meet their hiring goals. Many employers have updated their drug testing policy to eliminate THC testing in states where marijuana is legal.

Reducing the timeframe for background and credit checks is another way companies can create a wider selection of candidates. Heimann has seen several examples of companies shortening how far back their background and credit checks should go.

Businesses hesitant to alter their drug or background testing policies still have other opportunities to condense their hiring process.

“It’s not just about drug test and physicals. It’s also about recognizing you’re putting a candidate through too many interviews before making your decision,” says Heimann.

When attempting to speed up the onboarding process, outdated internal processes are sometimes easier to change than how a company conducts background checks. Heimann recommends condensing your screening and making it about the candidate and the position that needs to be filled.

“I've worked with clients where they have candidates for a maintenance role take a maintenance test. If the test hasn’t been reviewed internally for five to 10 years is it still relevant and necessary? Does it still give you the information you want?” asks Heimann.

How to ensure quality talent with eased requirements

Adjusting hiring requirements doesn’t mean businesses must compromise on candidate quality.

Heimann states that staffing agencies are excellent at ensuring employers are capturing reliable and skilled workers.

“Working with us is a great way to streamline the process of getting great talent because screening candidates is our full-time job,” says Heimann.

Staffing agencies also routinely work with the same contractors. Therefore, they may have recent background checks on file and waiver systems in place that allow talent to start work faster than a company could on its own.

A staffing agency can also help employers optimize their internal hiring processes for the current market conditions.

“We help companies condense the process and to make it about the candidate and the position that needs to be filled rather than relying on older processes that may hinder progress,” says Heimann.

The labor shortage and the trend of easing requirements are both expected to continue into 2022.

Take the next step in increasing your company’s speed-to-hire – contact Aerotek today for help.