Find out how to execute the most effective candidate search in the least amount of time

If your hiring process has seemed to take a bit longer in recent years, you’re not alone. The average interview process has increased globally from 3.3 to 3.7 days since 2010, according to a recent report from Glassdoor Economic Research.

The career community site’s data analysis unit found that hiring times tend to vary, depending on location. The hiring process in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, for example, takes four to nine days longer than in the United States and Canada, where hiring averages about 22 days.

In some cases, the additional hiring time is the result of increasingly popular employee candidate search screening techniques — such as background checks and skills tests, which can tack approximately one to three days onto the hiring process. A group panel interview can add a full week.

Company size also plays a part. Hiring times for large companies are typically longer than for smaller ones, an outcome Glassdoor says is possibly due to hiring process bureaucracy.

You don’t want to rush to fill a position and hire the wrong employee — the financial effects can be devastating. More than half of employers in the 10 largest world economies said a bad hire had negatively impacted their business in a 2013 CareerBuilder study. In the U.S., a single bad hire cost 27 percent of companies upwards of $50,000; 29 percent of German companies lost 50,000 euros (approximately $65,000) or more per bad hire.

Padding your candidate search and interview process with lengthy delays, however, can mean you miss out on qualified candidates who have accepted a position at another organization.

If your HR department is struggling to fill open positions within a reasonable time frame, the following tweaks may help you shorten your hiring times:

Prepare now for future vacancies with a solid talent pipeline

Establishing a talent pipeline that’s based on your business strategy and future anticipated needs can help you tap available candidates quickly when you need them. Not sure your current efforts are as strong as they could be? These three tips can help you create a stronger talent pipelining program.

Write interview questions ahead of time

Chances are, you have a good grasp of what qualities and experience each position in your organization requires — and the qualifications won’t change significantly between now and the next time you embark on a candidate search for the position. Jobvite suggests writing specific questions long before you are trying to fill an open position, which can help you avoid slowing down the interview process (and overall hiring time). Well thought-out questions will also help ensure you’re obtaining the right information when you sit down with candidates.

Utilize video interviewing

Speaking with candidates via video offers a more interactive approach than a phone interview, and it can prevent travel scheduling delays (and expenses) — one potential reason the practice has increased by 49 percent in recent years, according to Recruiter.

Put together an interview pack

Your department may have a standard document to welcome new employees; but does it have one to acclimate potential ones? Compiling all relevant information in one place can help expedite the hiring process by letting candidates know what stages to expect, and what information you’ll eventually need, such as references.

Cutting down your interview process time is just one way you can eliminate hiring delays. Other elements of your talent search procedure may also be contributing to a slower-than-desired average hiring time.

For additional tips on strengthening your candidate search and hiring practices — and overall hiring time — consider implementing the suggestions featured in our recent blog posts on interviewing and hiring trends that can transform your talent search and the four interview process steps you should never skip.