Coley Company Blog

You Want the Best Candidates, You Need to Speed Up Your Interview Process


Here’s why you need to move quickly and how to do it successfully. 

It may seem counterintuitive that to get the best candidates, you should try to get through interviews as quickly as possible. While you want to thoroughly vet each candidate in interviews, it’s actually a common mistake to have an interview process that’s too long, either by having too many rounds of interviews or too much lag time between the interview and a follow-up. That’s not to say you need to make a hasty decision, but the key is to strategically compress the interview time. Below are the reasons you need to shorten the interview time and tips on how to do it. 

  1. Candidates are getting offers from multiple companies 

In today’s job market, candidates have multiple job opportunities with offers to match, which means moving quickly is important to get the best candidates and most companies are not moving fast enough. According to Doug Coley, President of Coley Company, as a general rule of thumb in today’s market, it should take about 3 weeks to hire middle management and 6 weeks for C-suite management. While there are exceptions; if you’re taking longer than this you could be losing out on some great candidates. 

  1. Job offers and acceptance are moving at a faster pace

Many applicants are interviewing and taking jobs much faster than we’ve seen in the previous few years. Ross Coley, Vice President of Coley Company, says he’s had Senior Director roles filled in a week and a half of the job opening. That is a faster time frame than usual he states, but that does show the speed at which people are getting jobs. Moving at a slower pace to give out offers because of scheduling issues, paperwork, or resource constraints can all lead to losing out on qualified individuals.   

  1. Candidates can lose interest

In an ideal world, we could interview multiple candidates and keep the best ones on hold while we interview others to see if there’s a better fit or find that “perfect” candidate. However, the time to get back to candidates is important. While waiting to hear back, they may accept another position or move on with their job search. Prospective job seekers may also lose interest altogether because they start to view the long wait time as a negative against the company. 

Tips on how to shorten the interview while still getting the best candidates

Moving through the interview process quickly is important, but doing it strategically is the key to success. Here’s what you can do to move quickly and still get great candidates. 

  • Hire a search firm. It’s possible to go through the hiring process without the help of a search firm, but that is a very time-consuming process, which is where a recruiting firm can help. While there are many search firms out there, it’s best to work with one that knows your particular industry. Many recruiting companies can sort through resumes and schedule interviews, and while that does save some time upfront, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the best fit for the job. 

Here at Coley Company, we’ve been placing candidates in the apparel, textiles and nonwoven industry for more than 25 years.  This industry knowledge is what sets us apart from other firms, we can zero in on the best people because we understand the jobs.  Another advantage, as a 3rd party we can manage the candidate’s expectations and make clients aware of what the candidates need to accept the position. We only recommend the right fit, people who will actually take the job, which results in fewer interviews and filling positions quickly, saving clients valuable time and resources.

  • Conduct a panel interview. Instead of scheduling multiple interviews with various stakeholders in the company, you can cut the interview time down by having multiple stakeholders in one interview. Not only does this cut down on the number of interviews but all key parties can give input and decide shortly after one interview which means you can follow up with the candidate soon after. 

Get back to candidates as soon as possible. After interviewing, it’s important to get back to candidates as soon as you can.  Even if you’re not ready to give a candidate your decision, it helps to give a timeline of the next steps such as when to expect a follow-up or a decision, or if they will interview with another person. This way candidates aren’t left in the dark wondering if they are going to get an offer or not and can also let you know their timeline if they are interviewing for other jobs so you can speed up the process if needed.

Share This Post