Hiring Strategy: Balancing efficiency and effectiveness

Hiring Strategy: Balancing efficiency and effectiveness

Hiring efficiently and effectively is an art and a science. In an effort to find the perfect candidate, some companies develop a hiring strategy that is so elaborate that it takes months for candidates to navigate. Others, driven by the urgency to fill their open role yesterday, rush the process, neglecting vital elements needed to ensure the right person is hired for the role.

There is a middle ground that will allow you to do your due diligence to vet candidates while being efficient with your time and creating a good candidate experience for your company’s next hire. A win-win option does exist.

A Strong Foundation

Defining the core attributes and values every employee at the company must possess is the foundation of your hiring strategy. Once these are established you can begin to think about what that looks like for each of the roles you’re hiring for. A core attribute of curiosity may look different in an executive assistant than in an engineer.

Your defined core attributes and values will also guide you as you craft a job description that includes these essential elements.

  • Clearly outlined job duties
  • Transparency about compensation and required skills
  • Showcased company culture and benefits

Publishing a clear and transparent job description will attract aligned candidates. If your job description is vague or unclear your process will be bogged down at the start with too many poorly aligned applicants.

The Structure

Carefully consider who absolutely needs to be involved in the hiring process. There may be many individuals in your company who want to play a role in deciding what new team members are brought into the fold. But not everyone at your company can (or should) be directly involved in the hiring process.

Consider getting team members’ input on their desired qualities, work experience, and personality traits and then incorporating that feedback into your process. This will allow team members to feel like they had a part to play in the outcome without being directly involved with interviewing candidates.

Standardizing the candidate evaluation process can make decision-making more objective and efficient

  • Including “knock out” questions in the application is a quick and easy way to screen out candidates at the start that are definitely not a good fit.
  • Creating a set of interview questions that you ask of every candidate at each interview stage will help you easily compare candidate responses.
  • Implementing a scorecard will allow interviewers to gauge candidates objectively. Using a general scorecard is perfect for getting your hiring process up and running. You can also tailor scorecards for each new role and interview stage.

Greenhouse interview scorecard example

The Process

The number of stages in your hiring process plays a vital role in the candidate experience and the efficiency of your pipeline. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports an average time-to-fill of 36 days. The more hoops that you make candidates jump through the longer the process will take and the more likely it is those good candidates will withdraw from the process.

Using interview software and implementing structured panel interviews can allow you to incorporate fewer stages in the process and still get the valuable information you need about the candidate’s fit for the company and the role.

Displaying your hiring process on your Careers Page will help candidates know what to expect before they apply.


interview process example


There may also be steps in the process that you can outsource either to individuals in an administrative role within your organization or to external services to create efficiency. Some common steps that are outsourced are those that are the most objective, such as pre-screening applications, sourcing passive candidates, conducting skills assessments, and completing background and reference checks. Outsourcing these tasks can be a huge savings of both time and money.

Your company’s hiring strategy will be unique to your company’s needs and it will evolve over time. There isn’t a one size fits all solution. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches and to admit when something isn’t working.

Taking the time to develop an effective and efficient hiring strategy has a great return on investment. It’s better to put the time into making a great hire than to rush and make a bad hire.

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