Speed Or Accuracy: What Matters More In The Search For A New Hire

Background Checks   |   

​You’ve interviewed the perfect candidate: highly qualified, a great culture fit, and loved by the team. Your impulse may be to start writing the offer letter as soon as they leave the interview. But falling in love with a candidate too soon could cause you to rush the process and leave out important steps.

Why Speedy Recruiting Is Important

Yes, a shorter time-to-hire is critical for recruiting new candidates. If you want to hire top talent, it’s a race to the finish line against your competitors. The longer the process, the fewer the qualified candidates there are. By some estimates, the top 10% of candidates are gone from the job market within 10 days.

Revenue loss is another reason recruiters often rush through the hiring process. A vacant position can sometimes hinder revenue-generating activities, costing up to $5,000 a day in some cases.

Despite the valid reasons to speed up, the pressure to improve the speed-to-hire metric may be damaging if it causes you to take shortcuts.

There’s More To Consider Than Time-To-Hire

Without proper vetting, that seemingly ideal candidate could turn out to be a liability. A recent article from the Society for Human Resource Management points out that the rush to hire could come at the expense of employment screening due diligence.

When it comes to background screening, faster isn’t always better. The most basic background check of online criminal records databases might take less than a day. But that kind of background check typically doesn’t include employment or education verification and provides the most cursory (and least thorough) search of criminal records.

A more accurate criminal background screening checks at to the county level in order to provide the most accurate and up to date results. Some counties don’t provide online access, though, so a researcher might have to go to the courthouse in person to check for criminal records.

The most thorough background checks add just a handful of days, and helps you verify that your great candidates are everything they seem. In fact, 52% of respondents to a recent study said that screening ultimately produced a better quality hire.

Here’s how to offer a positive candidate experience without sacrificing due diligence in the process:

Remove Delays Where You Can

Take a look at your current recruiting process and determine where there are lag times that could be eliminated. For example, most companies ask for references only after they have decided to offer the candidate the position. Instead, request references from the candidates at the time of first round interviews. That way you can eliminate the extra time it would take for the employee to get references and start to contact them right away.

Be Consistent

Once you’ve determined where you can cut down on dead time, create a recruiting process and stick with it. For each open position, determine how many phone screens and in-person interviews need to take place. Create a timeline for each candidate and monitor it to detect and prevent delays.

Be Upfront About The Process

One of the most frustrating parts of the interview process for job seekers is not knowing where they stand in the process. Candidates may accept other job offers just because they don’t know how long they need to wait. Tell each candidate how long each phase of the process will likely take, including the background check.

When candidates are better informed, they can adjust their expectations of how long the process will be and feel more at ease with where they stand.

Be In Constant Communication

59% of professionals want to hear from you whenever you have an update. Being a job seeker can be nerve wracking and, too often, candidates feel like recruiters don’t keep them in the loop enough. Make sure to be in contact with candidates at least once a week, not just when they get the job or are rejected.

Look For Ways To Expedite Background Checks

Choose an employment screening service that makes required steps (like consent) easy for you and your candidates. Some services, like GoodHire, provide provide an estimated delivery time for completion, so you can set expectations for your candidate. GoodHire also makes each section of the report viewable as soon as it completes, even if another section is still in progress.

The Power Of A Personal Touch

Keeping in touch with your candidates during the screening process lets you develop a positive relationship with them. Being upfront with candidates about the process and going out of your way to make them feel valued goes a long way toward establishing goodwill.

And that gives you the leeway to do your due diligence, including a thorough background check, to make sure you’re making the best hiring choice.

What is more important? Speed or Due Diligence? Let us know @goodhiretweets.

Lauren Small

Lauren Small


Lauren Small is a content and social media expert who writes about hiring, onboarding, and HR best practices. Lauren comes by her HR insight honestly, having observed the culture at diverse employers Amazon, HubSpot, and GoodHire’s parent company Inflection.

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