How to improve your interview process to secure top talent
Harriet O'Neill, May 10th 2024

In today’s war for talent, is your interview process the reason you’re struggling to scale?

We get it, bringing anyone into your team can feel like a significant risk, especially in the early days of your startup. But failing to properly plan or dragging out important hiring decisions will put you at a much higher risk of a bad hire (or worse, losing your ideal candidate).

The best candidates aren’t on the market for long, so it’s important to move quickly.

Here are 6 ways you can improve your hiring process:

Good communication between everyone involved

Regardless of whether you’re out-sourcing or DIYing your hiring, good communication is important.

In the current market, candidates are being inundated from all directions, if you don’t keep in touch with them, you’ll lose them to other opportunities.

It can be great to involve different members of your team in the interview process, but you need to prepare ahead of time and make sure everyone’s on the same page. A scorecard can be a great way of ensuring that everyone is being judged on the same criteria- and can give you agreed points to discuss after meeting all the candidates.

Be sure to make it clear who’s involved at each stage, and the time and location of the interview.  An interview is a two-way thing and first impressions count, so make sure there’s no slip ups with who’s meant to be attending what interview.

And with the rise in remote interviews, make sure you have the correct link ahead of time- and that you’ve sent the correct link to your candidate!

Mind the gap

Good candidates are in short supply, don’t leave them hanging.

The longer the gap between finding a CV and arranging a first-stage interview, the more time the candidate has to be snapped up by the competition.

It’s a good idea to plan ahead and block out time in your diary for follow up interviews before the first interview. This way, if you want to take the candidate to the next stage, you can confirm a time and date there and then.

And when it comes to delivering the offer, if there’s a delay for any reason, don’t leave the candidate hanging. Explain the situation and keep in regular contact until you can make the offer.

If you’re hesitating to deliver the offer, think about why. Don’t ghost your candidate (or a recruiter) but also don’t be goaded into making a snap decision that will ultimately hurt your business.

Reduce the number of interview stages- without taking anything important out of the mix

Long, drawn-out interview processes will lose you valuable talent. In fact, one study found 9 out of 10 people who drop out of interview processes leave because the application process is too long or too complicated.

So, instead, think about reducing or combining stages to help shorten the process. Do not add any stages in at the last minute.

It’s understandable that you will want to be 100% sure of your decision before you bring someone into your team, but the longer you leave it, the longer your candidate is on the market.

Use tech in your favour

In today’s market the whole interview/onboarding process can play out without any in-person interaction.

Where you can, arrange virtual interviews. Not only will this allow you to access a wider variety of talent, but a candidate is much more likely to hop on a 30-minute call during their workday, rather than taking a day off to travel up and interview- especially when they may have several opportunities on the cards.

You may find that you prefer having in-person interviews- especially for the final stage. If this is the case, make booking this interview a priority and keep the candidate in the loop. Don’t throw it on them last minute and leave them scrambling to take time off and arrange transport.

Build your talent pipeline

Maybe you’ll interview a candidate, and they’re a perfect fit for your team, but they aren’t quite right for what you’re looking for right now.

Instead of seeing this as a wasted interview, explain the situation and keep in touch. They may not be right for the role now, but a few years down the line they could be the perfect fit.

Don’t burn any candidate bridges. As you scale, work on building a talent pipeline that you can dip into when you need to hire.

And if you don’t have a talent pipeline of your own, that’s where a recruiter can come into play.

Contact a trusted recruiter

If you’re struggling to juggle hiring along with everything else, consider reaching out to a recruiter.

Not only can they help manage the whole process from start to finish, but they can help make the interview process more efficient.

A good recruiter will have a readily available network of talent, and be able to book interviews directly into the calendar to help keep the process moving at pace.

They’ll also screen all candidates prior to sending over their CV and can give you valuable information about any other interview processes the candidate might be part of.

The current market is tough, so don’t let your interview process stop you from securing the best talent.

Get in touch

If you would like to have a chat about how we can help you improve your interview process, get in touch with our Co-founder & CEO, Alan Furley, on or connect with him on LinkedIn. 

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