Jobless rates are falling across the country and the U.S. economy is bouncing back. This is a great thing! Because of this, however, good candidates are not waiting around. They’re saying, “If you’re not going to make a decision on me, I’ll take this other offer instead.” And with the speed at which hiring has picked up, can you blame them?

The unemployment rate in the United States currently sits at 4.9%. With fewer available workers, the leverage employers once enjoyed is now quickly shifting in the candidates favor. This means if you find a candidate you like, you better act quickly or your chances of losing them will increase by the day if not the hour. According to figures recently released by the unemployment firm, DHI Group, the average job vacancy duration in the U.S. fell a full day, from 29.3 days in April to 28.3 days in June. This suggests that once employers find candidates they deem qualified, they’re not wasting any time in making an offer. In fact, according to the same study, in June, 13% of hiring managers said the time to fill jobs shortened because companies made offers after seeing only a handful of candidates – which is up 2 percentage points from late 2015.

For some mid-level jobs, the average timetable from first interview to job offer has been cut down from 2-3 weeks to 5-10 days. For higher-level positions, which include IT professionals, average hiring time frames which used to last up to 2 months have been drastically cut in half and decisions are now being made in 2-3 weeks!

This means if your hiring process is long and drawn out, it could and will cost you a shot at top IT talent. So what can be done to help speed up your hiring process, you ask? Follow these tips and you can ensure quicker hires.

Conduct panel interviewsTo help expedite your process, have the candidates meet with all the members of your hiring team at one time. This not only gives you different perspectives – which is key to a great hire – it also helps save you valuable time on your end and theirs. Instead of having the candidate make multiple trips to your office they can meet with all the key decision makers in one fell swoop.

Know exactly what you’re looking forThe key to a quick hire is to know exactly what skills are needed in the position. Being properly prepared to discuss the details and scope of the project are key. Not only will you get the potential candidates excited about your organization and its projects but you’ll also be able to qualify them to a much higher degree. Engaging the candidate in a detailed conversation about the role will help you determine whether or not they have the skills required to fulfill the role’s needs.

Be engagingYou really want to get the candidate excited about working for your organization. Show them what makes your company great! Highlight your company’s benefits and show them what great work/life balance they can achieve by coming to work for you. That way, when they’re faced with a decision about which company to choose, they’ll choose yours!

Communicate! – This is extremely important. Having great communication will help demonstrate your respect for the candidate. Be honest with your candidates about timelines and process, and share details about when they can expect to hear from you. Then follow up! A lack of communication could spell big trouble. Keep in contact with your candidates, even the smallest amount of feedback can help keep that candidate engaged until you’re ready to make your decision.

If you follow these tips, not only will you increase the speed of your hiring process but you won’t be doing it at the expense of sacrificing quality.

What did we miss? What other ways can employers speed up their hiring process?

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