The Hiring Process Timeline: Follow this Timetable to Not Lose the Best Candidates

The Hiring Process Timeline: Follow this Timetable to Not Lose the Best Candidates

Good candidates and top level talent is in the candidate pool for an average of 10-days before they are hired. 10-DAYS! That means that if you haven’t honed and refined your hiring process, you could be losing out on top level candidates before they even interview with you. Working with recruiting and staffing companies helps reduce the impact of this fast-moving timetable by allowing them to move through many of the vetting processes quickly and efficiently, therefore only bringing you the final candidates who are engaged and ready to succeed.

Here is a reference timetable to use to speed up your candidate process from posting to hiring:

  1. 1-Month Before Posting: Review Your Reviews! Using sites such as GlassDoor and Indeed, you should review what the market is saying about your company BEFORE you begin posting your job openings. If you have less than outstanding reviews on these sites, you should consider finding ways to encourage your current employees to leave HONEST reviews on these sites. Honesty is key. You do not want employees leaving awesome reviews if they don’t believe it themselves. This will create a false image that will eventually catch up with you.

  2. 1-Week Before: Develop Your Job Description! Make sure you are posting a detailed, exciting job description. You can post all the fluff of what your expectations are, but being clear as to what this means for the candidate and their advancement in the company and success in the job is really what is going to matter. Take the time to determine WHAT a candidate in this position would be looking for, and WHO you want to apply. Write the job description for that specific person including values and what you believe they would care about within the position itself.

  3. Start the Clock: Post Your Job! Find the sites where you can be assured your potential new hire would be looking. You have lots of options out there, so don’t just post everywhere to post. Be strategic about how you are spending your dollars, where you are posting and when the best time to post is. This is crucial to the success of reaching a candidate.

  4. Immediately: Start Recruiting! With the unemployment rate, your top candidates probably already have jobs and are passive candidates, meaning they are not actively looking for a job. Get in front of these people! Remember, that is the reason you wrote a compelling job description, right? Continue recruiting until you are sure you found at least 2-3 qualified candidates.

  5. Application Received: 15-Min Call! Immediately after you receive a job application, review it for the areas you are needing. If the candidate seems like what you are looking for, schedule a 15-min phone interview for later that week. During this call, you are looking for red flags and explaining a bit about the position. Ask a few key questions to determine if the candidate fits the job description and ask a few “red flag” questions to quickly determine if they are good enough to take 1-hr of your time for an interview. Your time is valuable.

  6. Within 3-4 Days: Interview! There is no time to waste! Bring your candidate in for an interview. Spend time listening to them and ask the key questions to determine if you are going to make them a job offer.

  7. By the Following Week: Offer Letter! If you have additional candidates you need to interview, take the time to interview them, but don’t wait for the diamond. If you are waiting, you may lose the diamond you already have waiting for someone better. If you do need to continue interviewing, make sure you touch base via phone to make sure you continue to keep the candidate engaged. If they are passively looking, you may have more time, but if they are an active candidate, be aware that you may lose them in a faster period of time. If you cannot have an offer letter written by the following week, make a decision on what you want to do to move forward.


From start to finish, working a candidate lead is closely related to that of a sales timeline. If you take too much time in the process before closing the deal, the candidate may move forward with a competitor or believe you are not interested and move in a different direction, even if to does mean going with their second choice because they would be able to start faster. If you do not have the time to go through this process, consider working with a staffing agency. Then you are only moving through the interview portions and they are in charge of making sure the right candidates are available to you.

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