Featured Insights

Michelle Palasek has 20 years in the staffing industry working in sales and marketing operations. She currently serves as a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist at SGA.

5 Ideas to Streamline/Optimize the Interview and Hiring Process


When positions open in your company, you have an opportunity to hire qualified candidates who will make excellent additions to your team and help drive success and profit. Of course, you may have to sift through hundreds of applicants to find the best fit.

This is why streamlining your hiring process is so important. Not only do you want to minimize the time to hire so you can keep business operations running smoothly, but you also want to avoid the unnecessary waste of time and expense. Optimizing the process also contributes to a positive candidate experience, helping you nab top talent.

How can you streamline the entire process, from creating a job post to completing interviews and extending an offer? Here are a few ideas you may want to implement.

1. Create a Clear Job Listing

Putting time and effort into prep will help you attract the most qualified candidates and save in the long run. The place to start is by outlining your recruitment goals. Most companies have several, including finding a candidate who meets job qualifications, is interested in long-term employment, and will integrate well with the company culture.

It’s important to list goals and prioritize so you can apply the same standards for hire to all applicants and choose the one best suited to your requirements. From there, you can create a comprehensive list of qualifications for your job post. This should help you target qualified professionals and deter unsuitable applicants.

Before posting to job boards, make sure to choose user-friendly platforms that make it easy to apply. You don’t want to create unnecessary roadblocks that drive away top talent. In that same vein, limit the information you ask candidates to supply at this point in the screening process.

Stick to a few key questions that are important for the position but may not appear on the average resume. If you ask for too much at this early stage, candidates may balk, simply because they don’t want to invest too much time when success is such an unknown.

2. Consider Recruitment Software

The candidate screening process can be tedious. Not only are modern companies dealing with a massive uptick in applicants via online platforms, but it’s not unusual for underqualified candidates to take a shot, essentially wasting your time.

Recruitment software can save you time by screening applications per your specific criteria. Most also include scheduling software to optimize the interview process and streamline communications with your preferred pool of applicants.

3. Work With a Staffing/Recruitment Firm

Job boards, especially those that are industry-specific, are a great way to source candidates, but they aren’t the only way. To widen your pool of candidates, you should consider a range of recruitment sources, including employee referrals, social media, and reputable recruitment agencies.

An agency can streamline your recruiting process in a variety of ways, managing early screening, feeding you a short list of the best candidates, and even conducting early interviews on your behalf. Perhaps more importantly, they can provide contingency staff in the meantime to minimize operational interruptions.

4. Adopt a Group Interview Format

It’s not always easy to coordinate with everyone involved in the hiring process when scheduling interviews. However, a group interview format can save a lot of time over multiple one-on-one interviews. It also helps eliminate the potential for redundant questions that may prove tedious for candidates.

Following pre-screening via telephone and online communications, you can schedule a group interview conducted by the hiring manager, team leader, and perhaps other team members. Make sure to create an agenda so everyone involved understands the goals and the process.

At some point, senior management may also need to enter the process, but that will likely be in the next phase of interviews when only a handful of top candidates remain.

5. Develop a Structured Interview

In-person interviews are your chance to learn more about preferred candidates and their qualifications, goals, and personality traits. This will help you determine whether they’re a good fit for the position, the team, and the company culture.

Interview questions should be tailored to this end and delivered in a structured format that you can duplicate and compare from one candidate to the next. Don’t forget to leave time for candidates to ask you questions as well.

Benefits of Streamlining Your Hiring Process

Organizing and optimizing your hiring process from end to end is the best way to save time and money. Filling an open position as quickly as possible minimizes downtime and gets you back on track to achieve company goals.

Streamlined interviews and hiring practices also help to ensure a positive candidate experience rather than a process that is lengthy and tedious. This, in turn, can attract good candidates and improve the quality of your hires.

With clear goals and job listings, multiple recruitment sources, and structured group interviews, you can significantly improve the hiring process for your company and candidates alike.