Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

How to Hire Better Employees in Less Time for a Fraction of the Cost

Hiring great employees usually takes a long time. And time is money.  

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hiring great employees takes a long time. In fact, it takes 36 days on average to hire any employee. And time is money.  

Each day, each call, each email correspondence is another day without an active employee generating a return for your business. 

And each day spent with back and forth conversations pulls you away from daily tasks that your business needs to thrive. 

Here’s how you can hire better employees in less time for a fraction of the cost in three simple steps. 

1. Specific job boards

My main company has 12 employees including myself and my co-founder.  Our software company has half a dozen more.

We’ve hired and fired countless people over the last few years, making every mistake in the book. 

One of the biggest keys to finding better employees is starting with a better job board. 

Places like Indeed or LinkedIn cast a wide net, which means more time sifting through thousands of irrelevant or low-quality submissions.

Indeed alone has 250 million unique visits monthly, making it a very large and saturated marketplace.

Use these as a last resort. Instead, focus on job boards that are specific to your niche to attract very high quality candidates.

Need a growth marketer? Utilize places like MarketerHire, ProBlogger and more. They are designed specifically for a given niche and can help you narrow down your efforts to more targeted groups of people. 

Some platforms will even act as a recruiter on your behalf (free of charge) to match you with potentially effective candidates. 

Do a simple Google search for “[niche] job board.”

Start there. They are often cheaper to list and generate much more targeted submissions than broad marketplaces. 

Related: If You're Not Hiring Ahead, You've Already Fallen Behind

2. Automated filtering 

Job boards will generate tons of submissions, which can be both good and bad. 

Good because your candidate pool contains a diverse mix of incredible people itching to work with you. 

Bad because 42% of the candidates simply aren’t qualified, and spending your time reviewing them is costing you thousands of dollars, if not more. 

To combat this, a great solution is using automated filters to narrow down your total submission pool, saving you both time and money.

Using tools like Zapier, Gravity Forms or any of the like, you can filter the responses you get by various triggers. 

For example, we set automations that disqualify any candidates who don’t follow all instructions, like uploading a PDF of their resume or including a LinkedIn profile URL. 

Why? If people won’t take 20 seconds to upload a PDF or paste their LinkedIn profile, they won’t follow detailed processes on the job. 

These leading indicators are great predictors of attention to detail and true interest in working at your company. 

Automations can help you filter these candidates and save thousands of hours and dollars reviewing.

They are highly customizable and can be tailored to any niche need you might have. Use them at the forefront of your job-candidate collection process as an initial filter. This ensures you are not reading resumes or cover letters that don't align with your minimum qualifications.

Related: How to Hire Like a Pro

3. Paid test projects

How many interviews and calls do you have before a candidate is hired? Two? Three? Five? The average is three, with each interview taking 30-90 minutes. And on average, interviewers speak to around 10 candidates. This time and money add up fast, especially if you are a lean startup looking to expand fast.

That’s where paid test projects start to shine. 

They benefit you by saving manual labor time and seeing the exact work someone will be able to produce before you onboard him or her and spend countless more dollars.

Paid test projects give you direct insights into how potential employees work both in their style and delivery. 

Not only does it benefit you, but it also benefits the future employee. 

He or she gets to see if his or her potential job is a good long-term fit and if he or she enjoys the work. 

If the employee does, your hiring process is virtually seamless, and you can better understand the projects he or she might enjoy further down the road.

So, how do you structure these paid test projects, and how much do you pay? 

As a general guideline, we don't like to give overwhelming projects, and we don't like free test projects. Respecting your candidate's time is critical to building a healthy relationship from the start.

Test projects should take no more than three to four hours to complete on average. 

When paying candidates, simply take the general salary or hourly rate average and utilize that, benchmarked against the total maximum time for the project. 

With your test projects, don't look for perfectly pristine finished products. Look for people with a learning mindset and the drive to solve difficult problems. This isn't a test, but rather a way to understand if the candidate has the drive, passion and willingness to learn and problem solve on the fly.

Cut down your phone calls. 

Cut down your manual reviews. 

Cut down your time, labor and inputs. 

Focus on specific job boards, automation and paid test projects. You’ll hire people in a fraction of the time that are a better fit.

Related: 4 Reasons Employees Need to Be Involved in Your Hiring Process

Jeremy Moser

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Jeremy is the Co-Founder at uSERP, a digital brand building agency. He's also the Chief Marketing Officer at Wordable, which he acquired in 2020. On the side, he grows SaaS startups like responsely.com.