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Guest Post: How (and why) to Speed up Your Higher Education Hiring Process

Ellie Smith
Content Creator, PeopleAdmin


The hiring process is multifaceted with many moving pieces, so trying to streamline and simplify it is not as easy as it may sound. But if you’re hoping to attract the best applicants, a little extra speed can make a big difference. The availability of top talent won’t last. With the speed at which technology and markets shift, the ideal applicant may be gone from the job market in less than two weeks1, so there’s no time to waste.

Applicants will skip applying to a job if the application is too complex or takes too long2, and some industries—like higher education—have particularly long, often repetitive application processes. Across industries, the average time-to-hire is 43 days3 — but on the other hand, some companies make job offers after as little as one week.4

How does your organization stack up to these metrics? When was the last time you took a good look at your hiring process, or evaluated your time-to-hire? Read on for some steps you can take to streamline your hiring process.

Get the word out before you need to

When hiring for an open role, your team shouldn’t think about the process as starting on the day the position is posted, or even the day the position description is finalized. Instead, hiring should be on your radar year-round.

Positioning your organization as a sought-after employer means that when someone enters the job market your organization will already be on their minds. Sharing information about your campus and employee culture on channels outside your job board, and using social media as a tool to share how you invest in your employees—for instance, detailing the progress of your DEI initiatives in public messaging can show potential employees your dedication to fostering an inclusive workplace culture.

In other words, don’t save your promotional or advertising efforts for a single open role. Take the time to show off what kind of organization you are, how you support and develop your workforce, and why someone should seek out your company when they’re looking for their next career move. Getting the word out well in advance, and having a positive, active presence will go a long way to attracting more applicants quickly, enabling a quicker hiring process.

Communicate constantly (and automate it)

Communication is one of the most important aspects of an application process—but also one that many organizations get wrong.

Almost half of the applicants surveyed5 never received a communication that their application was rejected—so if an application goes unanswered for too long, many applicants will write it off. In fact, a CareerBuilder survey reported that 55% of applicants6 give up on a role if they haven’t heard back within two weeks.

There is almost no such thing as overcommunicating with an applicant, either. 82% of job seekers7 want a clear timeline of the application process, along with frequent communication. But how can you up your communication game with the team and resources you have? That’s where automation can come in.  Keep in mind that automated emails don’t have to be rigid and impersonal.

With recent advances in technology, it’s easy to set up an automated email to applicants through your ATS once their application is received. To keep it meaningful to the applicant, make sure the message is true to your culture. Consider adding a link to your company culture page, or to your social media, to encourage further engagement. You can even automate communications about phone screens or initial interviews using AI services, taking the scheduling burden off the shoulders of your team.


Make crossing the finish line seamless

Another area where the application process can falter is the final steps right before or right after a job offer is extended.

Your team must go through the reference check process, perform background checks, and complete pre-employment due diligence. These tasks can sometimes be time-consuming experiences for applicants. And if applicants are left waiting for results for extended periods, they might decide to move in a different direction, or it could simply leave them with a poor first impression – no one wants that! 

This is where integrations can make everything faster —when employees can move from background checks to a job offer to onboarding without a hiccup, they’ll have a positive first impression of the company.  Make sure to compare tools to find the one that does the most for your organization.

About the Author

Ellie Smith leads the content marketing and thought leadership for PeopleAdmin. She has been working and writing in education and edtech for seven years, with three years in higher education. 









This content is offered for informational purposes only. First Advantage is not a law firm, and this content does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.  Information in this may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.
Readers of this content should contact their attorney or lawyer to obtain advice concerning any particular legal matter.  No reader, or user of this content should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in this content without first seeking legal advice from counsel or lawyers in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney or legal advisor can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this content does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, or user of this presentation and First Advantage.

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