How to speed up the hiring process and see less CVs!

Hiring for your team can both be an exciting time and highly frustrating, here's how to improve

Wes Plumb
Wes  Plumb 
10 min read Reading Time
24 November 2023 Date Created

Hiring for your team can both be an exciting time and highly frustrating. Frustrations included but were not limited to:-

  • Reviewing irrelevant resumes or candidates whose salary expectations are too high. 
  • Sitting in interviews with candidates who are not the right fit or will not take the position even if you offer them. 
  • You offer them the position, but they accept another position or a counteroffer. 
  • And finally, dealing with recruiters that are pushy, do not listen, or recruiters full stop! 

I am sure 99% of people when hiring have thought, “Recruitment is not that hard”. With 20 years of recruitment experience, that statement is not far from the truth, but recruitment is an art more than a science. Hiring is seriously subjective, and over time, expectations change. 

So what can you do? 

What can internal recruitment teams do? 

What can agency do?

While there is no silver bullet, positions differ in level of difficulty, and market conditions or budgets will be key factors here are some things to think about. 

Simple one first. Write a decent job description and highlight the realistic essential skills and nice to have’s. Too often, this is overlooked, and it is just a long list of wants. Be realistic and engaging to your audience. 

PSL / Supply Chain 

Having worked with hundreds of businesses and having served a stint in-house. My broad verdict is that 9 times out of 10, a company’s supply chain and preferred supplier lists are broken; therefore, they are essentially useless. 

Almost every company wants a specialist to find them the right people, but their PSL’s are drawn to the jack of all but masters of none. What got that agency on the PSL in the first place is not or might no longer be the area they are currently best at. Or, you are no longer the flavour of the month, so you do not get the best service. 

The excuse “we have a PSL”, so we won’t work with anything new, is killing the success of finding the best people. I am a firm believer that not all recruiters are equal, it is a skill. And the best recruiters tend to move on leaving you with a rookie heading up the search for your next hire. Historical and unmanaged PSLs, which get used every now and then, quickly become out of date, leaving you at the mercy of poor quality service and then weeks or months of pain to engage the right agent. 

Having agreed terms and gone through hundreds of procurement processes, the barriers to becoming a supplier are generally not that problematic or hassle. Most recruiters or recruitment companies would work under “goodwill” and prove their competency and worthiness to complete the red tape. What is the difference of paying 20% to someone on the PSL, to paying 20% to an agency not on the PSL for better candidates and service?! 

If companies gave more opportunities to engage with recruiters who focus on the given discipline, the less hassle they will get from recruiters doing the proactive outreach they need to be noticed. 

Investment of time

Whether the position is being kept internal or going out to agencies. The time you spend with HR, talent and recruitment professionals can save you tons of time. And do it directly, so it is not a game of Chinese whispers.

It is widely known in agency circles that a briefing with hiring managers with a recruiter who knows what they are doing will have a huge impact and increase the likelihood of getting the right people through your door or the right person by 50%. While you may see 15 to 30 minutes of your time too valuable to speak with recruiters. You will get 100% of that time back and more for it because you will get a more engaged delivery, see less CV’s and not get caught up in interviews with the wrong candidates.


You may initially have a shortlist of 3 to 10 candidates; again, spending time feedback on the candidates, even short one-liners with the objections from CV reviewing, makes a difference. A) the recruiter can understand where they are going right or wrong, and B) the candidates can be rejected professionally in a timely manner. If you do get the opportunity and you are dealing with a number of people, perhaps write a summary of what you saw in common, which is not correct and those that are. 

Every “no” with feedback, is closer to a “yes”. Also, with this feedback, recruiters are 75% more likely to review others they might have overlooked and invest more of their time because you are proactively giving them what they need to get it right if they were off the mark. 


Depending on market conditions, budgets, company reputation etc. When anyone starts to hire, expectations are at their highest and rightly so. It is an exciting time. But, chances are you will benchmark everyone that you see based on your background or the person who is leaving on to pastures new. 

Sometimes, you need to make sure that you are not too dismissive of the first shortlist, as this could be telling you something. No recruiter, internal, or agency goes out of their way to send you people who do not match your requirements. Chances are, this is what the current market has to offer right now. 

The options are to wait for the right person and keep the agencies engaged or see some of the best candidates and see who is your favourite and make a decision with all the facts. 

The one thing I have learnt in my time in recruitment and hiring myself is that a CV does not even tell half the story and the decision you make on who you hire is not purely based on their resume. If it was, what would be the point of having an interview process?

Also, it is worth noting those you first receive can sometimes be the best you will receive in a 3 to 6 months period. I have placed the hardest-to-fill positions with the person I sent initially 3 to 6 months down the line as they were the best person locally. 

The interview process 

Make sure you know what it is. Make sure you communicate the process. And make sure the processes are timely. Good candidates will lose interest if it is a never-ending story of meeting people. Guage what will cut the shortlist down the fastest i.e. technical test and get that done first. It is not always candidates friendly, but this way, you will save yourself and your colleagues time. 

KISS – Keep it simple and streamlined! 

Also, it is worth having time blocked out throughout the weeks to review CV’s, provide feedback, and do interviews. Candidate experience is vital to engaging the best people you want to hire. So, being adaptable, transparent and having the ability to turn a process around quickly for a rockstar is important. Nothing says “we want you” than a timely process and decisiveness. 

Candidate experience

Make sure you give candidates the opportunity to answer their questions. The more answers they have ahead of time will put you in the candidate’s good books, and they are more likely to engage quicker and accept any offers made. A simple rule of thumb. Just treat people how you would like to be treated. 

To save you time hiring and getting it right sooner rather than later. Be organised! Blocked out time for communicating with those charged with finding the best people. Make sure you have the right people on the job. And make sure you are timely in terms of process.

Do all that, and you will get the best people quicker and have more time to crack on with the day job! 

For more insights and discussions on recruitment and career development, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn under “Wesley Plumb.”