In today’s shaky economy and overcrowded job market, hiring isn’t a piece of cake. Facing an influx of hiring tasks and responsibilities, recruiters rarely ever get the chance to think about their practices. Have you ever considered your hiring standards? Maybe your strategies confuse applicants or you’re wasting their time on unclear job listings and tedious application processes, which are especially off-putting to talented candidates. Either way, when it comes to hiring, there is always room for improvement.

Here are five things you can do right now to simplify your recruiting practices.

1. Write informative job descriptions

This is easily the most important point. By publishing job postings with vague descriptions, you can only give the wrong impression – that you didn’t properly profile the job; you’re not sure who you’re looking for or you just resorted to cutting and pasting from a different job offer.

Instead, use specific language. List all tasks required of the position, explain the benefits of the position and be precise – mention crucial skills, competencies, and knowledge. This way, candidates will screen themselves before applying, saving you time to focus on those who really match the profile.

2. Be clear about what to expect

Interviews can be stressful for candidates and you need to be aware of that – even the most qualified of them might crumble under pressure and you might lose some great talent. Describe the process in detail before the interview to let them know what to expect.

Give candidates maximum amount of information to help them prepare for this interview. If you’re hiring programmers, let them know if you’ll test their code-writing skills on site. If you’re planning a role-play or some truly abstract questions, make sure they’re prepared for it. Nobody likes surprises and adding more tension to an already stressful situation won’t help your cause.

3. Give constructive feedback

Once the interviewing process is over, candidates are eager to learn about its outcome. Most of the time they have no idea whatsoever about how it really went and that’s when you come in and provide some valuable, constructive feedback.

Be prompt and direct. If a candidate made a disastrous mistake during the interview, let them know. Crafting a thoughtful rejection notice isn’t easy. Make sure to be precise when delivering your negative post-interview feedback. Even though people generally don’t look forward to receiving bad news, this kind of message is hard to argue with and gives candidates an idea on how to improve their skills.

4. Simplify the application process

If you’re stuck looking for true talents, have a look at your application system and review it, judging how easy it is to apply and whether there are any technical problems. If uploading a resume takes too long or the data entry form is unclear, you can only imagine that qualified candidates will simply go away.

Just ask yourself this question: is my application process too time-consuming? If it is, remodel it. Remember about confirming the receipt of the resume; this is one of the most often voiced complaints. Candidates don’t want their resumes to fall into a black hole. A swift confirmation can only positively impress talented employees.

Tauseef Alam, CEO of DistanceEducation360 said in an interview, “being a startup, it was difficult for us to attract the good talent for our small organization, and then we worked upon our application process 3 times in last 2 years, and this really worked for us. Now we receive 2.5 times more applications for a job opening compared to what we used to receive before.

5. Communicate

Following every step of the hiring process, make sure to keep your candidates informed. Use the candidate’s preferred method of communication. As you can imagine, calling them at work isn’t the best idea. Instead, go for e-mails.

If your hiring process is simple and intuitive, you can be sure that it will benefit all parties involved.

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