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With only so many hours in a work day, time really is money. How you spend it on recruitment has a direct effect on your bottom line. It can also make or break the candidate experience.

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Maybe some of your practices were great at one time. But times change, and so do applicant expectations. There are occasions where a comprehensive process makes a lot of sense. But knowing when to avoid it can minimize bad hires and keep your department running smoothly.

#1: Don't Search for a Diamond Among Pearls

Sometimes there's a landslide of qualified applicants. And sometimes pickings are slim. If you're overrun with comparably qualified people from which to choose, searching for a star that outshines all the rest probably doesn't serve you or the job well.

After a while, similar applicants start to look the same, says University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy assistant professor in economics, Iona Marinescu, for Career Builder. If one person doesn't stand out on their own, there probably isn't one who stands out.

#2: Focus More on Hard-to-Fill Positions

If you've got only two or three qualified applicants for a job that's tough to fill, that's when you can stop and put more effort into finding the diamond. The ones who best fit the job rise to the top fairly quickly, so you already know where to focus your attention and who to dismiss. You can afford to spend time searching for a great fit when the right person would make a genuine difference for the company.

In a study led by economist Ernest Fehr and published at the Royal Society, more time is typically spent making simpler decisions while difficult decisions are made quickly. The research team found that when the reward for a good decision was high, there was no difficulty making a choice. Conversely, "they spend too much time on problems in which the reward difference between the options is low."

#3: Trim Down the Interview Process

Not every company has a complicated, multiple interview process. But if yours does, it's time to rethink it. HR and recruiting marketer, Aren Hogan for recruiter.com , says 3rd and 4th round interviews are unnecessary in many cases, although many companies rely on them as a focusing tool that lets different departments evaluate a candidate separately.

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Group interviews might be a better choice, but watch out for making the applicant feel like she's under interrogation. Hogan recommends video interviews as a supplement or alternative, as these can be shared among everyone who has a stake in hiring. While you're at it, skip interview time wasters known as "out of the box" questions. Nicholas Carson for Business Insider says that if Google thinks brain teaser questions are irrelevant, so should you. Check out some of Google's silliest examples, such as "why are manhole covers round?"

#4: Divert Unqualified Candidates on the Front End

Perhaps the biggest time waster of all is too many unqualified applicants. Sure, you can separate the "keep" from the "pass" efficiently, but it's still an unnecessary step that the right technology can help you avoid. Candidate matching automates what was once a manual task, which means the applicants who make it through are more likely to have the qualifications that you need.

Candidate matching makes the whole process more effective and streamlined. When a person sees your job ad, she's already more likely to have the qualifications that you need. That means fewer inappropriate jobs ads for her, and fewer unqualified applicants for you. And if her qualifications change, this real-time technology knows and makes adjustments accordingly.

Every applicant is important, but some decisions aren't so pivotal as to make or break the company. Is it really necessary to check the personal references of every person that you interview? Probably not. And could your time be better spent finding an ideal programmer than choosing the perfect entry-level employee? Probably.

When you add candidate matching to your recruiting repertoire, a lot of the time wasters are trimmed on the front end. The right tools make a difference, and that saves valuable time and resources.

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Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins is passionate about making marketing what it should be...a conversation no matter what the medium may be. Now, he turns his skills into valuable education pieces for Talent Acquisition professionals as the world of HR adopts the principals of marketing.

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