According to Glassdoor, an average US company will spend around $4,000 to hire a new employee, taking up to 52 days to fill the position. That’s a lot of wasted time and money.

The hiring process can be one of the most costly and time-consuming aspects of running a business. Finding some simple ways to reduce costs can go along way.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

Know What You Want 

Before you even think of spending time and money on the recruiting process its vital to know exactly what it is you want in an employee.

Having a well-defined role, with clearly outlined requirements and responsibilities, is key not only to finding the right person for the job but also to saving time and money during the hiring process.

Too often employers, especially at small or rapidly expanding companies, go out into the job market without a clearly defined role in mind. They know they need help in certain areas, but what the job may actually entail on a day to day basis is still a mystery. This can lead to an extended candidate search as your ideas about what is needed change throughout the hiring process.

Having a good idea of what you’re looking for is a crucial first step. Once you do know what you want, you need to act fast. In this job market, the candidates hold far more power than you may think.

As Bronwen Hann, President, Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting puts it:

“Organizations lose the best candidates in high-demand industries all the time by failing to act fast, assuming that they hold all the leverage. Also, make sure to sell the organization to high-demand candidates. It’s no longer just about candidates having to sell themselves. Companies have to sell themselves to candidates too.”

Cut Out Panel Interviews

Panel Interviews have become a signature segment of many interview processes. It’s a chance for the candidate to meet the team and vice versa. It’s an opportunity to view the candidate under pressure to see if they can perform. In many cases, however, these panel interviews aren’t really necessary.

Brad Owens, host of the Small Business Hiring podcast and HR expert and argues they should be done away with entirely:

“You can cut costs by reducing the number of people involved in a single interview step and instead move candidates through each person individually, as needed.”

Moving interviewees through the hiring process with panel interviews means hours and hours of opportunity costs as you take employees from their regular duties. The majority of the time, this just doesn’t make sense.

Start An Employee Referral Program

Starting an employee referral program is another way to save money in the hiring process. According to Linkedin, referred employees take the least time to onboard, and a recent survey from FirstBird revealed they stay the longest as well.

Often current employees know more people who can do the job and will fit company culture than HR professionals do. Not only that, employee referral programs’ incentives boost current employee morale and lead to reduced turnover.

Overall employee referral programs make for a more collaborative hiring process that delivers superior results and saves money.

Outsource Your Human Resources

Eliminating your costly HR department altogether may be the way to go in 2020. The explosion of inexpensive, quality recruiting organizations has made many in-house HR jobs obsolete.

Even if you still need to keep your HR department, it can pay to hire an executive staffing agency for those hard to fill, more senior positions. These staffing agencies have huge numbers of qualified candidates on file and in their systems which means reduced wait times and better candidates.

Outsourcing your HR is a great way to increase efficiency in your hiring process.

Avoid The Hiring Process Altogether

Perhaps the best option of all is to avoid the hiring process altogether. The reality is every lost employee can cost your company up to 150% of the annual salary of that employee.

By offering a competitive salary and benefits package, the opportunity for advancement, and open, honest communication you can retain more employees for longer rather than being forced into a competitive job.

Fostering a warm, welcoming environment can be difficult, but thankfully there are a number of awesome employee-centric leadership training classes available for leaders in your company who are struggling to retain employees.

The hiring process can be stressful and time-consuming, but if you are willing to adapt to new tools and processes things can be made much easier. Whether it’s an executive staffing agency, an employee referral program, or leadership training courses, there is a lot you can do to improve the hiring process or, even better, retain quality employees so you don’t have to hire in the first place.

By Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.