Job recruitment

Hiring in a hurry picks up

April 30, 2012: 2:27 PM ET

As competition for talented workers heats up, some companies are giving their hiring process a boost and reducing their interview-to-offer times.

By Vickie Elmer

FORTUNE -- After Intel began to shift its hiring approach a year ago, a few candidates cried. Other soon-to-graduate students were so happy or excited that they forgot to ask about their salaries.

The big change? The tech company started to hire for some jobs in a week's time, instead of the multiple weeks it used to take. The process is now being whittled down to a couple of days, says Cindi Harper, Intel's (INTC) Americas talent delivery manager.

"The talent's not waiting," she says. Neither is Intel, apparently. In its new approach, managers and recruiters first determine the key attributes and skills for a job -- the profile they are seeking. Then a designated manager joins Intel recruiters at industry conferences and college career fairs, where they hand candidates an offer letter on the spot. A couple of days later, they work out details such as salary and where the job is located, Harper says.

Welcome to the new world of hiring in a hurry, an emergent recruitment method as more employers look to snag talent from college campuses and beyond before their competitors get to them.

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Several companies are simultaneously facing a talent shortage and growing demand for their goods or services, so they are speeding up the talent pipeline and searching for other shortcuts to fill key jobs in IT, engineering, and other areas.

"Companies are starting to feel a real pinch for a lack of employees," says Dan Finnigan, chief executive of JobVite, a recruiting software platform that uses employee referrals and social networks. As business begins to pick up, Finnigan says, they think: "I have to hire some more people, fast." More

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