Speed and quality usually exist on opposite sides of a spectrum. You can get something fast, or you can get something really good. A Big Mac vs. Kobe beef cooked sous vide. A vlog you record in a few minutes on your iPhone vs. the award-winning movie Boyhood, filmed over 12 years.

This relationship applies to the normal course of the hiring process. You can run a long, exhaustive search to find the perfect candidate, putting everything else on hold while you chug through the process. Or, you can immediately grab whoever you can find and hope they don’t turn out to be a total flake or a project-tanking maniac.

If only you could find a hack to get both at the same time…find someone great in a shortened period.

There are some ways to narrow the spectrum somewhat, methods to close the gap between speed and quality. Here are some of the ways you can hire more quickly without sacrificing significant quality:

Hire Someone You Know

The reason job searches take so long is that you’re sifting through strangers. The process involves a desperate attempt to get to learn dozens of people well enough in a short period that you can project their work habits and growth potential years out into the future.

You can shorten the process by starting with people you already know. Reach out to former employees and previous co-workers early in the job search. If you’re lucky, you might be able to bring one of them back to take over the position.

Empower Managers to Make Decisions

The normal process of hiring involves a lot of layers. Bosses at different levels weighing in, as well as HR personnel and other interested parties providing their insight.

By cutting out some of these players, you can dramatically constrict the timeline. Let individual managers make their own hiring choices (they have to live with the consequences anyway). If that won’t work in your corporate structure, cut out as many people as possible to keep the number of people involved as limited as possible.

Change How You Conduct the Process

Look for ways to streamline the process of hiring. Review the steps you take when you conduct a job search and identify the most time-consuming or labor-intensive parts. Then, figure out ways to eliminate these bottlenecks, or at least limit the resources you need to commit.

Use software to help conduct the initial resume review, lowering the amount of human effort that goes into that part of the endeavor. Also, try to rely less on in-person interviews and move toward wider use of phone and video chats.

Start with Freelancers

Hiring a full-time employee represents a dramatic commitment with long-term implications. That’s why the process often gets so intensive. You don’t want to make a mistake, so you create checks and balances to avoid the worst errors.

One way to ease the pressure involves lowering the overall risk. Instead of bringing in a full-time employee, start with a freelance or contract worker. These involve a shallower commitment and require less effort to reverse a bad decision. You can continue to look around, even after filling the immediate need.

Once you know the contractor, you can consider making them a full-time employee. At that point, you will have more information, creating a scenario with much less risk.

Getting the best workers in the shortest time gets easier when you have outside help. A strong recruiting partner, like SmartTalent, can send you the perfect fit for any position, almost instantly.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.