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5 tips to reduce your time to hire

Eve Davies-Greenwald Feb 5, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Data is a major component of modern day recruitment. One example of a key recruiting metric that is gaining more attention is the "time to hire" stat which recruiters often focus on as an indicator of their efficiency. The idea is that the less time it takes to source, screen, interview, background check, and make a job offer to secure the top candidates -- the more skilled the recruiter. 

There is no avoiding the fact that the changing reality of recruitment and the ongoing war for talent is having a direct impact on hiring speed. Other factors impacting this metric also include major skill gaps in STEM careers, historical lows in unemployment rates, and governmental restrictions on H1-B Visa applications. Basically, it's getting harder to find the right people for the right roles and, as the old saying goes, time is money. That means recruiters, out of necessity, are getting more creative about what tools and resources they are leveraging to help them manage candidates in a more efficient manner, without losing the human touch that candidates expect. 

How to decrease time to hire rates

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce time to hire in recruitment. Here are at least 5 ways you can improve your recruitment metrics, as proven by organizations who have adopted technology and combined it with sound practices.

1) Know where your industry stands with time to hire

In terms of the average time to hire, it’s generally understood that different industries experience different vacancy rates. A good way to find out if your time to hire status is in a normal range is to visit DHI Group, Inc., a global provider of specialized websites and services, publishes a monthly report on the average vacancy duration - anywhere from 12 days for construction workers to 49 days for healthcare workers. Recruiters can also visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey to find data on hiring and turnover rates.

Review your last 12 months of hires to determine how your organization stands against the competition. Keep in mind, a good hire takes a certain amount of time and that delay might be far better than hiring the wrong candidate and dealing with the consequences later. If you have to take longer to select the best candidate, particularly for a management or executive role, so be it. But knowing the average time it takes to hire compared to industry standards can at least give you a benchmark to assess your own hiring process against. If you find you're taking far longer than the rest of your industry, you may be taking unnecessary steps you could eliminate from your recruitment strategy.

2) Evaluate and eliminate the time wasting aspects of recruitment

Do you really need to interview candidates 3 or 4 times? Is scheduling a bunch of candidates for interviews a major time waster? What about follow-ups with candidates? While you might find there are some factors you can cut out of your process completely, there might be others you can automate instead. Candidate experience matters and you don't want to do anything that detracts from that, even if it speeds up how much time you spend on a new hire. But thanks to technology there are solutions for how much hands-on time you need to spend with job seekers. For example, there are new application systems that use chatbots to screen candidates -- some are so good that candidates don’t realize they are not talking to a live human! Then there are ways to automate scheduling, such as self-scheduling apps that help ensure candidates actually show up for interviews in the age of ghosting. Follow-ups can be managed by automated emails and more chatbot interactions, with a special email set up just for this purpose. There are many steps involved in the recruiting process so using technology to help find and keep the right people in the hiring loop can save a lot of time.

Read more: Want to avoid interview ghosting? Here are a few tips to make sure your best candidates show up

3) Build a strong pipeline, even if it’s built on passive candidates

A well-built pipeline can be a rich source of talent and a great resource for your recruiting team. Pipelines help drastically reduce your time to hire when managed effectively because the hiring manager already has a list of candidates before the search even really starts. And you can even boost your talent list by asking for candidate referrals from within the company. Someone may not be looking for a job, but chances are they may know another person who is. Collecting and pooling all that information in a centralized location now can save you a ton of time later. A great example of this is Nestlé Purina PetCare, who filled 43 percent of its jobs before they even opened them by utilizing their million-candidate pipeline. The company focused on data-driven marketing to help build their pipeline of qualified candidates so that whenever they need to fill an open position they have a number of resumes at their fingertips in seconds. How do they do it? They use a pre-need approach when gathering initial information from a candidate and screen candidates thoroughly even if no positions are available. This allows them to hire only the most qualified and diverse candidates while cutting their time to hire by a significant amount.

4) Keep the recruitment process personal and transparent

Maintain a personalized recruitment approach to develop a positive corporate brand. This can help put candidates at ease so they become more cooperative and responsive, getting back to you more quickly than they might otherwise have done. Kurt Heikkinen, president and CEO at Montage, a recruitment technology firm, told HR Dive, “Candidates expect a high tech, high touch experience. They want their job seeking experience to match their own consumer experiences — fast, transparent and easy.” Be upfront with candidates and let them know what the process is like so that they know what to expect. Treat them as having valuable skills and not just another warm body to fit into a job. Again, technology can come into play here by automating some of these touchpoints so that your candidates have a positive experience and your hiring manager has enough time to make a sound decision.

Pro-Tip: Can using AI help you save time when it comes to recruiting?

5) Use an ATS to keep track of results year-round

If you want to kick things up a notch, more sophisticated methods for tracking time to hire can come from reports generated from a central applicant tracking system. This is an internal way of determining if the hiring team is being efficient over time. It can even give you a sense of how many calendar days it takes on average to close a position. With an ATS, it's also easy to measure recruitment campaigns by other hiring metrics such as the number of candidates interviewed and hired. And as a bonus, continual monitoring of results can keep recruiters mindful of their own methods. According to industry data (compiled by Capterra) 75 percent of recruiters and hiring professionals now use applicant tracking systems. 36 percent of these recruiters reported that the use of the ATS of their choice saved them time.

Faster hiring is possible

The good news is yes, you can hire faster without sacrificing the quality of hire you bring into the company. What it comes down to is being smarter and using sone of the recruitment technology that's available. Finding ways to eliminate time wasting activities, giving candidates a better experience, screening and evaluating candidates better, building a talent pipeline, and streamlining processes can all help improve time to hire rates. Even better, they can help you find the quality candidates you've been searching for.

   Hiring with Personality Assessments

Topics: Hiring Strategies, Talent Acquisition

Eve Davies-Greenwald

Written by Eve Davies-Greenwald

Marketing Manager