Reduce Time to Hire: The 8 Best Ways

by Victoria Mckee

The time to hire is a metric that continues to be one of the critical performance indicators for an organization’s hiring team. Surprisingly, only 30% of companies can fill open positions within 30 days, with the remaining 70% taking between 1-4 months to hire someone. Measuring the time to hire isn’t an easy feat, but you and your team members will know what parts to improve on and the actions you must take when you collect the data.

But wait: Why should you reduce time to hire in the first place? Does it really matter?

Well, when you take too long to fill an open position, it would increase the cost per hire and the risk of losing high-quality candidates that end up going to other competitor companies!

Now, the next question is: How can you reduce the time to hire? We’ve got you covered with the most effective tips to follow, so read on!


Reduce Time to Hire!

Reduce Time to Hire

Follow these tips so you can reduce time to hire:


Collect the Right Data

When we talk of measuring things, you already know that data will be involved. Obviously, data is crucial when calculating the time to hire and how to reduce it.

The first step to reducing the time to hire is actually collecting the data related to this critical metric. Collect data on the following:

  • How long does it currently take to fill open positions?
  • How long does it take for candidates to move between stages?
  • Compare your organization’s time to hire with the industry standard, even comparing it between competitors, if possible.
  • How many calendar days does it take to go from the final selection to sending job offers?
  • The ratio of poor to good applications the organization usually receives. This can help hiring teams determine if the slower time to hire occurs during the sourcing phase.

After gathering all the appropriate data, look into the concerning numbers and focus on what needs to be done to improve them.

For instance, you notice it will take two days on average for candidates to provide their details and send their resumes, but hiring managers to take an entire week to respond. To avoid the delay, you may want to automate certain manual tasks, reducing the overall workload.

In fact, look into certain steps such as screening candidates, analyzing resumes, looking at pre-employment test results to move them to the next phase, or scheduling interviews. You can automate these steps with the right tools, which we’ll discuss in the following sections.

Automating tasks can save time, benefiting candidates and hiring teams. Candidates can move through the process quicker and have better candidate experiences while hiring teams have more free time to perform more critical tasks.


Create a Structured Hiring Process

When you don’t have a structured hiring process, it will result in a long time to hire as you’ll have to practically begin to start from scratch every time you need to fill a new position.

And even if your organization already has a process in place, we recommend sketching it out to see what the candidate journey usually looks like from beginning to end. What are the specific steps, and how long do they typically take?

You’ll be protected from slowing down when you have a documented hiring process. It will help significantly improve the time to hire as you’ll know what to do in every step. Inf act, structured hiring processes are recommended!

Adam Robinson, the CEO, and co-founder of Hireology, says: “A structured hiring process is cost-effective and will streamline how you find and qualify candidates. Plus, it can provide measurable, tangible results for your business by helping you avoid damage caused by bad hires.” 

Before creating strategies and improving your time to hire, map out your organization’s recruitment journey from the recruiter and candidate’s perspectives. Doing so allows you to identify areas you can automate and improve.


Build a Talent Pipeline

Reduce Time to Hire

A talent pipeline refers to candidates you have pre-screened for specific roles. Having one is a powerful way to improve the time to hire.

When you prepare a pool of qualified candidates in case of open positions, you lessen the time and effort of advertising the job, waiting for applicants, and spending time interviewing them. All you have to do is reach out to your talent pipeline for interest.

Follow these steps when building a quality talent pipeline:

  • Identify the roles the organization usually hires for.
  • Determine the job requirements, such as the cultural fit, skills, education, and the like.
  • Find the platforms where you would get the ideal candidates, such as LinkedIn, referrals, industry events, conferences, etc.
  • Identify talents that seem like great fits and each out.
  • Keep in touch with your chosen candidates through sharing personalized messages and meaningful content.

Talent pipelines are an effective way to source candidates. But if you have high-volume hiring, how will you go about talent pipelines?

It all goes back to automating as many tasks as possible, allowing technology to help with the process! You can conduct pre-employment tests to assess applicants’ skills and characteristics. So even if applicants aren’t selected for current job openings, recruiters can see their profiles again, seeing what roles they are best suited for in the future. That way, hiring managers and recruiters can easily reach out to suitable candidates if there are more job opportunities.


Improve the Company’s Career Page

Usually, candidates visit your organization’s career page at least twice throughout the hiring process. The first time they visit, they want to learn about the job opening. The second time they visit, it’s most likely them considering the offer.

If your career page doesn’t sell candidates on the open jobs, they’ll either exit the page right away or reject your job offer. Either way, both situations would negatively impact the time to hire. Job hunters exiting pages immediately would result in fewer applications and a slower time to hire. In contrast, job offer rejections result in having to start over with sending an offer to the next suitable candidate. That would take time as well, from waiting for the response and any negotiations to be made.

That’s why it’s best to improve your organization’s career page to reduce the exits and rejections, thus speeding up the time to hire.

Start improving the career page by anticipating the information candidates look for on the career page and provide it off the bat. To ensure that potential candidates won’t abandon their application after clicking the Apply button, you must provide a positive experience!

Focus on creating an engaging and mobile-first experience showcasing the company culture and work environment with realistic job previews.


Accelerate Sourcing

We know that the sourcing phase isn’t technically a part of the time to hire metric. But this can make or break the actual time to hire, so it’s worth talking about.

If you’re aware of the ratio of good to poor job applications the organization receives, this helps you determine if there’s a slowdown occurring during the sourcing phase. Having to sort through low-quality applications can cost a ton of time and energy without a return on investment.

Check your applicant-to-interview ratio to get an idea of the good to poor application ratio. The average of this ratio is 12%. You most likely source many good candidates if you have a better ratio. However, if you don’t have a good ratio, there are ways to improve sourcing, such as:

  • Programmatic advertising – This refers to running paid ad campaigns to specific target groups when advertising job openings. If you have the budget, this form of advertising can help get your job openings out there, build an employer brand, and earn quality candidates.
  • Social sourcing – Take advantage of social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn! Doing so can allow the hiring team to identify people in the industry who can be an excellent fit for the organization. You can even attend and host offline events like industry meetups or gatherings to connect with ideal candidates.
  • Internal talent auditing – Keep updated on your internal talent situations and statuses. You might just fill positions through internal promotions, saving even more time!
  • Referrals – The top method candidates learn about job openings is from referrals. Provide promising referral schemes that reward employees who recruit high-quality talents.
  • Talent databases – You can find job websites with millions of resumes and applicants! Look into such platforms and use their search function to filter candidates that can become extraordinary employees in the organization.

After getting enough quality applications, you can identify the most suitable candidates quicker, drastically improving the time to hire.


Use the Proper Hiring Tools and Software

Reduce Time to Hire

Here are the hiring tools and software we recommend investing in:


Application Tracking Systems

One software we recommend investing in is an Application Tracking System or ATS. A high-quality ATS can help hiring teams in various parts of the hiring process. From posting job advertisements on multiple job boards and platforms down to notifying the team in real-time when someone new applies, ATS can improve efficiency in significant areas of the process.

ATS also offers functions like streamlining and sorting applications, scheduling interviews, building talent pipelines, automating tasks, and compliance-checking. ATS can help structure the hiring process, thus reducing the average time to hire.


Pre-Employment Assessment Software

Another software we recommend investing in is pre-employment assessment software, primarily when you conduct assessments such as personality questionnaires, skill tests, or cognitive ability assessments. While such assessments add value and help you get a suitable candidate in the team, they add time to the hiring process. For instance:

  • Cognitive ability assessments can add an average of 2.6 to 4.4 days to the hiring process.
  • Job skills tests can add up to 1.5 days on average.
  • Personality questionnaires can add an average of 0.9 to 1.3 days to the hiring process.

When you consider the fact that top-quality candidates are only available for ten days on average, it’s vital to bring down screen time!

Screening solutions will significantly cut down the time to hire without losing any quality in the process. Through intelligent screening from pre-employment assessment software, you’ll rely on resumes less and focus more on the candidates!


End-to-End Digital Hiring Platforms

And lastly, we also suggest using end-to-end digital hiring platforms. While there isn’t a single solution to take care of the entire hiring process, you can use platforms to connect all your necessary tools and systems that work together.

Build a hiring workflow and determine the tools used during each stage. When you’re done doing this, the recruitment tech stack will look something similar to this:

  • Pre-employment assessment software
  • Application tracking system
  • Employee onboarding solutions

Another thing you can do is to find solutions that offer multiple functions, particularly what you and the hiring team need. 

When choosing the best hiring tools and software, don’t rush! Base the final decision on the organization and hiring team’s unique needs, then test the tools before committing.


Improve the Job Listings

The first step of every sourcing stage is writing the job description. Like sourcing, it isn’t part of the time to hire metrics, though it plays an important role!

When you lose great candidates at the beginning of the sourcing stage, it will result in a slower time to hire because you get fewer applicants.

What’s the problem?

It may come from your job description! For example, you use gender-biased words. It’s time to write gender-inclusive job applications to attract more applicants, reducing the sourcing time and hiring time. After all, job listings that use gender-neutral words get up to 42% more candidates!

Make sure to word the job descriptions carefully, then have them checked and proofread before posting them.


Conduct Efficient Interviews with Automated Scheduling

Any delays in scheduling candidate interviews will directly increase the time to hire. With companies conducting at least three interviews per candidate, scheduling interviews will need to be quicker!

Instead of scheduling interviews manually, you can use an automated interview scheduling tool, which saves time and reduces any delay during the process. It would also reduce any frustration on the applicant’s side, improving their experience.


In Conclusion

The time to hire is an important metric that would affect your business flow. Because of that, you must make changes according to the data you get from previous hiring processes the hiring team has performed in the past. Not only do you save time and onboard top applicants, but you also increase candidate experience, which is just as helpful for the organization.

Hopefully, you learned a lot from our guide to improving your organization’s time to hire. Start taking steps to improve on this metric and see how it helps the organization in the long run. If you have any questions or want to share advice on the topic, comment below.

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