Time to Hire: How to Expedite Your Hiring Process

An open vacancy bleeds money in several ways; projects may languish or stress an entire department, and your job ad may cost more the longer it runs. It’s no secret that turnover creates inefficiency within your organization—but there are ways to make your hiring process streamlined to fill that vacancy quicker and still get quality candidates who will last.

The measurement for the length of the hiring process is better known as “time to hire.” It calculates the time between the initial candidate engagement to the moment that candidate accepts an offer. A vacancy can go on much longer, but time to hire measures the path each candidate takes during the hiring process, calculating the average across all candidates. While there are many factors that affect the duration of a vacancy, time to hire is a process you can streamline to get top talent to your organization more quickly.

Study recruitment metrics

The lengthy hiring process can come with frustration for both the HR team and the candidate, but too quick a process can also appear hasty and unprofessional to potential hires. The first step is having a clear time to hire calculation for all jobs across your organization. It’s difficult to improve on that time when you don’t know what it is. The average time to hire in 2017, according to a study conducted by Glassdoor, was 23.7 days. That number changes by country and by industry—and while that time to hire number may help you plan a timeline for your open positions, the number alone won’t be very useful unless you keep data over a long period of time. Over the long haul, keeping tabs on things like source of hire, quality of hire, and time to hire can all work in concert to help you better understand what drives (and what hurts) efficiency in your hiring process.

Embrace technology

In addition to data collection, technology can help streamline the process and let your HR team do the most important work of interfacing with your top tier candidates. Investing in applicant tracking systems will automatically pull the data, like time to hire, for you. Recruiting automation, which uses AI technology, can also help for things like the initial screening of resumes to rejecting applicants to interview scheduling. These technologies bear the brunt of the grunt work that is rote and time-consuming. You can also ensure that the candidates you want to stay in the process will do so by making the process more transparent, offering candidates updates and letting them know where the hiring process is, so you can continue to engage your candidates throughout the process or allow candidates to remove themselves from consideration.

Use referrals

Once resumes are funneled down into the most qualified applicants, there’s still a lot for the HR team to do to further screen applicants. One of the best ways to ensure quality candidates who will last is through referrals; having a trusted source refer a candidate is a built-in pre-screening process that often ensures that the individual is likely a good fit with the culture of your organization.

Conduct pre-interviews

Developing good interview questions for higher tier candidates during the pre-interview process is key. But certain questions can be developed and answered by the HR team themselves. For example, is this position a career move for a candidate? If yes, the candidate is likely to possess more drive and stay longer in the position. Keep the pre-interview process relatively short. You can conduct 10-minute phone interviews, or let your candidates record themselves in 10-minute videos answering your questions. This allows you to see how candidates may operate when it comes time to really focus on the select few you bring in to interview.

Engage passive candidates

This step essentially asks you to take more time in the hiring process—but it’s more about planting seeds before a vacancy opens up. Recruitment marketing takes a proactive approach that enables you to engage candidates who are not actively seeking a job and get them interested in your organization before that new vacancy even opens up, through targeted advertising and social media. This is a long-term strategy that can help you develop pipelines and engage talent, so that when it’s time to fill a vacancy, you may already have the perfect candidate. That’s more time spent on engaging candidates over the long haul, but less time to fill a vacancy which can save you money when it counts.

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