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Tips to Reduce your Time to Hire

Time To Recruit

The time to hire metric is a key measure for any recruitment process. However, the recruitment sector is increasingly seeing evidence of this time to hire increasing. It is estimated that currently in the UK less than a 3rd of all roles get filled within the first month. Taking too long to fill a role doesn’t just increase the cost per hire but it comes with the greater risk of losing high quality candidates. Recent studies suggest that as many as 60% of job seekers lose interest if the hiring process is too long. So how can you reduce your time to hire?


1. Collect the right data

The first step toward working on your time to hire is establishing what metrics you need to improve:

  • How long it takes to fill a role (From sign off to acceptance)
  • ow HHow long it takes for a candidate to move between different stages in your recruitment process
  • The average time spent ThThe average time spent from CV received to interview date
  • The The average time spent per interview
  • The The ratio of applicants to interviews
  • The The ratio of interviews to offers
  • The ratio of offers to acceptance


Acquiring this data will show you where inefficiencies lie, where the blockages are and what is causing the increased time to hire.


2. Structure your hiring process

A candidate’s recruitment journey should feel effortless from start to finish. Consider the different steps in the process: Application to response to screening to interview and so on. How long does each stage take, how engaged may a candidate feel and what information they might need at each stage. If you don’t have a structured process you just end up starting from scratch each time there’s a new role to fill.


3. Write better adverts

A successful job advert is not one which attracts the most candidates, it’s the one that attracts the most relevant candidates. Be clear on what the role involves and the skills and experiences you require. This has the impact of significantly reducing your time to hire through discouraging inappropriate candidates from applying. It’s the 1st step to filtering candidates.


4. Accelerate the sourcing process

Many organisations are operating under the belief that it is a candidate rich market and therefore believe they can find better prospects if they wait, the reality is that although it is a candidate rich market it is not a skill rich one. If you can avoid it don’t undertake the recruitment process yourself.  Organisations rarely have the resources or candidate reach that a specialist recruitment consultancy would have. The top talent is passive not active. You are just adding to the time to hire. Using a specialist recruitment consultancy (not a generalist) means that this part of the process can be sped up with you only seeing a relevant shortlist of suitable candidates to interview.


5. Build talent pipelines

A talent pipeline is one of the most powerful ways to reduce time to hire. When you have a number of qualified candidates on speed dial who you are keeping engaged, you don’t have to advertise your job, wait for the applications, or spend time vetting the applicants.


6. Provide a great candidate experience

Candidates need to be engaged throughout the entire recruitment process. If your candidate experience is poor they will leave the process or certainly think twice about attending an interview or accepting an offer. Review how each stage works from a candidates perspective and make sure it is an experience that highlights the engaging nature of your organisation. The top talent is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them and they need to feel engaged and excited.


7. Improve the screening & interview process

Delays in scheduling interviews directly add to your time to hire. With most companies conducting 2 or 3 rounds of interviews, the time to schedule interviews usually offers a lot of room for improvement. If people are an organisations biggest asset, then they need to be treated as such with Managers making themselves available regardless of what is in their diary. Utilise technology, the last year has taught us that video interviewing is extremely effective and significantly reduces the time spent on the interview process. If you are utilising a specialist recruitment consultancy who have screened effectively, they have completed the 1st stage for you. You can move straight to the 2nd stage in the process.


8. Improve your careers page

Candidates will visit your careers page at least twice during the recruitment process, firstly when they learn about your job opening, and again when they’re considering your job offer. If your careers page doesn’t sell to these prospective candidates, they’ll either drop off immediately or end up rejecting your offer. Both of which will naturally increase your time to hire.


9. Invest in a good Application Tracking System (ATS)

A good quality ATS is important at each stage of the recruitment process. It will help you increase efficiency, improve candidate engagement, and ultimately reduce your time to hire. It should include application streamlining, interview scheduling, talent pipeline building and compliance checking to name but a few capabilities.


10. Don’t delay making offers

The top talent is not actively looking and remain secure in their roles. Prospective employers need to entice them away through a quick and seductive recruitment process, competitive packages and increasingly through the alure of soft benefits. Once committed to looking they will have 3-5 roles in process and will receive multiple offers. If organisations don’t move quickly, they miss out, the top talent get offers within weeks not months. The biggest reason candidates reject job offers is because they’ve already accepted someone else’s offer. You don’t want this to happen with your top pick. If a candidate receives a counteroffer or a competing offer, be prepared to negotiate. You should know the candidate very well by this point and should be able to extract this information (using a specialist recruitment consultancy can help here). Use all your information to craft lucrative perks beyond the package that might make the difference.