How to reduce time to hire: 7 simple ways to speed up hiring

How to reduce time to hire: 7 simple ways to speed up hiring

How long does it take you to fill a vacant position in your organization, on average? If you're answering this question in weeks or months rather than days, your time-to-hire rate may be too high. A slow hiring rate can decrease the quality of applicants you receive while increasing your recruiting costs. Improving your time-to-hire rate is beneficial for many reasons. If you're unsure how to start, use this guide to learn some tips and best practices for reducing your business's time to hire.

What is time to hire?

Time to hire is the time from when a candidate applies for an open position to when they accept an offer. This metric can vary widely depending on several factors, including the industry and the difficulty of the position. Recent research shows the average time-to-hire rate has increased to an average of 44 days. However, certain industries, such as professional services and energy and defense, take even longer to fill open positions.

When measuring your recruiting efforts, you can use the time-to-hire rate to evaluate your efficiency. You can also assess another similar metric known as time to fill. The time-to-fill rate is slightly different because it measures the time from when you post a position to when a candidate officially accepts an offer. For this reason, it's a longer length of time than the time-to-hire rate.

How to reduce time to hire

A lengthy hiring process can lead to many challenges, including higher recruiting costs and decreased team or organization productivity. It's in your business's best interests to reduce its time-to-hire rate. If it's taking weeks or months to fill open positions in your organization, follow these best practices for reducing the time to hire.

Evaluate the data

Start by gathering the data you need to evaluate the hiring process. Determine the average time-to-hire rate for a defined period, such as six months or a year. Once you have this metric, you can also look at other data, including:

  •  The length of time between stages of the hiring process, such as the application stage to the initial screening stage
  •  The average time to hire for companies in your industry
  •  The quality of the applications you receive

Once you've gathered this data, you can identify the areas you want to improve. For example, if you notice a significant lag between the initial screening and interview phases, you can look for ways to improve your efficiency in this area. Likewise, if poor-quality applications are increasing your time to hire, you can focus your efforts on attracting more suitable candidates for vacant roles.

Write a focused job description

While the time to hire doesn't start until a candidate applies for an open position, the job description can have an impact on this metric. A clear, focused job description ensures you attract candidates with the required skills and abilities. On the other hand, a vague or complex job posting can deter the right candidates and increase your hiring times.

Limit your job postings to the essential details a potential applicant needs to know about a position. Briefly describe the role's duties and requirements and include information about the benefits your company offers, such as remote work or a generous vacation policy. When you write a focused job description, you increase your chances of attracting the right candidates, which can accelerate the remainder of the hiring process.

Simplify the application process

Candidates don't want to jump through hoops to apply for positions. When you make it easier for them to apply, you can make the entire hiring process go faster. Start by reviewing the information you require applicants to submit. For example, don't make them provide a resume and answer questions about their prior experience. Additionally, make sure to optimize your application platform for mobile. Many candidates apply for jobs directly from their phones and other devices. You risk losing out on those candidates if you're not set up to handle mobile applications.

"Candidates don't want to jump through hoops to apply for positions. When you make it easier for them to apply, you can make the entire hiring process go faster."

Consider pre-employment assessments

Pre-employment assessments, such as skills tests, can be a valuable tool to ensure you're moving forward with suitable candidates. However, they can also lengthen your time-to-hire rate. Consider investing in screening software to ensure that these assessments don't slow down the hiring process. This type of software enables you to create pre-employment screening tests quickly, which candidates can complete as part of an automated process. This way, you can screen candidates for competence and fit without adding several days (or more) to your time-to-hire rate.

Streamline the interview phase

In many cases, hiring managers find the lag in their hiring times can be attributed to inefficient interview processes. Streamline this phase to avoid delays and minimize your time to hire. Consider these tips:

  •  Limit the number of interviews: For many positions, having candidates complete three different interviews is unnecessary. Limit the interviews you conduct to an initial phone screening and a full interview for the top candidates.
  •  Hold virtual interviews: You can save time by hosting interviews virtually using video-conferencing tools and online communications platforms. When candidates don't have to travel for in-person interviews, it can speed up this stage of the hiring process.
  •  Use automated tools: An automated tool makes it easy for top candidates to schedule interviews. Such tools can improve your time to hire by allowing you to contact candidates and schedule interviews efficiently.

Engage with candidates

When candidates don't hear from you, they assume you're uninterested and move on. While you're working to shorten your time-to-hire rate, focus on engaging with candidates throughout the hiring process. For example, you might email a candidate a week after they've applied to let them know you're still processing applications and will be in touch soon. You can also use additional means to engage with candidates, such as text messages. These strategies can improve the candidate experience and maintain interest in the position.

Create a talent pipeline

What if you didn't have to source candidates from scratch each time you have an open position? A talent pipeline, which is a group of people you've identified as qualified for a particular role, can be an incredibly effective way of minimizing your time-to-hire rate. It might include past job candidates or current employees in your organization. When a new position opens up, you can invite the people in your talent pipeline to apply.

It takes some time to build a talent pipeline, but it's worth the effort, especially if you want to reduce your time to hire. Here are the steps you can take to get started:

  •  Consider the types of roles you hire for most often.
  •  Identify the required skills and experience for those roles.
  •  Find potential candidates for those roles using different methods, such as posting on social media or networking at industry events.
  •  Build a rapport with potential candidates with the skills and experience you need.
  •  Contact candidates in your talent pipeline periodically to keep them interested and engaged.

When you better your time-to-hire rate, you can attract better candidates, keep them engaged, and ultimately hire the right people for your team or organization. While improving your time-to-hire rate requires some investment and effort, it's worth the work to speed up the hiring process. Use these tips and suggestions to reduce your time to hire and improve your hiring efficiency.

More tips on hiring effectively:

Building a pipeline is a great way to improve your time-to-hire rate. Use these tips to build a candidate pipeline with a resume database.

If you're a small business owner, here are some additional ways to expedite the hiring process.

The competition for top talent is fiercer than ever. Check out the seven recruitment best practices to follow to source qualified candidates.

Are you guilty of these hiring time wasters? Learn how to eliminate them from your hiring process completely.

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