Stop Losing Top Candidates – Speed up your Time-to-Hire!

Time-to-hire is one of the three top metrics in recruitment, with cost-per-hire and quality-of-hire the others. It is measured from the time the first application is received to the time a job offer is accepted.

According to LinkedIn, only a third of companies typically complete this process within 30 days. The rest can take anywhere up to four months.

We will look at the impact of a slow hiring process and give hiring managers and recruiters some tips for working together to speed things up while maintaining quality.

Why does time-to-hire matter?

Some companies mistakenly believe that taking their time to appoint a new hire is necessary to ensure they get the right person for the job. In fact, a lengthy time-to-hire process reduces the likelihood of success. It is also damaging to a business in other ways.

Loss of revenue

People are hired to add value to the business. Being under-resourced inevitably costs the company more in reduced efficiency and productivity. The skills gap has to be filled with existing employees, reducing their effectiveness, or by expensive temporary staff. There is often a hit to morale, reducing productivity further.

Increased campaign costs

Running ad campaigns, pulling senior managers into interviews, typing up emails, entering data – it all costs money and/or time. The longer the interview process, the more resources are swallowed up, eating into company profits.

Poor candidate experience

Providing a positive candidate experience is vital. A disappointing applicant journey reflects badly on your brand. Worse still, 72% of frustrated applicants share their experiences online (and 55% of prospective hires take online company reviews seriously).

Losing out to competitors

There is also a high likelihood that companies that extend the application period lose out on all of the best candidates. These star applicants will almost always be on the radar of other businesses and statistics show that companies only have ten days on average to snap them up. A study by HR firm Robert Half found that more than 50% of prospective hires lost interest in a role and dropped out of the process simply because of the time it was taking.

Solutions: How to speed up recruitment without affecting quality-of-hire

The good news is that it is now easier than ever to put the processes and technologies in place to substantially improve the time-to-hire metric:

Improve your sourcing and job description

Although this part of the process does not strictly affect the time-to-hire metric, which begins with the first application, it clearly affects your ability to quickly fill vacancies.

If you are simply not getting enough applicants, you may need to rethink your job description. Are you too demanding with your essential requirements? The top candidates are usually very trainable so consider downgrading some qualifications or skills to the ‘desirable’ category which is likely to increase the number of quality applicants.

If you receive a high proportion of poor quality applicants, you may need to rethink your entire sourcing strategy.

Measuring and streamlining the hiring process

Making improvements to any process should be based on hard data. Therefore, a positive first step to take is to create a process map of your hiring journey and record the average time it takes for a candidate to move from one stage to another (e.g. application to telephone interview). By comparing these times with averages for your industry, you can immediately see where any bottlenecks are.

Set hard selection dates

If it is taking a long time to move from application to the first assessment stage (e.g telephone interview), candidates may feel they have fallen at the first hurdle, especially if other firms have already reached this stage,

One way to avoid this is to give hiring managers a firm date by which they need to have decided whether to progress a candidate. A checklist of job requirements can help them to avoid distractions and make a quick, evidence-based decision.

The same strategy can also clear bottlenecks between the final interview and job offer stage.

Balance time and number of assessments

The average time to progress from application to final interview is between 23 and 24 days although there is a lot of industry variation. How many assessments and interview stages do you need? There is no magic number but Google’s recommendation of four is a good benchmark.

The more assessments you provide, the more data you receive but the cost is extra time and the danger of implying a lack of trust in your candidate’s abilities. You need to strike a balance that works for your company.

Keep communication channels open

Too many businesses let good quality hires slip through their fingers simply due to poor communication. Informing candidates of your application timeframe will set their expectations and avoid them dropping out because they assume you have lost interest.

When it comes to the very best candidates, every second counts. You need to be in a position to make offers and respond to queries sharply or risk losing out to a faster competitor. Mobile apps are becoming increasingly valuable for this reason.

The role of recruitment software

Some businesses are afraid of upgrading their software to help speed up their recruitment processes but these fears are usually unfounded. Recent developments have made it far easier to integrate different systems and platforms such as Idibu offer multiple ways to save time. For example, Idibu can ensure a steady supply of talent by helping to manage your talent pipeline while also enabling you to stay in constant touch with your hot targets through a cutting-edge mobile app.

At each stage of the process, there are new software solutions which no longer require huge investments and contractual tie-ins yet will help you to automate screening, schedule interviews, streamline applications, manage compliance and more, shaving days off your hiring process.

Yes, change is challenging but if your current recruitment tech isn’t working, you or your clients are likely missing out on the best candidates.

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