Time to hire is an essential metric of recruitment success. The tighter you can get it without sacrificing new-hire quality, the more competitive your recruitment function becomes in the market. But in recent months, time to hire has lengthened across industries, with averages ranging from 33 to 49 days, depending on the industry and function. Dragging out the hiring process impacts both your ability to fill requisitions and candidate experience.
So what does it take to speed up the hiring process at your company?
First, it’s essential to understand what’s causing the problem. There are several reasons why time to hire continues to grow: In a tight labor market, it’s harder than ever to attract applicants in the first place. The problem is compounded by lack of communication with candidates and poor hiring and selection processes, causing you to miss out on top talent.
But there are best practices you can implement to close the gap. Here’s how to accelerate your hiring and recruiting process.
Nurture Your Talent Pipeline
In a crowded labor market, you can’t afford to passively post openings on generic job sites and wait for candidates to come to you. You need an active recruiting strategy to fill and nurture your talent pipeline, even if you don’t currently have any requisitions open.
Get creative with where recruiters source candidates, and build awareness of your employer brand, especially on local job boards and social media. “A general job search site isn’t the best place to post every job,” says Michael Moran, owner and recruiting manager at Green Lion Search Group. “Professional organizations, universities and niche sites targeted at particular industries or types of professionals are often a better source of qualified applicants for skilled and knowledge-based jobs.”
Prioritize building relationships with qualified job seekers, regardless of whether they’ve actively shown interest in the role. Set quotas for recruiters to fill the pipeline by reaching out to candidates in a personalized, approachable manner. Maintain a database of potential candidates. Work with your marketing team to distribute regular content that outlines industry trends, shares current openings and highlights company culture.
With a robust pipeline, you can increase applications when a requisition opens, reducing time to hire.
Implement Recruiting Technology
While not every function can be automated, aspects of recruiting and hiring can be, freeing up time for recruiters to focus on building relationships with candidates. Chatbots can answer questions candidates may have at the application stage, for example. And automated communication at key points can keep candidates up to date on their status and engaged in the hiring process.
“This will not only speed up your hiring process,” says Lensa founder and CEO Gergo Vari, “but will also entice prospects to stay for the duration.” Frequent communication improves the candidate experience, meaning great candidates edged out in the selection process will be more willing to reapply to future openings.
With human oversight and clear job descriptions, your recruiting automation and your applicant tracking system can help prioritize the top candidates so you don’t delay in reaching out to them. Tools such as automated self-scheduling allow recruiters to monitor when interviews are happening without losing time to administrative scheduling burdens.
Your existing tech stack may have more capabilities than you’re currently using, too. Applicant tracking systems and relationship management tools you already have can help you centralize communication and reduce repetitive work.
Streamline Interview Processes
One significant way to speed up time to hire is to streamline the interview stage. Research shows, for instance, that a shocking two-thirds of overall hiring time is spent on the interview process alone.
Why? No matter how efficient the initial recruitment process is, recruiters have little control over expediting the process once applications are handed over to hiring managers for interviews. But with so much time lost to scheduling interviews, a defined interview process can drastically speed up the hiring process.
“If you want your hiring managers to be able to hire fast,” says Anna Papalia, founder and CEO at Shift Profile, “then you need to train them to make decisions about what you want before the hiring process even begins.” Implementing standardized interview questions designed to measure job-related competencies, along with scorecards correlated to that criteria, can help hiring managers stay focused and make decisions faster.
Implementing video interviews can reduce time to hire. Video interviews minimize travel time and pre-recorded interviews that candidates can do on their own time minimize administrative scheduling burdens. Consider giving candidates the option to record themselves completing an interview with pre-written questions, and then share that recording with process stakeholders.
Speeding up the hiring process without losing quality will deliver long-term value to your company. Building relationships with talent, enhancing your employer brand and improving the candidate experience give you an edge in a competitive talent market, setting your business up for success.