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How To Reduce Time to Hire: 10 Effective Ways
Hiring and Recruitment

How To Reduce Time to Hire: 10 Effective Ways

Nirvi B
March 13, 2024

28 days. That’s the average length of the hiring process. Or your typical time-to-hire.

Taking too long to fill openings means missing out on potential candidates, not to mention the increasing cost per hire. Experienced hiring managers leave no stones unturned to reduce time to hire as they're aware of risking top talent acquisition. 

It's worth noting that there is a difference between time to fill and time to hire as they are not the same metrics. Time to hire is best defined as the amount of time that passes between when a candidate applies to a job and when they accept an offer and time to fill is the interval between when the hiring process begins and when the candidate accepts the offer letter.

Example of the difference between time to fill and time to hire: 

Time-to-fill answers, "How long until you fill a new opening from start to finish?"

Time-to-hire answers, “How long until you hire someone after he/she has applied for the opening?

A job description may be open for several weeks before a candidate applies. And so, the difference between time to hire and time to fill is that usually 'time to fill' is greater than the average 'time to hire'. Even though its effect on your business profit margin might not be as clear, it's beneficial to reduce time to hire - in order to increase recruiting efficiency, minimize expenses, and produce a better candidate experience.

Measuring time to hire is no easy feat, but once you have the data, you can answer the question of how to reduce time to hire or what needs to improve?

Also read : Quick guide to an effective recruitment process

How to Reduce Time to Hire in 10 Effective Ways

1. Outline a structured hiring plan

Hiring a candidate entails knowing what you require in the long run. If a recruiting strategy is not in place, recruiters might find themselves in the middle of sweet nothings. One tends to set a weaker base for their recruitment process without a structured plan. So, sketch out a roadmap of your strategic recruitment to reduce time to hire. This plan may include:

  • The objectives of your recruitment.
  • The qualities of the ideal candidate for workforce planning.
  • Value proposition and marketing approach to source candidates.
  • The company's decision-making and onboarding procedure.
  • The use of technology by choosing a recruitment management system.
  • Budget for the recruitment.

2. Optimize your sourcing channels 

Most recruiters have a preferred method of locating applicants. More than half of respondents (52%) go to their professional network first, while another 28% go to LinkedIn first (Lever). Candidates may be more open to outreach messages on non-traditional websites, and profiles on such sites might generate unique data that can be used for personalized outreach. For example using other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to post job openings and reach a wider audience or else using Online job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor,etc can also help you reach a large pool of candidates. The idea is to gain a better understanding of your target applicants so you can predict where they will be found online. If you're new to job hunting, enlist the help of your coworkers to figure out where to look. Ask them things like: 

  • Where would you begin a search for this position from the perspective of someone who has been immersed in this domain for some time? 
  • Where might this group of people be active? 
  • What companies specialise in similar technologies, products, or services? 

Another puzzling quest to find an answer to: How to hire someone you've never met in person

3. Utilizing data to shorten the hiring process

By using data to inform and optimize the hiring process, organizations can reduce the time it takes to fill open positions, while also improving the quality of candidate sourcing and selection. Textual analysis of key performance metrics can help quicken the hiring process, and reviewing applicant data can help identify patterns in candidate qualification and experiences. Also, Monitoring hiring trends to identify changes in the job market and adjust recruiting strategies accordingly could also be beneficial in reducing time to hire. This is especially crucial when you, for example, within the hiring process oppose two models: IT managed services vs staff augmentation, and need to pick the best approach depending on your final goal.

effective ways to reduce time to hire | peoplehum

Also Read: Do you trust your gut feeling in hiring process? Maybe stop

4. Prioritise and practise targeted recruitment 

Learning how to use Boolean search as a candidate sourcing strategy can be an alternative tactic for candidate sourcing.  Recruiters utilise Boolean searches to comb the internet for niche candidate profiles. Boolean search is a type of search that produces relevant results by combining desired keywords with operators like AND, NOT, and OR. It's based on a hypothesis where every variable is either true or untrue. 

Begin your quest at home with your silver and bronze medalists - those who failed to pass the first time around. To put it in context, an average corporate position attracts 250 applicants, of whom you will hire one, leaving 249 unsuccessful but interested candidates for future appointments. You can apply the emerging method of text recruiting to reach out to these candidates. Automating scheduling can also help speed up the process by eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication between recruiters and candidates to find a suitable meeting time.

Also, here are Top 10  recruitment myths we'd like to bust

5. Focus on building an effective talent pipeline 

Building a talent pipeline eliminates the wait, thereby reducing time to hire. A well-built talent pipeline not only strangles the worries of advertising a job opening, grunt work of candidate sourcing and infinite background checks but also helps you improve your employer brand, plan future talent needs and attract applicants who want to work for your business. Also, Maintaining relationships with prospective candidates allows you to build a continuous talent pool that can be tapped into when jobs become available. With an efficient pipeline, you can attract and retain top talent who share your company's culture and values.

For instance, when we integrated our Hire module with Green Africa; as per the talent manager, recruitment automation was much preferred instead of "posting jobs online yourself." It becomes much easier to "have the candidates come to you and having the power to say - I don't need to open every CV that comes to me. I can just see it from the (peopleHum) dashboard."

6. Leverage a referral system to promote from within

Referral systems help locate candidates from within an organization's employee networks, as well as speed up the recruitment process and reduce time to hire. One of the most important hacks of an employee referral programme targeted at attracting qualified candidates is offering a referral bonus. Cash rewards, prize rewards, and vacation rewards are some of the most often used referral rewards by businesses today. Also, Offering competitive salaries and benefits can help you attract top talent quickly. This can also help you reduce hiring time it takes to fill open positions.

Additional resource: Top 10 hiring resources to help you hire better in 2023.

7. Redesign your employer brand and career page

Candidates often visit the career section of your website at least twice during the hiring process: once when they learn about your job opportunity and again when they are contemplating your job offer. If your career website does not persuade candidates to apply for your jobs, they might either decide against applying or reject the offer. 

Similarly, your social media presence gives you the identity of a reputable employer. Enhance your social media engagement and look out for the views of recruitment thought leaders who have been sharing ideas on topics similar to employer branding.

Candidates nowadays scan the profiles of their employers to determine positive or negative sentiments about the brand. For instance, our system sends a candidate survey to measure the candidate's net promoter score (NPS), net worth tracker i.e. a gauge of how job seekers felt about their experience with your hiring process, how they were handled, and so forth. This creates a smooth workflow of candidate engagement, further promoting your talent brand.

effective ways to reduce time to hire | peoplehum

8. Invest in a good application tracking system (ATS)

About 75-88% of resumes received are unqualified for the position. Candidate screenings consume the most time in a recruitment process. An ATS centralizes all recruitment activities, making it easier for recruiters to search resumes and track candidate sources. It enhances the candidate experience by providing a user-friendly platform for applying to jobs, scheduling interviews,etc. It also helps streamline collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers, allowing for easier communication and feedback throughout the recruitment process. 

The truth about application tracking systems is that the entire process is completed in rather seconds. It eliminates the need to manually upload and advertise openings on job boards, without having you screen the unnecessary applications in the application process.

9. Collaborate and partner with hiring managers

Recruiters and hiring managers must educate one another in order to allow speedier collaboration, leveraging their knowledge to provide solutions to top recruiting challenges. Examine current procedures in detail and identify possibilities for improvement. For instance, if a job remains open for two, four, or six months, how important is the position to the company?

To reduce hiring time, get more people involved in the hiring process with calendar availability being shared.  Embracing team-based recruitment implies that, depending on their availability, colleagues might take on responsibility for specific aspects of the process. This way, you can also eliminate a bunch of hiring biases and save a lot of time hiring if the processes are well integrated.

10. Make the application process easier and mobile friendly

With the rise of hybrid recruiting, candidates do not want to go through lengthy and laborious application processes. Candidates bank on recruiters to go through their resumes and limit the remaining fields to pertinent, application-related information that isn't included in their CVs. When it comes to application forms, they also tend to aim for flexibility to fill their applications via mobile phones.

Final words

Time to hire is among the top recruitment metrics to track for organizations that are losing productivity and revenue for every day a position remains open. A smart choice would be to generate a steady stream of qualified candidate referrals with the help of an ideal recruiting software, further incorporating the understanding of best time to cold call in your recruitment strategy. It helps you to assess a candidate's cultural fit long before the first interview process.

Now that you know how to reduce time to hire, check out peopleHum's integrated recruitment software that assists employers in keeping track of candidates at various phases of the process, with a modern applicant tracking system (ATS) and much more. We streamline the entire, end-to-end recruiting process. Come have a look at our free demo to optimize the recruitment process and enhance the candidate experience.

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