How To Reduce Time to Hire: 10 Effective Ways

by Srikant Chellappa Jun 9,2024

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Imagine this scenario: You are looking to hire a talented candidate for an opening in your organization. After a month-long process of meeting and interviewing eligible candidates, you finally shortlist three of them. Surprisingly, when it’s time for you to take the final call, the most promising candidate drops out of the hiring process, leaving you feeling frustrated.

Sounds familiar? Well, it’s a common story in the recruitment circles.

While candidates may withdraw from a recruitment drive for several reasons, a long hiring process is among the top causes. As per market data, the average hiring process takes 44 days to complete. Ideally, the time to hire should be much less.

So, how to reduce the time to fill and time to hire? Now, before we dive into the details, it’s important to understand that time to fill and time to hire are two different metrics.

So, How Are Time to Fill and Time to Hire Different?

Time to hire refers to the number of days it takes between a candidate applying for a job and accepting the job offer. Time to fill, on the other hand, refers to the number of days it takes between posting for a job and the candidate accepting the job offer.

A slow hiring process can significantly impact your business. When a position remains vacant for a long time, it can lead to wasted resources and a decline in workplace productivity. You may also lose out on talented candidates due to a long recruitment process. Almost 46% of job applicants lose interest if they don’t get any response from the company within two weeks after their interview.

By optimizing time to fill and time to hire, you can shorten your recruitment process and accelerate your company toward success.

In this blog, we explore 10 effective ways to reduce the time to hire.

Let’s get started!

The 10 Ways to Reduce the Time to Hire

Knowing how to reduce the time to fill in recruitment can make a lot of difference to your hiring process output. For best results, you need to follow a multilateral approach. Here are 10 actionable strategies to reduce the time to hire:

1. Plan and Prepare

Start by mapping out a step-by-step plan to enhance efficiency in your hiring process.

  1. Outline Hiring Goals and Timelines: Consider outlining well-defined hiring goals and setting clear timelines to achieve them. These will act as the cornerstones of your recruitment strategies and help you to optimize its structured flow.
  2. Define the Ideal Candidate Profile: Once you identify your hiring needs, you need to focus on defining the ideal candidate profile. Think in terms of the desired skills and experience that you would want your candidate to have. This essential step will help you screen the right candidates.
Also Read: Which HR Roles are Most Likely to Be Replaced by AI?

2. Craft Compelling Job Descriptions

Hiring is a two-way process that involves a company as well as job applicants. You need to make sure that you attract the right candidates for the open position. This is where crafting a compelling job description can come to your rescue.

  1. Focus on the ‘Why’: Ideally, your job description should highlight the role and your company culture. It should paint an accurate yet enticing picture of the position.
  2. Use Relevant Keywords for Searchability: State the job scope and responsibilities clearly and concisely. Ensure that you include relevant keywords in the description for easy searchability.

3. Leverage Technology

When you are concerned about how to reduce recruitment cycle time, technology can prove to be an efficient tool to address your concerns.

  1. Utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS): In today’s competitive market, every job opening attracts 250 resumes on average. By investing in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you can accelerate the hiring process. It is a software that you can use to filter and analyze candidates based on your requirements.
  2. Consider Pre-screening Tools and Video Interviewing Platforms: These are some of the other effective technical means that you can use to reduce the time to hire.

4. Build a Talent Pipeline

Developing a talent pipeline is one of the most effective ways to reduce the time to hire. It involves having a pool of potential candidates that you have pre-screened for a certain role.

  1. Network and Connect With Potential Candidates Proactively: You need to identify the roles for which you often recruit candidates and determine the skills needed for those roles. The next step is to connect with potential candidates who can fit into those roles.  You can network with such candidates at industry events, conferences, etc.
  2. Utilize Social Media Platforms for Targeted Outreach: Social media is another avenue that you can use to network with potential candidates effectively. For instance, you can use platforms like LinkedIn to reach out to top talents who can be a good fit for the job roles.
Also Read: Top 7 Productivity Hacks Used by Successful HR Leaders

5. Streamline the Application Process

As per a market report, about 70% of candidates will abandon submitting a job application if they need more than 15 minutes to complete it. This can impact your time to hire. One way to work around this problem is to streamline the application process.

  1. Minimize Unnecessary Application Steps: Eliminating lengthy forms and unnecessary application steps can improve conversion rates (i.e., the number of candidates who view a job advertisement who complete the application process).
  2. Offer Multiple Application Methods: Multiple application methods, such as online forms, social media, etc., can make it easier for candidates to apply for the job. When candidates come across your job opening on a particular platform, they should be able to apply straight from that platform.

6. Prioritize Clear Communication

Lack of clear communication can cause candidates to lose interest in your job posting, thus delaying your time to hire.

  1. Acknowledge All Applicants Promptly: Nowadays, candidates seek clear communication. Make it a point to acknowledge all applicants promptly, no matter whether they are selected or not.
  2. Provide Timely Updates About the Interview Stages: Develop a system to provide timely updates about the interview process stages. This will help candidates to remain aware of the latest happenings in the recruitment journey and keep them engaged.

7. Conduct Efficient Interviews

The best way to hire employees is to conduct efficient interviews. This will save time and effort while ensuring that you end up selecting the right candidates for the job on offer.

  1. Structure Interviews With Clear Objectives: Structuring interviews with clear objectives and relevant questions can help you determine whether a candidate is fit for the job or not.
  2. Consider Using Interview Panels With Diverse Perspectives: An interview panel with diverse perspectives facilitates inclusivity. This can challenge preconceived notions and help you to be consciously inclusive while selecting candidates for your organization.

8. Automate Scheduling

Any delay in scheduling interviews can increase your time to hire. Since most organizations conduct at least three interview rounds, proper scheduling can help to improve this metric.

With online scheduling tools, you can automate the whole process of scheduling interviews and eliminate delays. Further, it can ensure faster coordination and convenience for your candidates, resulting in a better experience for them.

Also Read: Careers Spotlight: What Is an HR Generalist?

9. Make a Competitive Offer

How to shorten the hiring process isn’t only about strategies and automated schedules. It’s also about offering competitive compensation packages.

  1. Research Market Salaries: It’s important to have a thorough understanding of market salaries so that you can make a competitive compensation package for your selected candidate.
  2. Highlight Additional Benefits and Perks: These days, salary isn’t the only thing that attracts candidates to take up a job offer. Ensure to highlight additional benefits and perks that can attract top talent.

10. Prioritize Candidate Experience

A bad candidate experience can cause an applicant to drop out of the hiring process or decline your job offer. This means you will have to repeat the whole recruitment process, which can increase the time to hire.

  1. Treat All Candidates With Respect and Professionalism: Throughout the hiring process, always treat every candidate with respect and professionalism. Doing so will help you build a positive brand image.
  2. Get Feedback From Candidates: Collect feedback from applicants about their candidate experience. Analyzing such feedback will help you to improve the efficiency of your hiring process in the future.

Summing Up

Hiring the right candidate is often challenging. Knowing how to reduce the time to hire can help you attract talented candidates for your business. By following the diverse approach mentioned above, you can optimize your hiring process and eliminate the bottlenecks that can negatively impact it.

If you don’t have the expertise or resources to accomplish this, you can consider teaming up with Engagedly to meet your needs. It’s a holistic talent management platform that boosts employee engagement and streamlines HR processes.

High Performance Culture

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How to calculate the time to hire?

Consider you post a job opening on the 1st day of a month. A candidate applies for the job on the 7th day and joins your workforce on the 25th day of the month. So, the time to hire will be 25 – 7 days, which is 18 days. The time-to-hire metric measures the efficiency of the hiring process.

Q2. What is the average time to hire?

Suppose you are hiring 5 candidates for your company. The average time to hire is calculated by adding the total time taken to hire all of them divided by the number of candidates (5 in this case).

Q3. Is it possible to maintain quality while reducing the time to hire?

A short time to hire increases your possibility of attracting high-quality candidates. Being proactive in your hiring process will help you make the right choice regarding talented candidates

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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