Time-to-hire is one of the most important metrics talent managers, and recruiters use to measure the efficacy of their hiring efforts. A short time-to-hire means that your recruiting initiatives are running smoothly with minimal business or budget disruption while a protracted time-to-hire is one of the hallmarks of a dysfunctional organization. A time-to-hire that drags too much can also really damage your KPIs and the overall candidate experience. Avoid this costly (and reputation-damaging) mistake by following these tips.
1. Build a Robust Talent Pipeline
A well-planned pipeline is many recruiters' "secret sauce" for reducing the time it takes to source quality talent for open roles. Before a position even opens, you should be focused on building a pool of talent you can draw from in the event they are needed. Building a strong employer brand should be a point of focus as you look to engage candidates. You should also be ready to act whenever you come across a great candidate, even if you may not have a specific position open for them yet. You may come across these people when recruiting for another role or via your network. It's always a good idea to introduce yourself and let them know you'd like to keep them in mind for future opportunities. Make sure you are tracking these people in an ATS so you can sort them by various criteria and refer back as needed.
2. Make Collaboration a Priority
When a new position opens, the clock is already ticking on your time-to-fill. To make sure you're moving efficiently, stay in touch with the hiring manager. Start with a meeting with the hiring manager or team to start going over candidate applications. Ask them to clarify what an ideal candidate would look like regarding skills, experience, and personality. You may even ask them to fill out a sheet with these criteria that you can use to inform your recruiting efforts. As the hiring process continues, make sure you're following-up frequently and on the same page. If you are a professional recruiter, keep in mind that hiring managers may not always have experience screening and interviewing candidates and may need coaching along the way.
3. Use Automation to Your Benefit
Sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates are all time-consuming workflows that can benefit from automation. Even outreach emails can be automated to employ immediately when an application is received, is under review, or when you'd like to bring someone in for an interview. Interviews can be conducted face-to-face, but it may be beneficial to do video interviews first before you spend working hours or budget bringing someone to the office. Even reviewing resumes no longer needs to be time-consuming, as several software platforms are able to scour thousands of them, leaving you with only the most closely matched to review with your hiring manager or team.
4. Look Beyond the Resume
Just because someone has a sparkling resume, doesn't mean they will be an ideal candidate for a job. Savvy recruiters and hiring managers understand that sometimes you need to think outside of the box to find the right fit -- especially if you see the hiring process has been lagging on too much. We have found that top talent isn't always someone who has the cookie cutter resume but can include someone whose personality or life experience makes them uniquely equipped to deal with the challenges of a particular role. For example, someone who has experience in food service may be an ideal match for a sales job. Look for people who have the potential to train into a role, not just those who have had the exact job in the past.
5. Reduce Notice Periods
One of the worst ways you can derail a positive candidate experience is to allow notice periods to drag too long. Once you've selected a candidate, you should move as quickly as possible to inform them of the good news so they can consider your offer. Also, take into consideration that they may need to give two weeks' notice to their current employer if they are working, or need some time to get their affairs in order before starting a new position. You can also leverage this notice period by beginning training and onboarding ahead of their start date. Provide them with reading material on the new company, clients, and industry and consider having them take courses in preparation for their first day on the job.
While the adage "time is money" does come to mind, remember that shortening your time-to-hire is more than just good for your KPIs. It improves employee morale and the candidate experience, boosting your employer brand and ensuring that you are able to fill roles swiftly and effectively with the best talent.