There are a ton of factors that affects your hiring and hiring speed. While you can’t change the location of your latest job vacancy or control external factors that affect the overall hiring market, you can improve the efficiency and speed with which your talent acquisition team finds and hires the right candidates. The key performance indicator (KPI) that can determine the efficiency of your talent acquisition team is time to hire. This metric looks at the window of time from the point when you start collecting resumes to the moment the right candidate accepts the position. So, how can you improve upon this metric and shrink this window of time?
Why time to hire matters
This window, on average, varies by industry, by country, and by specific job title. According to LinkedIn, 30% of companies hire in less than a month, while 50% take 1-2 months. The averages are less important than your organization’s particular goals; if you know you’re hiring in a competitive market, then beating the average may be important, but still may not be enough.
Your time to hire metric is important for several reasons. Candidates lose interest in jobs with a lengthy hiring process, and you may lose out on quality candidates who are hired by the competition. Also, the cost of hiring (which may range from your advertising spend to the lost efficiencies within the day to day operations due to a vacancy) will add up over time.
The more you know, the more you can adjust
The first step to improving your numbers is tracking the appropriate data and turning that data into actionable insight. An applicant tracking system can provide a wealth of data for the HR team in addition to managing candidate resumes. This type of software can provide you with reports on your time to hire metric, so you can root out inefficiencies in this window of the hiring process.
If, for example, you are getting caught up in the interview stage, your talent acquisition team may need to develop a more streamlined and structured process for scheduling and conducting candidate interviews. If the screening phase is too slow, you may need to devote more people to the screening of a single candidate search or invest in resume screening software. You can also discover if a particular department within your organization is lagging and bringing down your time to hire metric. Keeping track of the data allows you to root out inefficiencies wherever they arise.
You should note that time to hire should not be confused with the metric "time to fill," as vacancies can lag within your organization that are beyond the purview of talent acquisition. Time to hire uses the date of a candidate’s acceptance of a job, rather than the candidate start date. If the right candidate has other commitments, the position may still technically be vacant and work may still go undone, but your talent acquisition team has done its job.
Smart sourcing yields efficient results
While on the course to streamline your hiring process, it is also important to consider your sourcing strategy. While this part of the process may not be part of the official time to hire metric, your talent acquisition team lays the groundwork for hiring efficiency even before a vacancy opens up. Building and nurturing your talent pipeline or improving your website and brand with an eye toward recruitment marketing are long-term strategies that can help improve your time to hire metric.
Even something as simple as having a strong job ad description or using job ad distribution software to reach candidates more efficiently can help your talent acquisition team garner better candidates more quickly. This way when the clock starts ticking on your time to hire and the resume screening begins, your talent acquisition team begins with a little head start and a good crop of resumes to sort.
If you go into recruitment and hiring with a solid base of pre-planning and the goal of efficiency, your time to hire numbers will shrink. Use tech to your advantage and don't fear automation—they are your friends to reaching the best candidates for your open jobs in the fastest time possible.