Actionable tips on how to reduce time to hire — from 13 different pros who have actually hired and actually used these tactics.
Want to learn actual actionable tips on how to reduce time to hire — from people who actually hire and have actually used these tactics successfully?
Your wish is our command.
In this article, we’ve gathered tons of tips from 13 different hiring professionals on how to improve time to hire at your business.
Time to hire measures the days between when the candidate you eventually hire enters your pipeline and when they accept your offer. (If you’re interested, learn how it compares to time to fill.)
This metric doesn’t just track hiring speed, it indicates how efficient your team is at recognizing and hiring awesome clients after their initial engagement with your company.
While stressing over getting this number as low as possible isn’t the goal, you should keep an eye on it to make sure you’re optimizing your hiring process wherever you can.
Why does all of this matter? Because top talent is on and off the market in ten days.
If your time to hire isn’t as succinct as it should be, you can kiss some of your best candidates goodbye.
Keep reading for a flood of advice from business leaders who have actually used their own tips to reduce time to hire at their organizations.
Martin Seeley, chief executive officer at MattressNextDay, says their organization has been able to reduce time to hire by a whopping 82%!
Currently, their average time to hire is a month or less. Here are some of the tactics they use to shrink time to hire:
“Referral programs, social media sourcing, pre-assessments, and automation are some methods we used to reduce the time to hire process. Those ways help us manage and track all candidates' data and records.”
Why is it that Martin’s company is so focused on managing their time to hire by prioritizing the candidate sources that work best for them?
“Time to hire is an essential metric for professionals to promote resiliency and improve the cost per hire and selection process. It's crucial to reduce time to hire to avoid candidate turnover and lessen cost per hire to improve the hiring experience.”
Matthew Dailly, managing director at Tiger Financial, similarly suggests a laser focus on where your business sources candidates.
“ … You may also discover that certain outlets hire faster than others. The median time to hire for agency candidates is 26 days, compared to 32 days for sourced candidates, 34 days for suggested candidates, and 34 days for applications. Agency and sourced candidates are pre-screened by a recruiter, and there are often fewer to evaluate than applicants for a given post. Check your own internal data to determine whether it agrees with these conclusions, and focus on the fastest candidate sources.”
Maciek Kubiak, head of people at PhotoAiD, is all about using skill assessments to screen candidates so that they can quickly engage those who seem like an ideal fit.
“My best time-saver is using online software for pre-employment screening. A tool like GorillaTesting not only evaluates job-relevant competencies but also assesses personality, cognitive skills, and work culture. I can narrow down all candidates to the most suitable ones by sending them tests to do, thereby avoiding unnecessary interviews.”
Another tip we heard from several leaders who have reduced their time to hire is to build a talent pipeline, even when you aren’t sure you really need one just yet.
Ellie Walters, CEO at FindPeopleFaster, says “Time to hire will let you know how rapidly you can choose the top candidates once you’ve got a pipeline of appropriate candidates. This is how this metric is highly valuable for validating the effectiveness of your recruitment process.”
“My average time to hire is 3 to 4 weeks from receipt of an application to offer letter. To reduce time to hire, I have built a talent pipeline ahead of time, a group of pre-scanned candidates for a specific role. It implies that when you’ve many eligible candidates on the speed dial, I don’t need to advertise my job requirements and wait for the job applications to come. To build a quality pipeline, I identified the roles, ascertained the criteria for skills, and stayed in touch with the candidates by sharing valuable content.”
Bram Jansen, chief editor of vpnAlert, also sees building a talent pipe as an essential tactic.
“The first step is to create a talent pipeline that will allow you to have more lead time in your recruitment process. The single best thing you can do to reduce your time to hire is to develop a talent pipeline much before you need it, even before you have an open position. Whether it's drawing active prospects to your [organization] or strategically sourcing personnel, make sure you're always on the lookout for outstanding talent.”
Communication is an essential element of the candidate experience. Get it right and you may close your ideal hire. Neglect it and you’re more likely to find the best candidates slipping through your fingers.
Mathew Bowley, marketing manager at Solmar Villas, puts it clearly — don’t leave ‘em hanging!
“Don't leave candidates hanging after each interview step. Follow up with applicants after the recruitment process to improve their experience. A simple survey included with your rejection letter can help you improve the candidate experience for everybody, close more top candidates, and reduce hiring time.”
Erik Hansen is chief human resources officer at Right People Group, a London-based IT recruiter. Their firm has been able to reduce time to hire by 30% over the past year to a respectable 26 days on average. How so? Partially thanks to technology (more on that later!) and partially thanks to upgrading their communication strategy.
“We have really cut down on time to hire by leveraging technology like video interviews and by automating our recruitment process. We have also made it a priority to be responsive to candidates, so that they never feel like they are waiting for a response from us.”
Why has Erik’s company made this effort to improve their time to hire?
“Time to hire is important because it essentially acts as a proxy for how efficiently a company can bring on new talent. The faster a company can bring on new employees, the more quickly it can start seeing the benefits of those employees’ contributions. When you reduce your time to hire you are making it less likely that top talent will become frustrated with an inefficient hiring process and take their skills elsewhere. A shorter time to hire also demonstrates to candidates that your company is competent and organized.”
Madilyn Hill, founder of TruePersonFinder, provides advice on prioritizing communication from another perspective — inside your company.
Madilyn says internal communication between decision makers and recruiting managers is one of the best ways to manage time to hire.
“The best method of reducing time to hire is by staying in line with your hiring manager. When a position opens up, it’s imperative to get on the same page as your recruitment manager to ensure that you’re sending them top candidates from the beginning. You can ask them to complete the candidate sourcing intake form to get a clear picture of what the apt candidate looks like. Then, fine tune your hiring process by arranging a kick off meeting with the hiring manager.”
Chief marketing officer at Joy Organics Gerrid Smith provides advice on how to create a job description that ensures only the best candidates enter the job pipeline in the first place.
“To get the most out of your job postings, provide candidates all the information they need to assess if they're a good fit for the position. This includes a clear statement of the job's daily responsibilities as well as expectations for the candidate's overall contribution to the [organization]. If you're able, provide a compensation range for the position, which will help to reduce the amount of back-and-forth on salary discussions down the line. Close out your job posting with a timely closing date to encourage applicants to apply right away. Rewrite your job postings on a regular basis if you're like many firms and routinely employ for identical roles. This will protect them from becoming stale.”
Ansar Hammad is the founder and CEO of Entire Looks, an educational resource about jewelry and diamonds, where they’ve been able to reduce time to hire by 22%. With a time to hire of just 15 days, we had to know their secrets.
Turns out, it all starts with a detailed job description and just gets better from there.
“I have used a variety of methods to reduce time to hire, in my experience. First, I have made sure that the job description is as detailed and concise as possible so that candidates know exactly what they are applying for. That reduces the time spent sifting through unqualified applicants.
“Second, I have tried to make the application process as simple and streamlined as possible — just one page of questions that takes less than five minutes to complete.
“Third, I have utilized resumes and portfolios along with online applications so that I can get a clear picture of each candidate's abilities and skill sets while saving time interviewing those who are not qualified or did not follow directions.”
Why does Ansar’s business prioritize tactics for reducing time to hire? Because they understand that efficient, effective hiring is a critical business driver.
“Time to hire is important because it's a key metric in measuring the efficiency and efficacy of your hiring process. If you can measure how much time it takes to identify, interview, and select a new hire, you can use that information to improve each part of the process. The faster we can fill positions, the faster we can drive our business forward and scale operations.”
Mark Koning, chief human resources officer at Discover Business, has seen time to hire drop by about a month since upgrading the hiring methods at their company — which has in turn boosted its ability to attract and retain top talent.
So what is this magical upgrade that they’ve implemented? They’ve introduced technology to help automate the more tedious elements of the process.
“We reduce our time to hire almost every quarter by automating as much of the hiring process as possible. We continuously look for ways to improve the candidate experience with technology and eliminate tedious manual work like scheduling interviews.”
Travis Lindemoen, managing director of nexus IT group, agrees that tech-enabled automation is key to reducing manual processes and locking down ideal candidates in short hiring windows.
“The goal of combining integration with automation is to drastically reduce the amount of manual processes in your hiring process. The shorter the hiring window and the more time your recruitment staff has to spend on hands-on responsibilities like meeting with prospects and getting new workers up to speed, the more automated the system becomes.”
Adam Wood, co-founder of Revenue Geeks, offers up all the ways that different technology platforms can help automate the hiring process.
“Automate the employment process with software. The top two most time-consuming aspects of hiring are screening prospects and scheduling interviews. To make matters worse, this duty is usually assigned to someone who has a lot of other responsibilities, so it may be pushed to the side, lengthening your average time to hire.
“Before candidates fill out an application, chatbots embedded on your website can assist you [in] pre-qualifying them for specific roles. Candidates and interviewers can easily discover mutually acceptable time slots using scheduling software, which eliminates the need for lengthy email threads suggesting time slots. Drip marketing can be used to push applicants to complete digital assessments such as personality surveys and skills tests, while software that automates reference checks can reduce time spent on human calls.”
Applying tech and automation to reduce time to hire and improve the recruiting and hiring process?
At Hume, we know all about that.
We know that interviewing is one of the most time-consuming elements of the hiring process, which means it’s also one of the first elements that gets slashed when reducing time to hire. So we created Hume to streamline the interviewing process without cutting corners and sacrificing quality.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Hume helps talent leaders by recording, transcribing, tagging, and summarizing interviews with support from artificial intelligence.
Instead of taking hasty notes, with Hume, interviewers can devote their undivided attention to the conversation. When that conversation is over, interviewers can use Hume to rely on replay instead of recall, avoiding unconscious interview bias and inaccurate gut feelings.
Because Hume makes it easy to create and share interview highlights with other users, interviewers aren’t left holding the bag all on their own when it comes time to make important hiring decisions. In just minutes, your whole team can review the most important parts of every interview and start discussing who is the best candidate for the job. No waiting for days or even weeks until you can get everyone in the same room to discuss a candidate and make a decision. And good thing, because chances are they’d be off the market by then!
Want to turn everyone on your team into distinguished interviewers who can ask great questions, spot cultural fits, and sell candidates on how awesome it is to work with your company? At Hume, we’re a full-service interview companion — so we can help here, too.
With our playlist tool, your best interviewers can quickly create and share coaching videos that will operationalize top-notch interview processes across your organization. A full roster of capable interviewers is key to getting interviews done fast and making hiring decisions quickly. Your time to hire number won’t stand a chance.
At Hume, we saw that there was valuable data being generated during interviews, but never used to its fullest potential. We knew that data could lead to not just faster but fairer hiring practices. So we built our platform to unlock it all.
Adopt Hume to reduce your time to hire metric and see what kind of data you’ll uncover. We’ll be launching to the public soon — but you can get first dibs when you sign up for our waitlist via our website. And in the meantime, give Hume a follow on LinkedIn for the latest in hiring and talent news.
Get on our early access list and get ready to supercharge interviewing.
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