If you want to successfully recruit the best people into your business, then you need to shorten your time to hire. Why? Because the top candidates are usually off the job market within 10 days, which means you need to act quickly.
Time to hire is an important metric in recruitment. It measures (typically in number of days) how quickly a company can screen, choose, and hire a candidate for an open position. To avoid missing out on the top talent, you need to shorten your time to hire.
Here are a few sure-fire ways how.
Develop a talent pipeline in advance
A talent pipeline is a pool of (likely passive) candidates who are qualified to fill open roles. Because you’ve already screened them, you reduce the time it takes to hire someone for the position.
With a talent pipeline created ahead of time, you bypass several steps including:
- Advertising the job description.
- Waiting for people to apply.
- Screening the applicants
Here’s how do you create a talent pipeline in advance:
- Determine the roles you usually hire for.
- Identify the roles’ requirements (e.g. KPIs, tasks).
- Find out where your ideal candidates gather online (e.g. niche sites, social networks).
- Identify the best passive candidates in these locations and connect with those who you think will fit well in your organisation.
- Stay in touch with the top candidates regularly through personalised communication (and avoid spamming).
Creating a talent pipeline is one of the best ways to source passive candidates so make sure it’s part of your regular recruitment activities.
Reduce the number of interviews
How many interviews do you conduct when recruiting for a role? While answers vary (i.e. factors such as role and industry come into play), it’s common for companies to go through three or four – where there’s typically 1 screening call + three in-person interviews.
But if you want to shorten your time to hire, try to reduce the number of interviews you conduct.
Google has a “Rule of Four” approach where “four interviews were enough to predict whether someone should be hired at Google with 86% confidence”.
Besides, if you go above four, you also risk having your applicants lose interest. Remember, you have only around 10 days to hire the best candidates.
Here’s an idea: to reduce the interviews without leaving key people out of the process, have interviewers team up in pairs or groups (like a panel interview). Having more than one interviewer allows you to:
- Offset the biases of individual interviewers.
- Evaluate candidates more accurately.
- Help candidates be more familiar with your company.
Improve your sourcing process
Sourcing is the process of identifying candidates for a job opening. It affects the amount of time it takes for your business to hire. Here are a few ways you can shorten your sourcing process:
- Start an employee referral program.
- Use social media to source passive candidates.
- Search resume databases (e.g. Indeed, OnlineJobs.ph).
- Source talent internally.
With these methods, you can shorten your sourcing process and your time to hire.
Use a good application tracking system
An application tracking system (or ATS) is a software designed to simplify recruitment and boost efficiency. You need a good one to shorten your time to hire.
Some time-related benefits of using an ATS include the following:
- Cuts down on the time you spend on administrative tasks. An ATS lets you send follow-up emails and publish ads on job boards automatically, among other things.
- Lets you work with other members of your team for more convenient recruiting. Some ATS tools comes with collaborative features like sharing candidate ratings and notes.
- Automates preliminary candidate screening. Others have AI-based screening which uses algorithms to compare candidates with job requirements.
- Results in better hires. Because you save time on screening and various administrative tasks, you can gather more information on each candidate, which helps in making better hiring decisions.
Structure your recruitment process
Without proper organisation, your recruitment process will be chaotic. You’ll spend more time searching, screening, and hiring because you keep going back to square one each time you need to hire someone.
But what does structured hiring mean? What does it entail? According to hiring software maker Greenhouse, structured hiring comes with three main principles:
- The ideal candidate is defined by the business objectives of the job.
- A deliberate process and rubric is used to assess all candidates.
- Hiring decisions are based on data and evidence.
With a structured process, you’ll enjoy a number of benefits:
- Interviewers have a better grasp of their responsibilities and expectations.
- Because candidates feel that they’re assessed fairly, they’ll have a more positive experience.
- Recruiters will keep the process on track more easily.
- Your company will get candidates who fit better overall.
Use candidate evaluation tools
Recruitment processes test for personality, skill, and cognitive ability to assess applicants. As useful as they are in determining the best candidate, they also lengthen your time to hire. A candidate should blaze through them quickly enough, but several hundred would take longer.
Naturally, you can’t just do away with these tests, but you can offset the time they consume by using pre-employment evaluation software, which enable you to screen candidates quickly using computer-based tests, shortening your time to hire without sacrificing the quality of your candidates.
With the right screening tool, you don’t have to rely on resumes, and can instead focus directly on candidates’ abilities. And since the top talent is usually gone from the job market in around 10 days, you’ll need every help you can get.
Measure your data and adapt
All your efforts to shorten time to hire would be futile if you don’t measure it and make the necessary changes to your process. Here are the essential details you need to know:
- How long it takes your company to hire for an open position.
- How long it takes for candidates to move from one step to the next (e.g. from phone interview to in-person interview).
- The average time to hire in your industry.
- The proportion of good applications versus poor ones in your organisation.
By knowing these details, you’ll be able to determine which areas need to be fixed in your recruitment process.
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