Improving Your Time to Hire

Written by: Lorrie Howard, Horizon Point Consulting 

According to the 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report published by SHRM, the average time to hire in 2016 was 36 days. With the job market exceeding the talent pool right now, candidates are harder to find, and when companies do find them, they have to move fast or risk losing them to the competition.

How can organizations streamline their hiring process while still ensuring that they are recruiting top talent?

  1. Assess your current process. A great way to do this is through a SWOT analysis. What is your organization doing well and what are you struggling with? What opportunities are you missing out on and what external threats are impacting your ability to expedite your hiring process? Once you’ve assessed your current process, you’ll be able to determine where changes or improvements are needed.
  2. Document your process. A tool that we use for our clients is a process documentation flowchart. It outlines what resources are needed to successfully complete the process, who is involved in each step, and what the possible outcomes are at each step.
  3. Provide training to those involved. Your process document is useless if you don’t provide training to those involved, so schedule time to train your leadership on what the process is, what their responsibilities within that process are, and provide them the tools they need to successfully execute their part. Also set expectations with the leadership. If you submit a candidate to a hiring manager, let them know you’d like feedback within 1-2 business days. Then follow up if you don’t get that feedback within the time frame set. If you do this consistently, it will become a habit for those managers.
  4. Make sure your hiring process is easy. Just as candidates don’t want the application process to be cumbersome, once they get past that first hurdle, they want to see that ease of process continued during the interview phase. If your interview process includes skills tests or requires samples of work, make those tasks easy. I have a client that requires developer candidates to take a coding test. In order to complete the test, candidates are sent a link to a third-party web host service where they can log in to the test and take it at their convenience versus having to do so in person at the office. If your interview process requires interviews with multiple hiring managers, consider scheduling them back-to-back on the same day or doing panel interviews.
  5. Show candidates that you value them. According to a 2017 study by CareerBuilder, 78% of candidates say that their overall experience during the hiring process is an indication of how the company values its people. A great way to show candidates that you value them is to make sure they understand your hiring process, communicate with them throughout that process, and don’t drag it out any longer than necessary.

If you take these steps and you’re still struggling to fill positions, you may need to re-evaluate your job posting or the recruiting sources you’re utilizing.

What can your organization do to decrease time to hire in this tight candidate market?

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