Above Average Time To Fill? Here's What To Do About It

By Jeanette Maister

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One of the tops key performance indicators for hiring teams around the world is time to fill. Only 30% of companies are able to fill a vacant role within 30 days. Believe it or not, the other 70% of companies take anywhere between 1–4 months to process a new hire! Taking too long to fill a role doesn’t just increase the cost per hire, but it also comes with the risk of losing fast-moving, high-quality candidates. 57% of job seekers lose interest in a job if the hiring process includes a long wait which is ultimately bad for business.

So, how can your company reduce time to hire while mitigating recruitment costs and reducing the expense of a critical position going vacant? Read on to discover a few proven methods.

Build a Talent Pipeline Ahead of Time

If you want to decrease your time to hire, the single best thing you can do is build a talent pipeline well before you need it. When continuously building a talent pipeline, you do not need to start from scratch every time there is an open position to fill. The perfect candidate for this position could be an applicant for a previous open position or even an employee, who without an updated talent pipeline, you would miss the opportunity to extend an interview.

Not sure where to start? Here are 5 basic steps to build a quality talent pipeline:

  1. Identify the roles you hire for often
  2. Determine the requirements for each role
  3. Find events where you might discover your ideal candidates
  4. Identify the top prospects and reach out to them
  5. Stay in touch with the candidates by sharing meaningful content

If you come across a great candidate, but don’t currently have an open role for them, with the right permissions, keep their information in your CRM. You may find these candidates while sourcing for another role, through your employee networks or at an event. It never hurts to introduce yourself and to let them know you want to keep them in mind for future positions. Then, when a role opens up, you have solid candidates in your pipeline.

Invest in Candidate Relationship Software (CRM) or an Application Tracking System (ATS)

A good CRM or ATS helps you through every step of your hiring process. Starting with posting your open position on multiple job boards all the way up to notifying you in real-time as candidates apply.

From flexible workflows you can build on the fly to prescriptive recommendations that help your recruiters zero in on the best talent, a well rounded ATS should provide an automated experience for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers. Candidates can easily complete applications with social profiles, screen themselves in (or out) based on skills and opt-in to talent networks for future opportunities. Recruiters immediately see a filtered list of candidates they should engage and fast track to the interview team. A solid ATS is an ultimate tool to supercharge your hiring and reduce your average time to hire.

Be Data-Driven

A data-driven hiring strategy means using numbers to plan and make hiring decisions. When it comes to reducing your time to hire, data is the key. Tracking internal metrics and staying up-to-date on benchmark information is imperative when attempting to identify opportunities for improvement.

Data can help you find potential bottlenecks in your recruitment process, so you can get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem. If you determine that a new role-specific candidate challenge is responsible for an increase in time to hire, find out if it has also led to a better quality of hire. If not, it may be best to revert back to your previous interview process.

You may also determine that specific channels have a shorter time to hire than others. Check your own internal data to see if this may be affecting your candidate sourcing, then decrease your time to hire by focusing on the most efficient candidate sources.

Finally, look at conversion rates between recruitment process stages to find opportunities to improve your time to hire. If, for instance, your candidates receive low feedback scores from your onsite interview, you are probably wasting a lot of time interviewing unqualified candidates. Instead, determine how you can better screen candidates during the resume review and phone screen stages.

Time to hire is an important metric for companies that are losing productivity and revenue for every day a position remains open. Overall, an increase in time to hire over the past several years is normal due to the skilled talent shortage and the need for high-quality hires. However, there are action items you can do to enhance your recruitment process. By continually improving and reiterating your process, you won’t need to sacrifice quality for time.

About Jeanette Maister:

Global talent acquisition technology leader with extensive experience in global talent acquisition, applicant tracking systems & recruiting technology, recruiting metrics and process. Deep insight into all aspects of campus recruiting strategy. Recognized for driving growth and helping clients transform their recruiting efforts.

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