Time to Hire
Everything You Need to Know
31 May 2022
With more than 11 million job openings in the United States and a work culture where 71 percent of employees spend time at work actively watching for new openings on a weekly basis, hiring practices have become an incredibly popular topic in human resource circles. Yet, from the perspective of a recruiter or hiring manager, it can be hard to stay on top of your company’s hiring processes.
Various stages, candidates, and requirements can make the whole recruitment process difficult to manage. If you’re interested in making your hiring process as efficient as possible, you should turn inward and try to break down how your process actually functions.
A core recruitment metric you should consider is your business's average time to hire. Time to hire refers to the number of days between when a candidate applies for the job opening and when they actually accept the job offer and get hired. This is commonly confused with the equally important time to fill, which is the total time between an internal position becoming open, you posting a job advertisement, and the position being filled.
By examining your time to hire duration, you can identify bottlenecks and roadblocks in your process, which can be optimized to drastically improve your talent acquisition efforts.
The Importance of Tracking Metrics Around Hiring
Time to hire, much like time to fill, gives you much-needed context that covers both the hiring process and your internal operations until the position is filled. By examining your time to hire duration, you can identify bottlenecks and roadblocks in your process, which can be optimized to drastically improve your hiring efforts.
Calculating your time to hire is incredibly simple. All you have to do is work out the number of days between when you received the candidate’s application and when that candidate officially signed on to work for you. Once you have this number, you’re able to assess if your time to hire is particularly low or high.
The average time to hire changes depending on the industry, ranging from 12.7 days in construction all the way to 49 days in health services. Back in 2016, the average time to hire came in around 39 days, according to Jobvite.
Let’s explore what happens if your fall short or long of this period:
Long Time To Hire - Many job seekers will lose interest in a job opportunity if the hiring process is too long. You could very well be losing out on some of the most promising candidates for your job opening if your time to hire is on the longer side.
Short Time To Hire - Typically, if you have a very short period in this metric, you might be missing out on a range of great candidates who may not enter the process until later. Equally, a short time to hire could signal that your interview process isn’t particularly complicated. While this can serve to decrease the number of candidates who are put off by a long process, it could also lead you to hire someone who might not be a great fit for your business. Part of the interview process is filtering out bad candidates, and if you don’t have enough stages a few may slip through the cracks.
Knowing where you stand within this spectrum all starts with finding out your time to hire. Once you know the number of days it took your company, you can then calculate averages for the different sections of your interview process. Information is power, with these metrics allowing you to refine your recruitment process over time.
What Questions To Ask Yourself When Analyzing Your Hiring Process
After analyzing your own time to hire figure, it’s important to turn inward and begin to question why it is that way. There are four general questions you should move through, each giving further context to color your understanding.
Are you tracking? - Be sure you’re tracking your time to hire in the first place, making a note of the time between when a candidate entered the process, and when they were given the role.
Are bottlenecks department-specific? - If there is a vast difference in the time to hire between one department and another, you should check to see why that is. Is it due to the hiring manager? Is there a different process in place? Try to get to the bottom of why there are differences between departments.
Are you hitting your goals? - Is the amount of time it takes you to hire fitting in with the goals you’ve set for yourself? If you’re over or undershooting, what can you do about that?
Would pre-selection tools help you? - Creating a more comprehensive pre-interview question process could help you filter out some applicants, helping to save you time.
Part of refining the process is to reflect upon how you’re managing your hiring. If there are certain changes to be made or elements that aren’t quite going to play, this questioning will help you bring them to light.
How to Improve Your Time To Hire
Once you’ve defined potential areas that aren’t quite going to plan with your hiring process, you’ll be able to more readily reflect on why your time to hire is as short or long as it is. From there, there are several strategies you can employ to radically shift the amount of time it takes you to hire.
Typically, there are four strategies known to help hiring managers refine their time to hire:
Track individual stages
Track the poor:good candidate ratio
Using modern tech tools
Track Individual Stages
While time to hire is a figure that can give you a good understanding of the hiring process as a whole, it fails to give information about individual stages of the process. One way to make this figure more fruitful is to actually track every single stage of the hiring process, breaking down how much time is spent in each distinct phase.
By collecting information on every stage, you’re able to see if a certain phase is running longer than any of the others. While some processes, like interviews, will naturally take slightly longer, if there is a big difference, you can investigate further. Use this information to then streamline each phase of your hiring process, ensuring every stage is as optimized as possible.
Track the Candidate Ratio
Every candidate you put through the interview process will cost you valuable time. While this is worth it for a good candidate who could eventually help your company grow, it is a waste of time for those candidates who were never up to par to begin with.
To see if you’re wasting time during the hiring process, it’s a good idea to make a note of how many good candidates come through the process compared to the number of bad candidates. If there are many more poor candidates, then this is a clear signal you need to refine your selection criteria or job description to help improve your time to hire.
Candidate batching, or creating a candidate slate, is where you wait until you have five or so candidates before you start the interview process. Instead of putting through candidates whenever they arrive, creating a batch of them means you can more efficiently move through the process.
Processing candidates through stages in batches will ensure time efficiency, and this method gives you the ability to stack one potential employee up against another.
Use Modern Tech Tools
Modern technology has given rise to a range of hiring tools that can be used to refine your hiring processes. Hirect, allows you to message potential candidates through an instant messenger platform, and our intuitive AI system helps narrow down the candidate pool to only the most relevant applicants.
From there, you’re able to match your company with the very best candidates. With faster communication, you can move through the early stages of the process with ease, ensuring you cut back on your time to hire while only entertaining high quality contenders.
While time to hire is an important recruitment metric, finding quality candidates is at the core of the hiring process. By using tools like Hirect, you’re able to reduce your time to hire while ensuring only top-tier talent enters your pools.
As we know, knowledge is power - with a solid understanding of the amount of time it takes your company to hire, you can streamline this process to ensure the best results. By asking yourself questions and then changing your process to reflect these answers, you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective system of hiring talent.