What is time-to-hire?
Time-to-hire is likely something your business is always working to shorten. So what is it, exactly? And why is it so important?
Here at Webrecruit, we define time-to-hire as the amount of time a vacancy exists — from the moment your business posts the advert to the moment when an offer is accepted by a candidate. This time is typically measured in days.
Every day that your business has a vacancy represents a cost for your business. With longer time-to-hire, more money is lost.
For example, if you’re hiring for a sales position, the vacant position represents losing revenue that salesperson could have earned for you. If you’re hiring for an administrator, someone else is covering the duties of this position and neglecting their own responsibilities. All of this ultimately costs money.
Further, recruitment itself costs money. Adverts cost money. Interviews cost money. If you have a lot of applicants interviewing, it means two or three members of your team are away from their duties for hours at a time to participate in the interviews.
So that begs the question:
Why does hiring take so long?
Time-to-hire can feel horrendously slow for a few reasons.
Your business may simply be receiving too many applications. Evaluating these applications takes time. You need to decide who’s qualified and who isn’t. If you have an attractive employer brand, you might be receiving hundreds or thousands of applications a day. By the time you’re getting in touch with qualified applicants you’d like to interview, it could be too late — they may have accepted a position elsewhere. In some cases, applicants won’t receive a response for up to 14 days!
On the other hand, you might be struggling to attract applicants. Maybe your brand and messaging needs a bit more work to truly appeal to applicants. You might also have too many barriers that turn off applicants, such as a clunky application process. These scenarios often result in under-qualified applicants you might not be absolutely chuffed with.
Whatever your business’ hiring situation might be struggling with — it should be fixed as soon as possible. After all, vacancies negative affect your bottom line. So how do you get there?
1. Be responsive.
The first step to reducing time-to-hire is to be responsive. If you have a qualified applicant’s CV on your desk, contact them within 24-48 hours. This instills confidence in the applicant that they are considered capable, being taken seriously and dealing with a professional employer. Also, this will reduce chances of the qualified applicant accepting other employment. Talent can be difficult to find. Don’t let your competitors get there first.
Being responsive will ultimately shorten your time-to-hire and save your business money.
2. Make it easy.
Applicants aren’t looking to jump through hoops, walk tightropes or sing and dance to apply for employment at your business. They want an application process that’s easy for them. A good way to ensure this is to make it a 100% online process. Some businesses require applicants to download PDFs, fill them out and then upload them back to their website. This slows down the application process and ultimately deters talent.
Simplify your application process, sort through applicants and interview them quickly.
3. Enlist an ATS
(This is the big one — steps one and two can get you moving in the right direction, but technology is one of the the best ways to reduce your time-to-hire.)
Enlisting an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will be the most effective way to reduce your time-to-hire and save your business money. Applicant Tracking Systems are essentially software applications that allow your business to electronically handle recruitment needs.
An ideal ATS can:
- Manage your recruitment pipeline
- Post job adverts quicker
- Stay on top of your interview schedule
- Find the most qualified candidates
- Manage your recruitment agencies
- Make data driven decisions
- Automatically integrate vacancies to your careers page
If you are responsive, have an easy application process and enlist an ATS your time-to-hire will shorten immediately. Looking for more information? Check out our post on building an online application form to start optimising your process, or dive into the details of what features make a strong ATS.