Time to Hire Optimization: How to Make It Right? CNA IT Guide

Volodymyr Bilyk
20 May 2021

Time to hire optimization is one of those things the company needs to get around sooner or later. Sure things, an effective hiring process needs to take its time to produce high-quality results.

However, that doesn’t mean it needs to take more than it should and thus balloon recruitment costs beyond any reason. That is why the time to hire optimization is critical.

In our previous article, we have explained what time to hire recruitment metrics means. This time, we will explain how to optimize it and turn it into a competitive advantage for your company.

Time to Hire Optimization: What do you need to do?

1 Apply data-driven recruitment approach

data driven recruitment

One of the benefits of digital transformation in recruitment is that there is a lot of data to measure anything and everything. 

That’s why we can measure such things as cost per hire or even quality of hire

In the case of time-to-hire optimization, a data-driven approach can help determine the gist of it. That’s your time to hire an optimization backbone. 

Here’s what do you need to look at:

  • How much time does it take to fill a role? For example, it takes about ten days for top candidates to get hired by the competition.
  • The time required to proceed with the candidate from state to stage (from sourcing or application to initial screening, primary interview, technical interview, and so on). 
  • Comparison of your time to hire metrics with the industry standards (that can get tricky) 
  • The days from choosing the candidate and sending a job offer. 
  • The quantitative ratio of good to bad applications\candidates (this one also figures into the quality of hire metrics as a reference point).

With this data at hand, you can understand what is right and wrong with your recruitment process and identify points for improvement. 

2 Fine-tune career page and vacant position description

fine tune employer value proposition

One reason why the candidate supply is lacking is that candidates either don’t know about the job opening or don’t care enough about it to apply. That’s a common problem, and it tends to hit hard when you look at the time to fill metrics.

But if you tweak a thing or two about the career page and vacant position presentation – that’s going to make it much more manageable.

As for the vacant position description, it’s complicated. Vacant position description needs to accomplish several goals:

  • Explain what the job is about – the responsibilities and their impact.  
  • Describe the requirements for the job – expertise, certification, tech stack.
  • Present the company’s employer value proposition – the reason specialists would want to work for this company.

3 Maintain a talent pipeline 

maintain a talent pipeline

The talent pipeline is one of the critical components of the cost-effective recruitment process. It is also one of the integral parts of talent gap analysis and talent planning operations. 

In the context of time-to-hire optimization, it is one of the recruiter’s most effective tools for kickstarting the process. 

The thing is – it is always a good thing when you have a couple of candidates at hand.

Compared with sourcing candidates out in the cold – it is a significant time-saver. Why? Because you are working with more or less reputable sources – you need to spend much less time verifying the candidate and proceed with the screening.

Even if they are not actively looking for a job, they might recommend someone else who is looking for it. 

4 Keep things moving fast

keep things moving fast

What is the main reason for bloating time to hire figures? There are several:

  • The time between recruitment stages;
  • The candidate’s stage-to-stage progress;
  • The consideration time to send a job offer;
  • Time spent on doing test exercises is also a factor.

Things like scheduling delays tend to pile and turn your time to hire ratio into a nightmarish sight.

The other big problem is the very structure of the recruitment. Sometimes, there are just way too many stages that take unreasonably a lot of time to pass. 

While it is necessary to gather as much information as possible to make a well-informed decision – it doesn’t mean you can only do that with three rounds of interviews. After all, the interview stages are all about gathering information on the candidate, catching the vibe. 

Also – the longer it takes, the harder candidate retention gets.

Here’s what you can do for the time to hire optimization:

  • Instead of doing 3-4 interview rounds with different people involved – keep it focused and reduce it to two or even one comprehensive interview session.
  • Using chatbots and conversational interfaces also helps to save a lot of time at the initial interviews. Furthermore, a standardized interview format helps cover the basics of the candidate’s background.

As for effective scheduling, there is a handy lifehack:

  • The fewer stages the recruitment process has, the less time it takes to decide whether to proceed with the candidate. 
  • On the other hand, structured interview reports help in considering candidates.

Regarding time spent on test exercises, it is unreasonable to avoid tests wholly. Still, there is a workaround – such as doing live coding sessions or using the developer’s pet project as a substitute (when it matches the company’s project’s tech stack).

In conclusion

As you can see, while time to hire optimization is a challenging task, making it right is realistic. 

All you need is: 

  • Have enough data to see things through;
  • Understand what aspects of the recruitment process affect the time to hire.

If you need help with fine-tuning your time to hire and other recruitment metrics – our HR consultants can help you out.


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