7 Ways to Improve Time to Hire

7 Ways to Improve Time to Hire

The time to hire metric remains one of the key performance indicators for hiring teams. It’s not just about ensuring that you build great teams quickly; it’s also about providing a strong employer brand and giving the best possible candidate experience. In some cases, it can end up attracting investors for your company, as in this case, where AngelList invested in a Series-A startup based on their hiring stats.

A shortage of engineers and data scientists is one of the biggest challenges for startups and multinationals today. Hiring is what enables you to execute your product roadmap, so falling behind on recruiting is a competitive issue.

However, most of the companies that we deal with attribute hiring velocities solely to the supply of good talent in the hiring funnel. But that’s an incorrect way to look at it and there are several other areas of improvement. So what are your options for closing your open positions quickly? Here are a few tips that you can implement to minimize the time to hire and increase your hiring velocities.

1. Maximize Referrals.

Increasing your referral percentage is one of the fastest ways to close your open hiring positions. It may not be the best idea to only rely on referrals, but it’s actually a good problem to solve and is often seen in the longer term. According to a Sequoia Capital blog, a company that hires 20% of its engineers from referrals will spend more than 1,200 hours adding 12 engineers. With an 80% referral percentage, the same company will spend about 750 hours. The tricky thing about referrals is that they can make it difficult to increase diversity, hence a healthy referral percentage is between 40% and 60%. Your company might be missing out on potential if your referral percentage is below that.

2. Relook at Internal Recruiting Metrics.

“For all the focus on mapping the external talent marketplace, the irony is that there’s not enough focus placed on the talent underneath one’s own roof.” – Chuck Edward, Head of Recruiting at Microsoft. 

According to LinkedIn Global Talent Report 2020, 83% of talent professionals think that Internal Recruiting is essential to the future of recruiting and HR. The same report said that the employee tenure is also 41% higher in organizations with high internal hiring. Hence there’s a merit in the idea of focusing on internal recruitment to improve your time to hire. It will also end up improving your employee retention metrics.

3. Leverage Recruitment Automation Tools.

Today there are automation tools for augmenting the hiring team’s capabilities across every stage of the process – starting from sourcing to sending out the offer letter. Using the recruitment automation tools like Skillspace.ai have a massive impact in optimally improving the quality of hires and removing biases from the process. 

Keeping that aside, if you purely consider time to hire, there are several areas where modern recruitment automation tools can help. Regarding the candidate screening stage specifically, you can conduct skill-based technology assessments at unprecedented speeds, send automated rejection emails or reminders that look personalized, simplify interview scheduling, and much more. Essentially, these tools help you identify and onboard better candidates faster so that your time to hire is improved.

4. Improve your JD and Career Pages.

Writing a job description is the first step of the sourcing stage, and most companies with underperforming hiring processes fail at this step. And there’s a reason for it. Practically it will rarely happen that your recruitment consultant or a candidate will send out a detailed report highlighting areas of improvement in your JD. In most cases, they would just skip the hard work. 

It’s important to realize that your job description is like marketing collateral where you have to put the best foot forward while being aligned with on-the-job requirements. Check out the infographic below to understand the best areas for showcasing your strengths.

And it is important to be truthful about your strengths. If your team lacks clarity about what is to be done, that’s fine. You can also put that in your job description to attract candidates who would not resign after seeing ambiguous problem statements. And, add gender-biased words!  A report says that job listings with gender-neutral wording get 42% more candidates. 

Further, similar to the way in which the JD is a stage of your hiring process, your careers page or LinkedIn or Glassdoor pages will also be the first point of contact. Make sure, they’re high converting. You wouldn’t want to see candidates churning out primarily because of a sub-optimal experience on your careers website

5. Test for Skills, Not Degrees.

It was only about time when world leaders like President Biden came forward to evangelize skill-based hiring. And there’s a reason for it. This is logical: the key to building great teams is to hire from diverse backgrounds and focus purely on talent density. In a time when even the most prominent schools like the Harvard Business Review put out a Tweet suggesting to look beyond traditional talent clusters, companies must evaluate if they’re doing enough to hire talent based on skills. Using a powerful skill-based assessment platform can be a massive advantage here. They help you set up and quickly conduct relevant tests for the roles you’re hiring for in technology and related fields, at any scale.

6. Be Data-driven, and Fill the Gaps.

Gather all the data, pick the most alarming numbers and look for ways to improve them. Analyze conversion rates between recruitment process stages to find opportunities to improve your time to hire. If there are unnecessary steps in the process, eliminate them. If you see an inefficient stage in the hiring process, optimize it using better practices and tools. For instance, if your interview-to-hire ratio is poor, you are probably wasting a lot of time interviewing unqualified candidates. So pick tools, be it resume-based or skill-based but pick them. And evaluate if a better human touch can make the process better. Knowing where the gaps are is the first step to fixing them. 

7. Build a Talent Pipeline ahead of Time.

You don’t have to look for candidates from scratch every time a position opens. Your ATS or Google Sheets would already have many qualified candidates who may have made it to the final stages of a hiring process or applied after a position was filled. Check them if they’re still open. And source actively. Reach out to passive candidates and connect with them. Don’t underestimate the power of community-led platforms where developers and data scientists can be found flocking organically. Even if you don’t have an immediate opening, lay the foundation for a strong relationship so you can contact them in the future.

Other Resources you might like

  1. Key to assessing 86% of tech candidates using automated assessment platforms | Conversation with Talent Head (India) of Dun & Bradstreet on Skillspace.ai – Read here.
  2. How can startups hire first set of data scientists | Conversation with VP/CTO of Juniper Networks on Skillspace.ai – Read here.
  3. Picking the right hiring tech-stack | Conversation with Talent Head of Meesho on Skillspace.ai – Read here.
  4. How to become an employer of choice | Conversation with Talent Head of Coinswitch on Skillpace.ai – Read here.