Reducing Hiring Time

A key metric of recruitment success is time to hire. You will become more competitive in the market if you are able to achieve tighter hiring standards without sacrificing the quality of new hires. Despite this, hiring times have risen across all industries, with averages ranging from 33 to 49 days. Therefore, in addition to affecting your ability to fill requisitions, a slow hiring process also impacts candidate satisfaction.

What can your company do to speed up the hiring process?

To solve the problem, you need to understand what caused it in the first place. Time-to-hire is growing due to several factors. One culprit is that it’s difficult to attract applicants in a tight labor market. Are you adding to the problem? Are you ghosting candidates? Do you have scheduling conflicts, poor hiring practices, and selection processes resulting in the loss of top performers?

You can, however, close the gap with best practices. Here are some tips for accelerating your recruitment and hiring process.

1. Gather the correct data.

In order to measure something, data is necessary. As a result, data is crucial when it comes to measuring and ultimately reducing the time to hire.

For this reason, as a first step towards reducing your time to hire, find out the following:

  • What is the current turnaround time for filling a role?
  • A candidate’s time spent moving between stages. In other words, moving from the application stage to the phone interview stage and then to the in-person interview stage.
  • Comparing your hiring time with industry averages.
  • When the job offer is made, the number of calendar days between the final selection and the offer.
  • The typical ratio between good and poor applications. If the slowdown occurs during the sourcing phase, you can diagnose the problem.

After gathering all the data, you should pick the most alarming numbers and look for ways to improve them.

This is an example of how it works in practice. Suppose candidates provide their details and send you their resumes on average within two days. However, your hiring managers take a full week to respond. Therefore, you might want to automate some of the manual processes to reduce their workload.

It is possible to automate many steps in the hiring process, including screening candidates, analyzing their CVs and looking at pre-employment tests, and setting up interviews.

This is a win-win for everyone. Candidates will reach the end of the process faster and find a job more quickly. In addition, recruiters and HR managers can focus on more critical tasks.

2. Establish a structured hiring process.

You can’t skip the step of mapping out your hiring process steps and developing a flow around them.

In general, recruiting involves planning, attracting qualified candidates, screening, and offering them the position. Your typical recruitment timeline should contain events and touchpoints. Before hiring managers can plan, a job description and recruiting budget should be in place.

Now it’s time to fill the hiring pipeline with qualified candidates. First, determine how you source candidates, like job ads, hiring headhunters, using social media like LinkedIn, and searching your talent database.

Make a timeline for the screening and selection phases, like screening calls, reviewing job applications, and pre-employment tests.

Last but not least, figure out what’s included in the offer. There’s usually a compensation package, an email or letter offering a job, and a contract.

3. Build an effective talent pipeline.

The best way to reduce hiring time is to build a talent pipeline of prescreened candidates. The advantage of having qualified candidates on speed dial is that you don’t have to spend time advertising, waiting for applicants to apply, or vetting applicants. Instead, it’s just about reaching out to these people and telling them about the open position.

In short, a well-built talent pipeline eliminates the hassles of advertising a job opening, sourcing candidates, and running background checks endlessly.

Since 40% of recent job switchers are looking for a new job, building a talent pipeline eliminates the wait. As a result, the time to hire is reduced. You can further boost your recruiting strategy by automating sourcing.

To build a quality talent pipeline, here are five basic steps:

  • Make a list of the roles that you often hire for.
  • Assess the requirements for each position, such as skills or cultural fit.
  • Find out where your ideal candidates hang out, such as conferences, industry events, and social networks.
  • Reach out to the talents that appear to be a good fit.
  • Engage these candidates by sharing meaningful content and personalizing messages

4. Leverage your networks.

Ensure your networks don’t just serve as a passive way to share talent funnel content. They’re great for finding ideal candidates for hard-to-fill roles who aren’t actively looking. And while your team focuses on other tasks in the hiring process, your networks can handle candidate sourcing.

What are some ways you leverage your network to find candidates? Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Get recommendations from business and professional associations.
  • Engage in conversation at networking events and conferences.
  • Referral programs can be used to offer incentives to employees
  • Promote your talent funnel and job postings on social media

As in marketing, word-of-mouth is effective in recruiting. A friend or colleague telling a top talent about your job openings gives you more credibility. Plus, you’ll get high-quality candidates who might otherwise be unaware of your openings.

5. Higher quality job description.

“Research tells us that although compensation is of central importance to job seekers,” writes Kazim Ladimeji for Recruiter. Increasingly, job candidates are considering additional factors, such as the company’s culture, career development opportunities, and management style, adds Ladimeji.

“Employer brand is king.” Therefore, if you wish to attract more applicants (resulting in faster recruitment), you should provide better, more attractive job descriptions that reflect your company culture, learning environment, and management style accurately and positively.”

6. Hire faster by accelerating sourcing.

Regarding the time to hire, the sourcing phase isn’t included. But since it can affect your time to hire (significantly), we included it.

It’ll help you diagnose a slowdown in the sourcing phase if you know the ratio of good to poor applications. After all, you’ll waste time and energy sorting through low-quality applications.

To get an idea of your ratios, you can look at the applicant-to-interview ratio, for example. An interview-to-hire ratio measures how many candidates a hiring manager must interview to make an offer. Generally, the ratio of interviews to offers is 4.8:1. Ideally, the ratio should be 3:1 or higher. In other words, if your ratio is higher than that, you are likely to source a relatively high number of quality candidates.

If your sourcing methods aren’t so great, here are a few tips to improve them:

  • Advertising through programmatic means. Advertising your job openings through programmatic advertising means running paid ads to specific target groups. Your employer brand can be built through programmatic advertising if you have the budget.
  • Social sourcing. Find people in your industry who could be a good fit for your company through social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can even meet your ideal candidates at offline events like industry gatherings and meetups.
  • Internal talent auditing. Keep track of the talent situation within your organization. There may be some positions that can be filled simply by internal promotions.
  • Referrals. I can’t stress this enough. Referrals are the most effective way for candidates to find jobs. Create referral programs that reward your best employees for finding quality candidates.
  • Browse talent databases. There are millions of resumes on job websites like Indeed. Using these platforms’ advanced search functions, you can narrow down candidates who would be an excellent fit for your company.

The more quality applications you receive, the faster you can identify the best candidates, resulting in a faster hiring process.

7. Make the application process easier.

One-click applications were preferred by more than 75% of respondents to lengthy applications, according to an informal CareerBuilder survey on Twitter.

As hybrid recruiting becomes more popular, candidates no longer want to spend hours filling out applications. Instead, the candidates rely on recruiters to look through their resumes and limit the rest to information that’s relevant to the application. In terms of application forms, they like flexibility so that they can fill them out on the go.

8. Speed up the recruiting cycle with your online calendar.

You may not realize. But your calendar is probably your greatest asset when it comes to hiring. Besides speeding up the hiring process, it can also help you attract top-notch talent.

  • Builds your brand. “To attract the highest quality candidates for your job openings, you’ll want to regiment your branding efforts,” writes Howie Jones in a previous Calendar article. For example, you can schedule social media posts using your online calendar. “Pepper in community events to get your name out there as an attractive place to work.”
  • Simplify scheduling. Put your availability on your online calendar. Once you have a customized link, you can send it to job candidates to let them know when you are available for an interview. In addition, the online calendar will automatically prevent double bookings if they choose one of the available time slots.
  • Be prompt with replies. “After each interview, set a reminder in your online calendar to reply to the candidate,” adds Howie.
  • Check postings often. To gather applications and assess the site’s effectiveness, you’ll need to check it frequently once your opening has been posted.
  • Keep up with your hiring cycle by creating a schedule in your online calendar.
  • Attend events. A career fair is a great event to add to your online calendar. Your outreach efforts can be scaled with a receptive audience if you attend these types of events.
  • Look internally. In performance reviews, you can gauge your team’s progress within the company and connect with them. To be able to compare apples to apples, think of four or five key questions to ask everyone when scheduling these in your online calendar.
  • Create a follow-up plan. After an interview, block out time to check the applicant’s resume, references, and social channels to hire or rule them out.

9. Invest in a good application tracking system (ATS).

When 250 resumes are submitted on average for a job opening, 75% to 88% are unqualified. So, it’s no surprise that screening candidates take up most of your time during the recruiting process. However, according to a Capterra survey, 94% of recruiters believe ATS improves their hiring process.

Application tracking systems are fantastic because the whole process takes seconds. As a result, you don’t need to upload and advertise openings manually on job boards, and you don’t have to screen unnecessary applications.

10. Apply a shorter application window.

Another way to reduce your time to hire? It’s best to start at the beginning of the process. Specifically, reduce the submission time, suggests the Freshworks team. You will be able to gauge the interest levels of your candidates by motivating them to submit their applications as quickly as possible.

Aaron Gray, from Agency 101, echoes the same sentiment, “The start of the candidate procurement funnel is often one of the slowest aspects of the entire hiring process. At this stage, hiring managers spend most of their time waiting for candidates to roll in, quietly hoping that applicants meet their standards. ”

While this seems inevitable, there are ways to speed up the hiring process without compromising quality. “To do so, cut your application window in half. So, for example, if you usually advertise open positions for a month, bring it down to 2 weeks and be twice as aggressive about advertising it,” Gray adds.

“Creating this sense of urgency encourages people to be quick about sending applications,” Gray explains. “Those who are liable to procrastinate are more likely to forget, and diligent applicants rise to the top.”

“Not only does this improve your time to hire, but it also helps you attract only the most motivated caliber of candidates as a by-product,” he says. “Though the resulting talent pool may be smaller, rest assured that this approach should vastly improve the quality as a whole.”

11. Get references checked sooner rather than later.

Once an offer has been accepted, you can begin background screening as soon as the candidate has the proper paperwork.

Considering that it takes candidates a considerable amount of time to gather needed information and return it to you, it makes more sense to begin this process earlier. It doesn’t mean you should check references on every candidate in your pipeline. This could further impede the hiring process. However, you might decide to start checking references at a certain point in the process.

12. Increase the number of touchpoints with candidates.

Creating touchpoints throughout a candidate’s recruitment journey is also important. Communication of the next steps is helpful, even if it is simple. It’s more likely that you’ll retain their interest and be able to offer a position to the best candidates if you stay in touch and top of mind.

Image Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko; Pexels; Thank you!

Reducing Hiring Time and Speeding Up the Hiring Process was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.


  • John Rampton



    John Rampton lives to grow companies online. In addition to Calendar, John has built (with an amazing team) over 4 unicorns over the past 10 years with over $18 billion in online revenue directly attributed to his teams. John was recently the "Top Online Influencer in the World" by Entrepreneur Magazine. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivational speaker that helps people find a "Sense of Meaning" in their lives. He currently advises and manages several companies in their growth strategies. John has a philosophy in his life and business: 1 in every 10 people you help will help you back. 1 in every 100 people you help will turn into a financial relationship. 1 in every 1000 people you help will turn into a multi-million dollar relationship over time. This means that you need to help 3 people a day and you'll be on your way to building a multi-million dollar relationship. When we talk about helping people, this means completely helping people without wanting anything in return. Helping brings joy. Helping has proved to be the most successful driver of business that I've ever seen.