How Can Effective Screening Reduce Time to Hire?

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The success of any company involves onboarding the best talent to steer the operations in the right direction. However, with job-hopping on the rise, many talent acquisition teams are trying harder and harder to find the right people and avoid operational disruptions. As the Great Resignation continues, most employees now have new expectations from their employers and they are leaving their jobs in search of better work-life balance and flexibility. The next challenge in line is hiring during economic downtime.

If you look at the statistics, you will find some alarming numbers, such as:

  • The rate at which employees are voluntarily quitting their jobs is 25% higher than the pre-pandemic levels, said the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Around 50.5 million quit their jobs last year (2022), as per federal data. 
  • 64% of employers now expect voluntary turnover to increase or remain elevated (McKinsey).

If your hiring team has also felt the repercussions of the Great Resignation, they must work toward creating a balance between employee turnover and employee hiring. This is where the time-to-hire metric comes up as one of the key performance indicators for your hiring team.

If you struggle to measure and improve the time to hire a candidate, it’s time to relook at the fundamentals once again.

Hiring Fundamentals: What is Time to Hire?

Time to hire refers to the time gap that exists between the first interaction with a potential candidate and the last one when he accepts the job offer. Considered a key recruitment metric, time to hire also shows the speed and efficiency at which your hiring team works. In simple words, the lesser time to hire, the better the recruitment process. 

This period or gap includes various phases, such as screening in recruitment, initial interview rounds, skill tests, and more. Alongside this, this metric is tightly linked to hiring costs. It is because the longer the hiring process, the more resources you will need to hire candidates for a specific role.

Now, an important question that you might have in mind (and we have that too) is –

Why Should You Track Time to Hire? 

The reason is quite clear and obvious –

If your hiring process takes too long to fill a vacant role in your organization, it does not only increase the cost per hire. Along with it, comes the higher risk of losing high-quality, fast-moving candidates who might find a better opportunity in the meantime. 

In terms of numbers, around 57% of job seekers lose interest in the job if the hiring process they undergo is equity lengthy (Source: Robert Half). It does not stop there as only 23% of the candidates will wait for just one week before they start looking for other opportunities.

A recent survey also found some interesting numbers on how long it actually takes to hire a suitable candidate:

  • 49% of organizations reported that the usual time to hire is around 7-14 days from the day an application was received to sending the offer letter.
  • 24% of companies said that it takes them around 15-30 days to hire a candidate.

Wondering if it is the same in your industry as well? Let’s find out.

Average Time to Hire By Industry

The following table covers the average time to hire in different industries in the U.S.:

Industry Average time to hire (in working days)
Resources 17.9
Construction 12.7
Wholesale and retail 24.6
Leisure and hospitality 20.7
Warehouse and transport 24.9
Professional services 25.2
Education 29.3
Non-farm 28.3
Manufacturing  30.7
Information 33
Government 40.9
Health services 49
Financial services 44.7

(As per the data gathered through JOLTS by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

You can use your industry’s average time to hire as a reference or benchmark your hiring for different open positions.

If you are running a business for quite some time now, the chances are that you might have already done your part to speed up the hiring process. However, certain bottlenecks are inevitable.

Common Challenges Related to Reducing the Time to Hire

1. Unclear job description

In many cases, the hiring managers are not involved in writing a clear job description. Issues with default job posting processes or automated job boards introduce errors into a posting that are often ignored.  

The resulting unclear job postings tend to repel many potential candidates from the job positions, hence increasing the overall time to hire. This is something that exists well before screening in the recruitment cycle. 

Besides this, long requirement lists from different departments with specified must-have and nice-to-have skills buckets are hard to deal with.

2. Not having the right people on the interview panel

Candidate interviews are a crucial part of the overall hiring process. With depleted candidate pipelines and stiff competition to hire the best talent, setting the right interview panel becomes quite difficult sometimes. This is where many hiring teams arrange calls or in-person interviews of candidates with the wrong interviewer(s).

If the interviewer himself is not prepared, not asking the right questions, or failing to evaluate the candidate on the right set of parameters, skillful candidates are most likely to bounce back and search for other opportunities.  

3. Inability to find the right cultural fit

A majority of recruiters believe cultural fit to be an important factor in the screening process for hiring the right candidates. Yet many of them still struggle to conduct an effective cultural fit assessment. Being unable to collect the right data makes an organization fail in finding the right cultural fit which thereby increases the staff turnover rate. As a result, the time to hire increases further.

4. Inability to find the best talent that also the right attitude

Just because a candidate has the required skill and knowledge for a job role does not mean he/she will approach it with the right attitude or enthusiasm. Having the right attitude toward work is not a substitute for natural aptitude. Businesses need people with the right competencies – the ones that can build a team to work together with a positive attitude.

Unfortunately, finding candidates that have every skill and trait you are looking for is a tough nut to crack and therefore, increases the hiring time.

5 Effective Ways to Reduce Time to Hire

1. Build a Talent Pipeline Based On What You Are Looking for

Just imagine having a full-fledged candidate slate ready to be used at your fingertips. This is possible with candidate pipelining which not only reduces the time to hire but also leads to better hiring decisions. You can build a talent pipeline by:

  • Pre-screen candidates for top performance and check whether they are also a good cultural fit
  • Stay organized and keep a track of candidates contacted and their interest levels.
  • Embracing a networking culture where your team gets to attend industry events and set up a referral system for employee referrals.

2. Optimize Your Job Listing

Online job postings – whether on a job board or your company’s careers page can attract active job seekers provided it is well-crafted and includes all the necessary information. If your job listings aren’t getting much traction, you should:

  • Add simple yet catchy job titles
  • Create inclusive, career-growth-oriented job headlines
  • Define your organization’s culture
  • Consider posting on niche job boards
  • Benefit from internal talent scouts

3. Make the Interview Process Short and Concise

Any delay in scheduling interviews after the screening process for hiring is over will ultimately add more hours or days to the time to hire. As an improvement approach, you can:

  • Reduce the number of rounds in the overall interview process
  • Be specific about the types of questions to be asked in each round
  • Set different interview rounds on the same day or subsequent days at max.

4. Shorten the Requisition Approval Process for Effective Screening

Taking the hiring process from one stage to another often involves internal requisition approvals. Even before that, several approvals are required before passing the job specifications to the hiring team. If this also happens in your organization, simplify things and reduce the number of approvals needed for an effective screening process.

If you cannot shorten the requisition approval process, set the right interview panel and include the majority of stakeholders together to screen the candidates.

5. Hire Staffing Agency

When it is taking too long to hire a candidate, there is no harm in outsourcing the hiring needs to a reliable staffing agency. Their services can help prevent work overload, reduce the overall costs of hiring, and save time and resources. Particularly for hiring the right candidates for tech positions, you can tap into the existing database of qualified candidates that most staffing agencies have.

Recommended Read: How Does a Staffing Agency Make Hiring Simpler and Faster?

How Can Connect Tech+Talent Help?

Connect Tech+Talent is regarded as a technical staffing agency helping companies get the resources they need. With 27+ years of experience in the hiring industry, Connect Tech+Talent knows what works in different industries – HealthTech, Cloud, MarTech, Fintech, etc., and how to support the internal hiring processes. To know more, click here.

How can Connect Tech+Talent Help?

Connect Tech+Talent is in the business of finding the right talent for companies. Connect Tech+Talent takes the overbearing burden of finding human resources with the right skill set and lets companies focus on their core business. We specialise in IT jobs, helping businesses build and ramp up their technical staffing. We help build entire teams with the right set of skills in the technology that best suits their business.

We at Connect Tech+Talent will also help you as a candidate to acquire most sought after technical skills and forward your candidature to leading enterprises with global reach.

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