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How to Reduce the Time It Takes to Hire

Posted by Chris Fields

The time it takes to hire is steadily increasing. Jen Dewar, a contributor to Lever’s Talent Innovation Blog, in October 2017, wrote that, according to DHI Hiring Indicators, the average time to hire was 30 days. Nikoletta Bika, in her article for Workable, referred to a September 2017 DHI Hiring study that categorized the time to fill jobs by top industries—some take as few as 12.7 days to fill a position, whereas other take as long as 49 days. Alison Doyle, in an article for The Balance Careers, cites statistics that suggest for every $10,000 in salary, job seekers take a month longer to find a job.

So why does it take so long to hire and what can be done to reduce that time?

  1. One big reason are far too many résumés to sift through. Have you heard the stories of the hiring teams inundated with hundreds of résumés per open position? In fact, the national average right now is around 200 résumés per opening. You can imagine how many résumés Fortune companies like Google, Amazon, Disney get.
  2. Another reason it takes so long to hire a potential candidate is because of the interview process. According to Glassdoor, this can take up to 22 days alone. After the hiring team makes their top selections, those folks have to be interviewed. Believe it or not, lots of candidates do not respond to requests for interviews in a timely fashion. Companies also drag out the interview process by scheduling 3, 4, 5 or more interviews. Once the interview is complete, the interviewer must meet with the rest of the hiring team to assess the applicants’ candidacy – this is also time consuming. To address the problem with multiple interviews, companies will hold all-day interviews in which they put a candidate through a series of interviews all at once. This process eliminates the need to schedule 2, 3, 4 or more interviews over several days.
  3. The negotiation process can take weeks or even months. Nowadays, candidates want to negotiate everything, not just salary. When an offer is made, usually the company and hire enter a counter-offer period where all things are up for negotiation—from relocation costs (if applicable) to bonuses (e.g. a signing bonus or an annual bonus) to work-from-home opportunities to a buy-out of the hire’s current contract to vacation time to student loan reimbursements to mortgage payments to even a job for a spouse!
  4. Closing the deal is rarely simple. Often, deals fall apart during the final stretch. For instance, sometimes a blemish found during a background check gets exposed, such as a criminal record, or an offer from a competitor comes in or the candidate’s current employer makes a counter offer. C’est la vie (French, for that’s life).

Not only could your offer be rejected at the last minute, but also the talent in the interview may not materialize when he or she shows up to work for your organization. This happens more than you think–you hire someone and quickly learn they misrepresented themselves throughout the interview process, so now you have to terminate their employment and relaunch your search all over again. That counts against the time-to-hire stats.

Companies like Google and Hilton have tried radical approaches to streamline their hiring process and reduce their time to fill open positions. Hilton, for example, uses a video interview process, which has reduced the number candidates up for consideration and helped to identify those who were open to new concepts, innovative, savvy, articulate, and driven to succeed.

Google, on the other hand, implemented a recruiting and hiring strategy known as “Rule of Four.” They determined, through a five-year recruiting analysis, that four interviews provided an accurate prediction of a new hire’s performance 86% of the time. Additional interviews had no significant impact on a hire’s success.

Experts say you should develop a talent pipeline to reduce the time it takes you to hire. This way, you already have a list of potential candidates to call when a position opens. For this to work, you must make sure any candidate’s application, screening, and interview experience is so strongly positive that, even when you pass on a candidate, they continue to feel good about your company. Another way to reduce time to hire is to use referrals. Most jobs are filled by referrals, but far too few companies offer referral policies.

Online assessments can cut the process of hiring significantly. Clients of eSkill have had their hiring time cut by as much as 64% by using pre-employment assessments.

If you feel like the hiring process is taking too much of your time, it’s time to try some new ideas so that you can reverse today’s trend of increased hiring time and have more time to work on other aspects of your job.

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About Chris Fields

Author

Chris Fields is an HR professional and expert resume writer with more than 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites: CostofWork.com and ResumeCrusade.com, and contributes HR-focused content to many others, including PerformanceICreate.com, eSkill.com and SmartRecruiters.com.

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