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time to hire

How to improve time to hire, efficiency and talent quality

Recruitment teams with pre-pandemic time-to-hire averages of 24 – 90 days will miss out on talent sourced at the top of the hiring funnel. Organizations must dramatically shorten this metric by implementing strategic recruitment models, targeting as little as 14 days for entry-level and mid-level roles and 30 – 45 days for senior and executive positions.

When looking to improve time to hire, it’s important to remember that r
ecruitment models will somewhat vary by type of hire, and the exact time to hire will depend on several factors, such as employer brand, total compensation and competing firms. However; if you’re responsible for improving time to hire within your organization, the following information may prove useful:

Remember: Talent won’t (and doesn’t have to) wait

Today’s candidate-driven market is incredibly competitive. Organizations that require 4+ interviews and schedule them 1 – 2 weeks out will miss out on talent. In fact, Procom’s Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook finds 58% of candidates expect to hear back from an organization about the next steps within 48 hrs., and companies risk losing top talent if they don’t act with deliberate speed.

Improving time to hire when engaging traditional, full-time employees 

Recruiting approaches and timeframes vary by industry, and several factors affect the process for each job role, including the skill set required, the immediacy of the need and the compensation available. When filling traditional, full-time positions, the following five steps can help minimize time-to-hire while maximizing an organization’s time with candidates.

Understand and plan (1-2 Business Days)

The hiring manager and hiring team discuss goals for the position in question and commit to hiring as a priority. 

In order to define the team structure and operational processes, an interview team should be selected, and a hiring timeline must be established.

Develop position specifications (1-2 Business Days)

The team should review and refine the current job description to include updated skills requirements and employee expectations. In this process, refine compelling reasons why desirable candidates would want to accept a given position and join the organization. 

When assessing the job description and compelling reasons, distill “must-have” skills and traits from “nice-to-have” skills and traits, and use these to determine essential hiring criteria. Finalize a job posting based on these details.

Source, screen and qualify candidates (7-10 Business Days)

As the job posting is published on appropriate platforms, also perform outreach to so-called passive talent (or candidates who are not actively seeking new opportunities). The team can also use this time to review existing databases for potential candidates. 

As applications and resumes are gathered, identify the most desirable candidates. As soon as possible, schedule and conduct the first round of interviews.

Present candidates and make offer decision (1-2 Business Days)

The hiring team selects the most qualified candidates and presents them to the hiring manager. Second-round interviews should be conducted as applicable. 

As the team assesses internal feedback from candidate interviews, decide on a first-choice candidate and a secondary option.

Background check and onboarding (Length Varies)

During the final step, the hiring team conducts reference and background checks and may invite the candidate to connect with potential team members within the organization. 

Talk to other team members within the organization for their feedback and review, then make an offer to the candidate. Once an agreement is reached, commence onboarding. 

Improving time to hire when engaging Contingent Workers 

The contingent workforce continues to grow in the wake of the pandemic and the Great Resignation or Reshuffle, but hiring contingent workers — or independent contractors — requires attention to regulations regarding employee classification. The following five steps can help ensure an efficient and compliant recruiting process for contingent workers.

Discovery and analysis (1-2 Business Days)

A similar hiring team can be utilized to determine hiring requirements and establish the interview and onboarding processes and timeframes. 

Once the team details “must-have” skills and traits, distinguish them from “nice-to-have” skills and traits. Craft compelling reasons why a continent worker may want to accept a position with the organization. 

Use this information to create a sourcing strategy and draft a job posting. Identify, review and conduct preliminary screenings for 20-30 qualified candidates.

Sourcing and qualification (3-5 Business Days)

Execute the sourcing strategy and narrow down candidates based on the job description requirements and the hiring manager’s goals. 

After initial interviews with qualified talent, determine four to six semi-finalist candidates.

Presentation and decision (5 Business Days)

The team can shortlist the top two or three candidates and present them to the hiring manager. If necessary, conduct secondary interviews and evaluate internal feedback regarding the finalists. Evaluate advice from the entire team and select a top candidate.

Onboarding (5 Business Days)

Select a manager to negotiate pay and execute the contract with the contingent worker. 

After conducting reference and background checks, begin contractor onboarding and employee orientation.

Redeployment or offboarding (length varies)

Because contingent workers are more likely to have short-term contracts, gather and review feedback on the contingent worker’s performance. If possible, redeploy valuable contingent workers or let them know when more upcoming work might be needed. 

If offboarding, return and decommission any equipment at this stage, then distribute any outstanding tax forms or legal documentation. 

Accelerating time to hire 

Finding, hiring and retaining quality talent requires a strong strategy from end to end. Organizations that execute recruitment best practices can present an offer between 12-21 days by: 

  • Implementing a proven and efficient process.
  • Drilling down on hiring data.
  • Investing in the right tools.
  • Making hiring a priority.
  • Have dedicated staff and tools and if not, enlist the help of a staffing agency that will make recruitment a priority. 

Today, posting and praying is  not a reasonable recruitment strategy, and it’s critical to note that one of the most important factors in recruiting talent is  the Hiring Manager’s involvement. The recruitment process must be a top priority for the Hiring Manager. 

The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook

Over the past two years, we have captured hard won lessons learned across thousands of worker hiring engagements by our team of professional recruiters and distilled them into practical ideas that you can start using immediately. The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook is a step-by-step guide to help source, screen, select, onboard and retain talent in the New World of Work.

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