Should you be measuring time to hire?

Sudhanshu Ahuja

March 30, 2020

Imagine a situation where your organization is gearing up for a new product launch or is on the verge of a new marketing campaign. Just a few days before the D day, a crucial member of the team hands over their resignation. Not only that, but the person also plans to take a team along. In a matter of a few days, you get the other resignations as well. As an HR manager, there are only limited options that you can explore. However, most of you will agree that the best way out is to start looking for replacements. Time is of the essence, and that is why the time to hire is an essential recruitment metric.

Employee turnover and consequent replacement is a common problem that features in the priority list of HR departments worldwide. Attriting employees causes all the more concern if they are a part of crucial company projects. In other cases, inadequate talent numbers may hamper the company’s growth plans.

No wonder, recruitment has become an integral support system that can propel businesses in the right direction. All the budgeting, planning, and strategies may be futile if the company cannot hire the right people at the right time. As crucial as it is to drive hiring, it is equally important to track its efficiency using recruitment metrics.

In simple words, recruitment metrics are a set of measurements that can determine the success of hiring at an organization. Tracking these parameters on a regular basis can also help in diagnosing the problem areas. Suitable action points can result in streamlining and optimizing the hiring processes. For instance, data may reveal the quality of candidates hired from a particular agency. If it is found to be reasonably positive, the organization may decide to partner more closely with them for future positions.

Although there are different parameters for assessing the overall recruitment process, time to hire is perhaps the most common one. Let’s dive deeper into this metric and understand how it can help in improving the hiring processes within an organization.

  • What is time-to-hire?

    Time-to-hire measures the number of days from the point when a candidate enters your pipeline to the moment when the applicant receives the offer letter.

    It is easy to confuse it with time to fill, and some people may even tend to use the terms interchangeably. However, the two are quite distinct and refer to different aspects of the hiring process.

    Time to fill defines the time between the time when a recruiter posts a job opening and the time when a candidate accepts the offer.

    Due to this fundamental difference, both these terms have separate and distinct uses. For instance, time to hire indicates the efficiency of the recruitment process and how fast the recruiters move when they see a qualified resume. On the other hand, time to fill is a metric that is most useful in business planning. Business leaders can look at the past data to determine realistic and reasonable timelines for their new plans.

  • Should you measure time-to-hire?

    The most obvious answer is yes, but it is not as simplistic. Especially if you work in an environment where speed is of utmost importance. For instance, technology businesses cannot jeopardize their projects because of the insufficiency of talent.

    A lengthy screening or interview process may also cause disengagement with the applicants. They may lose interest in the position if they do not hear from the company for a long time.

    However, recruiters and organizations should be looking at the bigger picture instead of one particular metric alone. Instead of looking at the time to hire in isolation, they should be asking if they are overlooking quality at any moment. Similarly, they should evaluate the possibilities of rushed decision-making in hiring.

    Thus, we suggest taking a multi-pronged approach while evaluating time-to-hire.

  • How to measure time-to-hire?

    Here is a simple formula that you can use to calculate this metric.

    For greater efficiencies, it is advisable to break this formula into multiple stages. The time taken in each step will help in diagnosing the specific gaps and problems in your hiring process. For instance, the offer approval process may be taking too long, or the organization may have too many interview rounds.

  • What is the best way to represent time-to-hire?

    For better judgment, it is advisable to represent the time taken in each stage as percentages. It will help you in determining the gaps and taking the necessary actions for strengthening your recruitment process.

    Furthermore, a few positions in your organization may be more challenging to crack. For better understanding, you can filter out the data for different roles and departments. It will help in knowing the jobs that are hard to fill. The recruitment function can then devise appropriate strategies to tackle the problem at hand.

  • How do you improve the time-to-hire?

    Ensuring the swiftness of response and a reasonable time to hire depends a lot upon the recruiter’s actions. Unfortunately, recruiters have a lot of logistical and manual tasks that slow down their productive outputs. They are deluged with operational tasks such as generating offer letters, scheduling interviews, and screening the applications. Then where does the answer lie, you ask?

    Well, the real solution lies in using technology to speed up your recruitment process. It will also allow the recruiters to contribute more to the qualitative aspects of their job.

    Here is how you can automate the application process and reduce your time to hire.

    • Faster and more efficient screening of applications – A recruiter on average may receive hundreds of applications in a month. The recruiter may not be able to give equal time to all the candidates or may concentrate only on the first few resumes.Technology can resolve this situation by screening all the applications and determining the most qualified candidates. Recruitment chatbots by impress.ai can effectively screen all the resumes. The chatbots are customizable and can be programmed to ask relevant questions depending on the advertised job. Moreover, it can handle candidate queries and speed up the application process.
    • Faster interview rounds – The interview process can slow down if the hiring manager doesn’t meet the right person. Technology can speed up the process by conducting the first round of interviews with the applicants. Automated and online video interviews are an excellent example to do this. The most exceptional advantage is that the system evaluates every candidate who applies for the position. Moreover, it removes biases from the screening process and gives fair and accurate results. Some of the more advanced solutions also evaluate a candidate on the body language for a more nuanced result.The platform offered by Impress links to all the major video assessment platforms. It allows flexibility to the candidates and enables them to appear for the evaluation at a time and place of their convenience. The recruiters can go through the interviews at a later stage and assess if the candidate is right for the position.
    • Faster interview scheduling – Most of the time, interview scheduling delays the hiring process. It can be an arduous task to manage multiple calendars to find a suitable time slot. Some organizations mandate inter-departmental interviews to find the right organizational fit. Technology can effectively transform this situation by automating the interview scheduling process.
    • Faster offer generation – After most of the process has been automated, the recruiters will have more time to negotiate the offer with the candidates. More often than not, it takes a long time to get the right approvals from the rewards team if the recruiter has to take an exception.Automation of the offer generation stage can reduce this problem. The system can be programmed with multiple templates to handle different salary structures. Moreover, the workflow allows taking all the necessary approvals for releasing the offer letters. Frequent alerts and reminders help in freeing up the time for the recruiters.
  • In conclusion

    Time-to-hire is a crucial index to assess the performance of your recruitment function. It can tell you what is right and what is not. As important as it is to measure time to hire, it is equally vital to get a complete picture by understanding where the other metrics stand.

    To sum it up, automation can effectively improve this metric and fill the gaps in your hiring process. The best practices stated in this article are useful for measuring the metric correctly. They will also help in reducing it to optimize your hiring process.

    By following them, you can ensure that the hiring function responds to the business needs with precision and the right controls.

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