Decreasing Your Time to Hire While Maintaining Candidate Quality

By Jennifer Roeslmeier Mikels

May 14, 2024

Whether you are a staffing agency or a company that is hiring, everyone wants to have the most efficient and successful recruiting process.  Reducing time to hire will lead to efficiency, but maintaining the quality of your hires is crucial to a successful recruiting process.

Decreasing your time to hire has both client and candidate benefits. Clients are happy that their jobs are getting filled quicker. This increases client satisfaction and can increase your net promoter score when marketing to prospective clients. It can also help decrease your client turnover rate and foster long-term relationships. The key to all of this though is not only reducing time to hire but also maintaining the quality of candidates you are bringing to your clients.

There are also many benefits on the candidate side of decreasing your time to hire. Candidates are happy to get placed quicker and candidates are less likely to drop out in the middle of the hiring process. It also helps prevent candidates from accepting other job offers midway through the hiring funnel.

So how can you decrease your time to hire and maintain candidate quality? In this article, we will look at ways to decrease your time to hire, in addition to, best practices for decreasing your time to hire while maintaining candidate quality.

7 Tips for Reducing Staffing Agencies’ Time to Hire

1. Track Your Hiring Efficiency

If you are not already tracking your hiring efficiency, this is an immediate way you can gain insight into your recruiting funnel and see what steps are taking the longest in your hiring process. Is there a bottleneck?  These insights will help you assess where improvements need to be made. Through your recruiting and staffing software, see if there is a way to track the average number of days it takes in each step.  This can include the time it takes for the initial screen, for the resume to be sent to the client, for the client interview, for the offer to be extended, for the offer to be accepted, and so on. Every staffing agency has a different process, so you will want to see what steps your agency in particular wants to track. If you’re not sure which metrics you should start with, contact us, and we’d be happy to get you started on a solution that works for your business.

As soon as you begin tracking your hiring efficiency, you will have the power to make informed decisions to shorten the longest steps in your hiring process.

Track Your Hiring Efficiency

2. Assess Your Interview Length

According to a June report from the Josh Bersin Company and AMS, the average time to hire for the first quarter of 2023 increased across all industries by one day—pushing the recruitment process to 44 days on average. The average time to hire has increased over the past 4 years. One of the main reasons for this is due to companies doing a thorough assessment of candidate quality during the interview process. While it’s good to assess candidate quality thoroughly, taking a long time to do so can have a negative impact on both clients and candidates. Clients can become impatient if the process is taking too long and resort to other agencies to help fill positions. Candidates can also have a negative experience if the interview process is long and grueling. You also have the risk of losing candidates midway through or them accepting other job offers during it.

How long is your interview process? Do you have too many steps? Analyze your interview process and see if it can be condensed.  What interview assessments should be prioritized and what can you get rid of? These questions will be vital in reducing the time to hire for your agency.

3. Explore Skills-Based Hiring

Explore Skills-Based HiringResearch performed by Dr. Bradford Smart, author of Topgrading, showed that the estimated cost of a bad hire ranges from 5 to 27 times the amount of the person’s actual salary. Skills-based hiring is an increasing trend that can help you qualify candidates quicker while increasing the quality of the hire. Skills-based hiring is hiring based on skills compared to other qualifications, such as education and work experience. The State of Skills-Based Hiring report by TestGorilla showed that companies who have implemented skills-based hiring saw a 92.5% reduction in their mis-hire rate and 91% saw a reduced time-to-hire.

Skills-based hiring can lead to a quicker and more efficient hiring process because companies can screen candidates easier based on their skill set and rank them. Early in the recruitment process, companies can implement a skills-based hiring assessment to determine who is qualified. This both quickens the hiring process and improves candidate quality. You can’t lie about your skills in an assessment, so it is a good indicator of a candidate’s ability. Skills-based hiring also opens the pool of candidates that can be qualified for the position you are hiring for. Using the search capabilities in your ATS and taking advantage of a Boolean search if your ATS has one, can significantly help you be successful with skills-based hiring.

4. Create a Candidate Pipeline by Job Type

Creating a candidate pipeline by job type can help you keep track of your top candidates. If your staffing firm software has a pipeline feature, create the pipeline right within your ATS and move your top candidates over to that pipeline. Breaking it out by job type (clerical, accounting, nursing, etc.), will help you sort candidates and easily refer to the right list when searching for top talent to fill a position.

Studies show that candidates from job boards and career sites can take over 30 days to be hired. This time to hire can be significantly reduced by referring to the candidates in your ATS first.  You may have your best candidates right in front of you and they were already pre-screened. Filling an open position can be as easy as sending the opportunity to your pipeline list and someone accepting it that day. Not to mention this not only quickens the hiring process, but you are working with your top candidates.

5. Create a Referral Program

Create a Referral Program

A strong candidate referral program can also have a significant impact on your time to hire and the quality of candidates you are bringing in. Not only are the candidates more qualified, but the candidates also feel more comfortable being referred to the company by a friend or family member. According to The Recruiting Automation Playbook for 2023 by Sense, 8 out of 10 candidates trust the workplace recommendations of friends and family.  Additionally, referred candidates are 55% faster to hire than those sourced through career sites and referral hires have 50% reduced acquisition costs than other candidates.

In order to have a good referral program, you will want to have a strong incentive that you can offer the employees that refer candidates.  You can even have a list of incentive offerings that employees can choose from so there is something that satisfies everyone.

With a referral program, it’s also important to have a marketing strategy. Who will you promote the referral program to? You will want to promote it among your top employees. Your top employees are likely to refer quality candidates that are like them. Additionally, how will you promote it? How will you make it easy to refer someone to you? These are all good questions to ask as you begin putting together a program.

6. Track Successful Referral Sources

Your referral sources should also be tracked to analyze where your best candidates are coming from. Which referral sources have had the lowest turnover rate? This can help you identify your best sources to find candidates, whether that is in your ATS, through referrals, social media, etc. Focusing on your best referral sources can both increase your time to hire and the quality of candidates by only focusing on referral sources you have had success with in the past.

To begin tracking referral sources, reach out to your ATS provider to see ways you can track this through the data in your ATS!

Applicant Referral Dashboard

7. Allow Candidates to Easily Accept Job Offers Through Mobile

Allow Candidates to Easily Accept Job Offers on Mobile

So far, we’ve explored several ways to track and analyze your hiring process and new strategies to decrease your time to hire while maintaining candidate quality. One more way you can decrease the time to hire is by making it easy for candidates to accept job offers with the click of a button on their mobile devices. This can be done by simply sending a job offer via a text message with a link to accept the offer.  If your ATS provider has a candidate mobile app, you might also be able to send a job offer right through the mobile app for them to accept.

Making job offers easy to accept with a click of a button will quickly eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth communication. This can eliminate phone tagging and waiting two days for an email to be responded to. 75% of Americans check their phones within five minutes of receiving a notification. Your job offer will be seen right away, and it will be hard not to accept the offer when they can do it with a click of a button.

Fast, Quality Hiring Begins Now

It is not an easy task to reduce your time to hire while maintaining candidate quality, but as we can see, with the right strategies in place, it can be executed successfully. This will give you a huge competitive advantage when working with both clients and candidates and it will foster long-term relationships.

As providers of back-office staffing software, front-office staffing software, and mobile staffing apps like those listed above, we can provide valuable insight on which processes and metrics deserve your attention first and foremost. Let us help you find the bottlenecks in your staffing process, giving you what you need to provide the right candidate for the job, every time.

Ready to begin decreasing your time to hire? See how an ATS like Ultra-Staff EDGE staffing and recruiting software can help you by scheduling a demo today.