Why your time to hire is letting down the candidate and how to overcome this.
The time to hire should be a priority in any talent acquisition strategy. The longer a candidate has to wait the greater the risk of drop out and overall negative implications for their hiring journey.
To determine this, different variables need to be considered that can affect the overall time period such as; the position, industry and job level. As well as other factors, including; a large candidate pool, manual processes and even a talent shortage.
Considering this, to measure the exact time to hire, calculate the time from when a candidate enters the talent pipeline to the moment they accept a job offer.
Time to hire = candidate beginning job application – candidate accepting a job offer (Workable)
So what happens when a candidate feels let down due to prolonged hiring times?
You fail to meet their expectations
Candidates sought after a job application process that’s straightforward and informative with the hopes that it will be relatively fast. However, if applying for a job takes longer than anticipated (due to extensive questions or lengthy processing times), it simply means candidates are at risk of disappointment from unmet expectations.
It creates a negative first impression
A candidate gains its first proper insight into how a company works during the recruitment process. Unorganised? The candidate will notice. Lack of communication? The candidate will definitely notice. Slow? The candidate will almost certainly notice and become increasingly frustrated the longer they have to wait.
A negative first impression will consequently put your brand reputation at risk. Once a candidate has formed an opinion it can then be difficult to change. Therefore strategically it’s much more effective to put in place preventative measures and speed up the hiring process, prior to the candidate making their first impression.
As well as, uncertainty
Doubts can form when a candidate has to wait longer than expected for job updates. Questioning if their application was successful or whether they need to start looking for a new opportunity. Without a prompt response, job hopefuls are left in limbo with a sense of uncertainty that plays a part in some job seekers retracting their application.
Later down the line, the candidate who receives a job offer could perhaps be apprehensive in accepting the new position. Slow early stages will impact their final decision. Risks that surround the employer brand and overall company perception mean they may not be in a hurry to accept the job offer.
When candidates are faced with extensive wait times in-between hiring stages, the probability of them looking for a new opportunity will significantly increase.
How about the employer’s perspective? Time restraints, tight budgets and limited resources all contribute to the difficulty in speeding up hiring times.
How to effectively manage time to hire:
Distinguish room for improvement
Which area of the hiring process is currently the most labour-intensive for the job seeker? Through data collection, it can be beneficial to look back at which stages candidates spent the most time. Does the interview or job application handling process take up the most time? The results can provide a great insight into how candidates react to the varying different times of the recruitment stages. And pinpoint any adjustments that need to be made to make their hiring journey as seamless as possible.
When looking to speed things along, consider hiring technology. Some services offer automation as a tool to effectively screen applicants fast and efficiently. With the potential to provide results that are bias-free and inclusive to all who have applied. Saving a considerable amount of time, that would have otherwise been invested in manually reviewing each individual CV or resume against different job vacancies.
Take it back to basics
If a long hiring process is inevitable, it’s helpful to provide candidates beforehand with a brief timescale to cover key recruitment dates and application timings. Those looking for a job promptly may not be interested in the prospect of an hour-long application or the potential for multiple different interview stages. But when candidates are aware of the length, it will provide the opportunity for those to assess how committed and willing they are to apply.