12 tips to reduce time to hire and attract the best candidates

by Liam Martin
Reduce time to hire and cost per hire

Attracting top talent to your company is hard. You never truly know if someone is going to be a good fit until you’ve hired them, but by then it can be too late. So, what can you do to ensure you’re attracting and recruiting the right individuals?

Of course recruitment isn’t just about finding the right people; you also need to find them at the right time. BPOs, contact centres, and agencies in particular are almost always under time pressure, so it’s crucial to be able to recruit on-demand so that you can scale with client needs.

Proper planning and foresight are required to ensure your hiring process is as productive as possible. It’s become all too common for companies to outsource the job to agencies, experience high recruitment costs and a slow intake. What’s needed instead is a proactive talent acquisition process you can rely on time and time again.

And as we transition to remote working, it’s becoming increasingly important to improve the hiring process. Even offshore recruitment agencies need to bolster their strategies to reduce their time-to-hire, decrease cost-per-hire, and attract the best candidates. Without further ado, then, let’s dive into how your company can improve its talent acquisition strategy.

What is time-to-hire and why does it matter?

Time-to-hire is a recruitment metric that measures the length of the entire hiring process. It measures the time taken from when a candidate first applies to when they accept the job offer. Ultimately, it’s a good indication of whether your recruitment process is effective or not.

Time-to-fill is another metric that’s just as important. This one measures the time it takes from identifying your hiring need to filling that position. There can be quite a difference between time-to-hire and time-to-fill, depending on how long you take writing a job specification and description before you advertise for the role.

Measuring time-to-hire and time-to-fill is important because they tell you if your hiring process can be improved. Companies often waste too much money on lengthy, wasteful recruitment strategies when a simple, concise approach would do. Monitoring these metrics can save your company a lot of money.

12 ways to reduce time-to-hire

Finding the ideal candidate quickly without compromising the quality of your process can be difficult. Fortunately, we’ve listed several strategies your company can implement to reduce your overall time-to-hire and save money on your cost‑per‑hire figures. Discover them all in detail below.

1. Add structure to your hiring process

First things first, you need to create a structured recruitment process to ensure you attract the best candidates. Without adequate planning and proactive measures, you cannot hope to entice skilled applicants to your job opening. Make sure to consider every stage of the process, from the initial job description and talent pipeline to the length of your interview process.

Utilizing platforms and social media like LinkedIn are proven methods that add structure to your advertising. Once you’ve attracted interest, think about the next stages of the process. Implement solid plans to ensure you retain quality candidates while reducing the hiring time. A failure to proactively plan ahead will only lengthen the time-to-hire and increase the cost of recruitment.

2. Enhance your job descriptions

From a candidate’s point of view, there’s nothing better than a clear and compelling job description. Applicants often scroll tirelessly through online job boards to find openings that are right for them, so being accurate and enticing can make all the difference in attracting top candidates.

Reduce the length of your job descriptions, clearly state any requirements and responsibilities, and be open and honest about the salary. This will not only improve your talent acquisition rates, but it will also enhance your employer brand and reputation as a respectable company. You’ll entice the best talent and improve the quality of hire.

Focus on advertising the qualities you really want from a candidate, and stress the absolute necessities of the job. Attract more qualified candidates by stating the essential requirements for the open position. By restructuring your job descriptions to contain clear and crucial information, you’ll attract more applicants and reduce your average time-to-hire.

3. Make the application process easier

The time-to-hire can be reduced by simplifying the application process. It may sound obvious, but many companies fail to realize just how much damage they are causing themselves by having a lengthy application process. It’s understandable that organizations want to ensure they properly screen candidates for high-profile positions, but this may end up raising candidate sourcing costs.

Shortening the process is the way to go. Don’t ask candidates to share information that they’ve already put on their resumes, for instance, and make it easy for people using mobile phones to apply. You should promote flexibility in the application process, especially if you’re looking to hire flexible staff.

If your applicant comes across your job posting in one online platform, make it easy for them to apply directly from that platform. Switching between applications is annoying and may deter potential candidates from applying, meaning your recruiting efforts may be wasted for lack of an easy application process.

4. Create your own talent pipeline

Building a pipeline and recruiting are not the same thing. Sure, they overlap in certain areas, but talent pipeline building is essentially a precursor to the actual recruitment process. By finding and creating a pool of pre-screened talent, you can quickly source applicants for any job openings you advertise.

To build a talent pipeline, first identify which areas you hire for most often. Then, find a pool of individuals with skills to match these requirements using recruitment tools like LinkedIn. Through regular contact with these pre-selected individuals, you’ll already have a rapport with skilled potential candidates suited for the job. You’ll reduce your external recruiting costs and your overall cost-per-hire.

5. Collect and analyze performance data

Gathering data on a variety of recruitment metrics will enable you to adapt and react to any potential issues in your hiring process. Metrics such as time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and interview costs are all incredibly valuable to your hiring team, who can use the data to improve their procedures.

Identifying these key performance indicators (KPIs) can give your HR staff an overall picture of your hiring process, from sourcing to interviewing to onboarding. By collecting this data, your recruitment team can analyze what needs improvement, where costs can be cut, and where time can be saved. This is a sure-fire way to enhance your talent acquisition process and will reduce both time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.

6. Take advantage of skills-based hiring

Skills-based hiring truly is the future of recruitment. Your company can improve its hiring strategy by asking candidates to take small aptitude tests before they receive an interview. This enables you to be sure you’re hiring the best person for the job, and can prevent unwanted misfortunes later down the line if a new recruit isn’t performing to the levels that their resume suggested they could.

Screening candidates with a pre-employment assessment will give you a clearer insight into who is more suited to the job. Resumes are OK, but there’s only so much you can tell from a piece of paper. Companies often overlook the fact that skills aren’t always evident through resumes and interviews alone, and you could be passing up some seriously intelligent people by neglecting to conduct pre-employment skills tests.

Pre-employment assessments can massively bolster your recruitment by ensuring you get the right candidates at the first time of asking. Vervoe are specialists in pre‑interview testing and can provide you with the means to screen candidates appropriately.

7. Improve your interview process

Interview scheduling is a crucial part of the hiring process, but it can be time‑consuming and ultimately quite wasteful. As a hiring manager, you should limit the number of interviews you give out by screening candidates more thoroughly in the pre‑interview stages (such as with pre-employment tests). This will save you masses of time when it comes to interviewing more qualified applicants.

If you decide to hire remotely, you save a lot more time with phone and video interviews. Even if you’re hiring for in-office positions, it may still be worth conducting video interviews to save time and effort. This means you can spend less time interviewing applicants and ultimately reduce your overall time-to-hire.

8. Consider an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS)

Global trends indicate a rise in AI and automation tools across the board. Every industry can benefit from software that makes staff members’ lives easier. Productivity tools that facilitate efficiency and drive growth within a business are becoming more common, so you should consider introducing Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) into your talent acquisition process.

An ATS collects applicant data and compiles everything into one platform. This makes it easier for HR professionals on your recruiting team to monitor candidates’ progression. Using an ATS can also facilitate communication and automate certain procedures, accelerating your entire hiring process and reducing your time-to-hire.

Finding room for an ATS in your recruitment budget is a must. You’ll make the money back in no time with the amount of time saved with automated processes. In fact, you’ll experience a drop in hiring costs in the long term, as your time-to-hire also decreases.

9. Update and improve your careers page

Many companies neglect to realize just how important their careers page is. Job seekers are taught to actively look for a careers page on an organization’s website, since this proves the business has real substance and promising development prospects. People seeking employment will be far more likely to apply to your company if you provide a clear and comprehensive careers page.

What’s more, you’ll improve your hiring process by attracting candidates who are genuinely enthusiastic about working for you. Offering a routinely updated careers page, where you advertise any job openings at your company, allows to attract casual visitors to your website as potential applicants. There is more chance that people recruited that way will have a genuine passion for your industry and for their job.

A passionate team brings a wealth of additional benefits. Employee engagement improves, as do staff turnover rates. The workplace culture becomes less toxic and more productive, simply because people are more motivated to perform well in a job they enjoy and want to keep. Who knew that your careers page could do so much?

10. Introduce an employee referral scheme

Employee referral schemes are fairly common, but they’re not as well utilized as they could be. If you haven’t already, you should introduce a referral program into your company that rewards employees when they find a successful candidate for any internal jobs. You’ll experience several benefits as a result.

For one, employees will often have likeminded friends who operate in a similar way to them. If a candidate is trusted and vouched for by an existing staff member, this already eliminates much of the doubt surrounding new hires as to whether they fit into the company culture.

On top of this, employees often have contacts in the same industry. This brings more skilled candidates and sector specialists into the mix, producing a larger talent pool you can hire from. By actively encouraging existing staff to refer their contacts, you can find more suitable candidates for your openings.

11. Broaden your touchpoints with applicants

As well as ensuring the application process is simple, creating more touchpoints with your candidates can make the hiring process much easier for both you and the applicants. Even simple things like periodical communication about what the next steps are make a huge difference to a candidate’s opinion of your company and greatly improves the candidate experience.

Maintaining good contact with your potential applicants increases your chances of retaining their interest and enhances the reputation of your company. Candidates begin to trust your process and their opinion of you grows fonder, leading to a greater desire to work for your organization.

You stand to gain more from reaching out than from being inattentive to your candidates. You should make yourself as attractive as possible to recruit top talent, which you can do by improving communication between hiring managers and applicants. Ultimately, you can hire more skilled workers by creating more touchpoints during the hiring process.

12. Facilitate collaboration between hiring managers

Even if you’ve implemented all the strategies listed above, none of that will work if your hiring team is out of sync with one another. To really foster a productive recruitment process, your HR staff need to collaborate and communicate with each other frequently. This ensures everyone is up to date and aware of everything, and just generally speeds up the entire process.

If your team is based offshore, frequent collaboration can make remote onboarding much easier and improve the overall time-to-hire. Holding regular meetings for the hiring team can be beneficial in speeding up your recruitment without compromising on quality. They’ll be able to better analyze their processes and take quicker decisions to implement a solid talent acquisition strategy.

Effective hiring for the outsourcing industry

All industries suffer from recruitment issues, but none more so than the outsourcing industry. Business process outsourcing (BPO) providers frequently struggle with pain points that hurt their chances of hiring, such as employee disengagement, high turnover rates, and tarnished reputations.

There are some great BPOs around, that really look after their staff, however many are simply not employers of choice and offer little incentive to attract new hires. A lack of visibility, lack of resources, and demanding expectations give outsourcing providers – particularly those operating contact centres – a bad name. Quiet quitting is rife among contact centers, as is burnout and absenteeism.

Poor recruitment only exacerbates these problems. A small talent pool and large competition drives hiring managers to panic and focus only on the mere acquisition of a new recruit. A failure to improve their workplace culture and other well-known problems just leads to new employees becoming stressed, unhappy, and disengaged with their work. This ultimately leads to increased staff turnover and higher recruitment costs.

Following the strategies listed in this article can be hugely beneficial to BPOs, regardless of whether they operate remotely or not. By taking the time to focus on a quality recruitment process, you’ll attract top candidates and slowly start to improve your workplace environment by hiring genuinely enthusiastic individuals.

Final thoughts

Recruiting is often one of the hardest, most stressful things for companies, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Saving money and time in the hiring process is easy with the right strategies. By being proactive and inviting new approaches to recruitment, HR teams can source top talent quickly without compromising the integrity and quality of their processes.

Facilitating the application process, employing automation technology, and improving company-wide communication are just some of the ways companies can reduce time‑to‑hire and cost-per-hire. Businesses across all sectors, including the outsourcing industry, can use the strategies listed in this article to create a solid and sublime talent acquisition process.

For BPOs looking to improve their operations, advanced software like Time Doctor can really do the trick. It can improve employee engagement, as well as enhance productivity and increase accountability. It’s an invaluable tool in helping BPOs improve not just their hiring process, but their overall workplace culture.

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