Time to Fill Recruiting Metric

Which Recruitment Metrics Are Right For You – Time to Fill?

Would you say that you are proud of the efficiency with which your company approaches the hiring process? Do you get excited about the opportunity to welcome new teammates onboard; or…you can admit it…does it make you cringe just a little bit thinking about how long it will take to get everything ready, round up all the interviewers to be involved and pore through all the applications? It all comes down to Time to Fill. In this second installment of my series about determining which HR KPIs work for your company, we’ll examine this telling metric.

In my previous blog about Cost per Hire, I indicated that there is generally a direct relationship between CPH and Time to Fill…in particular, as it relates to the cost of your staff members’ time to be involved in a drawn out hiring process. Take too much time to hire and the business could suffer due to lower productivity, and rush through the process and risk hiring the wrong candidate which will just negatively impact your turnover metric down the road.

How critical time to fill is relative to other HR metrics for your organization only you can determine, but consider this: just because you are a small or medium-sized organization doesn’t mean that you should get by with fewer steps in a shorter hiring process. Small companies can’t afford to “wing it” as it really can take the whole village to hire and onboard a new employee. Any size company can be diligent in making the many steps involved in the recruiting process turnkey; however.

Where Do You Spend Your Time to Hire?

If you’re like me, you manage by what you measure. And when I’m trying to lose a few pounds you can bet I’m recording my calories on my FitBit app…or if our household wants to save up for the next remodeling project, we’re entering our daily expenses into a spreadsheet. Even if I choose to indulge myself every once in awhile, overall by watching my behavior I change it for the better. Having the data in front of me helps me more intimately consider cause and effect. The same is true for the hiring process. Its easy to let a day turn into days and days into weeks when you are progressing through various milestones such as applicant review and interview scheduling without really monitoring your timeframe closely. That can easily translate into disengaged applicants that pursue other companies…and its a vicious cycle, your process then becomes even longer.

A Well-Oiled Time to Fill Machine

So, in the spirit of hiring introspection, let’s look at some basic hiring process stages and ideas for making them thorough, yet as time sensitive as possible.

Job description development

    • Have up to date job templates for frequently hired positions in place and then use them as a base from which to create more specific job listings
    • Use the job listing as an opportunity to set clear expectations about role requirements so that certain candidates self-select out of the process if its clear it won’t be the right fit
    • Create a Job Success Factors page to accompany the job description to paint a more vivid picture about a day in the life of this position

Post jobs to external boards & social media

Review applications and resumes

  • Set aside blocks of time throughout your week dedicated to application review so it doesn’t fall by the wayside
  • Use filters attached to job-specific screening questions to quickly view only applicants that meet basic qualifications
  • Have a comprehensive list of applicant status codes or dispositions already in place so that its easy to assign and continuously update applicants’ place in the hiring process

Conduct pre-screens

Applicant correspondence

Prepare notes & feedback

  • Use a form or otherwise standardize the manner in which you present candidate information to others – people will get used to quickly looking in certain places for certain information
  • Highlight applicants who are the best prospects to hiring managers by sharing their electronic records – keep it timely by requesting others’ response by a certain date/time in your notes or subject line

Pre-employment testing & assessment

Schedule coordination for in-house interviews

  • Request access to the calendars of others involved in the hiring process internally so that you may quickly see when they are/aren’t available
  • At the onset of the hiring process, reserve blocks of time on potential interviewers’ calendars in advance so that you know you can count on them tentatively being available during those times (even if it is a few weeks out)
  • Utilize video conferencing tools (i.e. basic ones could include Skype, Google Hangouts or GoToMeeting to name just a few) to schedule interviews earlier than they might be otherwise if the candidate were to have to travel to your office

Collect hiring manager feedback

Candidate communication – yays & nays

  • Engage applicants by proactively communicating to them about their status in your selection process
  • This can be done quickly by using email templates that include personalization strings (to populate the first name of the person and the position to which he/she applied, for example) and the ability to update applicant records in mass groupings within an ATS

Extend conditional offer of employment

  • Again, have a template for the language you typically use in offer letters/packages ready to go in an existing template
  • Give the candidate a clear deadline for responding
  • Explain the process of collecting information necessary to conduct background/reference checks, etc. in advance to the candidate should he/she accept

Conduct background and/or reference checks

  • Utilize a web-based form for collecting information necessary to run checks…embed the URL address for the secure form into a template in your ATS and quickly invite applicants right from the applicant record
  • Alternatively, check if your provider has a web services integration with your background check and/or reference check resource

Coordinate onboarding logistics with staff

  • Create an email distribution list of all the employees in your organization who should be involved in the onboarding of a new employee – that way, a quick message and/or checklist can be initiated with these people when the time is right simply by emailing one address
  • Incorporate employee onboarding software into your process so that, based on the division to which the new employee is hired, the appropriate staff members are automatically prompted of onboarding process and receive notification when new hire paperwork forms must be approved and/or electronically countersigned

Finalize start date details with new hire

  • Communicate with new hire to confirm start date and if onboarding software is in place, go ahead and explain that applicant will be receiving email prompting him/her to login and approve and sign various employment paperwork files

If you aren’t already employing many of these tips in your process, before you start consider documenting your average time to fill. Then, once some additional time-saving measures are put into place and in action over a period of a few months, measure your average time to fill metric again and see to what extent your organization’s efficiency has improved on that front. Share the success with your team and your CFO…as quantitative KPI info like this is exactly what you need to justify the cost/time involved with future process improvements. The ROI is there when you can create a turnkey process based on sound fundamentals.

ExactHire’s hiring software applications help small and medium-sized companies automate and improve the recruiting and onboarding processes. For more information on how our tools can impact your time-to-fill KPI, please visit our resources page or contact us.

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