Top talent doesn’t wait: shorten your time-to-hire

Cory Shrecengost
May 17, 2022
minute(s) de lecture
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After a turbulent two years, big changes are happening in the jobs market.

In the US, 55% of the workforce say they intend to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

At the same time, employee burnout and changing work-life priorities are creating a shortage of workers in many industries. In fact, recently the Department of Labor recorded 10.9 million job openings—far outnumbering the 8.4 million unemployed individuals nationwide.

This takes the war for talent to the next level. And it’s why a fast hiring process is so crucial.

As Dayne Nash, VP of global channels at PageUp, explains, “There are more talented people active in the market than before COVID. Hiring and the selection decisions need to be made more quickly, otherwise you’ll lose out on the best candidates to other employers that are also competing heavily for those same people.”

But when the average time-to-hire across all industries is 3-4 weeks while the best candidates are off the market within 10 days, most employers are moving too slow to hire great employees.

So how does your hiring cycle compare?

If you’re missing out on talent, here are the steps you can take to sharpen up your hiring process and save time.

Attract the right applicants

Do you want to review 200 semi-qualified applicants or 20 strong contenders who definitely meet the basic job requirements?

While your talent funnel starts with a concise, accurate job description and a clear understanding of the non-negotiable skills and qualifications the role requires, it can quickly clog with a mass of unsuitable candidates you have to spend hours sifting through.

“The situation is, candidates can do a “quick apply” on platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn, so they'll do one after another. We get serial appliers. If you don't have knockout questions in your application process, you'll get a lot of people applying who don't really want a job just because it’s easy,” explains Craig Fisher, founder of employer brand and recruitment marketing strategy firm TalentNet Media.

But there are some simple techniques you can deploy to ensure you’re attracting the candidates you’re looking for.

Timesaver: Use a short yes/no questionnaire to find the candidates who have the must-haves—for example, the right to work legally, a driver’s license, or particular qualifications or skills—so you don’t waste precious time on those who don’t.

Speed up NDAs, background checks, and W9s

If eSignatures aren’t part of your HR toolkit already, why not?

Using eSignature technology, you can create a set of templated recruitment forms such as NDAs, background check permissions, and W9s that candidates can complete and sign on their mobile phone, tablet, or computer—no printer or scanner required.

Even better, because all of your forms are templated, it saves your team from a big time and effort investment every time you hire.

Timesaver: eSignature tools can also track whether a candidate has received, opened, or signed and returned a form as well as send out reminders to applicants who have yet to sign.


Use interviews sparingly, and standardize the questions

In 2017, more than 12 Google employees typically interviewed job applicants. So, Google’s People Analytics team examined whether more interviews delivered better hiring decisions. They found that, in fact, four interviews predicted a new hire’s performance best, with 86% confidence—an insight that reduced Google’s hiring time by around two weeks!

But this interviewing efficiency is only possible if everyone is laser-focused on getting the most value from each step in the hiring process. You can’t let interviewers wing it and ask different questions of different candidates.

Every candidate you proceed with should be asked a set of standard questions designed to establish past experience, fit with the job, and any potential skills gaps.

Standardized interview questions also help control interviewer bias, which is particularly important if you want to increase diversity in your teams.

Timesaver: Whether it takes two or five interviews to vet a candidate, keeping track of their hiring journey, who’s spoken with them, when their next interview is scheduled, etc. is a real time-suck on your HR team. Using a tool like an Applicant tracking system that can automate the process of booking interview times across multiple calendars and time zones can reduce time spent organizing diaries and avoiding clashes or no-shows.

Template offer letters and contracts

Job-offer letters and contracts are usually standardized across the business, with fields like salary being the only parts that need customizing. Templatize these forms, so they don’t have to be redrafted manually every time you make a new hire.

Storing forms in accessible cloud storage also helps with version control by ensuring everyone across the business has access to the most up-to-date documents with important information like terms and conditions and benefits.

eSignature tools help here too. If you need to change or update terms or details during negotiations, eSignature templates allow you to make changes quickly and easily, so your candidate isn’t left waiting and starts looking at other opportunities.

Signing contracts digitally is also a big timesaver for everyone. For example, high-volume hiring specialist Fountain reduced its average document signing time from 43 minutes to just 6 minutes!


Timesaver: Need to get the CEO’s signature after everyone else has signed? You can use a custom signer order to circulate a contract to the right people at the right time.  

Supercharge your hiring process

A shorter, clearer recruiting process with simplified admin can not only give you the edge in this hyper-competitive job market, it also frees up your HR team to focus on retaining the great talent you already have.

To uncover more ways to streamline your hiring process, take a look at our latest e-guide, Antidotes to slow hiring for time-starved HR managers and teams.

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