Time to fill and quality of hire are two of the most common metrics that talent acquisition teams track, and for good reason. In today’s competitive talent landscape, time to fill has been increasing dramatically—but hiring managers need their roles filled yesterday. The speed with which you’re able to find and hire a candidate directly impacts your organization’s ability to meet its goals. Sure, you could cut some corners to get more candidates hired, more quickly, but that could impact your quality of hire. Without quality, you might end up with a backfill on your hands, meaning a vacant position and starting back at square one. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can have the best of both worlds by implementing strategies and tactics that help you scale with speed, without compromising candidate quality.
Stop waiting around for quality candidates to fall into your lap
Proactively sourcing candidates will help you find the best talent quickly, rather than posting a job description and waiting around for candidates to find it. Our data has also shown that sourcing is more efficient than posting jobs, indicating that passive candidates are a higher source of hire than applicants. One in every 72 sourced candidates is hired, versus one in every 152 applicants. Additionally, fewer candidates are easier to manage, allowing you to give each of them a better candidate experience so they stay engaged in your recruitment process.
Maximize your sourcing effectiveness by building talent pipelines well before you need them. Anytime you come across a strong candidate, add them to your applicant tracking system. When a position opens up, you can search your own database to engage—or re-engage—all of the high-quality talent you’ve already sourced.
Tap into your employee’s networks
Referred candidates are often considered the holy grail of talent. They’re faster and less expensive to hire, they onboard faster, and stay longer. They’re also the most efficient source for hires, with one in 16 referred candidates hired versus the overall average of one in 100. In short: employee referrals are a great source to attain both speed and quality.
Team sourcing jams are a great way to find these high-quality candidates, quickly. Order in lunch, get your team into a room, and review your open roles and ideal candidate profiles. Then stay on hand to help your team identify strong candidates from their networks, and add them to your applicant tracking system. You can also do this one-on-one with new hires during your employee onboarding process, or with your executive team for business critical/leadership roles.
Dig into your data
Use your recruiting data to learn what’s working for your organization, and how you can optimize your process for speed and quality. Dig into your pipeline stages to learn where candidates are getting stuck.
For instance, you might find that sourced candidates have a slower pipeline speed because they require several follow-up messages before they respond. You can create a more efficient candidate sourcing process by automating candidate follow-ups with a tool like Lever Nurture. Or, you may find that candidates from all sources are getting stuck in the onsite interview phase because interviewers aren’t submitting feedback quickly enough. You can keep candidates moving down your hiring funnel by automating interview feedback reminders.
Also look at conversion rates to see what you can learn. A high phone screen to onsite interview conversion rate, followed by a low onsite interview to offer conversion rate can mean you need to improve your phone screens to let fewer, higher-quality candidates through. This, in turn, can save a significant amount of time spent scheduling, interviewing, and chasing down feedback.
Keep your top choice candidates engaged
One of the worst ways for time to fill to increase is to have your best candidates drop out of your recruitment process or turn down your job offer. Sourcing fewer, higher-quality candidates and optimizing your recruitment process will help, but you should also be gathering candidate feedback to learn about other opportunities for improvement.
You can do this by sending a brief survey to all candidates, asking them to share candid feedback. Ask them what interested them most, and least about your opportunity. Find out how far they went in your recruitment process, and ask for specific feedback on each stage. If they received an offer, find out why they accepted or declined it.
Then use this information to pull out themes and make necessary improvements. Every change can potentially keep more of your top-choice candidates more engaged in your recruitment process, so you have the pick of the litter when it’s time to make an offer.
Quality and speed are top of mind for many talent acquisition professionals, and you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. In fact, a faster recruitment process can help you keep your top-choice candidates engaged in your process, create a strong candidate experience, and allow you to get an offer out before your competitors do. In this way, speed and quality go hand-in-hand to make your recruitment program more successful.