Skip to content


Submit or approve timesheets here by selecting one of the options.

What can I do to improve my time to hire?

The time it takes between a person applying for a permanent job to when s/he starts that role – depending on the level of seniority of the position – can be a slow, lengthy process for some businesses.


According to the Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2022 the average length of the hiring process is 36 days, even though 1 in 2 candidates believe it should take less than two weeks from the first interview to a job offer. So clearly there is a disconnect in what employers do and what candidates expect.


If your time to hire is slow, this can have a massive impact on your business from losing top talent and decreased productivity to increased costs and damage to your employer brand. In fact, a global survey by specialist background screening and identity services firm, Sterling, found that a third of all job seekers who had dropped out of the hiring process cited it was too complicated.


That’s why this statistic is one of the most important ones to measure.


Specifically, having a slow time to hire can result in:


  • Candidates dropping out of the process because they have been counteroffered or have lost interest and accepted a job offer from another company that moved faster. This means you may lose out on top talent that could have made a significant contribution to your business.


  • Other team members being forced to take on additional responsibilities if a position is left vacant for an extended period. This can impact the productivity of your team / organisation, not to mention lead to burnout and decreased morale.


  • Increased recruiting costs, such as extended job postings or additional recruiting efforts, and can also lead to higher compensation offers to attract candidates who are still available. You may also need to pay overtime to cover the vacancy.


  • Damage to your employer brand and reputation because candidates may see your organisation as disorganised, unresponsive, or uninterested in their needs. This has the knock-on effect of making it more difficult to attract top talent in the future.


To mitigate these negative consequences, it’s important to identify and address the root causes of slow time to hire.


“It’s about finding out what the problem is,” said Richard Williams, Rullion Client Solutions Director.

“Because if you've got 10 things that are happening as part of your hiring process. and two of them are wrong, then it's the two that you need to find.”


According to Rich you might have a fantastic brand, but you might not have the right technology in place or hiring manager community buy-in in terms of how you hire or the speed of response.  


“It’s about trying to navigate your way through to find out what the problem is. And for every organisation that will be different,” he said.


Getting to the root of it

There are lots of different things that happen within that recruiting cycle that can impact that metric.


  • Are your hiring managers following processes in the right way?


  • Are you advertising your jobs in the right place?


  • Are you using the right methods to get your message out?


  • Is your message the right message, using the right language and tone to attract the candidates you want?


  • How are you approaching the market?


  • Have candidates heard of you? Do you have a strong brand in the market?


  • How are you regarded in the market compared to your competitors?


  • Do you have a positive or negative reputation in the market and why?


  • Do you have a slow and cumbersome recruitment process?


  • Are you getting bottlenecks and candidates are leaving because they’re not engaged in the process?


  • Is your application period extensive?


  • Are your interviews well structured?


  • Do your hiring managers know how to sell the role to your candidates, or do they need some training / support in learning how to do this?


What candidates want


What attracts candidates today is starkly different to what attracted them 10 – 20 years ago. It’s no longer just about having a career for life and stability. Today candidates want greater flexibility and to feel an ethical connection with who they work for or what industry they work in.


An article in HR News stipulates 46% of employees wouldn’t apply for a job with a company that had poor reviews, let alone accept a job. Instead they’re choosing jobs based on criteria such as sustainability, social responsibility or travel opportunities, said Rich, and 1 in 3 candidates are accepting jobs for a better work/lifestyle balance.


Therefore, how your hiring managers talk to them about your company and the role itself, needs to reflect that, said Rich. 


Candidates today also expect a fast, efficient, and digitised recruitment process. The speed at which these things happen matters in today’s fast paced, candidate-led environment. According to the Sterling research, nearly 4 in 5 job seekers said they would drop out or consider dropping out of a lengthy and complex recruitment process.


Candidates also demand to be treated with respect and courtesy, and 78% say the overall experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people, while 27% stipulate they want to work in caring work environments, the Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2022 found.


It’s no longer a “nice to have”, said Rich.


If they have a poor experience, that will reflect badly on your employer brand, and impact the quality of candidates you attract in future, he added.


In fact, 4 in 5 candidates who experience a poor recruitment process admit they willingly tell people abut their experience and 1 in 3 do so proactively, according to the Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2022.


Finding a job, going through the interview process, accepting a job offer, going through the onboarding process, is a vastly different experience in every company and not every company gets it right, said Rich. In fact, a Gallup report found only 12% of companies onboard efficiently. 


Are you spending enough time getting to know your candidates before offering them a job or are you spending too much time getting to know them?


Do your candidates feel engaged and comfortable throughout the hiring process?


Have you clearly articulated next steps in the process to your candidates?


According to Glassdoor organisations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve the quality of their new hires by 70%. Moreover, candidates that experience a poor induction process leave a new job within six months, while companies with a well-designed onboarding process experience 50% greater new hire retention.


Therefore, how you treat your new starters has a massive effect on whether they’ll stay in a new job or not, said Rich.


What can you do about it?


Consider evaluating and optimising your recruiting process to identify areas for improvement, such as streamlining application procedures, reducing time-to-interview, collaborating more closely with hiring managers, or rethinking your recruitment strategies.


Additionally, investing in technology such as an applicant tracking system or online screening tools, can help to automate and accelerate the recruiting process.


However, what happens if you find yourself in a position where your business needs suddenly change and you need to ramp up your permanent headcount significantly in a short period of time?


Not only do you need to find more quality candidates for your jobs, but you might be looking for those candidates in different locations than you ordinarily would, or they might have different skillsets than what you’re used to recruiting for.


If you haven’t got the internal resource to meet the change in demand, you can either hire more resource and get them up to speed with what you want or you can engage with a third-party talent provider to fill the gap.


If you don’t want to incur huge costs in agency fees or to commit to a long-term partnership, another option is to talk to recruitment agencies / talent consultancies that offer Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) on Demand services.


An RPO on Demand service will find those people for a reduced cost, which you can budget for, and run it like a project to a defined timeline. It is also accountable for the successful delivery of what you want and for engaging candidates in the experience.


“It’s a service designed to enhance and augment your internal resourcing team and to support and improve your internal systems and processes, not to replace, change or compete with what you already have in place. So think of it as a value add,” said Rich.


Essentially, it’s about looking for a solution that works for you and that will benefit your business and allow you to hit the objectives that you need to hit.


Whatever option you choose, by taking action to improve your time to hire, you can attract and retain top talent and maintain your competitive edge in the market.




Is your time to time to hire slow and cumbersome? Have you been struggling to find the right candidates for your roles? If you’re interested in exploring ways to improve your time to hire, fill out our contact form below and we’ll get back to you.