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Guest Blog – Quality Of Hire vs. Time To Hire

Adrian Dixon

May 7, 2019

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Have you been wondering about what the quantitative difference between quality of hire and time to hire is?

Recruitment involves dozens of metrics. It’s easy to fixate on each one without improving the hiring process. But there are two metrics that employers tend to value: quality of hire and time to hire.

We’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of these metrics. We’ll also provide best practices for striking the ideal balance between the two.

Quality of Hire

Quality can be a difficult aspect to measure. After all, it’s a subjective metric. But quality comes in many forms: ROI, productivity, and manager satisfaction. Quality of hire refers to both the candidate’s quality before and after the hire.

Benefits of Using Quality of Hire

Managers care less about a filled role and more about the chosen applicant. Major companies aren’t shy about creating recruitment processes that take months. Quality is what measures the success of the recruitment process and the recruiter.

How can the applicant elevate the brand? What can they contribute to the business? How will they be an asset to the bottom line as well as the company culture? These are the most vital questions to a business owner and manager.

Challenges of Using Quality of Hire

Companies should not be afraid to hire those that lack one or two qualifications, as long as they show drive. You can always teach someone a skill, but it’s difficult to change one’s personality.

Here are some best practices:

  • Write better job postings. Recruiters have limited control over the process. But they do control the job posting. Make sure it’s not only descriptive but concise. Research from Linkedin found that shorter job posts (1-300 words) get 8.4% more job applicants than average. Medium job posts (301-600 words), on the other hand, perform 3.4% below average. And long job posts (601+ words) only get 1% more applicants than average.
  • Define “quality” as it relates to the position. Quality can mean so many things. Ask your team how they define a high-quality applicant. You may find it differs from how other departments or companies would define the term.
  • Create a screening system. Resumes reveal a great deal of a person’s work experience, education, and skills. But sometimes recruiters skim through them and miss important details, leading to bad hiring decisions. And according to Jörgen Sundberg, CEO of Link Humans, the cost of a bad hire can be as much as $240,000. Using a proven screening system can not only help avoid these costly mistakes, but it can also speed up the hiring process.
  • Plan more productive interviews. Resumes only show part of the picture. Want to get to know someone? Interview them. Check out the post on preparing a great interview.
  • Conduct a background check. An survey found that 86% of employers conduct a background check after an interview. A background check helps you gain a clearer picture of an applicant and find out whether they are a good fit.

Time to Hire

For companies that focus on speed and having a full team over skill, time to hire will be the most important metric. As the name implies, time to hire measures the time between initial job listing and the hire day. That includes applications, interviews, and background checks.

Benefits of Using Time to Hire

Time is money. Fewer resources spent on recruitment means more towards reinvesting in the business. There will always be a better candidate, but a recruiter needs to know when to make a final decision.

Unlike quality, time is easy to measure. Whether it’s in hours or days, everyone on the recruitment team can agree on a standard measure of time. Time becomes a more convenient and straightforward way to measure success.

Drawbacks to Using Time to Hire

Recruiters can’t rush the process. If you want a high-quality applicant, you need to put in the time and work. For high-level positions, longer recruitment processes yield better results.

A short time to hire for a role may not lead to ideal results. The applicant may be unfit for the position or have a change of heart later on. What seems like a quick hire can suddenly turn into a prolonged process.

Here are the best practices:

  • Use AI where applicable. The recruiter doesn’t need to handle everything. AI can help speed up the process by saving HR departments up to 23 hours per hire. Using AI in the recruiting process can also help reduce cost per screen by 75%, and turnover by 35%.
  • Use SMS messages. Emails are the standard for recruiting. But most people only open 1 in 4 emails they receive. In comparison, 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, which makes them ideal for nurturing job candidates and filling positions quickly.
  • Hire from within the company. Hiring outside the company can be a time-consuming process. Find leaders from within the company that not only qualify, but deserve a promotion. Subordinates will also see it as an opportunity to move up the ladder.
  • Streamline the application process. Applications should ask for basic profile info, a resume, and a cover letter. Reserve all other questions for the interview. Recruiters and applicants will thank you for helping saving time.
  • Search through past applications. Businesses sometimes hold on to applications for up to a year, or even longer. Sometimes their first choice falls through. Other times there’s a need for an emergency hire. Instead of wasting time and starting over, choose from a list of qualified candidates.

Final Thoughts

Recruiters and employers hold continuous debates over finding the right balance between quality of hire and time to hire. On one hand, quality of hire is more important for finding the right candidate. But saving time is also useful, which is why it’s important to focus on achieving a careful balance that works best for your company. Using A.I. to help with this process has the potential to revolutionize your talent acquisition process.

Ask your team what they need from the applicant. Schedule a rough timeline from posting the job to the on boarding day. Ask managers to interview the applicants as well. Understand how the role benefits the team. Then you can learn how to better balance time and the overall quality of the hiring process.

Anastasia Sviridenko is a content marketer at TextMagic, a bulk SMS software provider. She is responsible for crafting and promoting quality content.