9 Tips For Dramatically Reducing Your Time To Fill

An important recruiting metric, time to fill is the number of days between the day a job requisition is approved until the day an offer is accepted by the candidate.

SHRM’s latest recruitment survey reports the average time to fill is 41 days. But with hiring volume increasing this year and top candidates staying on the job market for only 10 days, recruiting teams are under pressure to reduce their time to fill.

iCIMS’ data breaks down the time spent on each step of the hiring process:

  • 15% Applied
  • 23% HR Screening
  • 37% Hiring Manager Review
  • 23% Interviewing
  • 2% Hired

This means 63% of the recruiting cycle is directly under your control to streamline or automate.

If one of your key KPIs is time to fill, this is actually good news because it means there’s a lot of room to speed up the process.

There’s also a lot of potential to automate some of the recruiting tasks that you find time-consuming and tedious to make your job that much easier.

Here are 9 tips for reducing time to fill during each step in the hiring process.

Reducing time to fill in the application stage

Tip #1: Automate your job postings and social media promotion

iCIMS’ data shows that a resume spends 15% of its time in the applied phase.

This is why the ATS has become a must-have recruiting software tool. 94% of companies who use an ATS say it’s improved their hiring process.

Many ATSs have a feature that allows you to post your job to dozens of job boards and aggregators with a single click. More recently, ATSs also have the option to share your job postings on social media.

If that isn’t an available feature, your ATS should integrate with a tool that will auto-post and auto-share your job postings for you.

Reducing time to fill in the HR screening stage

Tip #2: Automate your resume screening using AI technology

Based on iCIMS’ data, a resume spends 23% of its time in the screening phase.

A major reason a resume gets stuck in the screening phase is because 71% of recruiters use an ATS that doesn’t have the option to rank resumes.

time to fill increases when recruiters can't rank resumes in their ATS

To overcome this major limitation, the new generation of recruiting software uses AI that automates resume screening.

Automated resume screening software uses AI to learn the experience, skills, and other qualifications of existing employees and then applies that knowledge to new candidates to automatically screen, grade, and rank them (e.g., from A to D).

This type of resume screening software works within your ATS, which means it doesn’t disrupt your current workflow and you don’t need to learn a whole new system.

Companies who have employed automated resume screening have reduced their time to fill by 75% on average.

Best of all, this reduction in time to fill doesn’t come at the expense of quality of hire. In fact, AI  for recruiting has the potential to increase quality of hire because each and every resume can now be screened, graded, and ranked.

Tip #3: Rediscover previous candidates for current reqs

Although companies will collect thousands – even millions – of resumes over the years, once these resumes go into an ATS, the majority of them are never looked at again.

Candidate rediscovery is the ability to mine your existing resume database to find previous candidates for current reqs.

Software that automates rediscovery analyzes your job description and then searches your existing resume database to find candidates that are the best matches for the current job requirements.

Rediscovery reduces time to fill because it allows you to skip the time taken to post a new job ad, attract new candidates, and then screen them by re-using a source of candidates you’ve already collected.

Tip #4: Automate your initial candidate outreach

You can automate your candidate outreach with tools that allow you to auto-email and auto-text candidates.

To further optimize your email outreach, you can add an email analytics tool that tracks when the candidate has opened the email so you know who’s interested and when to follow up.

The latest development in automated candidate outreach are chatbots.

These chatbots using natural language processing (i.e., they understand written and spoken text like a human would) to answer candidates’ job-related questions and provide feedback and suggestions.

Reducing time to fill in the hiring manager review stage

Tip #5: Use technology to provide more information about candidates to hiring managers

Unsurprisingly, the biggest delay in the hiring process is the hiring manager review stage at 37% of the time.

Although there’s only so much control a recruiter has over hiring managers, taking some of the steps above and providing more information about candidates to hiring managers will help speed up their decision making.

By automating your resume screening, you can present a shortlist of candidates who are ranked and graded based on their qualifications.

By automating your candidate outreach, you can collect information on candidates’ availability and assess their level of interest to encourage hiring managers to take action.

Reducing time to fill in the interviewing stage

Tip # 6: Automate your interview scheduling

iCIMS’s data reveals interviewing takes up nearly a quarter of the recruiting process.

A quick win for reducing time to fill in the interviewing stage is using a software tool that integrates with major email and calendar providers to auto-schedule interviews with candidates.

For example, some companies will send an automated interview request for all candidates rated an A by their resume screening tool.

Tip #7: Conduct online interviews

Glassdoor’s analysis of more than 340,000 interviews finds that the average job interview process takes 23 days. This is why online interviewing has become so popular.

Interviewing software allows you to be flexible because you can conduct online interviews in real time or you can watch pre-recorded interviews on your own time.

A new innovation in online interviewing assesses factors like candidate word choices, speech patterns, and facial expressions to predict how well a candidate will fit a particular role.

This type of interview technology promises to reduce time to fill by providing additional data points on each candidate, which has the potential to allow you to make better decisions in less time.

Tip #8: Digitize your reference checking

Digitizing your reference checking by using software eliminates the time taken chasing referees on the phone.

Because referees can provide information on candidates on their own time, reference checks can be completed that much faster.   

Reducing time to fill in the hiring stage

Tip #9: Use e-signatures for job contracts

Although the hiring stage only takes up about 2% of the hiring process, a quick win here is to use software that allows candidates to e-sign their contract and send it back without unnecessary delay.

Congratulations on your great new hire!

A summary of 9 tips for reducing your time to fill

With hiring volume increasing this year but recruiting teams staying the same size or shrinking, recruiters will be feeling the pressure to reduce their time to fill.

time to fill will increase because hiring volume is also increasing

Here are 9 tips for reducing your time to fill during every step of the hiring phase:

Reducing time to fill in the application stage

Tip #1: Automate your job postings and social media promotion

Reducing time to fill in the HR screening stage

Tip #2: Automate your resume screening using AI technology

Tip #3: Rediscover previous candidates for current reqs

Tip #4: Automate your initial candidate outreach

Reducing time to fill in the hiring manager review stage

Tip #5: Use technology to provide more information about candidates to hiring managers to speed up their decision making

Reducing time to fill in the interviewing stage

Tip # 6: Automate your interview scheduling

Tip #7: Conduct online interviews

Tip #8: Digitize your reference checking

Reducing time to fill in the hiring stage

Tip #9: Use e-signatures for job contracts

Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min

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