Reduce your time to hire with 5 practical tips

time to hire startup
Reducing our time to hire is no easy task.


We’ve all taken a little bit too much time to respond to a candidate.  Or worse, put off that second interview until after a big deadline. However, the number one reason our clients lose amazing candidates? The process lasts too long! That rockstar candidate you finally found was seduced by another company first.


The question to ask yourself: When it comes to your time to hire, how reactive are you really? Not from your perspective but with true empathy for the candidate.


The time to hire reality: Candidate’s will be counting the minutes from the second they submit their cv or hear from a headhunter.


So how do we reduce our time to hire and level up our employer brand equity? Though having a well defined and structured scorecard is key, sometimes we need to review the administrative basics to move forward.


Tip 1: The number of interviews matters when reducing time to hire:


Take a page out of the Google hiring playbook and keep interviews to a maximum of 4 (ex. 1 phone call, 3 in-person). Any more than this has diminishing returns and will tire out candidates, your team and your employer brand!

Buddy up your interviews:


Need to reduce steps, but can’t leave anyone out? Use the buddy system when interviewing. This way, one person talks while the other takes notes. In addition, we prevent potential cognitive biases when not challenged by an interview partner.


Tip 2: Speed up your scheduling for increased recruitment time:


We’re all overwhelmed by emails. Instead of focusing on our need for a personal assistant, we recommend creating a hiring timeline. A hiring timeline is a guide or agreement between you and your team members that define the appropriate response time between each point of contact (both with your candidates and recruiters). It also defines who specifically is accountable for each action.

In general, we recommend getting back to a candidate with the next steps in the interview process within 48 hours. Scheduling should never be a problem (at least on your end).


Tip 3: Recap quickly so hiring time doesn’t lose momentum


Scheduling a standup immediately after each interview to get team consensus is another way to speed up the process. How? First, let each interviewer share whether or not they believe they are the one for this role. Ask probing questions for why or why not, to make sure personal bias and ego are not heavily influencing the decisions. We are human after all! If consensus isn’t made after the round, the hiring manager should speak privately with opposing opinions to ensure expectation are aligned.


This next one may seem overeager. However, if you’re sure that you want someone to come back for the next round, don’t hesitate to ask about scheduling even before they leave. Ask what time/day works best in general, plus if there are any upcoming travel dates you should know about. No one likes that kind of surprise!


 Tip 4: Plan ahead for time to hire success


Are you blocked by particularly busy executives holding up the process? Schedule time slots in advance. Take note of travel schedules beforehand to make sure interviews aren’t spaced out with more than a week in between when possible.


It’s never good to lose momentum since it gives candidates the opportunity to change their mind or pursue other companies because of a lack of transparency and speed your process.


Tip 5: Track the process of your hiring journey


Finally, it is important to have a proper tracking method to see where bottlenecks occur throughout the process. Using a Trello board is a great way to keep track since you can assign specific actions and dates for each candidate. It may mean one more email, but having automatic reminders when responses are overdue is a great way to keep you and your team in check.

Need some agility in your hiring process? Check out our tailor-made consulting workshops can help you on the right track!

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