Could your hiring time be costing you?

The time it takes to bring the right candidate on board has always been a bit of a bone of contention. Take too long and you might lose them, rush it and you might recruit the wrong person. There’s got to be a balance.

By the end of this article though, you’ll have a good idea of where your hiring times need to be, what could be contributing to your delays, and how you can speed the process up.

Numbers don’t lie

According to Glassdoor’s ‘Why Is Hiring Taking Longer?’ report, on average, recruitment processes take 28.6 days here in the UK. Trumping us were Canada (22.1 days), the United States (22.9 days) and Australia (27.9 days), and not too far behind us were Germany (28.8 days) and France (31.9 days).

Where we rank on the map isn’t the only factor though. Further research, this time by DHI Group, broke down the average time to hire by industry – and let’s just say some got a better draw of the straws than others:

Industry  Average time to hire (days)
Construction 12.7
Resources  17.9
Leisure and hospitality  20.7
Wholesale and retail 24.6
Warehouse, transport and utilities 24.9
Professional and business services 25.2
Non-farm  28.3
Education  29.3
Manufacturing  30.7
Other services 31.2
Information  33
Government  40.9
Financial services  44.7
Health services 49

The same study went one step further and drilled into the business function, too:

Business function Average time to hire (days)
Admin/HR 40
Analyst/consulting  57
Customer service 40
Engineering  62
Finance/accounting  46
IT/design 56
Marketing/advertising/creative  54
Sales/business development  52

Hiring time factors

When it comes to explaining the geographic, industry and function variances, there are a few contributing factors:

    1. Different countries and regions have different labour market efficiencies – i.e. how well they can match job seekers to employers.
    2. Some employers have much longer screening processes – like background checks, skills tests, group interviews, presentations, etc.
    3. Generally speaking, larger companies tend to take longer to hire – mainly because they’re recruiting for more specialised positions and have more administrative layers to get through.
    4. Job titles; the more complex they are the longer the timeline. For example, police officers have an average hiring time of 127.6 days, while bartenders tend to wait for just 5.7.

It’s going against the grain

With the advancement of new technologies comes new recruitment process opportunities. Rewind to circa 2003 and there wasn’t really the facility to see and interview people in another country from the comfort of your own office (and theirs), or pre-job boards and LinkedIn it wasn’t as easy to shout about your vacancy, but now it is.

Interestingly though, none of this is reflected in hiring times and they’re actually getting slower: Glassdoor’s most recent average was almost a full day longer than for the four years’ prior. 

What’s the reason?

More checks, more admin, and, whether we like to admit it or not, pickier employers.

The rise of remote working has spoilt us, with pools of candidates not just from the same postcode, but from opposite ends of the country and sides of the world. Businesses are no longer prepared to settle when there’s so much choice on offer and that appetite for perfection’s perhaps having a knock-on effect on hiring times.

How you can help your own average

Looking for ways to snap up new recruits without rushing and compromising on quality? Here’s how. 

  1. Introduce assessment days

Assessment days are a great way to get everyone you’re interested in together in one go and compare a range of skills, like how they perform in their 1-2-1 interview as well as their interactions in group environments. 

Depending on how many people you invite (we’d recommend 8 – 10 max.), you can work your way through a good number of candidates all in one day and go through some like-for-like comparisons while they’re still fresh in your mind.

  1. Use your time wisely

If your current process involves an initial phone interview followed by a face-to-face interview followed by a task (all on separate occasions), see if you can condense it all into one or two meets – by running the interview and exercise one after another, for example.

You’ll eliminate the need for multiple visits and chop out wasted days in between – it’s a win-win.

  1. Set-up some meet and greets

If a candidate’s got potential, introduce them to their future team members and key stakeholders around the business. This will not only help you see how they gel with people from different organisational levels, but other people’s opinions might help you steer your decisions and come to a conclusion quicker.

  1. Define your criteria 

…and write it down.

Often, employers aren’t entirely sure what exactly it is they’re looking for before they start looking. They know they want a designer, but they’re not clear on the micro-requirements, like:

  • Are they confident liaising with senior colleagues?
  • Are they familiar with software X?
  • Do they have animation experience?
  • Are they familiar with basic coding?
  • Can they lead team meetings?

Knowing all this from the outset will help you tick off which elements candidates do and don’t meet and, ultimately, whether or not they’re a fit for the position in question. 

So, how does that help your hiring times? Because it removes uncertainty and minimises time spent deliberating over whether or not you’ve found “the one”. 

Need help hiring? Whether it’s a software developer, designer, data scientist or product manager you’re after, we’ve got the tools to take you places – and we can get you there in as little as two weeks. See more about how we work and who we’ve helped here.