How to reduce the time it takes to hire

Tom Smith

Hire better faster stronger

There’s a sales adage, you may have heard of it: Time kills all deals.

Of course, some deals take longer than others. Lifechanging ones especially. Like moving jobs.

But that doesn’t mean delays can’t sour even the sweetest job opportunities.

As it stands, I’ve found it takes UK businesses 43 days to hire a data professional, on average. Only 30% of companies fill a role within 30 days. 

Here’s how you can speed up and increase the quality of your hiring process.


7 tips for faster hiring

  1. Track how long it’s taking you to hire currently

Can’t improve if you don’t know where you’re at. If you don’t already gauge your time to hire, at least keep an eye on it in future. You might be able to go back through your emails, calendar or other docs and get an idea. Is it what you expected? Would it be better if it were quicker?


  1. Ask yourself where the sticking points are

How long do you put off reviewing CVs? Are there loads of unsuitable applicants to filter through? Could you be interviewing sooner?

How much of your recruitment is delayed because your “real” job got in the way? Be honest with yourself, it’s not a crime – you do have other responsibilities. Where could you realistically speed things up if it were critical?


  1. Structure your hiring process and have KPIs for each stage

If you’ve not got a process in place, sort one out. If you do, could it be improved, streamlined? Ask yourself: What do you need to assess in candidates, and how can you do it? Who are your hiring decision makers? How many meetings will it take – the fewer the better. What onboarding admin needs to happen? Try and get it organised and standardised.

Then work out how quickly you could realistically hire. That’s your goal. Measure your activity against that. Time to hire’s the big metric, but break it down further for more insight. X days between application and interview decision. X days between final interview and hiring decision.


  1. Build your talent pipeline

Don't wait until you’ve a vacancy and then start worrying about how to fill it. Figure out what you’ll be hiring for that quarter/year and get the sourcing ball rolling. Make promising candidates aware of potential opportunities that are coming up.


  1. Fix your careers page

This forms part of your talent pipeline endeavours. Make it easy to find and apply to vacancies. Only ask for the information you need to make an interview decision.

If there's a CV-upload option, have a system that pulls key info and auto-populates their application. Nothing worse than uploading your CV and then having to re-enter details that are already on there.

Also, just because someone’s on your careers page, it doesn’t mean they’re actively looking for work. They might just be curious. As such, they may not have an up-to-date CV. Offer the option to upload their latest CV or a link to their LinkedIn. 


  1. Fast track the best candidates

Whatever hiring process you organised in tip 3, allow for shortcuts. If the right candidates comes through, have the capacity to fast track them – meet everyone in one go, assessments on the fly, that kind of thing. 


  1. Finally, invest in a good ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

This software can help simplify and accelerate the hiring process. Be thorough when picking one. It needs to work for you. Give me a shout if you'd like my personal recommendations as my clients use a lot. Some are great, others… not so much.