Monday Metric: Is it Time to Rethink Time to Hire?

timetohireTime to hire is one of key metrics most organizations track when evaluating recruiting performance and their overall talent acquisition strategy. But how effective is it really in helping to shape and improve the recruiting process? Based on what is traditionally measured when it comes to time to hire – the time it takes from the opening of a job requisition through to accepted offer – this metric often overshadows the more important factor: the quality of the candidates selected.

A fast time to hire is great, but what happens if in the rush to put a body in the chair, the recruiter advances someone who isn’t fully qualified for the task at hand or isn’t a good fit culturally? You must then reinvest the time and resources to find someone new. To avoid such situations, companies must take the time to consider candidates thoroughly to make sure they have the skills and experience to be successful for the long term.

The other problem with how most companies measure time to hire is that the metric is rather backward-looking. All too often, time to hire as viewed as a benchmark to which all recruiters should strive to meet or improve upon. But recruiting isn’t an Olympic record that needs to be broken. Time to hire should be seen as a crucial predictive metric indicative of the company’s ability to hire the best talent. Try thinking of it in terms of ‘time to hire quality candidates’ – and how the various steps of the processes, however long they take, lead the company to the right individuals.

Instead of striving to improve quality of hire, organizations should focus on improving how they measure quality of hire. Doing so will help encourage recruiters to view talent acquisition not as a race to get candidates through the door first – but an ongoing process to get the best candidates through the door.

Consider the following ways to rethink time to hire:

  • Couple time to hire with quality of hire: Tracking how long it takes to fill a position won’t provide meaningful analytics to improve the recruiting process. However, when combined with quality of hire, the organization can better view the strategies and processes that result in the best hires – and then replicate them.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel: Rather than starting the recruiting process from the beginning each time, progressive companies understand the value of embedding recruiting into the company culture, by way of creating talent communities, engaging passive candidates and developing employer branding to build relationships and attract prospects. With pre-vetted candidates in reach, you can hire qualified candidates much faster.
  • Put insight over efficiency: Time to hire should be an indicator of recruiting forecasting rather than efficiency. By tracking time to hire through that lens and focusing on the efforts that bring in the best talent, the company can adopt a more proactive, forward-looking recruitment strategy instead of looking backward and making reactive adjustments.

As recruiting continues to become more challenging, and companies rush to fill seats before the competition does, it is important not to lose sight of the end goal – finding the most qualified individuals for the job at hand. While there is still value in tracking time to hire, it must be looked at in a new way. After all, the length of time an employee stays with the company is a much more important metric than how quickly they’re hired.

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Recruiting Metrics