Human Resources, we have a problem: Your Time-to-Fill is longer than EVER.

January 27, 2023

47 days – that’s the time it takes for most businesses today to fill a job opening. Just think about that for a moment. It takes more time for businesses to make a single hire than it takes NASA to send astronauts 85 million km away to Mercury or for Hollywood to shoot an entire movie. If time is money, then businesses, big or small, are jeopardizing their revenue and productivity by not changing their recruitment strategy and doing something about their lengthy time-to-fill.

Time-To-Fill 2010-2018

Time-to-Fill (2010 – 2018)

In fact, time-to-fill is at its highest ever. 10 years ago, businesses only took about 15 days to fill a job opening and hired 3 times faster compared to today. So what’s going on? As technology has accelerated the adoption of HR systems, LinkedIn, and evolved workplaces in the past decade, shouldn’t hiring be getting more efficient?

As a decade long recruitment professional, I can testify that filling a job opening today takes longer than ever. Here are 4 reasons why I think that is.

  • Hiring the unknown. Since the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2013, businesses have started adding new headcounts that they don’t know how to hire. Take Data Scientist for example, one of the most sought after professions today that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Behind all the job postings, how many hiring managers actually know how to evaluate a Data Scientist? Most hiring managers probably can’t even tell the difference between a Data Engineer and Data Scientist. When it’s obvious that you don’t know what you want, attracting great candidates to join your organization quickly becomes a long shot.
  • Hiring Fatigue. It’s mentally exhausting to go through hundreds of resumes just to realize none of them fit to what you’re looking for. When reviewing resumes becomes a long unproductive chore, what often happens is that resumes start piling up untouched in a hiring manager’s inbox and the entire recruitment process gets bogged down. This problem is usually tied with online job boards where they’re really good at reaching a lot of applicants but end up being time wasters because there is no control over quality.
  • Unrealistic expectations. Often times hiring managers get hung up on chasing unicorn candidates who are cookie-cutter versions of their ideal employee. The problem with this approach is the ideal candidate might not ever come along. And while you’re chasing “the one”, other high potential candidates are slipping through your recruitment funnel and prolonging your time-to-fill.
  • Relying on the wrong recruiters. In order to tackle all 3 points above, many hiring managers have turned to recruitment agencies to help them hire the unknown, filter candidates and set more realistic expectations. However, most hiring managers will just mandate their job openings to their nearest recruiters or recruiters who are serving other departments. The truth is, there isn’t a recruiter who can be a jack of all trades. If you’re not mandating your jobs to specialist recruiters who have a strong understanding of what you’re looking for and immediate access to your candidates, then it’s unlikely you’re going to see significant improvements in your time-to-fill.

The first step: team up with the right recruiters

The most immediate way hiring managers can reduce their time-to-fill is to make sure they’re teaming up with the right recruiters. Apart from having immediate access to the candidates you’re looking for –

  • Great recruiters help hiring managers figure out what they need before they start recruiting.
  • They rescue hiring managers from the months of painful search for unicorns that don’t exist by managing expectations and help recognize other candidates that can upskill.
  • And most of all, they save you time by only introducing worthy candidates. So as a hiring manager, you can get back to what’s most important, like growing your business.

If you’d like to know more on how you can intelligently team up with the right recruiters and hire faster, feel free to reach out directly or head over to Find Recruiter.

Lawton Lai

ex-recruiter turned HR tech innovator.

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