Reduce Time To Hire

How to Reduce Time to Hire in a Recruitment Agency

As A Wise Man Once Sang, “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part.” This Saying Also Applies To Job Hunting.


If you work in a recruitment agency, you live by the time-to-hire metric (TTH). The faster you snap up high-quality candidates, the better results your clients will see, so reducing the time-to-hire metric is a priority.

In this guide, we’ll discuss all the key factors you need to consider when reducing hiring time, including:

-Average time to hire
-Ways to reduce the time to hire

What Is the Average Time to Hire in 2022?

Currently, the average TTH closes in at 41 days, although it can vary considerably across industries from a few days up to four months.

70% of job seekers lose interest in a job if they don’t hear back just one week after an interview. The good candidates join the market and are off it in a matter of days – not weeks. Besides, taking too long to fill a role can increase the cost per hire and result in your clients leaving to hire freelancers to step in for a full-time hire.

Fortunately, reducing the time to hire boils down to honing your recruitment process while offering an outstanding experience.

5 Ways To Reduce Time To Hire Without Sacrificing Recruiting Quality

Step 1. Improve The Careers Page And Optimize Job Postings

If candidates have to apply to have their most pressing questions answered, they probably won’t.

Use the best practices for job postings across your client base:

  • Offer an engaging mobile-first experience. Mobile job applications surpassed desktop applications in 2022. Your posting should be scannable with key details bolded for emphasis.
  • Describe work tasks in detail. What’s expected of your candidates on a daily basis? What will those tasks look like?
  • Treat your descriptions as sales copy: convince the candidate that your company is the best place to work. Emphasise desirable benefits, explain the atmosphere, and showcase opportunities for growth.

Most of us automatically assume that to get the best candidates, we need to post on every job possible job board.

In reality, posting on multiple job boards can increase your time to hire – especially if you don’t have an automated talent pipeline vetting process. Be careful and evaluate if your clients can handle the load. 

Step 2. Build A Talent Pipeline In Advance To Reduce Your Time To Hire


One of the easiest ways to reduce TTH is to ensure you’re always looking for great talent.

Build a winning talent pipeline, so you have the right people for the job (even before it’s been posted):

  • Identify the roles you often hire for and determine the necessary requirements for those roles. What does the ideal candidate look like regarding skills and experience?
  • Go where your ideal candidates hang out. Many candidates connect with recruiters and agencies before they start job hunting. Are they on LinkedIn? Networking events? Understand their needs and share relevant content.
  • If you bump into the perfect candidate for a role, add them to your applicant tracking system (ATS) immediately.
  • Have an open form on your website where potential candidates can submit their details. The best candidates keep their options open.

Umme Salma, a talent acquisition expert, suggests an innovative idea: talent rediscovery.

“Recruiters have a treasure that they can tap into: talent rediscovery. The large pool of previously screened or interviewed candidates is the most valuable and under-utilized source of talent. Consider candidates who nearly got a position but were outperformed by another applicant, provide feedback, and add them to your ATS.”

The hardest way to hire is to hire from scratch. If you want to reduce your time to hire, establish your talent pipeline process in advance and fill it with top-quality candidates. Once you have an open position, all you have to do is reach out to them with a juicy offer.

Step 3. Gather The Right Metrics

A lower TTH by itself doesn’t mean you’re hiring suitable candidates. This metric entails the speed of hiring – not necessarily the quality of hires. 

Pair TTH with other data that measures candidate quality to get a bird’s eye view into your hiring process:

  • Conversion rate: How many successful candidates have you hired? The higher the conversion rate, the bigger the return on the time invested in the process.
  • Candidate experience: What was the candidates’ impression of your recruitment process? Measure it through surveys or informal chats.
  • Quality of hire: How successful were your recruiters in finding great-fit candidates?
  • Retention: How long did your candidates stay with the companies you paired them with?

The goal is to identify potential bottlenecks, improve them, and build a process that consistently delivers quality with reduced time to hire.

Step 4. Standardise Your Resume Formatting

Lengthy scheduling and excessive rounds of interviews will impact your time to hire. Employers will often take candidates through two to three interviews before making an offer. 

While this is an average number, going over four interviews is usually overkill. Don’t overwhelm candidates with multiple interviews if they aren’t necessary.

Best practices for how to streamline interviewing and automate scheduling include:

  • Use an automated interview scheduling tool. Move faster by eliminating unnecessary back-and-forths.
  • A quick interview is useless if it doesn’t give you the necessary insights. Focus on the key skills listed in your job description and dig deeper into generic answers.
  • Phone and video interviews are excellent pre-selection assessment tools. Not only do they reduce travelling time and keep costs down, but they give you the chance to assess the candidate’s communication skills.

It’s not uncommon for ideal candidates to abandon a long-winded interview process midway.

If you’d like to increase your chances of successfully recruiting top talent, make sure you’ve done everything in your power to make every step straightforward for the candidates.

Your Best Candidates Are Out There: Meet Them Where They Are

We’re in a candidate-driven market, and the best ones are flying off the shelves! Apply the tips we shared with you to your recruitment process, and soon enough, your clients will be sending you thank-you notes.

The faster you hire, the faster they succeed!

Did you enjoy this post? Here are some more recruitment topics you might be interested in:

  • How to reduce time to hire
  • Guide to high volume recruiting
  • How to address biases in recruitment
  • Top 5 high-volume hiring strategies
  • ATS resume template guide
  • Sales techniques for recruiters
  • Business development strategies for recruiters