How long do you think it takes, on average, to fill an open position at your organisation? Thirty days? Forty? According to new research from CEB, the average time it now takes is 68 days, which is up from 42 in 2010.
CEB surveyed close to 1500 recruiters and 28,000 hiring managers to gather data on hiring challenges. What they found was that while research participants knew hiring times were increasing, none of them predicted a jump this steep.
Samantha Hickey, talent practice director at CEB, says that businesses now spend more time sifting through resumes and interviewing candidates than ever, but there is no correlated increase in the quality of the hire.
“People are spending almost a month longer finding candidates than five years ago, but that time isn’t really adding much value,” she says. When hiring managers rated new employee performance on a scale of 1-10 in 2010, the mean score was 7.97 – now, it is 8.02. “There’s no quality aspect to that gap.”
Hickey lists several costs to businesses with such long hiring times. Organisations run the risk of losing great candidates to competitors that can make snappier hiring decisions. Add to this decreased productivity from existing staff who have to stretch to fill the gaps left by a vacant position.
“Damaged productivity to the employees who now have to compensate for the vacant role shows in decreased engagement or burnout,” Hickey says. “We’ve been able to monetise this, and it comes out to nearly $600 in losses per vacancy per day.”
So what are some strategies that businesses and recruiters can implement to reduce hiring time? Hickey recommends you start by taking a holistic approach to the hiring process.
“Think pre-emptively about what are the parts of your business that are experiencing the most growth and what you need to do to drive your strategy,” she says. “Then, prioritise and line up your recruitment strategy so resources are going to the highest priority areas.”
Some additional recommendations to streamline the hiring process are to map it out end-to-end. Most hiring process develop organically, so grab a whiteboard and some markers, gather the hiring team and list the steps from when you post the job listing to when the new candidate starts. This will help you identify problem areas and remove bottlenecks.
Hickey also recommends limiting certain aspects of the hiring process, such as the number of people who are involved and the types of information you collect.
“We found that giving people more information and involving more people in the process didn’t make much of a difference in hiring time,” she says. “What really had an impact was effectively structuring the info you give to hiring managers and only giving it to the critical decision makers – those who have a strong understanding of the business, and thus a strong understanding of staffing needs.”