Skip to main content
IMA Human Resources Blog

13 Surefire Ways to Shorten Your Time-to-Hire

an original article written for the IMA by Perry Oostdam, co-founder and CEO of Recruitee


The goals of hiring vary from company to company, but there are some overlapping ideals. The point of a well-executed hiring process is to gain a quality new hire within a reasonable amount of time. If you take too long to hire, it is a waste of resources, time, and possibly the right candidate. Besides, it’s possible to keep the quality of your hires while still amping up the productivity along the way. Below are the tried and true tips for doing more recruitment work in less time.


1—Strategize beforehand


Evaluate previous hiring processes and avoid issues/delays where they have happened in the past.


2—Get the right tools


Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is arguably the most important. It’s where your hiring process will be streamlined, allowing the team to source together, review/rate candidates together, and hire together. There are also often perks with an ATS, such as being able to post on all job boards at once or edit a careers site easily. Rather than manually going through candidates and deleting duplicates or unwanted applications, the right ATS will be able to automatically detect them.


A sourcing extension is a handy tool for your (and the whole team’s) web browsers. It auto-inputs candidate data into the ATS.


Team communication is imperative to working quickly and efficiently. A tool like Slack allows the whole team to get on board and have all the info they need when they need it.


3—Keep up with candidate engagement


Many hiring teams don’t think they have the time to engage with every candidate, whether they are applying, being rejected, or otherwise. However, this negatively affects the candidate experience. Automated emails with email templates and such help with this tremendously and save time!


4—Brief the whole team on the hiring process


  • Hiring together saves time, because there are more people to fill roles and duties.
  • Clear job descriptions are important to attract qualified candidates, as well as give the whole office an idea of what is preferred in a hire.
  • A clear ideal hire can be decided upon before the hiring process even begins. This is beneficial if the whole team weighs in, as the hire will mesh better this way.


5—Establish employer brand clearly and early on


A careers site that showcases who you are as an employer (with testimonials, team photos, etc.) helps attract the right talent, right away.


6—Use talent pools


The ATS mentioned earlier should come with the option to keep talent pools, whether you are actively hiring or not. Sourcing all year ‘round and saving candidate info in talent pools enhances your chances of reaching out to the right potential candidate quickly enough to ensure that they apply.


7—Boomerang employees


Employees that once worked for your company are important to keep track of in talent pools. They make for quicker hires and assimilation, because they are already familiar with the company and its culture/values/people/etc. As long as you don’t burn bridges, former employees may be the asset you need for a new position, and it will encourage others to stay!


8—Passive candidate outreach


Simply sitting around waiting for candidates to flood in won’t work (unless you are Google or something similar). Job seekers normally apply to companies that they recognize. Top talent is also probably sitting comfortably in a position at another company. However, there are ways to circumvent this. Build rapport with top talent in relevant fields, and, when the opportunity arises, mention a job opening with great benefits they would love. This makes for a quicker hire and acquiring of top talent!


9—Utilize referrals/employee networks


Employee networks can be invaluable. Using the sourcing extension mentioned above, create an easy way to have the whole team source talent. Set guidelines so that they aren’t recommending underqualified individuals. Incentives work wonders, but a company with great culture would ideally have employees helping the hiring process for the good of the company, itself!


10—Make sure the application form isn’t repetitive


Candidates don’t want to enter information repeatedly, making the application process longer than it has to be. Hiring teams don’t want to have to sift through that candidate information for the parts that matter. Use the ATS mentioned before to create an application form that is easy to navigate, but allows you to target specific answers that will filter candidates quickly.


11—Don’t waste time interviewing unqualified candidates


Similarly, the survey should include “make-or-break” questions that will allow you to filter candidates in the ATS by their answers. This is a great way to shortlist candidates, preventing time and resources being wasted on way too many long interviews.


12—Ask for feedback (from employees and candidates)


On one hand, talk with all employees who happened to talk with candidates to gather unbiased feedback and observations. They might see things you totally missed. On the other hand, send candidates surveys after each hiring stage to solicit their candidate experience. There you can always see where to improve and what you can do better, as well as quicker, next time.


13—At the end, analyze performance and re-evaluate strategy.


Continuous optimization will help your hiring strategy to become even more seamless, as you will have the opportunity to identify what parts of the process are taking longer or simply not working. Using the tips above, particularly the feedback from employees and candidates, these issues will be clearer. Work on shortening time-to-hire, and your hiring team will appreciate it, and so will you when your new hire is top-notch!