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Did you know that the top tech talent is off the job market in less than 10 days? If your hiring process is inefficient and lengthy, you may be missing out on highly-qualified candidates.

That’s why metrics such as time-to-hire are often at the top of your recruitment team’s list. It’s the time it takes a candidate to move through the pipeline, from responding to a job opening to accepting the job. In these unprecedented times, the potential inefficiencies in the hiring process may cause a significant slowdown, affecting not only candidate experience but also the quality of your hires.

In order to find out more about the long-term consequences of the global crisis on recruitment metrics, we spoke to Adrie Smith, Head of Content and Branding at Recruitee. Adrie walked us through the latest report on “The Current State of Hiring from Home,” explaining how the overall effectiveness of hiring has changed during the transition to remote work.

How COVID-19 affected the time-to-hire

“Traditional businesses are often reluctant to change, especially when it comes to internal policies and processes,” says Adrie. “In the wake of a global pandemic, when nothing is certain, these companies are even more reluctant to drive change and it’s even harder to stay agile,” she adds. According to the latest research by Recruitee, the global economic downturn not only led to redundancies but also affected those companies who are still hiring, causing the time-to-hire to increase by 23%, averaging about one month.

What are the reasons for such a massive slowdown? One could be a serious disruption in communication between hiring managers and recruiters. “Hiring teams still don’t have the right tech stack to effectively collaborate together. We discovered that 90% of companies working remotely did not implement any additional tech to support their hiring processes. They used to provide candidate feedback just by booking a minute to talk to each other,“ says Adrie. “In this new reality of remote work, finding that 5-minute slot in someone’s agenda is suddenly difficult, it takes a real effort to effectively discuss the candidate’s performance, which slows down the entire hiring process” she adds.

There is also no avoiding the fact that the current economic crisis and an increasing number of candidates on the market are having a direct impact on the hiring speed as well. Tech recruiters are going through multiple applications, which in many cases can be unqualified for the job. “We found out that moving from on-site to remote interviews caused the initial interview to be downgraded from 30-60 minutes to only 15 minutes,” says Adrie. “It’s probably an attempt to spend less time on screening, while in reality, it may lead to moving the wrong candidates through the pipeline,” she adds.

Effective ways to reduce time-to-hire

If you’d like to improve your time-to-hire, start with investing in your tech stack. “There are platforms that allow you to collect real-time feedback on a candidate’s performance and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that improve collaboration, allowing you to aggregate information in one place,” recommends Adrie. A central applicant tracking system may provide more sophisticated methods for tracking time-to-hire, the number of candidates interviewed, and hired.

Secondly, “consider using technical assessment platforms and implement pre-screening questions to qualify the top performers among the increased numbers of candidates,” says Adrie. A tech screening solution can dramatically cut down your time to hire without losing the quality of your candidates. With intelligent tech assessments, you also get to rely less on the resume and more on the candidates’ skills, making evidence-based hiring decisions.

Finally, never underestimate the importance of having the appropriate hiring and onboarding processes in place. “Our research showed that 52% of companies did not have any remote-hiring policy prior to COVID-19, and 54% did not implement remote onboarding,” says Adrie Smith. “Many companies froze their hiring because they simply didn’t know how to handle it remotely. People were asking questions, what is the process here? Should we continue interviewing at all? Even if there will not be a similar event or crisis of such magnitude in the future, nothing should slow you down, so make sure you’re prepared” she adds.

Helping with other recruitment goals

Improving your time-to-hire can help you meet a number of your hiring goals by allowing you to hire better candidates faster. That ripple effect impacts the way you engage with your applicants, improving the candidate experience, and saving you time and resources. But the pressure is not only on talent acquisition teams. “It’s crucial for the c-suite to understand how important it is to hire remotely, implement appropriate processes, and provide support to the entire team,” says Adrie. “This collaboration will lead not only to reduced time-to-hire but also better employee retention, and employer branding.”

Natalia Dwórznik, Enterprise Marketing Lead at Codility.

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