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Optimizing Recruitment Budget: How to Reduce Time Per Hire?

In today’s competitive job market, reducing the time to hire has become a critical priority for organizations. According to recent statistics, the average time to hire across industries is around 36 days, with some positions taking even longer. With the need to attract and secure top talent efficiently, organizations are actively seeking strategies to streamline their recruitment process and expedite time per hire.

Why is it so significant for organizations to reduce the time per hire, how does it impact an organization?

Reducing the time per hire is crucial for organizations for several reasons. Firstly, it minimizes the impact of a vacant position on productivity, ensuring that work continues without disruption. Additionally, a shorter time per hire allows companies to secure the top talent before their competitors, giving them a competitive advantage.

Moreover, a lengthy recruitment process can lead to candidate dropouts, resulting in increased costs and lost opportunities. By reducing time per hire, organizations can improve their overall recruitment experience, enhance employer branding, and attract a higher caliber of candidates.

What is time per hire, what are its components?

Time per hire is the duration it takes for an organization to fill a vacant position, starting from the day the job opening is identified to the day the candidate is onboarded. It consists of various components that contribute to the overall timeline:

Requisition Time: The time it takes for the hiring manager to identify the need for a new position and obtain approval to hire.

Sourcing and Screening: The duration spent on attracting candidates, reviewing resumes, conducting initial interviews, and shortlisting qualified individuals.

Interview Process: The time required for scheduling and conducting interviews, involving multiple rounds, assessments, and reference checks.

Offer Negotiation: The time spent on extending an offer to the selected candidate, negotiating compensation, and finalizing the hiring terms.

Onboarding: The time taken to complete paperwork, background checks, and providing necessary training and orientation to the newly hired employee.

How do organizations calculate the time per hire?

To calculate time per hire, organizations need to track the duration for each of the components mentioned earlier. By recording the start and end dates of each stage in the recruitment process, they can measure the total time elapsed. This data can be analyzed to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement, allowing organizations to streamline their hiring practices.

How to reduce time per hire?

1. Collaborate and Partner with Hiring Managers

Establish a strong partnership with hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. Collaborate closely to define job requirements, set realistic timelines, and ensure prompt feedback on candidates. This collaboration can expedite decision-making and eliminate unnecessary delays, reducing the overall time per hire.

2. Invest in a Good Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Implementing a robust applicant tracking system (ATS) can significantly streamline the recruitment process. An ATS automates tasks such as resume screening, candidate communication, interview scheduling, and onboarding. By reducing manual administrative work, you can save time and focus on engaging with candidates more effectively.

3. Utilize Different Touchpoints to Reach Candidates Faster

To decrease candidate response time, leverage multiple touchpoints for communication. Use email, phone calls, social media messaging, and even instant messaging platforms to reach out to candidates promptly. By utilizing various channels, you increase the likelihood of getting a quicker response and expediting the hiring process.

4. Make the Application Process Easier and Mobile-Friendly

Simplify the application process by minimizing the number of steps and eliminating unnecessary questions or requirements. Ensure that your application process is mobile-friendly, allowing candidates to apply conveniently from any device. A user-friendly application process improves the candidate experience and encourages a higher response rate.

5. Utilize Data to Shorten the Hiring Process

Leverage data analytics to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement in your recruitment process. Analyze metrics like time-to-fill, conversion rates, and source effectiveness to make data-driven decisions. By identifying areas of inefficiency, you can make targeted improvements to streamline the hiring process and reduce time per hire.

6. Optimize Sourcing Channels

To reduce time per hire, optimize your sourcing channels. Utilize a variety of platforms such as online job boards, social media, professional networks, and industry-specific websites to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Tailor your sourcing strategies based on the specific requirements of the position to attract the most suitable candidates efficiently.

7. Redesign Your Employer Brand and Career Page

Invest in enhancing your employer brand and career page to attract top talent. Clearly communicate your company culture, values, and opportunities for growth. A well-designed career page that is easy to navigate and showcases the benefits of working with your organization can attract qualified candidates and expedite the application process.

8. Focus on Building an Effective Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline ensures that you have a pool of qualified candidates readily available for future positions. Proactively engage with potential candidates through networking events, industry conferences, and online communities. By nurturing relationships with talented individuals, you can reduce the time it takes to fill positions when vacancies arise.

9. Outsource Help or Divide the Work between Recruitment Team

Consider outsourcing certain recruitment tasks or dividing the workload among your recruitment team. Outsourcing agencies can assist with sourcing, screening, and initial interviews, allowing your internal team to focus on more strategic activities. Alternatively, dividing the workload within your team can help streamline the process and reduce time per hire.

10. Develop a Well-Structured Hiring Plan

Creating a well-structured hiring plan is essential to streamline the recruitment process. Clearly outline the steps involved, including job posting, sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding. By having a predefined plan, you can eliminate unnecessary delays and ensure a consistent and efficient hiring process.

11. Leverage a Referral System to Promote Internal Mobility

Implement a referral system that encourages employees to refer qualified candidates from their networks. Internal referrals are often faster to hire and can reduce the time spent on sourcing and screening. By promoting internal mobility through referrals, you can tap into the talent within your organization and expedite the hiring process.

12. Re-evaluate Your Hiring Process and Iterate

Regularly evaluate your hiring process and seek feedback from both candidates and hiring managers. Identify areas of improvement and implement changes to optimize efficiency. Continuous iteration and improvement ensure that your recruitment process stays streamlined and effective.


In conclusion, reducing the time per hire is crucial for organizations to attract top talent, minimize productivity gaps, and remain competitive. By collaborating with hiring managers, investing in an ATS, utilizing different touchpoints, making the application process user-friendly, leveraging data, optimizing sourcing channels, redesigning employer branding, focusing on building a talent pipeline, outsourcing or dividing tasks, developing a well-structured hiring plan, promoting internal mobility through referrals, and re-evaluating and iterating the hiring process, organizations can streamline their recruitment efforts and reduce time per hire. By implementing these strategies, organizations can expedite the hiring process, save time, and secure the best talent efficiently.

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