How to Improve Hiring Time to Fill without Compromising Candidate Quality

SVP of Marketing & Strategic Alliances

With so many employers struggling to hire and keep talented workers, employers might be looking for shortcuts to hire faster. Some employers have lowered job requirements, such as college degrees, and others have walked a risky line by eliminating or postponing background screening and using conditional offers of employment.

Conditional offers of employment allow an employer to extend an offer prior to completing certain hiring steps (e.g., drug tests, background checks, physical exams, etc.). Theoretically, the employer can then withdraw the offer if a condition of employment isn’t met. Employers can use conditional offers in situations where background checks and other requirements might seem like a mere formality (for example, where a criminal history or fraudulent information will not impact other employees or customers or put data at risk).

While lowering requirements like college degrees can give you a broader candidate pool (and there are a lot of good reasons to do away with educational requirements), there are less risky ways to speed up the time to hire.

Keep the Background Check and Improve Time to Fill 

A growing number of employers are starting background checks earlier in the hiring process, especially for high volume hiring where time to hire is vital. For example, a company may increase the number of background checks earlier in the process in order to increase the speed at which a candidate will begin work. This practice decreases total time-to-hire and the likelihood that candidates continue their job search prior to their start date. And, this is easily manageable when you and your team work with a background screening partner, but this level of scalability is nearly impossible to accomplish internally.

Here are a few other areas to consider when evaluating your hiring process in order to improve time to fill without compromising candidate quality.

Set expectations internally. Talent acquisition leaders should have a commitment from hiring managers and an understanding of the level of time and expectation when it comes to moving quickly without having to sacrifice important steps along the way that are essential to the modern hiring process.

Include salary ranges in job postings. Some states have made this mandatory. As of April 2022, employers in New York City will be required to list the minimum and maximum salary on all job postings, promotions, or transfer opportunities. Beginning in January 2021, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act requires employers to include the pay range and benefits in every job listing. Pay transparency laws vary by state and city, such as when employers are required to disclose it (upfront versus when asked) and what employers are required to do so. You can see if your state requires pay transparency by checking your state’s Department of Labor sites for more information. However, even if disclosure of salary ranges is not required by law, you can increase your application rate by doing so. According to SHRM, when looking at a job posting, compensation and benefits are the primary things that most candidates are looking for.

Focus on your employee value proposition and your employer brand. Employer branding allows you to reach qualified candidates, who turn into employees committed to your brand’s vision that become part of your talent community. It impacts every aspect of the hiring lifecycle, from attraction to recruitment to engagement and retention. Consider using media like videos that share your employees’ perspectives on what it’s like to work for your company, “day in the life” videos, and videos in job postings. Videos engage candidates more effectively and provide a more personalized element so that job seekers feel they are being spoken directly to.

There are other ways to help expedite the time to hire, like using a vendor partner that is accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and who has access to tools and technology that your company may not. Partnering with a technology-enabled service provider is vital to optimizing the background screening process. Wherever possible, digitizing the process and integrating identity verification into the background check process is key to speeding up your time-to-hire process. With an abundance of new remote hires, identity authentication is even more critical as your HR team may not be able to assess the original documents in person, so choosing a vendor partner that uses rapid technology, like Cisive’s IDVerity tool, can help mitigate the risk of fraud.