Cutting The Cost of Open Vacancies
It’s the start of a new year and we’ve been digesting the stats for our performance last year and we’ll be writing about relevance of some of the metrics. This week its “time to fill”. “Time to fill” is commonly held to be the number of days between the publication of a vacancy and getting an offer accepted. Of course when using a recruiter publication would be substituted to giving the brief.
We previously wrote about “appreciating the true cost of your vacancy” so armed with an understanding of the on-going cost of an open vacancy we really can put a value to a rapid response in securing an accepted offer.
So what does normal look like? Well, the overall average across the UK is 48 days. This compares with 43 in USA, 53 in the rest of Europe and 47 across the rest of the world. Sectors such as healthcare and customer service at 29 days and 34 respective do skew the UK figures with other sectors ranging from 42 days to 67 days.
If you read the article on the true cost of a vacancy you’ll understanding the these “times to fill” can easily be costing tens of thousands of pounds.
We were delighted that our average time to fill for 2016 came in at 22 days; that’s less than half the overall average. So how do we do it??
The bottom line is we don’t do it on our own. It requires a well honed process coupled with the commitment and co-operation of our clients.
Lets look at the key points:
The foundation of successful recruitment is a clear understanding of what is required. Of course as recruiters we want this but it is important that the hiring manager has a clear understanding before they recruit. Too often employers try to make it up as they go along.
They set a recruitment spec and then once they start interviewing decide certain factors are or aren’t important – effectively changing the spec.
This often means starting the search again causing delays. Now sometimes clients, and indeed their recruiters, see a person with a particular set of skills and think “Wow that’s not in the spec but it would add massive value!” and I wouldn’t argue against that but it is essential at the outset that both the employer and the recruiter know what they are looking for and are definitely singing from the same hymn sheet.
Delays kill recruitment. Particularly if you need to headhunt candidates, any delays between initial contact and interview really put candidates off. Delays in feedback from interviews, delays in organising 2nd interviews, delays in making offers are all opportunities for candidates to go cold on the opportunity.
The savvy employers know this and pencil in potential interview slots when giving their recruiter the brief.
They know to expect and answer a call immediately after the interview to take feedback. They know 2nd interviews and offers must be organised promptly.
Of course not all of our placements are made in 3 weeks. In fact we have one, involving a senior relocation to Australia, that has taken over 12 months. However at the other end of the scale we are often able to provide a shortlist of skilled operators in days who can then have their only interview, possibly coupled with a skills test, before being offered inside 2 weeks.
This reduction in time to fill compared to the average can save costs that can be many multiples of the recruitment fee.
The fundamental key to success is the commitment of both employer and recruiter to working in partnership, understanding the business needs and the market and then acting quickly to secure the best talent.
So, how’s your “time to fill”?