Tired of open tech positions gathering dust? How to reduce time to hire
May 2, 2024
min read

Tired of open tech positions gathering dust? How to reduce time to hire

Eli McGarvie
Eli McGarvie

Let's be real – those open positions glaring at you from your dashboard? They're not just annoying; they're costing you serious talent. 

Every day a role sits empty is a day your competitors could be scooping up that superstar developer or data whiz. We're going to fix that.

This isn't just about filling jobs faster (though that's awesome). This is about building a tech team that gives you a real edge. Think less "time-to-hire" and more "time-to-innovate." Ready to streamline your hiring and watch those offers fly? 

Let's dive in.

What is time-to-hire?

A recruiter stands with their hands on their head frustrated

"Time-to-hire" is basically how long it takes to turn that promising resume into a signed offer letter. Think of it like your hiring process's personal speed rating.

But why does this number matter?

  • Spotting Bottlenecks: Long time-to-hire? That means something's gumming up the works. Are interviews taking forever to schedule? Offers too slow to go out? This metric is your red flag.
  • Respecting Rockstar Candidates: Top tech talent has options. Make them wait weeks for a decision, and guess what? They're gone. Fast hiring shows you value their time.
  • The Race for Tech Talent: Remember, you're not just hiring; you're competing. Optimising your time-to-hire gives you the edge to land those in-demand engineers and designers before anyone else can.

See, this whole time-to-hire thing isn't about rushing people and trying to get the fastest time possible. It's about building a smooth, respectful process that gets exceptional talent on your team ASAP.

It’s about keeping everyone happy and the whole process moving as smoothly as possible.

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Time to Hire vs. Time to Fill

"Time-to-hire" and "time-to-fill" sound super similar but are actually measuring different things, not to be confused. Understanding the difference helps you make the most of what each metric has to offer (and stops you from making potential mistakes). 

Think of it like this:

  • Time-to-Fill: The Big Picture This is the start-to-finish timeline. From the moment that job req gets approved to the day your new hire signs on the dotted line. It shows you how long your whole hiring machine takes to work.
  • Time-to-Hire: The Candidate Close-Up This one zooms in on the experience of your rockstar candidate. It starts the clock when they apply (or get headhunted) and stops when they say "YES!" to your offer.

Why bother with both, you may ask. Well;

  • Time-to-Fill = Planning Power Need to forecast how many recruiters you'll need next quarter? Or convince the boss you need more budget? Time-to-fill is your friend.
  • Time-to-Hire = Respect & Results A speedy time-to-hire makes candidates feel valued (which wins you the good ones). And it pinpoints where your process might be slowing down.

Understanding both these numbers is like having an X-ray of your hiring process. You can spot bottlenecks, streamline what's working, and land the tech talent that takes your company to the next level.

Action tip: We'll dive into specific tricks for boosting both metrics soon. But first, a quick self-audit: Are you even tracking these numbers right now? If not, that's your first homework assignment!

The costly wait for tech talent

A man in a suit sits waiting in an empty room

Taking a little deep dive into why metrics like time to hire matter, I noticed that there are some core issues that arise when the times are too long or too short. The TLDR? 

It's costing you – big time.

  • The Stats Don't Lie: It takes an average of 50 days to hire tech folks. The US average across all industries is 23 days. That's bad enough. But specialised roles? Ouch. We're talking months of lost productivity.
  • Missed Opportunities: While you're waiting, that dream developer is fielding offers from your rivals. Competitors are innovating faster, stealing market share... all because you couldn't act quickly enough.
  • The Ripple Effect: Slow hiring doesn't just hurt the open role; it bogs down your whole team. They're picking up slack, projects get delayed... morale takes a hit. It may even affect retention long term.

But it gets worse...

  • Location, Location, Location: In tech hubs? Add weeks onto those timelines. The fight for talent is brutal, and slow means you lose.
  • The Unicorn Hunt: Need that AI whiz with the niche skill set? Prepare for a looooong search. Meanwhile, your big idea is on hold.

See why time-to-hire is making or breaking tech companies right now? It's not just a nice-to-have metric; it's directly hitting your bottom line.

Why reducing time-to-hire is critical in tech

 A landscape shot of a tech company office

Let's be brutally honest here: in the tech world, slow hiring isn't an inconvenience; it's a serious threat. 

That killer project you're all hyped about?

Each day without that back-end engineer is another day it stays stuck in development limbo. Sure, the high cost of an open role is obvious. But don't forget those hidden costs – overtime for burnt-out teams, projects that almost launch but never quite do... you get the picture.

Meanwhile, your rivals aren't standing still. While you're dithering over interview schedules, they're onboarding that rockstar data scientist you were eyeing. They're stealing your market share one tech hire at a time

This is why time-to-hire isn't some HR buzzword; it's a battle cry for tech companies. Want to stay ahead of the curve? 

Then speed needs to be part of your DNA.

A Quick Gut Check: Picture your fiercest competitor announcing a breakthrough product... that should have been yours. Does that light a fire under you? It should! Because that's the reality we're facing.

How to reduce time-to-hire efficiently

A close up of a man timing using his wristwatch

Okay, time to stop chasing your tail and start landing those top tech candidates at lightning speed. The good news is it doesn't have to mean cutting corners. Here's how to optimise without compromising:

Step 1: X-ray your process

You can't fix what you can't see. Those bottlenecks in your hiring process? Let's find them. Analytics are your new best friend. Zero in on where things slow down. Is it scheduling interviews? Getting feedback from your team? 

Data will pinpoint the problem areas.

Don't just track this stuff – turn it into action! Schedule regular check-ins with your team. Are your processes set in stone, or are you adapting as you learn? The tech world changes fast; your hiring needs to, too.

Step 2: tech Is your time machine

Seriously, an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a game-changer if you're not using one already. 

Think of it as your hiring robot assistant. It automates all that tedious stuff – screening resumes, sending emails – so you can focus on actually connecting with the awesome candidates.

Don’t forget to use platforms like WeAreDevelopers to speed up your hiring process beyond belief. It’s time to stop using old-dated methods like posting ads on generic job websites and instead using dedicated niche platforms where all the top talent are already searching.

Using platforms like WAD means less busy work and more time to spot the stars.

Step 3: streamline like your life depends on it

Every step of your hiring process should be designed for speed and quality:

  • Interviews That Get Results: Stop winging it! Standardised questions for each role make comparisons easier and ensure you're not wasting time.
  • Empower Your Team: Can hiring managers make offers without three layers of approval? If not, why not? Trust is key to speedy hiring.

Remember, being decisive is how you win top talent. Those candidates have options - make yours the best one, and make it fast.

The Bottom Line: Optimising your time-to-hire isn't just about filling those empty chairs. It's about building an agile, innovative tech company. That starts with hiring the right people right now.

The metrics that matter (beyond time-to-hire)

A female recruiter sits looking at screens of data and metrics

Okay, we get it – time-to-hire is important. I think I’ve made that clear by now, but the truth is that fixating on that one number is like driving with only one eye open. There's a whole dashboard of KPIs that can take your tech recruiting to the next level. 

Let's dive in:

  • Quality of Hire: The Long Game Sure, you filled the role, but did you get the RIGHT person? Tracking things like performance reviews, retention rates, and even team morale helps you see if your hires are genuinely making an impact.
  • Where the Stars Are Hiding: Top talent isn't just floating around! Are employee referrals your secret weapon? Do certain job boards consistently produce duds? Knowing your best sources saves time AND money.
  • Treat Candidates Like Customers: Their experience during your process says a lot. Happy candidates accept offers. They also tell their friends, boosting your brand long-term. Post-interview surveys are key!
  • The Power of "Yes": What percentage of offers get accepted? This reveals a lot about whether your compensation, benefits or even company culture are competitive. (Spoiler: they should be!)

These KPIs aren't just numbers; they're a roadmap to building a winning team. They show you what's working, what's not, and where to double down on your efforts for maximum results.

Metrics aren't magic, but they're kinda close

A final note to be aware of. 

While tracking and analysing metrics is important, it’s no substitute for actual recruitment work, boots-on-the-ground, process-making action. KPIs are a tool to help you with your efforts, not a magic bullet. 

You need to use, transform, and convert them into tangible results. For example;

  • Your Robot Recruiter: That ATS you (hopefully) already invested in? It's not just for storing resumes. Most have built-in analytics. Use 'em! Dashboards that track trends over time practically do the thinking for you.
  • Goals = Your North Star: What do you really want to improve? Is it finding more rockstars? Getting them to say "yes" more often? Set specific targets, and let the numbers guide you.
  • Data Doesn't Lie, But You Need to Listen: All those reports are useless if they just sit there! Did you notice that offer acceptance is low for one department? Time for a deep dive into why. Data sparks the questions that lead to real change.

On that note, tracking the right KPIs isn't just about making HR happy (though it does that, too!). It's about proving the value of what you do. You can show how those recruiting tweaks boosted quality hires or how fixing the process made candidates rave about your company. 

This is how you get the budget, the resources, and the respect your team deserves.


The tech world won't wait, and neither should your hiring. You've seen the damage slow recruiting can do – lost opportunities, frustrated teams, and rivals stealing your lunch. But you now also have the playbook for turning things around.

It's about speed AND smarts. It's about tech tools that give you superpowers AND processes that keep your candidates happy. Most importantly, it's about understanding that hiring isn't just an HR thing; it's the key to building an unstoppable tech company.

So, what's your first move?

  • Metrics Check-Up: Are you even tracking the right stuff? Time-to-hire is essential, but what about quality of hire, or offer acceptance?
  • Process Audit: Where are the bottlenecks? Could simple fixes (like pre-written interview questions) make a big difference?
  • Tech Test Drive: If you're not using an ATS, it's time – automating the boring bits so you can focus on finding those tech stars.

Ready to take the lead? 

Get started with finding the top tech talent at speeds you could only dream of by posting at WeAreDevelopers. Rated the #1 developer community in Europe, there’s no better place to begin your search.


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