Hiring Too Expensive? How to Reduce Time to Hire Using 11 Proven Strategies
May 28, 2024
min read

Hiring Too Expensive? How to Reduce Time to Hire Using 11 Proven Strategies

Eli McGarvie
Eli McGarvie

Ever feel like the clock is your worst enemy when it comes to recruiting top tech talent? I know I have. Every day, a role sits vacant, and it is like watching potential projects, revenue, and even team morale slip through your fingers.

And the stats back this up, with the average position taking 42 days to fill, with 60% of the candidates quitting somewhere along the way. So not only only does it take ages, you may not even get the person you want, and bad hires are very expensive.

But here's the good news: I've honed 13 strategies that'll help you shave weeks—even months—off your time-to-hire. These insider tips will transform your hiring process from a snail-paced crawl to a turbo-charged sprint. 

We're not just filling roles here; we're building the high-performing, innovative teams that drive tech companies to greatness. And trust me, it's way more fun when you're not pulling your hair out in the process.

The High Cost of Slow Hiring

A close-up of someone holding a ticking stopwatch

Let's talk about the elephant in the room: slow hiring costs you big time. And I'm not just talking about those recruiting agency fees (though those are painful enough). Every day that tech role sits open is a day your company isn't firing on all cylinders.

Here's the breakdown of how a sluggish hiring process impacts your bottom line:

  • Lost Productivity: Your existing team is stretched thin, projects are on hold, and frustration levels are rising faster than a Silicon Valley startup's valuation.
  • Missed Opportunities: While stuck in the hiring loop, your competitors are snapping up the best talent, leaving you in the dust.
  • Compromised Quality: Rushing into a bad hire to fill the gap is like putting a band-aid on a broken leg – it might seem like a quick fix, but it's only going to cause more pain in the long run.

Now, picture this instead:

Imagine consistently hiring top-notch tech talent in a matter of days or weeks, not months.

  • Energised Teams: Your current employees feel supported and motivated.
  • Rapid Innovation: Projects move forward at lightning speed.
  • Magnetic Culture: Your company attracts the best and brightest.

That's the power of a streamlined hiring process. It's not just about filling roles; it's about creating a high-performance engine that propels your company towards success. 

And in the fast-paced world of tech, where innovation is the name of the game, reducing your time-to-hire isn't just an option – it's a necessity.

13 Strategies to Reduce Time to Hire

A female HR team welcomes a new employee

#1 - Streamline the Application Process

Best way to shave time off your hiring process is looking at the entire process itself, analysing the good points and bottlenecks, and then making changes. Are you offering a sleek, user-friendly experience, or is it more like navigating a maze?

I'll be honest. I've abandoned more than a few job applications because they felt like homework assignments. And if I'm doing that, imagine how many amazing developers you're losing out on who simply don't have time to figure it out.

So, how do you ensure your application process doesn't scare off top talent?

  • Trim the Fat: Only ask for essential info upfront. Save the in-depth questions for later in the process.
  • User-Friendly Platforms: Ditch the clunky, outdated systems. Your application should be as smooth as the code your developers write.
  • Clarity is Key: Clearly outline what to expect. No one likes surprises, especially in a job application.

Remember, your application process is often a candidate's first impression of your company. Make it a good one.

#2 - Utilise Recruitment Automation Tools

Ever wish you had a magic wand to sift through resumes and schedule interviews? Well, in the 21st century, we've got something even better: recruitment automation tools. Yup, we're talking about AI.

These aren't just fancy gadgets for HR departments; they're your secret weapon for finding and hiring top tech talent at warp speed.

Here's how automation can supercharge your hiring:

  • Effortless Screening: Algorithms do the heavy lifting, filtering out unqualified candidates and highlighting the ones that deserve your attention.
  • Scheduling Simplified: No more endless email chains trying to find a time that works for everyone. Automation takes care of it, seamlessly.
  • Consistent Communication: Automated updates keep candidates engaged and informed, showing them you value their time.

Trust me, once you start automating these tedious tasks, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Seriously, we're talking about speeding up the hiring process by as much as 86.1%.

And remember, a smooth, efficient hiring process reflects well on your company. It shows candidates you're innovative, organised, and serious about attracting the best of the best.

A team of HR recruiters working through a job description to optimise it

#3 - Enhance Job Descriptions

Think of your job description as your company's dating profile. If it's boring or vague, you're not going to attract the right kind of match. And if you have a ton of poor matches applying for your vacancies, that's a lot of wasted time sifting through them.

In my experience, a well-crafted job description is the first step to finding the perfect tech talent. It's like a magnet, pulling in the folks who are genuinely excited about your company and the work you're doing.

So, what's the secret sauce for a job description that actually works?

  • Crystal Clear Role Outline: Cut the fluff. Give candidates a clear understanding of the mission they'll be taking on.
  • Must-Haves vs. Nice-to-Haves: Don't waste time interviewing people who don't have the core skills you need. Be upfront about what's non-negotiable, but also highlight those "bonus" skills that would make a candidate truly shine.
  • Culture Peek: Remember, tech talent isn't just looking for a job; they're looking for a place where they belong. Give them a taste of your company culture. Are you all about collaboration? Innovation? Work-life balance? Let them know!

A great job description does more than just inform – it inspires. And that's precisely what you need to attract those A-players who'll take your company to the next level.

#4 - Leverage Employee Referrals

Something a lot of companies overlook - your team is a goldmine of potential candidates, and I'm not just talking about their LinkedIn connections.

Think about it: who knows your company culture better than the people who live and breathe it every day? Who has a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in your environment?

The truth is that your employees are often connected to a network of skilled professionals who might be the perfect fit for your open roles. But here's the key: you have to make it easy and rewarding for them to share those connections.

Here's how to turn your team into a referral powerhouse:

  • Incentivize: Reward those who bring in successful hires. Get creative with it! Cash bonuses are nice, but so are extra vacation days, gift cards to their favourite tech store, or even public recognition at the next company meeting.
  • Simplify: Don't make it a chore to refer someone. Set up a streamlined referral system that takes minutes, not hours.
  • Close the Loop: Keep your employees in the loop about their referrals. It shows you appreciate their help and encourages them to keep those recommendations coming.

A strong employee referral program is one of the fastest and most effective ways to find top tech talent, clocking in at a 69% success rate (compared with 58% when hiring externally). 

It's a win-win: your employees get rewarded, and you get a shortcut to a pipeline of qualified candidates already pre-vetted by people you trust. 

What's not to love?

A modern team working hard together to build a company’s branding

#5 - Build a Strong Employer Brand

Ever heard the saying, "People don't leave jobs; they leave managers"? Well, I think there's a similar truth when it comes to hiring: People don't just join companies; they join cultures.

That's why building a strong employer brand is so crucial. It's your chance to show the world what makes your company special, what kind of team you're building, and why someone would be crazy not to want to work there.

Here are a few ways I've seen companies successfully build their employer brand:

  • Showcase Your Culture: What's your company's personality? Are you serious and focused or quirky and fun-loving? Share photos of team events, employee spotlights, or even behind-the-scenes glimpses of your workspace.
  • Employee Testimonials: Let your team do the talking. Ask them to share their experiences, why they love working there, and what they've learned. Authenticity is key here.
  • Highlight Growth & Development: Ambitious people want to know they can grow with your company. Be transparent about career paths, training opportunities, and how you invest in your employees.

Think of your employer brand as a magnet. The stronger it is, the more top talent it'll attract. And with 46% of job seekers claiming company culture as a "very important" element of choosing a job, this is one you need to think about.

And let's be honest, who wouldn't want to work for a company that's not only successful but also values its employees and promotes a culture of growth?

#6 - Optimise Interview Processes

Let's talk about interviews. We've all been there, on both sides of the table. And if there's one thing I've learned, a disorganised, drawn-out interview process benefits no one.

Think about it from the candidate's perspective: they're juggling their current job, maybe even other interviews, and trying to make a big life decision. The last thing they need is a scheduling nightmare or a vague, aimless interview.

So, how do you create an interview process that's efficient, informative, and leaves a positive impression?

  • Efficient Scheduling: Use tools to automate this process. Make it easy for candidates to book a time that works for them without endless back-and-forth emails.
  • Clear Evaluation Criteria: Before the interview, get your team aligned on what skills and qualities you're looking for. This ensures everyone is asking relevant questions and evaluating candidates on the same criteria.
  • Streamlined Format: I've found that combining phone screens, technical assessments, and behavioural interviews works well. But tailor it to your company's needs. The key is to gather the information you need without making the process feel like an interrogation.

Remember, interviews are a two-way street. You're evaluating the candidate, but they're also evaluating you. 

A smooth, well-organised process shows respect for their time and professionalism on your part. Plus, it gets you to the decision-making stage faster, which is a win for everyone.

A hand holding up a wave of dollar bills

#7 - Offer Competitive Packages Early

Let's talk about compensation. Now, I'm not saying you need to offer the moon to attract top tech talent, but you do need to be competitive. And transparency is key here.

I've found that being upfront about salary ranges in your job postings is a game-changer. It not only attracts candidates who are genuinely a good fit, but it also saves you time by filtering out those who aren't aligned with your budget.

But it's not just about the money. Tech professionals are looking for a whole package, so make sure you're highlighting the benefits that matter most to them.

Think beyond the basics:

  • Remote Work Options: Many tech folks value the flexibility to work from wherever they're most productive.
  • Health Insurance: Comprehensive health coverage is a must-have for attracting top talent.
  • Professional Development: Show your commitment to growth by offering training stipends, conference attendance, or other learning opportunities.
  • Unique Perks: Do you have an on-site gym? Free snacks? Unlimited PTO? Shout it from the rooftops!

When you put your best foot forward early in the hiring process, you're not just filling a role; you're creating an enticing offer that top talent will find hard to resist. And that is how you build a winning tech team.

#8 - Embrace Flexible Work Arrangements

Want to cast a wider net for tech talent? Ditch the "9-to-5, in-office" mentality. Embracing flexible work arrangements is like unlocking a hidden talent pool you never knew existed.

I've seen firsthand how offering flexibility can transform your hiring game:

  • Wider Geographical Reach: When you're not tied to a specific location, you can hire the best person for the job, no matter where they live. This opens up a world of possibilities, bringing in diverse perspectives and fresh ideas.
  • Enhanced Appeal: Let's face it, most of us value work-life balance. By offering options like remote work, flexible hours, or even compressed workweeks, you're not just hiring employees but building a team that feels valued and empowered.
  • Increased Retention: Happy employees stick around. Flexible arrangements show your team that you trust them and respect their individual needs, which goes a long way in building loyalty and reducing turnover.

So, if you're ready to create a more dynamic and engaged workforce, it's time to rethink those rigid work policies. Flexibility isn't just a perk; it's a strategic advantage in the war for tech talent.

#9 - Utilise Skill Tests Early

Ever interviewed a candidate who looked great on paper but then totally bombed the technical questions? Yeah, I've been there too. It's a waste of everyone's time.

That's why I'm a big advocate for incorporating skill tests early in the hiring process. 

We're not talking about pop quizzes here; these are targeted assessments that help you quickly weed out unqualified candidates and focus on the ones who have the chops to actually do the job.

Here's why I swear by skill tests:

  • Objective Assessment: Let's face it, resumes can be embellished. Skill tests cut through the fluff and give you a clear picture of what a candidate can actually do.
  • Efficient Filtering: Imagine only interviewing candidates who've already proven they have the basic technical skills you need. It's like a fast track to finding the right fit.
  • Respect for Time: No one wants to waste their time, especially in a job search. Skill tests show candidates you value their time and energy, which can go a long way in building a positive impression.

So, if you're ready to ditch the guesswork and hire tech talent based on actual ability, not just buzzwords on a resume, give skill tests a try. You might be surprised at how much time and frustration they can save you.

#10 - Develop a Talent Pipeline

Building a great tech team doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and a little bit of strategic foresight. That's where the concept of a talent pipeline comes in.

Think of it like this: you wouldn't wait until you're starving to start planting a garden, right? The same goes for hiring. You want to be cultivating relationships with potential candidates before you have a desperate need to fill a role.

Here's how I've built talent pipelines that have saved my bacon on more than one occasion:

  • Build Relationships: Get out there and network! Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and engage in online communities. The more people you know, the wider your talent pool becomes.
  • Tailored Communication: Don't just spam people with generic emails. Personalise your outreach. Share relevant articles, congratulate them on career milestones, or invite them to a virtual coffee chat.
  • Leverage Employee Networks: Your team is your secret weapon. Encourage them to refer colleagues or friends, and create an internal referral program to incentivize those recommendations.

By consistently nurturing your talent pipeline, you're not just reacting to hiring needs; you're proactively building a network of qualified candidates who are already familiar with your company and eager to join your team when the time is right. 

It's like having a secret weapon in the war for tech talent.

#11 - Utilise Recruitment Platforms like WAD

Want to cut through the noise and find tech talent that's actually a good fit? Forget those generic job boards. It's time to explore niche recruitment platforms like We Are Developers (for business), AngelList, or Dice.

These platforms are like a treasure trove for tech hiring, and here's why:

  • Tailored Candidate Pools: They attract a concentrated group of tech professionals actively seeking opportunities in your industry.
  • Advanced Matching Algorithms: These aren't your grandma's search filters. We're talking about sophisticated algorithms that match your job requirements with candidate profiles, saving you hours of manual searching.
  • Streamlined Process: These platforms are designed to make your life easier. From posting jobs to managing applications and scheduling interviews, it's all in one place.

These platforms are a powerful tool in your hiring arsenal, giving you direct access to a community of tech talent eager to find their next big opportunity.

So, if you're tired of sifting through endless resumes on generic job sites, give these niche platforms a try. You might be surprised how quickly you can find that perfect fit.


Look, in the world of tech, speed matters. And that's especially true when it comes to hiring. A slow, clunky process won't just cost you money; it'll cost you the opportunity to snag those top-tier candidates who can take your company to the next level.

But here's the thing: building a high-performing tech team doesn't have to be a drawn-out, hair-pulling experience. By implementing the strategies we've discussed – from embracing flexible work arrangements to utilising skill tests and nurturing a talent pipeline – you can streamline your hiring process and attract the best of the best.

And if you're looking for an extra edge, I highly recommend exploring tech-specific recruitment platforms like WAD. We're designed to cut through the noise, match you with qualified candidates, and simplify the entire hiring journey.

Remember, time is of the essence. So why wait? Start implementing these strategies today, and get ready to build the tech team of your dreams.

Ready to supercharge your tech hiring? Explore WAD B2B Services now and discover a more efficient way to find your next star player.


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