A Simple Solution to Reduce Time-to-Hire

Tim Crawford Time to Hire 2 Comments

How much time are you recruiters spending now, and how are they spending that time?

How many active candidates are in the system, and how long does it take to move them through the system?

Which recruiters are doing their jobs efficiently?

Is your process efficient?

Do you need more recruiters?

Do you have the visibility and accurate data you need to answer these questions?

WIP & Final Status

To answer these questions, the first place to start is by looking at each status in your process. Most carriers have 8–12 status values that fall into one of two categories. The first category includes work in progress (WIP) statuses, such as “attempting contact,” “recruiting,” “background check,” “verification,” “ready for orientation,” “attended orientation,” etc. The second category includes final statuses, such as “hired,” “contracted,” “declined,” “disqualified,” or “went silent or no contact.”

The WIP status is meant to be an active status showing that recruiters are shepherding candidates through the hiring process. This process varies from carrier to carrier, but hiring can be completed within a couple of days, or it can be prolonged for months. If drivers are hired, they are obviously moved out of a WIP status and into a final status. If a candidate is disqualified, declines an offer, or simply stops communicating with the recruiter, that recruiter SHOULD move the candidate into a final status. Once in a final status, the system will see the hiring cycle as complete. If the driver reapplies, the system will set him or her up in a new hiring cycle.

Bloated Status

However, that is not always the case. Often, candidates who are NOT hired are left in a WIP status. It could be that the recruiter doesn’t want to let them go back into the system, or sometimes the recruiter simply forgets the driver when he or she stops communicating. Either way, the WIP status category eventually becomes bloated with hundreds or even thousands of these abandoned or sandbagged candidates.

This creates two problems. First, if the real level of WIP statuses is too high relative to the number of recruiters, the candidate experience will be too slow, and the best candidates will go elsewhere. When they do leave, they probably won’t tell their recruiter—causing more bloating.

Second, it’s difficult to tell the difference between actual candidates and those who are no longer being recruited. Sandbagged and forgotten candidates clog up the system and skew your reports.

Once this happens, you have no way to measure or manage the recruiting process. Measuring elapsed times between statuses no longer measures anything real. Evaluating individual recruiters to determine which ones are working the process efficiently is impossible.

A Simple Solution

While these two problems can wreak havoc in your recruiting department, the solution is simple. The solution for both problems is to lower WIP volumes to an ideal level. Within Xpress, this can be easily done using our Bulk Reassignment tool. The next time they apply, they simply start a new hiring cycle within the system. 

This process will help you reduce the number of candidates in a WIP status, creating a list that can be manually reviewed and further reduced to an optimal level. Managers and recruiters will have to work together and review candidates manually to refine the list to reach an optimal size.

What WIP Status Levels Are Optimal?

While the levels vary from carrier to carrier, a reasonable target is to use the following formula:

The number of days in the recruiting cycle × number of new applicants per day a recruiter can manage × number of recruiters 

“5 x 10 x 5”

For example, a recruiting department with 5 recruiters who can each work 10 new applicants a day with a hiring cycle of 5 days would have a target WIP level of 250 candidates (5 x 10 x 5). Or put another way, if each recruiter can manage 50 candidates at a time and you have 5 recruiters, you should have 250 candidates in a WIP status in total.

If more than 250 candidates are being worked, the team won’t be able to get candidates through the process fast enough to attract and convert enough good candidates. If there are NOT more than 250 candidates in reality but the system reflects a bigger number, the manager will have no way of identifying which recruiters are doing their jobs and which aren’t or to figure out which processes are working and which aren’t.

Reducing the number of WIP statuses in the system typically has to precede anything else because, without reliable metrics, we don’t know what to improve, which provides too many places for process failures to hide. Once this solution is in place, you can measure the time between statuses and look at recruiter efficiency to decide whether you need more recruiters.




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Comments 2

  1. what is a good number of Recruiters to have in a company, or what are the expected number of hires per recruiter per week. I’d like to know a reasonsable number.?>

    1. Hello Jose! This really depends on the size of the carrier, and a myriad of other variables. We would be hard-pressed to give you an accurate number without understanding your company’s needs better. However, having the right recruiting and onboarding workflow in place really can improve your results. If you’d like to talk further, please reach out to your advisor, Meghan. I’ve also made her aware of your questions. Thank you!

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