5 Ways to Reduce Time to Hire

One of the most important metrics you can measure when it comes to staffing your veterinary clinic is time to hire. The amount of time it takes to fill an open position on your veterinary team increases costs and reduces your chances of recruiting high-quality (a.k.a. fast-moving) candidates. This is a big deal, especially considering that 57% of job seekers say they lose interest in a job if the hiring process takes too long. In other words, a lengthy time to hire is poor business practice.

To help streamline and shorten your recruitment process (and still find the perfect candidates to fill your open roles), here are five practical tips.

Assess your current situation.

You can’t correct what you don’t know you’re doing wrong, so the first step in reducing time to hire is figuring out where you stand currently. To do this, analyze the following:

  • How long it currently takes you to fill a role
  • The time it takes a candidate to move through the hiring process (i.e. application stage to phone interview stage to in-person interview stage, etc.)
  • How your time to hire compares to others vets, particularly those in your geographical area
  • Number of calendar days between final selection and job offer
  • Ratio of good vs. bad applications you typically receive

This exercise should help you identify which areas need the most improvement so you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

Establish a structured hiring process.

The veterinary industry is notorious for not having structure in areas like staffing. It sort of goes with the territory – especially for smaller practices. Is it really necessary to create a formal hiring strategy if you only have a small team? In a word: yes. You may not need it now, but when it comes time to hire again, either due to growth or turnover, you’ll be glad you’ve already got a plan in place that will move things along and save you time.

Even if you already do have a hiring process, take a few moments to map it out. What does the candidate journey look like from start to finish? What are the steps involved? How long does each one take? By making things visual, you’ll be able to more easily pinpoint bottlenecks and unnecessary roadblocks that could be mucking up the process.

Build a talent pipeline.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll end up with a few top candidates for each job you’re trying to fill. So, what happens to the ones you don’t hire? They’re already pre-screened. You already know you like them. Instead of cutting them lose with a “Dear John” letter, why not start building a network of talent that you might tap into in the future?

Doing so can reduce time to hire tremendously. In fact, in some instances, you may not even need to advertise your open roles. Instead, you can just reach out to those people you already know would be a good fit and see if they’re still interested. To get you started, here are five steps to building a talent pipeline for your practice:

  • Identify common roles you hire for
  • Determine the specific requirements for each of those roles (i.e. skills, education, cultural fit, etc.)
  • Make connections with your ideal candidates via things like social media, industry events, referrals, etc.
  • Identify those who seem like they’d be the best fit and reach out to them
  • Nurture those leads by staying in touch, sharing meaningful content and using personalized messaging

Spending at least 30 minutes per week building this pipeline of talent (even when you aren’t actively hiring) will pay off dividends like you wouldn’t believe.

Look for faster ways to source candidates.

While the candidate sourcing phase isn’t technically part of the time to hire equation, it can have a significant impact on the final number, which makes it just as important. For instance, in step one above, by calculating your ratio of good vs. poor applicants, you can diagnose whether or not there are any delays in the sourcing phase. By improving how you source candidates, you’ll save time and energy by reducing the number of low-quality applicants you have to sort through. They’re all interrelated.

To put things into perspective, the average applicant-to-interview ratio is 12%. If your ratio is better than this, you’re sourcing high quality candidates. If it’s not, you may need to reexamine and adjust your approach. Don’t be afraid to get creative and be diverse in how you look for candidates. In addition to traditional methods, consider using tools like referrals and social sourcing. Find what works for you and optimize your strategy accordingly.

Get help.

Finally, the easiest and most effective way to reduce your time to hire is to enlist the help of an expert. In this case, we mean utilizing an experienced veterinary recruiter. If you think about the time it takes you, as the owner or practice manager, to source applicants, narrow your selection and push candidates through the hiring process, the value of partnering with a recruitment specialist becomes abundantly clearer.

It’s kind of like having an in-house hiring manager, only without the expense of having them on the payroll. Instead, you simply turn the task over to a recruiter (preferably one who is seasoned in hiring for the veterinary industry). You tell them what you’re looking for, they do all the legwork and hand over a short list of candidates that match your ideal employee. All you have to do then is pick the one you like best.

And because veterinary recruiters already have robust talent pipelines, you’ll enjoy access to the most talented veterinary professionals in your area so you can hire them first – before your competition has a chance to step in.

That’s exactly what you’ll get when you work with Dream Team Elite. For more information or to get started today, click here.

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