Attracting key talent is difficult Pivotal HR Solutions Blog

Attracting key talent: research indicates inefficient recruiting is impacting productivity and income: time-to-hire increases by 62%

Especially in today’s competitive job market, the hiring cycle can be long for key roles — averaging 60 days or more for many skill sets in Canada.

“The average time to fill a job—from the initial posting to an accepted offer of employment—increased by 62 percent…” according to SHRM. [3]

For mission-critical roles, the wait can be costly in terms of lost production and billable income. Typically, depending on company structure, several key people will be involved in any decision-making process for recruitment, which furthers impacts productivity and income. Sustained lack of human resources can degrade customer experience, often damaging reputation.


Deadline on hiring prospects lined up Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
Most hiring is on a “as soon as possible” deadline. In today’s competitive market, skilled candidates can be fairly choosy. Recruiters are finding time-to-hire is longer, and many candidate opportunities are lost.


Slow time-to-hire is often an internal issue

Although external factors contribute to slow-time-to-hire and missed opportunities in recruiting — such as low unemployment rates, or competitive aggression and poaching — the key reasons are mostly internal process. How do you know your internal recruitment process is to blame? Think back on recent recruitment efforts, to see if any of these apply:

  1. Positions are staying vacant for weeks and months.
  2. You engage in multiple interviews with prospects.
  3. When you get back to candidates with an offer, they’re already off the market — probably hired by a competitor.
  4. Turnover in your company is higher than the industry average.

The inevitable result is that employers “miss great potential hires and then have to settle for candidates that were less qualified than those they had originally passed up,” according to Sarah Greer, of TCMP Health Services. [3]

Slow time-to-hire is the main reason companies of all sizes tend to outsource permanent recruiting. There are seven key reasons to outsource recruitment — but saving time to hire is increasingly important in today’s economy. A quality outsourced recruiting team, such as Pivotal HR Solutions, usually brings a wider pool of prospective employees. These prospects are prescreened for history, aptitude, security and skills — all of which saves significant time.


Streamlining recruitment matters Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
Making recruitment efficient and methodical can speed up time-to-hire. Reducing unecessary process, such as multiple interviews, can also prevent loss of good candiates through pre-emptive competitive offers.



Time-to-intervied takes the biggest chunk out of “time-to-hire” and is the leading cause of lost opportunity. Too slow on the interview can result in poaching by a competitor with a better offer.

Even if you are experienced in recruiting, and have a pipeline of prospective employees, it is not an employer’s market today, with unemployment at historic lows. The average unemployment rate in Canada through 2018 is just under 5.9%. In the U.S. [1] — assuming you wanted to recruit south of the border — the rate is even lower. According to Glassdoor’s survey, you should expect the interview process to be lengthy in certain industries:

  • Aerospace & Defence 32.6 days
  • Energy & Utilities 28.8 days
  • Biotech & Pharmaceuticals 28.1 days


Mean Vacancy Rate

The “mean vacancy rate” is even longer. According to DHI Groups Hiring indicators for “average time to hire,” some industries can be as long as 49 days:

  • Health services 49 days
  • Financial Services 44.7 days
  • Information Services 33 days
  • Manufacturing 30.7 days
  • Education 29.3 days
  • Professional and Business Services 25.2 days.


Attracting key talent is difficult Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
Attracting key talent is taking up to 62% longer. With inefficient recruiting process, many good candidates are lost to competitors.


One thing that can help you “speed up” your review process — and give you better odds of “offering first” is a smarter skills assessment protocol.

Of course, it varies by industry, but in particular, these sectors are tight on “supply” of qualified prospects:

  • Finance, insurance, leasing (increased by 13,000 jobs in September 2018)
  • Public administration (up by 12,000 jobs)
  • Agriculture (up 9,000)
  • Construction (up 28,000) [1]

All of this means there are fewer people vying for your positions. You should expect a longer hiring cycle. Salaries are also on the rise, not just because of minimum wage increases previously mandated by the government.


The most difficult positions

Not surprisingly, the lengthiest cycles have remained:

  • White Collar Jobs: 68 Days
  • Engineering: 60 days in Canada
  • Analysts: 54 days
  • IT and Design: 51 days
  • Marketing, Advertising and Creative: 50 days
  • Sales and Business Development: 48 days


What do you do if you don’t have time?

Outsourcing is normally expedient in competitive markets, and particularly when you are in immediate need. The pool of available prospective employees will substantially increase, and you can eliminate some time from your search for advertising, initial screening, background checks and so on. Even companies that have in-house recruiting rely on outsourcing to supplement the process — either for faster time-to-hire or for better quality choices.


How can outsource save time-to-hire

Screening and matching take the most time. This is where a quality outsource, such as Pivotal HR Solutions, can help. By carefully pre-screening, long before you need the resource, a professional can save time by reviewing:

  • references
  • background checks
  • behaviour assessments
  • personality assessments
  • skillset assessments.

For more on how Pivotal’s Permanent Recruiting Team handles this process, see>>

Assuming you engage a strong recruitment outsource, there are many ways your recruiter can speed up the time-to-hire:

  1. Draw on existing pools of pre-screened prospects.
  2. Use well-proven and efficient methods of screening prospects for background, security, and even aptitude.
  3. Handle most of the initial interviewing and shortlisting (if you prefer) — dramatically reducing wasted internal resource time.
  4. Bring expertise in special skills: review, screening, negotiation and searching.
  5. Efficiently handle International placements, approvals and some of the paperwork.

Ask for a no-obligation assessment by a Pivotal HR professional>>

Seven key reasons to outsource recruitment

All of the key reasons to rely on outsourcing for permanent recruitment tend to revolve around time, and time-to-hire. The reasons to outsource, or partially outsource, are usually cited as:

  1. Time-to-hire: almost always too long.
  2. Difficulty in finding qualified candidates; takes too much time.
  3. Reduce turnover rates, wastes time.
  4. Adaptability to growth needs: some companies are fast growth, some are slower. Growth companies tend to need to recruit more quickly.
  5. Cutting costs: again a time issue.
  6. Recruitment takes time away from core business.
  7. Recruiting the right candidate more effectively: often the wrong candidates end up in the wrong positions due to rushed private screening. Outsource is more efficient and thorough. [2]


Ask for a no-obligation consultation on how you can speed up your time-to-hire from a Pivotal Permanent Recruting Expert:

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[1] Canada Unemployment rate, Trading Economics
[2] Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association.

[3] SHRM “Why Hiring is Taking So Long — and What HR Can Do About It”

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