Down with TTH!!

Written by Kraig Payne

Kraig has worked within in-house resourcing and RPO for over a decade with a number of large organisations in multiple sectors. His professional passion is to enable businesses to finally unlock the potential of proactive recruitment, and he feels this can only be achieved by getting a grip on tactical recruitment forecasting. He has jointly invented a product to do just that, and started a business called Foresight with his partner Danny Hodgson to educate the masses about the power of forecasting! Their aim is to give the “gift of time” to recruiters, which in turn will mean they can get back to the good part of their job – finding and engaging with candidates!

What is it with Recruiting functions wanting to measure how quickly they can blast through a recruitment process (or not). How is this useful to anyone?

We all hear “how important people are to the success of a company” and that “people are the #1 differentiator to competitors.” Which must mean that getting the right people is mega important. Right?

If we’re agreed on that, then it is surely logical to assume that finding the “right” person will take time. After all, doing something well, does take time;

If you needed an operation and were cheerily told by the surgeon that they were going to try and complete your procedure in half the time because they had received complaints from previous patients about how long it took, would that fill you with confidence, or would you run away?

If you ordered a meal in a nice restaurant and it was brought to you 3 minutes later, would you be happy at the speed, or question that your food had been cooked properly?

Personally, I’ve worked in companies with a TTH of 60+ days, and I’ve also worked in a team that achieved less that 20. At the time I thought the 20 was incredible. But was it?

Recruiting well takes time. Candidates need to be found, engaged, then nurtured and properly communicated to. Good people can take time to find, the best take even longer! That doesn’t change just because someone has set a target to reduce Time to Hire by 50%.

So why is TTH the biggest, baddest measure in Recruitment?

Probably because it was once upon a time the only tangible thing that reactive internal recruiters could use to show they were trying to improve delivery:

“Sorry Mr/Mrs Hiring Manager, I know that you’re not overly happy with how long it takes to fill your vacancies, but look, we have actually reduced our Time to Hire by 20 days in the last year…so what more can I do?”

Trouble is, if I’m the hiring manager I don’t give a monkeys. All I care about is that there is a desk in my team without somebody sat at it adding value towards my objectives.

I truly believe the best recruiting functions in the world will soon be the ones boasting some of the longest times to hire. In fact, they won’t even measure TTH because it will be a waste of their time! These functions will be focused on one thing only:

Empty Chair Time

= The number of days that a position is vacant in a team (either positive or negative).

They will be able to measure this because they won’t be running reactive recruitment processes, nor will they be at the mercy of having to deliver hires with no heads up.

They will be connected to their businesses. They will proactively seek and gain demand months ahead of when its needed. They will perform the same recruitment “tasks” as everyone else, but they will start them earlier, and spread the work over a longer period.

They will be able to present a wider, more diverse, more engaged candidate pool to their hiring community. They won’t be happy to just make an offer to tick another requisition off the list.

Pie in the sky thinking? Not likely, I know of companies already doing this!

And for those that might say that a focus on TTH helps strip out waste from the recruiting process – good point! That’s a valid argument, I would suggest though that its far better to look at specific points in the process, rather than measure the end to end.

For example; measure how long candidates are sat without having had some form of communication, no matter where they are in the process. That, for me would be far more valuable than having an overall time. Poor candidate experience still occurs everyday even if your time to hire is dropping!

There’s only one thing for it:

TTH – your time is up my friend, happy retirement!


*Kraig co-founded Foresight, the first tech platform to build an accurate 12 month Hiring Plan for recruiters from information from their business managers.

As a #ChatTalent reader, Foresight are offering a free trial of their software to any recruiters that are tired of being reactive. Use this link to sign up and start your journey to proactive recruitment!

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