Did you know only 30 percent of companies are able to fill their vacant roles in less than 30 days? For most other companies, the process can take 1-4 months!

Taking too long to fill a role doesn’t just increase the cost per hire — it also increases your risk of losing high-quality candidates to other offers. According to one survey, 57 percent of job seekers will lose interest in a job if the hiring process takes too long.

How can your company reduce time to hire? Here are a few proven methods:

1. Build a Talent Pipeline Ahead of Time

If you want to decrease your time to hire, the single best thing you can do is build a talent pipeline well before you need it. When you have a solid, continuously updated talent pipeline, you do not need to start from scratch every time there is an open position to fill. The perfect candidate could be waiting in your database already.

Not sure where to start with your pipeline? Here are five basic steps to get you going:

  1. Identify the roles you hire for often.
  2. Determine the requirements for each role.
  3. Find events, websites, and other places where your ideal candidates are likely to spend time.
  4. Identify your top prospects and reach out to them.
  5. Stay in touch with these candidates over time by regularly sharing meaningful content and helpful information.

If you come across a great candidate but don’t currently have an open role for them, add them to your pipeline — with their permission, of course. You can find great candidates at any time, and it never hurts to introduce yourself and let them know you want to keep them in mind for future positions.

2. Invest in Candidate Relationship Management Software or an Application Tracking System

A good candidate relationship management (CRM) software or applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you streamline every step of the hiring process, from posting your job ads to job boards to managing candidate applications.

A great ATS should provide a simple, automated experience to candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers. Look for a solution that allows you to create custom workflows. Some ATSs now even offer prescriptive recommendations to help recruiters zero in on the best potential fits! A solid ATS can be the ultimate tool for supercharging your hiring and reducing your average time to hire.

3. Be Data-Driven

When it comes to reducing your time to hire, data is key. Tracking critical metrics and benchmarking your processes can help you find potential bottlenecks in your recruitment process, so you can get to the bottom of the problem and revamp your process accordingly.

For example, you may determine that a new role-specific assessment is responsible for an increase in time to hire. First, find out if the assessment has also led to a better quality of hire. If not, you can nix the assessment in favor of something more efficient.

Data can also help you determine which recruiting channels have shorter times to hire than others, allowing you to find candidates faster by focusing on the most effective channels.

Finally, looking at conversion rates between each stage of the recruiting process can help you identify obstacles that keep candidates from progressing. If, for instance, a very low percentage of candidates ever makes it through your in-person interview, you are probably wasting a lot of time interviewing unqualified candidates. Instead, find ways to screen candidates more effectively earlier on in the process.

Given that companies lose productivity and revenue every day a position remains open, time to hire is an important metric. While it’s normal to see increases in average times to hire in our highly competitive talent market, there are still things employers can do to cut unnecessary delays from their processes. By continually revisiting and improving your hiring process, you won’t need to sacrifice quality for time.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Oleeo blog.

Jeanette Maister is managing director of the Americas for Oleeo.

Power your recruiting success.
Tap into Recruiter.com, the largest network of recruiters.

in Hiring Process]