Because there’s no industry-wide benchmark for the average duration of a successful recruitment campaign, you could point to your time-to-hire data for non-technical roles and make similar assumptions about hiring developers. But the reality for tech recruiters is that tech roles are far more complicated than their non-tech counterparts—and you’re dealing with a mostly passive candidate pool. So before you start making promises that you can’t keep, here’s the truth about your average time-to-hire in developer hiring.
You’re probably under a lot of pressure to find ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to hire programmers. Two challenges are standing in your way. You already know how tough it is to attract tech talent, but a recent study by CEB found that the average time to hire increased by 62% between 2010 and 2015. On top of that, Daniel Howden at Workable reported that the average time to fill an engineering role after its initial publication date in the US, UK, and Ireland is 58 days.
These stats might be alarming, but they’re also indicators of the fact that you should ramp up your tech recruiting efforts during these traditionally slower summer periods. Even if you don’t have an urgent need to add a developer, the chances are that you’ll be looking to hire one later this year. Considering how unpredictable developer hiring can be, preparing for future searches during a slow season will help you land the developers you need a few months from now.
Just like every other component of your developer hiring process, the average number of days it takes you to hire someone isn’t exactly a straightforward calculation. In fact, multiple segments contribute to the number that you ultimately share with your team. Some of those pieces are a little easier to track, but others are contingent on a number of things that are often outside of your control.
For example, you might be able to track the typical number of hours it takes to handle your administrative duties, but it’s much harder to predict the amount of time you’ll need to sell candidates on roles after you extend job offers. Before you make sweeping declarations about how quickly you can hire programmers, take a closer look at everything that contributes to your average time to fill a developer role.
It’s hard not to be optimistic when you receive an application from a talented developer. In fact, it would be tempting to hire certain people based solely on what you learned during a resume review. But making hiring decisions in haste can be just as costly as having a role stay vacant, especially when a programmer proves to be a bad hire.
Our CEO Joel Spolsky says that you should have at least six people interview each candidate, including at least five who would be their peers. He adds, “It’s too easy to fake out one interview, especially when a non-programmer interviews a programmer.” Holding yourself and your team accountable to a hard and fast time-to-hire goal leaves no flexibility to evaluate the candidates in your pipeline thoroughly.