There’s little way around it—technology staffing takes time. More than most industries, in fact.
- Data from Statista shows that in 2018 (the latest year of their study), IT staffing had an average time-to-hire of 42 days.
- Glassdoor found that it takes 41 days to hire a software development engineer in the U.S.
- LinkedIn says that for 70% of companies (globally), time-to-hire for ranges from 1-4 months.
- G2 reported in 2019 that it takes an average of 38 days from the first interview to the job offer. Candidates, meanwhile, would have preferred one to two weeks.
Against this backdrop, keep in mind that CareerCast rated “application software developers” as the single toughest job to fill in 2019 (tech jobs are all over their list).
So what is taking all of this time? We can be reasonably sure that companies have some urgency to fill the openings they’ve posted. Those long weeks are not spent distracted or disengaged from the hiring process. Of course, this is not to say every hour in the time-to-hire window is spent on IT staffing.
Let’s break it down.
HR only has so many hours in the day. Some teams keep sourcing internal to save money, although this will almost certainly exacerbate the already high time-to-hire figures. Many companies turn to recruiters who are solely responsible for sourcing talent to expedite the process.
Nearly 50% of recruiters report spending at least 30 hours a week on sourcing. This is the majority of the work week—which means many technical staffing agencies are reserving precious little time for the difficult task of interviewing and vetting their sourced talent.
The Interview Process
Poor vetting costs you more hours in the long run. In my own experience as a VP of Engineering and General Manager in the IT industry, I became intimately familiar with this problem. It was frustrating to learn how much of our budget was spent on the resumés that were reaching my desk.
Some would include a few relevant terms, but overall, they wouldn’t match the job description. Of those that did, we’d spend weeks on interviews only to find that many candidates couldn’t complete the tasks in practice. Of those that we hired, many weren’t the right cultural fit and didn’t last. It was a runaround that cost untold numbers of hours—mainly on talent who weren’t good matches.
Time in Training
Even after a new hire has accepted an offer, technology staffing continues to cost hours. They’re just hours we don’t normally count. Consider that it takes somewhere from 8 to 26 weeks (and an average revenue loss of 1-2.5%) to ramp new hires up to full productivity. If time is money, the productivity lost in onboarding and training—although necessary—embeds a massive hidden cost in technology staffing.
Hours Lost to Churn
Tech has the highest average turnover rate of any sector, at 13.2%. The average employee at Google, for example, lasts only 1.1 years. Unfortunately, every churned position will increase the annual total of hours you’re spending on technology staffing and training—and the financial impact. Research by SHRM suggests it can take 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary to find a direct replacement.
All told, the above factors can mean a month and a half of real-world time for every hire, more than half of their salary value on the hiring process (sourcing, screening, interviewing, etc.), and up to 6 months of lower total productive hours while they acclimate to the role. This could be 500 or 1,000 hours per hire.
Strategic IT Staffing
We can’t hope to reduce these exorbitant hour totals unless we become more strategic. Right now, the tech sector doesn’t use enough of its technical power on IT staffing.
It is our hope to reinvent the technology staffing industry with the Carbonado method. The new methodology should take advantage of machine learning, analytics, and certified assessments and to find and verify elite talent with true cultural and technical fit. Consult with us, and we can show you how an IT staffing agency can combine AI and technical experience to save time and protect your budget.