Why tech recruitment has the longest time-to-hire (and what to do about it) 🤔

You’re a tech recruiter at a VC-backed scaleup. You’ve got plenty of budget and a full backlog of stuff to develop. Great! Can’t be that hard to get someone on board right?


We surveyed recruiters across 10 different industries, and compared responses from tech recruiters against recruiters from other industries.

What we found was that tech recruitment is the hardest industry to recruit for — by a mile.

Tech time-to-hire is the longest of any industry

Although the previous studies for time-to-hire in tech reported 29 days, our study shows it’s closer to 43 days.

Analysis of time to hire in the tech industry


Part of this difference is due to the way time-to-hire is estimated (based on the number of days a job post is live.)

But as tech roles get more complex, time-to-hire continues to get longer. In fact, 25% said their average time-to-hire exceeds 60 days. Our study shows that is 81% longer than time-to-hire for non-tech roles.

Why tech hiring takes longer than other industries

Reason #1: Tech candidates reply less to recruitment emails.

Our study shows that tech recruiters spend 1.9 more hours per week trying to reach candidates. The reason – reply rates are lower, by far.

The top tier of recruiters — what we call “the 30% club” — is elusive. And this club (recruiters who get a 30%+ response rate to email outreach) is even more elusive in tech.

Why? Tech candidates simply reply less to cold outreach.

In fact, we found that just 9% of tech recruiters belong to “the 30% club” — only half as many as recruiters from other industries.

Response time of candidates to tech and non-tech recruiters

Reason #2: Finding a tech candidate that fits the job description takes much longer

Tech roles are complex. And that’s why screening calls take longer in tech.

Tech recruiters spend 30.1 minutes on average during the first screening call with candidates – that’s 41% longer than recruiters from other industries (21.4 minutes.)

Time taken to screen calls by tech and non-tech recruiters

How to accelerate tech recruitment time-to-hire

We did learn one key insight from our survey that we will use ourselves to accelerate time-to-hire at ContactOut.

According to tech recruiters, candidates are only interested in one aspect of a job — impact — which the survey describes as “the opportunity to grow the company and make their mark.”

In fact, 36% of tech recruiters said this was what candidates care about most, compared to only 17% of recruiters from other industries.

Analysis of what do job candidates care about in the tech and non-tech industries

Based on this finding, tech recruiters will get better response rates — and more positive responses – when focusing on the impact a candidate can make on the company and the world by working there.

Level up your tech recruitment

The full study has many more insights that will help tech recruiters perform better in 2022 — get into “the 30% club” and accelerate your own career. Here’s how:

  1. Download the full report for free here
  2. Tag a tech recruiter in the comments to pay it forward

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