Time to Hire: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to recruitment, recruiters need to stay on their feet and hire candidates as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of the candidates. This helps to save money on recruitment and get their job roles filled. The faster a job role is filled, the quicker the candidate joins your workforce and starts contributing to your revenue. This is what makes time to hire the most critical metric in the recruitment KPIs.


To optimise your hiring process, you need to track how long it takes to hire a candidate. This will help you find the areas of improvement and help you minimise time wastage. This is why the time to hire is also considered one of the most basic recruitment metrics that every company should keep track of.


What Is Time to Hire?

Time to hire refers to the time elapsed from the moment a candidate fills out a job application and the moment the candidate accepts the job offer.

Time to hire tells you how much time it takes for the HR team to find suitable candidates for a job role and start them on the recruitment funnel and hire the right candidate for the job.

The time to hire metric varies tremendously based on the department of the role. It is easier to find candidates for specific departments and job roles, but for some other job roles, sourcing candidates might prove difficult.


How to Measure Time to Hire?

To measure the time to hire metric, you need two variables. It is easy to find the time to hire for a specific job role with the following two variables.

To calculate the time to hire, subtract the number of days the candidate entered the recruitment funnel from the number of days the candidate accepted the job offer.

For instance, consider the day you posted the job advert as day 1. In this case, if the candidate applied for the job on day 5 and after going through the recruitment funnel joined the workforce on day 20, with the above-mentioned formula.

Time to hire: 20 – 5 = 15

In this instance, the time to hire for the job role is 15 days.


Average Time to Hire

To get an idea of the average time it takes for your company to fill up a role, you need to use the average time to hire for that.

To calculate the average time to hire, you first need to calculate the time to fill the various job roles you recently hired for.

After that, divide the sum of all the time to hire by the number of positions to get the average time to hire.

For example, if you have 4 job roles with the time to hire as 14, 16, 20, and 10. 

Then, (14 + 16 + 20 + 10) / 4 = 15


Why Is Measuring Time to Hire Important?

Measuring time to hire can help you find areas of improvement in your recruitment process and fix them to improve the efficiency of your hiring process. The following are some of the reasons why it is vital to measure the time to hire:

  • It helps you understand how long it takes to find the right candidate for your job. In any job market, high-quality candidates are sourced first. This means that if your team takes a long time to find candidates for your job role. As time passes, you risk losing the best candidate for your organisation.
  • The entire recruitment process consists of many stages. Tracking the time to hire will help you define how long each step takes for a candidate for a specific role.
  • Measuring the time to hire can help you have an idea about the candidates you hire for the same position in the future. If the time taken is a bit higher, you can look out for areas to shorten the time.
  • The time to hire metric is also dependent on the number of resources you have in your recruitment process. This will help you allocate more resources if needed and reduce the resources as needed.


Tips to Improve the Time to Hire

Most organisations cannot afford to spend too much time filling specific roles. The following are how the company can improve its time to hire metric:

  • Make sure that you keep track of the different stages of your recruitment process. This can offer various insights on the time to hire and help you find areas where you need to improve.
  • Once you have the number of stages and the time it takes in each stage. You need to define the ideal time it takes to hire the candidate. Make sure that each stage has an ideal timeframe and stick to that timeframe as much as possible.
  • As we focus too much on time, it is sometimes easy to lose track of the quality of the hire. You need to prioritise the quality of the candidate over the time it takes to fill a vacant position.
  • Try to focus on fewer candidates and reduce the number of candidates by having the screening tests as early as possible. This helps you lower the candidate count early and enables you to focus on fewer candidates for the job role.
  • Automate as many tasks as possible. This might seem like a simple strategy, but you need to sort through numerous CVs when dealing with bulk-hiring. This will exponentially increase the time it takes when you do them manually.


Time to Hire vs. Time to Fill

When we talk about time to hire, a similar metric is often interchanged. That metric is time to fill. 

Time to fill is a metric that tracks the number of days when the job posting is created and until the candidate joins the workforce. The time to fill is a metric that offers the recruiters an idea of how long it takes to replace an employee when they suddenly quit.

Time to hire gives you an idea of how fast your hiring process is, while the time to fill metric gives you an idea of how quickly you could find the right candidate for your job role.

Time to fill is usually a more prolonged duration since the starting point is when a job opening is created and not when the candidate applies for said job.


Final Thoughts

One of the most important recruitment metrics, time to fill, is often used as the metric that helps with planning the hiring. Be sure not to focus entirely on the time to hire. There are multiple recruitment KPIs to offer a wide range of insights that can help you make the best decision for your hiring strategies.



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