Everyone hiring managers shares the same mission: fill empty positions as quickly as possible. However, that’s easier said than done. From the moment that a vacancy is identified to onboarding a new hire requires careful planning. An effective recruitment process is essential.
This period from recognizing the need to fill a position to actually filling a position is what is known as the time-to-fill. The average time-to-fill in 2023 has slowed to a painful 11 weeks according to a Robert Half Survey.
Finding the average time-to-fill in your own hiring process provides a metric to measure the efficiency of your hiring process from start to finish. Plus, it allows you to identify inefficiencies and take steps to correct them. This is particularly important as a long time-to-fill comes with a serious cost. The average vacancy costs employers approximately $98 a day, accounting both for lost revenue and the strain on other employees as well as the costs it takes to hire a new employee.
As such, finding time-to-fill is important. Thankfully, it is a simple metric to find. Take the difference between the start and end of your hiring process. That’s all there is to it.
Reducing your time-to-fill, on the other hand, is a little more nuanced. You’ll have to start by considering how to improve your overall recruitment strategy. This can include anything from building a better candidate database with an ATS or actively seeking out passive talent to add to your candidate pool.
As we said before, every hiring manager is focused on the same thing. They want a better recruitment process that provides greater ROI and better talent for their organization. To that end, they’re going to have to look at the metrics. And although the exact metrics may vary between industries, they mostly remain the same. Understanding these metrics are key to building a superior, more competitive recruitment process.
Of these important metrics, time-to-hire and time-to-fill are the most often confused. Whereas they both measure time spent in the recruitment process, the difference lies in perspective. When it comes to time-to-hire vs time-to-fill, time-to-hire refers to the time the candidate spends between applying for a position and being hired. As such, this metric refers specifically to the candidate’s experience. That’s why a slow time-to-hire typically translates to a negative candidate experience.
According to Yello, time-to-hire averages 3 to 4 weeks across all industries.
Time-to-fill, on the other hand, specifically measures the time between when your organization recognizes the need for a new hire and has made that new hire. So, rather than focusing on the candidate’s perspective of the hiring process, this metric focuses on efficiency. Particularly, a slow time-to-fill indicates inefficiencies in the hiring process. And recognizing and identifying there is a problem is the first step to solving that problem.
The bottom line here is that although time-to-fill vs time-to-hire seems like a superficial difference in the service, they both serve as unique metrics for understanding the hiring process.
With recruiters today facing the challenge of creating an evermore efficient hiring process, data makes all the difference. Without it, employers risk falling behind their competitors that already innovating by utilizing vital metrics.
So, what is time-to-hire? Simply put, it’s the gap between a candidate applying for a position and accepting an offer at the end. Understanding the time-to-hire definition allows recruiters to identify how long it’s taking their team to find the right candidate, the speed in which that candidate is spending in the hiring process, and any bottlenecks between start and finish.
And again, this metric also allows you to measure the candidate's experience. Today’s consumer culture has developed to expect immediate responses. The modern job seeker is no different. According to CareerPlug, 84% of job seekers report that employer responsiveness directly influenced their decision to accept an offer from a potential employer. As such, we see how a fast time-to-hire indicates a better candidate experience.
So, to help you get started with this metric, let’s look at the average time-to-hire formula.
To find the time-to-hire itself, simply take the difference between the time a candidate applies and is onboarded. This will allow you to find the time-to-hire for a single candidate. However, if you want to know your organization’s average time-to-hire, we’ll need to do some simple math.
The basic time-to-hire formula involves taking the time-to-hire for multiple positions in a given period of time, such as a quarter or year, and dividing that by the number of hires. This gives your average time-to-hire.
Here’s the formula written out:
((Time-to-Hire 1) + (Time-to-Hire 2) …) / number of hires = average time-to-hire
Once you find this information, you’ll just need a benchmark to compare to. To this end, consider that, according to Forbes, the best talent leaves the market within 10 days of starting their job search. Therefore, to reach this talent, you’ll need to contact them as quickly as possible with a notably short time-to-hire. This is why, according to research done by LinkedIn, Time-to-hire is often the second metric used to measure hiring success.
Similar to time-to-hire, finding the average time-to-fill is a remarkably simple metric to calculate. This is particularly convenient as knowing your average time-to-fill comes with several benefits. For example, this provides quick insights into how long it takes your organization to fill positions. As such, recruiting teams are able to adjust business goals accordingly as well as identify where they can improve the overall process. Think of it as a KPI for your overall hiring efforts and how you’ll be able to forecast the effects of new hiring strategies.
To find your time-to-fill metric, simply take the difference between the time it took to recognize the need to hire and actually hire a new candidate. This will provide you with your time-to-fill for a single candidate. However, if you’ll need this time-to-fill calculator.
Start the process as you would for a single candidate. However, track it across your organization for all positions. Add the total time-to-fill for all positions. Then simply divide that by the number of positions filled.
Finding your time-to-hire is a simple formula:
As you can see, it is essentially the same way you find time-to-hire. The only real difference is the metric you’re using to measure with.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your time-to-fill and time-to-hire to build a better hiring process, look no further than Qualifi. Our on-demand phone interview platform allows recruiters to cut the most time-consuming tasks out of hiring and focus on finding that perfect candidate faster than the competition.
Read here to see how KHR Solutions cut their applicant screening time down by 83% by using Qualifi.