What is Time-to-Hire?

Use this guide to measure time-to-hire and time-to-fill.

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What is Time-to-Hire?

Today’s recruiters are faced with the challenge of creating an evermore efficient hiring process. Otherwise, employers risk falling behind their competitors who are already innovating in this space. As such, recruiting metrics have become essential to creating a better system to reach the best talent on the market today.

One such metric is time-to-hire. Time-to-hire is the gap between a candidate applying for a position and accepting an offer. Understanding this metric allows you to identify how long it takes your team to find the right candidate, the speed of your hiring process when your team has identified that candidate, and any bottlenecks that slow down the process.

What’s more, time-to-hire can be used to indicate a positive or negative candidate experience. Our modern consumer culture has grown to expect an immediate response. That expectation extends to the job search as well. According to Careerplug, 84% of job seekers report that employer responsiveness directly influenced their decision to accept an offer. Therefore, a faster time-to-hire can indicate a better experience. The trick is to achieve this speed without sacrificing quality.  

Simply put, the definition of time-to-hire is the period between application and making a job offer.

Now, it’s important not to confuse this with time-to-fill which is an entirely different metric on its own. In terms of time-to-hire vs time-to-fill, the former is focused on tracking the efficiency of your current system to move good candidates through your hiring process. Time-to-fill, however, is tracked to allow you to make informed business decisions such as when to expect a new hire and how long it takes your organization to realize you need to fill a position.

In essence, time-to-fill is simply knowing the amount of time you will need to fill a position once your organization has recognized the need for one.

Hiring for many open positions at once or reviewing a large number of applicants makes finding the ideal candidate difficult. Use some of these resources as your high-volume hiring toolkit:

Average Time-to-Hire

The average time-to-hire across all industries in the United States, according to Yello, is 3-4 weeks. That’s right. The average company takes an entire month to move an ideal candidate through its hiring process. What’s more, this time is even longer for senior positions and other high-skill roles.

Again, do not confuse this with time-to-fill. These metrics start counting at very different times. Time-to-fill begins before you even begin publishing a job description. Time-to-hire starts when your very best candidate applies and is sourced. The average time-to-fill tells you how fast your hiring process moves towards achieving the business goal of making a hire as a whole. As such, these two metrics are easily confused but nonetheless play separate roles in understanding how we hire and how we can improve to better our chances of reaching the top talent.

Time-to-Hire Metrics

When considering your time-to-hire metrics, you need a good benchmark to work off. For this purpose, consider that, according to Forbes, the best talent leaves the market within 10 days of beginning their job search. As such, to reach this talent, you need to contact them as quickly as possible with the shortest time-to-hire possible.

The time-to-hire metric, according to research by LinkedIn, is the second metric used to measure hiring success. In fact, additional research by Robert Half found that 57% of job seekers lose interest during a long hiring process. Therefore, it’s important to measure how long a candidate spends in each stage of the process. This includes interviews, screening, and the gaps between.

Compare this to the average time-to-fill metric of 42 days, which we discussed. Although this is much longer than the 10 days talented candidates leave the market, it doesn’t necessarily affect your overall hiring effectiveness. Remember, this metric refers to when you begin the search for talent, not when the talent applies. As such, it can include the time you spend preparing for recruitment and identifying your ideal candidate.

Which is better, phone interviews or video interviews? See how they compare.

Time-to-Fill Calculator

Time-to-fill is a rather easy metric to understand and calculate, which is convenient as knowing an average time-to-fill formula has several benefits. These benefits include having quick access to a reference point on how long it takes your company to fill positions and allowing you to adjust business goals accordingly. It also acts as a KPI for your overall hiring efforts and enables you to forecast the effects of specific hiring strategies.

To find your time-to-fill, you can utilize a time-to-fill calculator or utilize this time-to-hire formula: Time-to-fill equals your offer acceptance date minus the position vacancy date. Divide this by your total hires. This is your time-to-fill. Alternatively, you can add the days each of your hires took and divide that by your number of hires.

Finding your time-to-hire is a simple formula:

  1. Treat the day you opened a position or posted a job description as day 1.
  2. Wait until you have hired a candidate.
  3. You will then take the day the candidate applied and subtract it from the total days it took to hire a candidate.
  4. This will equal your time-to-hire.
  5. To find your average time-to-hire, do this for each accepted candidate and divide that by your number of hires.  

How to Reduce Time-to-Hire

Now that we’ve spoken at length about what your time-to-hire is, and how to find it, let’s consider how to reduce time-to-hire. As we’ve established, a slow-hiring process will not only frustrate candidates but cause you to miss out on the best talent on the market.

Thankfully, there are several solutions available specifically for how to improve the hiring process.

This includes the on-demand interview. Also known as asynchronous interviews, these interviews allow recruiters to effectively interview candidates 24/7 without ever having to actually schedule an interview. This is because the interview is pre-recorded by the recruiter beforehand and automatically delivered to your candidates. Candidates in turn are able to approach the interview at a time of their convenience. As a result, the interview process becomes easier for the recruiter and the candidate. Plus, you can interview candidates the same day they apply; providing that instant result the modern candidate is looking for.

There are two primary types of on-demand interviews — one-way video interviews and one-way phone interviews. However, only the phone interviews provide the biggest improvement in time-to-hire. Videos require the full attention of the recruiter during screening. Audio, on the other hand, allows recruiters to listen to interviews as if they were a podcast while they focus on other important recruitment efforts. We have found that this approach has increased individual recruiters’ screening capacity by several times, accelerating the longest part of the hiring process.

So, when considering how to make the hiring process faster for your candidates, checkout Qualifi’s on-demand phone interview platform eliminates scheduling and speeds up your screening process. Reach the best talent on the market before you miss out.

Additional Resources