What is Time to hire?

By Abhishek Kathpal | Updated 10 August, 2022

Companies want to fill up job vacancies quickly. Therefore, recruiting prospective candidates for skill gaps determines an effective hiring process. In addition, companies employ strategies to boost productivity to ensure the hiring process is fast. Using different metrics, HR heads can measure the efficiency of their team's hiring process. One of the most influential metrics in hiring is time to hire. If managed effectively, time to hire can boost a company's productivity.

What is Time to hire

Time to hire meaning and definition

Time to Hire is one of the best-recruiting metrics. It measures the time between a candidate's job application and job acceptance. For example, a company advertised a job vacancy on 2nd August. Jane applied on 21st August and was called in for an interview. After the process, she received an offer on 1st September. In this case, the time to hire is eleven days.

Time to Hire represents how fast a candidate is hired for a job. It depends on several factors, such as:

  1. Labor scarcity in a given country.

  2. Industry.

  3. The specific role an organization is hiring for.

Because of these factors, it is impossible to state an exact time to hire. However, The Society for Human Resource Management SHRM documents an average of 24 days for time to hire.

What Does Time to Hire Indicate?

Teams with a longer time to hire have a slow and inefficient hiring process. A longer time to hire reduces productivity as roles are left vacant for a long time. Therefore, by actively monitoring time-to-hire metrics, HR heads can implement necessary strategies to mitigate barriers in the hiring process and increase productivity.

Alternatively, companies with a short hiring process have successfully set up strategies to filter candidates and recruit suitable ones in the shortest time possible. While this is reminiscent of a productive hiring team, it also ensures a better candidate experience in the recruiting process.

The Candidate Slate

To fill skill gaps and job roles, HR managers often hastily interview candidates as soon as they apply. On paper, this should be the case as qualified candidates should be hired instantly to prevent competitors from snapping them up. However, this could lead to recruiting underqualified candidates because they seem suitable. HR heads can use a candidate slate before recruiting to solve this.

A candidate slate is a list of qualified candidates for specific job roles. Ideally, a candidate slate should contain five to eight qualified candidates. This enables recruiters to compare the qualities of different candidates and choose the best fit. Although this improves the quality of recruitment, it should not take long.

Is Time to Hire the Same as Time to Fill?

Most times, time to hire and time to fill are used synonymously. Although both metrics share some similarities, they are different. However, both metrics can provide valuable information about a hiring process.

While time to hire represents when a candidate applies for a job until he signs the job offer, time to fill refers to the total period a company role or position remains vacant.

Therefore, in the example stated before, since the company approved the job requisition on 2nd August and Jane signed the offer on 1st September, the time to fill is 37 days as against 11 days for time to hire.

Although both metrics are valuable for a better view of the hiring process, each is tracked and calculated differently. In addition, by analyzing results from time-to-hire and time-to-fill metrics, organizations can improve the hiring process by identifying loopholes.

How can Time to Hire be Improved?

  1. Determine your recruitment funnel and keep track of the different stages: The first step to improving your time-to-hire metrics is to determine the stages of your recruitment funnel and monitor each. Typically, companies use an Application Tracking System to track recruitment stages.

  2. Allocate an ideal period for each stage in the recruitment funnel: This strategy analyzes the difference between the ideal and actual time in each stage. HR managers can afterward take proper measures to address the gaps between the ideal and real days to improve productivity.

  3. Consider other factors besides time to hire: Although the time to hire is an important metric, it emphasizes quality over speed. As a result, it could lead to the recruitment of underqualified employees. To avoid hiring unqualified candidates, hiring teams should wait a few more days to get a slate of applicants to compare and contrast. Hence, they can identify suitable candidates to fill job roles.

  4. Go for higher quality: To speed up the hiring process, focus on better-qualified candidates alone. This reduces the time spent on candidates who might not be a good fit.

  5. Set up a practical pre-selection assessment: Pre-selection assessment aids in identifying qualified candidates right from the application. Effective pre-selection tools are used to assess candidates before the main evaluation. This saves a lot of time by screening out candidates who are less likely to scale the assessment.

Using the above tips, companies can record remarkable success in maintaining an efficient hiring process.

Time to Hire By Role or Department

Depending on the department, role, and requirement for a position, the time taken to fill skill gaps differs even within the same company. Therefore, companies can get more detailed insight into how long it takes to fill vacant roles by segmenting the time to hire by department or position. With this knowledge, recruiters identify which roles are difficult to fill. They can then analyze why the jobs are difficult to fill so they can take the necessary measures to solve the problem.

About the Author

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder at Longlist.io. Funded by US based OnDeck, Longlist is currently enabling 50+ businesses to increase their candidate and client reach outs, automating the workflow across stages.