Measuring and improving your time to hire metric
There are so many HR metrics you could theoretically try to track. But not all of them are particularly useful – at least, not to every single business. The time to hire metric is one of the exceptions, however. I believe it is a useful calculation to include as part of your overall HR strategy, and one of the numbers you should try to improve.
Why time to hire matters
If you want the best shot at hiring the most talented employees, then time to hire is one of your most important HR metrics. In our 10 tips to help you hire shining stars, we mention that when it comes to hiring talented people, first mover advantage is crucial.
All too often, employers lose top quality candidates to their competitors, for no other reason than moving too slowly. After all, being offered a job elsewhere is one of the top 10 reasons people turn down job offers.
Having a faster time to hire on average, could give you a competitive advantage over other organisations trying to fill similar roles. But what is a good time to hire average, and how is it calculated?
Time to hire VS time to fill
Before we start looking at the metrics themselves, I’d like to clarify what time to hire actually is. Because there’s quite a lot of confusion out there, with people often using terms like “time to hire” and “time to fill” interchangeably.
The two terms are actually quite different fettles of kish, and so I want to outline what each means.
Time to fill is the time it takes for you to hire a new employee, starting from the moment you publish your job vacancy.
Time to hire is the time it takes for you to hire a new employee, starting from the moment that vacancy appears – in other words, it includes the time it takes for you to fill out a job specification and put out adverts.
In terms of first mover’s advantage, time to fill is certainly the most important HR metric here. But as there are other factors at play – such as the cost of lost productivity, or even just lost opportunity, whilst ever your vacancy exists – I’m going to focus on the full “time to hire” metric.
What’s a good time to hire metric?
The best time to hire metric, is naturally, as short as possible, without compromising on quality of process. But if we’re thinking specifically about trying to gain first mover’s advantage, then it can help to look at a few industry benchmarks. That way, we know what we’re up against, if we want to aim to move faster than our competitors.
Workable actually has some statistics to help us here – their system has processed millions of candidates, and Workable has published anonymised data off the back of that.
According to Workable, if we split the average time to hire by the type of vacancy, we get the following results:
Accounting/finance: 29 days
Construction: 28 days
Consulting: 25 days
Creative: 19 days
Education: 24 days
Healthcare: 28 days
Hospitality: 22 days
IT: 30 days
Legal: 32 days
Logistics: 12 days
Manufacturing: 30 days
Retail: 21 days
Recruiting: 18 days
Travel: 33 days
Anything that didn’t fit into one of these categories, was lumped together and averaged out at 25 days.
Of course, you should bear in mind that these are global averages, and certainly not hard or fast rules. You may find that you live in a country where the average is higher or lower, due to the legislation surrounding a particular type of role. Or you may find that the role you’re hiring for is particularly technical, and extra challenging.
But a nice rule to consider, in the back of your mind, could be that if you’re taking more than 30 days to hire for a vacancy, then you might be a little on the slow side.
Ways to improve your time to hire average
There’s plenty you can do to improve your time to hire score. Here are a few tips to get you going:
- Create an attractive job advert – it will take you longer to find the perfect match if they’re not interested in applying to begin with
- Use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – this makes your recruitment process smoother, and decision-making clearer
- Remove unnecessary barriers to entry – if you have too many forms to click through, and pages to navigate, candidates may become demotivated to complete their application quickly, or even just give up altogether
Important note: Removing unnecessary barriers to entry does NOT mean removing ALL barriers to entry. Some screening processes are essential for qualifying out candidates who might not be right for the role – and if your application process allows a total free for all, you may end up with more mess to sort out than you bargained for. And that in itself can massively slow down your time to hire.
Stay ahead with HR
Get free HR insights, expert tips and exclusive interviews, and start making more impact at work
HR Software Optimised for Beaches or Sofas
What would you do with the unrestricted freedom to work from anywhere? Would you stay in the office, work from your sofa or kick back and work from the comfort of sandy paradise? This 1min video is all about HR software optimised for beaches and sofas. Enjoy!
Will Your HR Software Survive the Mobile Revolution
Why HR Super Heroes Need ‘Responsive Design’
Embark on your most ambitious HR journey to date
This short video takes you through the different ways people helps you work smarter, challenge your abilities and get yourself noticed – all using one simple, stunning cloud-based platform.
What is the Bradford Factor?
Ever wondered how the Bradford Factor formula calculates your employees' absence scores? Check out this graphic to have the Bradford Factor calculation explained to you clearly.
So… Who Exactly ARE You?!
If you like the sound of People, but you’re not familiar with the name… then it’s only natural that you’ll have questions.
6 Reasons People’s HR System Delivers Something Different
So many HR systems claim to be different. But when you actually look at what they offer, it’s easy to see that they’re all selling the same old thing...
See People HR in action
View our short video demo
Get started absolutely free
No credit card required