Strategic HR

Understanding Time to Hire vs Time to Fill

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Time to hire and time to fill are both important metrics for HR teams working with recruitment and looking to improve your efficiencies. Time to hire looks at the time it takes from a candidate applying to a role to when they accept the job offer. Time to fill covers the entire hiring process, from when a job posting is requested to when it is filled.  

In this article we will cover the differences between time to hire vs time to fill, look at both in more detail and provide some suggestions on how to improve or reduce both recruitment metrics.

What is time to hire?

Time to hire refers to the time from when a candidate applies for the role you are advertising, through to when they accept the job offer. It is a tangible measure used to identify how efficient your candidate experience processes are. From here you can identify what could be improved to make the process easier for candidates in order to get the right person through the door.

How to measure time to hire

You can measure time to hire using the following formula:

Subtract the date the candidate entered the pipeline from the date they accepted the offer. Let’s create a scenario to use as an example:

The job is posted on day 1 
The suitable candidate applies for the job on day 8
The date the offer is accepted is day 20  

The equation is 20 (how many days it took from the original job posting for the candidate to accept the offer) minus 8 (the day they applied) which equals 12. This makes time to hire 12 days.

How can time to hire be reduced? 

Now we have explained what it is and how it can be measured, let’s discuss three ways time to hire can be reduced and the candidate experience can be improved:

Streamline hiring processes

The first thing you should be looking at when trying to reduce time to hire is how to remove unnecessary steps that may be impeding your processes. You may wish to use an Applicant Tracking System to help automate processes and understand what works and what doesn’t.  

Ensure clear communication

Clear communication and prompt responses will help all candidates feel valued. By keeping them informed throughout each stage of the hiring process (even those who are not successful), you can keep everyone updated and aware of their status.

Provide a positive candidate experience

When hiring for a job role, a positive candidate experience is key. Things such as a branded career website platform can help to provide those looking at your company a strong first impression from the moment they hear about you. 

What is time to fill?

Time to fill looks at the entire hiring process from an employer perspective. This means it is from the moment a job opening is requested internally up until a candidate accepts the job offer. Using the metrics can help identify any areas throughout the hiring process that could be tightened.   

How to measure time to fill

You can measure time to fill using the following metrics:  

Subtract the date the job is requested internally from the date the candidate accepts the offer. An example is:  

The job is requested internally on Day 1 
The job is posted online on Day 5 
The candidate accepts the job offer on Day 20   

The equation is 20 (how many days it took for the candidate to accept the job offer) minus 1 (the ay job is posted internally) which equals 19. This makes time to hire 19 days.  

How can time to fill be improved?

Now we have explained what it is and the best way to measure it let’s discuss three ways time to fill can be improved and your internal processes can be streamlined.

Be proactive in your talent search

When looking to hire the right candidate, it’s important not to wait for applicants to apply. Instead, reach out and build a pool of candidates that you can approach when the right role comes along. Consider offering a referral bonus to those who suggest a suitable candidate, which can tap into their existing network of talented professionals. 

Create compelling job descriptions 

A clear and concise job description explaining what is expected of the candidate, the desired previous experience and what the company culture is like. This can help with attracting the right people and giving them the a good impression of your company.  

Streamline your internal processes  

If your recruitment processes are efficient, you can make sure that once a candidate is identified, they can quickly go through the relevant stages. Recruitment analytics which can be available within applicant tracking system software will help you make data-driven decisions. 

Time to fill vs Time to hire: What are the differences?

To summarise, time to fill vs time to hire are similar phrases but they track different parts of the hiring process: time to fill looks at the entire process of how long it takes to fill a position whereas time to hire primarily focuses on the hiring stage and the candidate experience.  

Understanding both of these metrics can help your company identify where areas of improvement could be made and how efficiencies could be achieved in the recruitment stage of your employee lifecycle.  

Examples could be that top candidates are dropping out of the hiring funnel or the interviews you carry out are not identifying the most suitable candidates – asking why this is and finding ways to tighten these processes can ultimately get the right candidates through the door.  

How to streamline recruitment with PeopleHR

Both time to hire and time to fill metrics can be improved using HR recruitment tools such as an Applicant Tracking System. Get in touch today to find out more about PeopleHR and whether our software is right for your business.

Gareth Moss
By Gareth Moss New Business Sales Team Leader

Gareth Moss is a New Business Sales Team Leader with nearly a decade of experience in the Access PeopleHR product. Gareth specialises in serving those within the SMB market, and his passion lies in helping businesses streamline their HR operations. Before transitioning into his current role, Gareth was a HR software product trainer, making him your ‘go to’ guy for all things PeopleHR.