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HR Metrics: Comparing Time to Fill vs Time to Hire

A speedy and efficient hiring process is a golden ticket for businesses in a competitive job market. But with a talent shortage plaguing many industries, filling open positions can feel like wading through molasses. Here's a stat to consider: in 2023, employers reported it can take up to 11 weeks, on average, to hire for an open position, a significant 4-week increase compared to just 2021.

These numbers put a spotlight on the importance of time to fill vs. time to hire. While both terms are recruitment metrics, they offer distinct insights. Understanding the difference between them can empower you to streamline your hiring practices and get the right people on board faster.

Let's discuss the differences and business tips to help your company succeed in the job market.


What Is Time to Fill?


Time to fill is a critical HR department metric that measures the number of days it takes to fill a job opening from the moment it's posted until an offer is accepted. This recruiting metric includes all stages of the hiring process, such as sourcing candidates, interviewing, and extending offers.

By tracking time to fill, organizations can gain insights into their recruitment efficiency and identify potential bottlenecks in their hiring process. A shorter time to fill indicates that your organization can quickly attract and secure top talent. This contributes to increased productivity and reduced costs associated with unfilled positions.


Why Is Time to Fill Important?


The time it takes to fill a position can directly impact an organization's productivity, revenue, and overall success. Longer time to fill can lead to increased workloads on existing employees, decreased team morale, and potentially missed business opportunities.

Additionally, a lengthy hiring process can result in losing top talent to competitors who are able to make quicker offers. In a competitive job market, candidates have options and are more likely to accept positions with companies that demonstrate efficiency throughout the hiring process.

A prolonged time to fill can also increase recruitment costs. Extended vacancies may require additional resources for sourcing candidates or utilizing external recruiting services.


How to Calculate Time to Fill


To calculate time to fill, start by selecting a specific job position for analysis. The next step is to determine when the job requisition was opened and when the new hire started. Subtracting these two dates will give you the total number of days it took to fill that particular position.

After obtaining this figure, divide it by the total number of positions filled during that time frame. This will provide you with an average Time to Fill metric for your organization.

It's crucial to consistently track and analyze this data over time to identify trends and potential areas for improvement in your hiring process. By understanding how long it typically takes to fill various roles within your company, you can make informed decisions on optimizing recruitment strategies and reducing time-to-fill metrics overall.


What Is Time to Hire?


Time to hire measures the time it takes for a candidate to go through the entire hiring process, from application submission to accepting an offer. It reflects how efficiently your company can fill open positions and how long candidates are in your pipeline before being hired.


Why Is Time to Hire Important?


Understanding time to hire helps organizations identify bottlenecks in their recruitment process. By analyzing this metric, companies can streamline their hiring procedures, reduce costs associated with prolonged vacancies, and secure top talent before competitors do.

A streamlined hiring timeline also reflects positively on your brand. A swift and efficient recruitment process demonstrates professionalism and respect for candidates' time, enhancing your reputation as an employer of choice in the eyes of potential hires.


How to Calculate Time to Hire


To determine this metric, start by tracking the date a candidate applies and the date they accept the job offer. Then, factor in any delays due to interviews, background checks, or negotiations.

Next, calculate the total number of days it took from the job posting until the candidate accepted the offer. This will give you a clear picture of how efficient your hiring process is and where bottlenecks might need to be addressed.


Time to Fill vs. Time to Hire: What's the Big Difference?


Time to fill measures the total time from a job opening being posted until an offer is accepted, while time to hire focuses on when a candidate applies until hired.

Time to fill provides insight into how efficiently positions are filled, helping organizations assess their recruiting strategies and make necessary adjustments. On the other hand, time to hire offers a more specific view of how quickly candidates move through the hiring process, highlighting potential bottlenecks that may need attention.

By comparing these two metrics, HR professionals can pinpoint areas for improvement in their recruitment procedures. While both metrics are essential for evaluating recruitment performance, understanding their distinct roles can lead to more effective talent acquisition strategies and ultimately contribute to organizational success.


Business Strategy: How to Improve Your Time to Fill and Hire


Improving your time to fill and hire is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. That's probably why 23% of recruiters say that improving their time to fill metric is a top five priority.

However, creating a plan is not always easy. That's why we have some insights on steps that could help you. Take the time to really evaluate what's influencing your time to fill vs. time to hire.

The hiring strategies below could help you once you know where issues exist.


Create a Structured Hiring Process


Establishing clear steps and protocols can help you streamline the recruitment process. It also ensures that all stakeholders are aligned on the criteria for each role.

Start by clearly defining job roles and responsibilities. This will help in crafting accurate job descriptions that attract suitable candidates. Use standardized interview questions and evaluation metrics to assess candidates consistently.

Implement an applicant tracking system (ATS) to monitor candidate progress, feedback, and communication. This tool can also help identify bottlenecks in your hiring process and areas for improvement.

Establish timelines for each stage of the hiring process to maintain momentum without sacrificing quality. Regularly review your hiring metrics to identify any inefficiencies or areas where adjustments may be necessary.


Improve Your Job Descriptions


By crafting compelling job descriptions, you can attract qualified candidates who are genuinely excited about the opportunity to join your team.

Start by clearly outlining the role's responsibilities and expectations. Use language that resonates with your target audience, highlighting what makes your company unique.

Avoid using jargon or overly complex terms that may confuse potential candidates. Instead, focus on showcasing your organization's growth and development opportunities. Highlight any perks or benefits that set your company apart from competitors.

Incorporate keywords relevant to the position to increase visibility in online searches. Paint a vivid picture of the work environment and company culture to give candidates a glimpse into what it's like to work for your organization.

Ensure that job requirements are realistic and necessary for success in the role. Be transparent about any potential challenges or obstacles employees face in their daily tasks.


Streamline Your Application Process


Simplify your job application by focusing on essential information gathering. Avoid lengthy forms that may deter qualified candidates from applying.

Utilize technology such as applicant tracking systems to automate repetitive tasks like resume screening and scheduling interviews. This can save time and improve efficiency.

In addition, consider implementing pre-employment assessments or video interviews to efficiently evaluate candidate qualifications early in the process.


Build a Strong Hiring Team


Each hiring team member should bring expertise in different areas, from sourcing to interviewing. Diversity in skills and backgrounds can lead to well-rounded candidate evaluations.

Effective communication within the team is key. Regular meetings to discuss strategies, share insights, and provide feedback can streamline the hiring process. Collaboration ensures everyone is aligned on candidate criteria and company values.

Training and development opportunities help enhance skills within the team. Keeping up with industry trends and best practices can improve decision-making during recruitment efforts.


Build a Talent Pipeline


Building a talent pipeline involves proactively sourcing and nurturing potential candidates, even when no immediate job openings exist. By continuously engaging with top talent, you can reduce the time to fill and hire by having a pool of qualified candidates ready to step in when needed.

One way to build a talent pipeline is through networking events and industry conferences where you can meet prospective candidates and establish relationships early on. Social media platforms like LinkedIn can also help you connect with passive candidates who may not be actively looking for jobs but could be interested in future opportunities.

Another strategy is implementing an employee referral program that incentivizes current employees to recommend skilled professionals they know. This helps expand your candidate pool and brings in individuals who are likely a good cultural fit based on existing team members' recommendations.


Invest in Recruitment Marketing


Investing in recruitment marketing helps fill positions faster and builds a strong employer brand that consistently attracts top talent.

With recruitment marketing, you can showcase your employer brand and job opportunities to a wider audience. This can include targeted social media campaigns, content creation, and engaging with potential candidates on platforms like LinkedIn.

Creating compelling job postings and promoting them effectively can significantly impact the quality of applicants you receive. Highlighting what sets your company apart from others can help attract candidates who resonate with your values and culture.


Build a Company Employees Want to Work With


Building a company that employees want to work with goes beyond just offering competitive salaries and benefits. It's about creating a positive work culture where individuals feel valued, respected, and supported in their professional growth.

Encouraging open communication and feedback channels can help foster a sense of belonging within the organization. Providing opportunities for learning and development shows employees that their growth is important to the company.

Promoting work-life balance through flexible schedules or remote work options can enhance employee satisfaction and well-being. Recognizing and rewarding achievements motivates employees to continue excelling in their roles.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace fosters innovation, creativity, and collaboration among team members. Emphasizing transparency in decision-making processes builds trust within the organization.


Improve Candidate Experience


By prioritizing candidate experience, you can enhance your employer brand and stand out as an employer of choice.

Every interaction matters, from the initial job posting to the final interview. Make sure your application process is user-friendly and straightforward. A complicated application can deter potential candidates from applying.

Communicate promptly with candidates throughout the hiring process. Keep them informed about their status and provide feedback whenever possible.

Personalize interactions with candidates to show that you value their time and effort in applying for a position at your company. Collect feedback from candidates about their experience during the hiring process to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.


Leverage an RPO


Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) firms specialize in streamlining the recruitment process, helping you find top talent quickly and efficiently.

By partnering with outsourced recruiting, you gain access to their expertise, technology, and resources, which can enhance your recruiting efforts. These providers deeply understand market trends and best practices, allowing them to optimize your hiring strategy for better results.

RPOs offer scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional in-house recruiting teams. They can handle high-volume recruitment needs or provide support during peak hiring seasons without compromising on quality.


Let Hire Velocity Help With Your Recruiting Needs


In a competitive job market, understanding time to fill vs. time to hire can help you optimize your recruitment process. Are you ready to find the candidates you need?

At Hire Velocity, we understand that your talent acquisition strategy matters. We'll work with you to develop a plan that achieves organizational goals and attracts the best and brightest talent for your business. Our innovative solutions will help you transform your recruiting process.

Are you ready to get started working with one of the country's top RPO firms? Contact us to learn more about how we can help.