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Time to Hire – All You Must Know About This Key Recruitment Metric


Have you ever heard the saying, “time is money”? Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of recruitment. 

The average duration to fill a position stands at a challenging 44 days. 

Remarkably, talent acquisition professionals invest nearly one-third of their workweek – equivalent to approximately 13 hours – dedicated to sourcing candidates for a single role.

In the midst of these statistics lies a pivotal metric steering recruiters toward talent acquisition efficiency – time-to-hire. 

Read on to learn all about this metric, the formula to calculate time-to-hire, why it is so important, and how understanding it will help you shrink your time-to-hire – leading to a super-efficient recruitment process!

What is time to hire?

Time to hire, at its core, is a metric that encapsulates the very essence of recruitment efficiency. It measures the duration from the moment a candidate submits their application to the day they accept an official job offer. 

But it’s more than just a number; it’s a window into the health of your recruitment process.

Why is having a low time-to-hire important?

Every candidate’s journey through your hiring pipeline is underpinned by the ticking clock of time to hire. 

A prolonged hiring process can deter top talent, leading to lost opportunities and diminished candidate experiences. Embracing swift hiring not only enhances candidate satisfaction but also directly impacts organizational success.

62% of professionals have revealed that they lose interest in a job if they don’t receive communication from the employer within two weeks (or 10 business days) after the initial interview. 

And since this figure jumps to a whopping 77% if there is no status update within three weeks, it’s clear that in the race to secure the best talent, time is a recruiter’s most precious resource.

How to calculate time-to-hire?

The formula for calculating time-to-hire is refreshingly straightforward. Just count the number of days taken for the candidate from applying for the job to accepting the offer.

What is the average time to hire?

The average time to hire a new employee is 44 days. It is a metric that provides insights into your recruitment process’s efficiency. It represents the typical duration it takes to go from posting a job vacancy to welcoming a new team member on their first day. 

Learning the average time-to-hire formula is vital because you can directly see your level of ability to secure top talent quickly.

How to calculate the average time-to-hire?

Add up the days each candidate spends in your recruitment process from application to job offer, then divide this total by the number of positions filled in that cycle. Voilà, you have your average time to hire.

Why is time-to-hire important? 

This formula is more than just arithmetic; it’s a gateway to insights. It reveals how efficiently your recruitment engine is running, allowing you to fine-tune your strategies. 

Industry statistics show that organizations with a shorter time-to-hire have a competitive edge in acquiring top talent since top-tier candidates are typically snapped up within a mere 10 days.

What is the difference between time-to-hire and time-to-fill?

Time to hire and time to fill often get tangled up. While they might seem interchangeable, they’re not quite the same thing. Let’s untangle their differences for a clearer picture.

Time to hire zeroes in on the period from the candidate’s application to the day they commit. It’s the essence of your recruitment journey, measuring the heartbeat of your hiring process.

Time to fill casts a broader net, encompassing everything from the moment a job vacancy arises to the new hire’s first day.

Imagine you’re recruiting for a vital role in your organization. Understanding the difference between these metrics helps you strategize effectively. 

Time to hire would measure how efficiently you’re selecting candidates, while time to fill covers the entire process from the moment a requisition is created to your new hire’s first coffee break!

Why is keeping track of time-to-hire essential for an optimized recruitment process?

Measuring time to hire isn’t merely an exercise in number-crunching; it’s a strategic imperative that belongs at the forefront of your recruitment strategy.

Counting the costs of delay

Prolonged hiring processes come at a price, both tangible and intangible. 

On the tangible front, there are direct costs – longer vacancies often mean increased expenses for overtime or temporary staffing. 

Intangible costs include potential disruptions to team dynamics, decreased morale, and even damage to your employer brand

A prolonged recruitment cycle can also lead to the loss of high-quality candidates who grow weary of the wait.

The impact on candidate experience

Time to hire is an echo of your commitment to providing a positive candidate experience. 

Imagine this: a candidate applies for a position at your organization. Their journey, from that initial application to the offer acceptance, is a window into their perception of your company. 

A prolonged hiring process can lead to frustration and disinterest, potentially deterring top-tier candidates.

Recommended Read:

Candidate Experience Handbook for Recruiters

Fueling organizational success

Beyond candidate experience, time-to-hire has a profound impact on your organization’s overall success. The faster you can identify and secure the right talent, the more agile and competitive your organization becomes. 

Research and industry statistics have consistently demonstrated a direct relationship between a shorter time to hire and the acquisition of top-tier talent. 

In a world where the best candidates are off the market in as little as 10 days, time is indeed of the essence.

Attracting top talent

A marginal reduction in time to hire, even by just one week, can result in an increase in the likelihood of the best candidate accepting an offer. It’s not just about speed; it’s about winning the talent race.

How can you reduce time-to-hire?

It’s time to get our hands dirty and talk about action! 

Here are the top practical strategies that will help you streamline your recruitment process and shorten your time-to-hire.

Leverage technology

Embrace AI-powered applicant tracking systems (ATS) and automation tools. These platforms can significantly reduce the time spent on administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on what matters most – finding and engaging with the right candidates.

Automation is your friend

Automation doesn’t just stop at ATS. 

Consider automating your communication with candidates. Sending updates, scheduling interviews, and even initial screening can be automated, ensuring a swift and consistent process. 

85% of HR professionals report that the main reason for utilizing automation or AI in their recruitment process is because it saves time and increases efficiency

Pre-screening power

You can weed out unsuitable candidates right at the starting line. Implement pre-screening tests or assessments early on. This ensures that only the most promising candidates move forward, saving you heaps of time during the interview phase. 

In fact, you can find a whole suite of candidate pre-screening automation tools here.

Smooth collaboration is key

With the right process and tools, teamwork becomes a breeze. Sharing feedback, tasks, and updates becomes easier across the team for all stakeholders, thus not only reducing the time-to-hire but also making way for a clear and smooth process.

Recommended Article

How Zappyhire Helped A Leading Bank Reduce Time-To-Hire

Transparency with candidates

Keep your candidates in the loop. Regular communication with candidates not only fosters goodwill but also keeps them engaged in the process. 

Providing a good candidate experience is a win-win situation. Even if the process takes a bit longer, candidates appreciate knowing where they stand. 

Data-driven decision-making

Leverage data and analytics to make informed decisions. Monitor recruiting metrics closely and identify bottlenecks or areas that need improvement. Data can be a powerful tool for optimizing your recruitment process.

Choose a recruitment automation platform with robust analytics features as well as pre-screening automation tools that will give you in-depth information and reports on candidates on demand. There would be no need to read hundreds of resumes or pour over interview notes.

Recommended Article

Zappyhire Helped A Hospital (BMH) to Recruit 60 Nurses from a Pool of 160 Applicants in 36 Hours.

Time to hire isn’t just a metric

By keeping time to hire as short as possible, you’re not merely finding candidates; you’re securing top-tier talent that has the potential to propel your organization to greater heights. It’s not just about reducing days on the calendar; it’s about making each day count in your pursuit of recruitment excellence.

There’s a reason why time-to-hire is a fundamental metric –  it serves as a mirror reflecting your organization’s agility and competitiveness in the talent market.

Ready to reduce time-to-hire and secure top talent in a faster and smarter way?

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