10 Ways to Reduce Time to Hire and Time to Fill

Learn how to reduce time-to-hire and time to fill with practical strategies and AI solutions.

Safa Asad
Reviewed by:
Javeria Khan
February 20, 2024
0 min read time
Safa Asad

In the fast-paced world of recruitment, time is of the essence. Unfortunately, according to recent hiring reports by HR firms The Josh Bersin Company and AMS, the average time-to-hire has reached an all-time high. The time it takes from posting a job position to having an employee accept the offer now stands at an average of 44 days, which is one day longer than the previous year's hiring cycle.

Beyond the concerns of increased costs per hire, this prolonged process poses a serious risk of losing high-quality candidates who are in high demand. Surprisingly, Robert Half, a leading staffing firm, found that 57% of job seekers lose interest in a job if the hiring process is too lengthy. Additionally, nearly one-quarter of candidates lose interest in a company if they do not receive a decision within one week after the initial interview, while an additional 46 percent lose interest if there's no status update between one to two weeks post-interview. 

As a result, companies may miss out on potential star candidates who may have already accepted offers elsewhere due to a prolonged hiring process.

Suggested: Use a hiring guide for an effective and efficient hiring process.


What is Time To Hire?

"Time to hire" is a vital recruiting metric that measures the number of days from a candidate's initial application to the moment they accept the job offer. The longer this duration, the more likely top talents will drop out, fearing it reflects the company's overall approach to decision-making or, worse, that it does not value their skills and time.

The data from The Josh Bersin Company's hiring trends report further revealed that different industries experience varying time-to-hire rates. Sectors such as energy and defense face the longest average time to hire, requiring a staggering 67 days on average to fill a role. Investment banking follows closely with an average of 60 days, while professional services take about 47 days. On the other hand, companies in the retail and consumer industry boast faster hiring processes, taking the least amount of time to fill open roles. The tech and media sector also demonstrate efficiency, with an average hiring time of approximately 20 days.

What is Time-to-fill?  

Time-to-fill is the time it takes to fill a job vacancy from when you post the job opening to when a candidate accepts an offer and starts working at your company. This metric is commonly used in human resources and recruiting to assess the efficiency of the hiring process.

A shorter time to fill is more favorable because it shows you can quickly identify and secure suitable candidates. A longer time to fill may suggest challenges in the recruitment process, such as difficulties in finding qualified candidates, lengthy decision-making processes, or competitive job market conditions.

If you want to improve your recruitment process by streamlining it and planning your workforce, this is a good metric to judge it by. 


How to calculate Time-to-fill? 

Time-to-fill is calculated by simply subtracting the date you post the job-opening from the date a candidate accepts the offer. 

Time-to-fill = Date Candidate Accepted Offer ‚ąí Date Job Opening Posted

This calculation gives you the total number of days it took to fill the position. Remember that the specific dates used may vary based on the organization's processes and when they consider a job opening officially posted. 

The date a job opening is posted is often considered the starting point, but some organizations may use different milestones in the recruitment process.

5 Factors that Affect Time to Fill

However, it's important to note that the factors that can influence this metric include:

1. The complexity of the role
2. The availability of qualified candidates
3. The effectiveness of the recruitment process
4. The internal decision-making timelines
5. The influence time-to-fill

For more in-depth insights, analyze the time-to-fill data for various positions over time and measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring practices to make improvements accordingly. 

How to calculate Time to Hire

‚ÄćTime to hire = Date Candidate Accepted Offer ‚ąí Date Candidate First Engaged

In summary, time-to-fill is the complete timeline of hiring someone‚Äď from putting the job out there to someone saying, "I'm in!"

And time to hire is like zooming in on the exciting part with a specific person ‚Äď from when they get involved to when they officially join the team.

Time to Fill Vs. Time to Hire 

Time-to-fill and time-to-hire are related metrics in the recruitment process, but they measure different aspects of the process. The difference between is that "Time to Fill" measures the duration from posting a job to a candidate accepting the offer, covering the entire recruitment process. "Time to Hire" specifically tracks the duration from identifying a candidate to their acceptance of the offer, focusing solely on the hiring phase.

What is turn around time(TAT) for hiring?

TAT is an acronym that stands for Turnaround Time. In HR, TAT refers to the amount of time it takes to complete a specific task or process in the hiring process. For example, the TAT for sourcing a candidate might be 2 days, while the TAT for interviewing a candidate might be 1 week.

A short TAT is generally considered to be a good thing, as it means that the hiring process is efficient and that candidates are not being kept waiting. However, it is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all TAT, as the optimal TAT will vary depending on the specific needs of the organization.

How to Reduce Time to Hire and Time to Fill?

1. Map out the hiring process

Strategically map out each step of your recruitment timeline, from planning and attracting qualified candidates to candidate screening, selection, and making the employment offer. By developing a well-structured flow, you can optimize your hiring process, reduce time-to-hire, and secure the best candidates for your organization's success.

2. Efficient Screening of Candidates

Screening candidates is a critical step that takes up a significant 63% of the hiring process time, according to People Hum. However, companies can save valuable time by streamlining this step with the help of AI-powered resume screening tools and AI recruiters such as Iris. Creating a clear set of criteria for assessing candidate qualifications can also expedite the screening process.

3. Streamlined Interviews

The second most time-consuming step is conducting interviews. The hiring process on interview questions can be simplified with the use of an AI interview questions generator which helps you customize interview questions to match your job role and interview type. Additionally, utilizing interview scheduling software can eliminate scheduling conflicts and standardize interview questions, enabling a fair comparison of candidates.

4. Responsive Communication

Regularly updating candidates on application status and providing post-interview feedback shows that you value their interest and time. Set clear expectations for when candidates can expect to hear back from you. Silence might be interpreted as disinterest, leading candidates to explore other opportunities. Consider using AI recruiters like Iris that can handle outreach and engage with shortlisted candidates on your behalf, providing personalized communication and a smooth candidate experience from the first interaction to the final offer.

5. Clear Job Requirements

Develop comprehensive and precise job descriptions, outlining essential skills, qualifications, and responsibilities. This attracts genuinely interested and qualified applicants, reducing the need for extensive searches. To make this task easier, you can use a free job description generator, which helps you create tailored job descriptions effortlessly. 

6. Rely on Data

Utilize data driven insights gathered by AI recruiters and leverage data to identify successful hiring patterns, fine-tune interview questions, and optimize the overall workflow. Embracing data-driven decision-making not only reduces time to hire but also leads to finding the best-fitting candidates for your company’s success.

7. Contextual Adaptation

One effective way to reduce time-to-hire is by embracing a tailored approach that adapts to your changing preferences and job requirements. By collecting and analyzing data from each recruitment cycle, your hiring process can continuously evolve to better align with your company's needs. This adaptive approach ensures that your recruitment strategies stay relevant and up-to-date with the latest trends and industry changes. Consider using AI recruiters that provide contextual adaptation for a better hiring experience.

8. Improve Collaboration Among Departments

Effective collaboration among HR, hiring managers, and relevant departments expedites decision-making and keeps everyone on the same page throughout the hiring process. Sharing information online, such as phone calls, meeting notes, and observations about qualified candidates, streamlines the process and can significantly improve the time-to-hire metric.

9. Embrace AI Recruitment Solutions

Consider using AI-powered recruitment solutions to optimize your hiring process and reduce time-to-hire. AI tools can efficiently screen candidates from various sources, including multiple job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, expanding your access to a diverse talent pool. These technologies can provide enhanced match ratings and insights into why each candidate is suitable for your role, making it easier to identify the best-fitting candidates for your organization.

Also read: Top AI recruitment platforms

10. Continuous Improvement

Building on the foundation of data-driven insights, embrace continuous improvement as a core principle of your recruitment process. Regularly assess and evaluate the effectiveness of your hiring strategies and tools, and be open to making necessary adjustments. Encourage feedback from hiring managers, candidates, and other stakeholders to identify areas that need improvement and potential bottlenecks in the process.

Suggested: Explore and compare top hiring tools to make hiring practices easier.

By incorporating these strategies, you can streamline their hiring process, save time and attract top talent efficiently. Implement AI-driven tools, optimize interviews, foster collaboration, and prioritize candidate engagement. 

By striking this balance, companies can build a talented and engaged workforce, ensuring future success and competitiveness.

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