Time to hire

Time to hire

An important metric for recruitment is the ‘time to hire’, which is a factor that shows the efficiency of the recruitment process, and provides insight into the difficulty of filling a certain job position. Using recruiting metrics effectively is about finding the signal in the noise. Hiring managers, business owners, and recruiters need data that delivers actionable insights.

What is time to hire

The HR metric time to hire is about keeping track of how much time do candidates take to do the entire hiring process (after they have applied). Time to hire indicates how fast you spot your best candidate and move them across the job’s pipeline. This metric is often used as a synonym of time to fill. But, you can also treat them as separate metrics and gain different insights.

Hiring is a complex thing, but time to hire is the kind of metrics that actually gives the idea of how good a recruitment team is actually doing. It is measured by sourcing until the acceptance of the offer.
In reality, this metric is actually the only degree of a recruitment department effectiveness used by the HR Managers in order to have an overview of how the recruitment department of a company performs.

There is also a calculation for this: in order to measure time to hire, imagine that the day you opened a specific position is Day 1. Then, if your best candidate accepted your job offer on Day 25, and they applied on Day 10, your time to hire is 25-10 = 15.

How can we improve time to hire?

If your hiring process is effective, your time to hire will be short. So, first of all, you must be fast. In order to reduce your time to hire, you have to identify what makes the time to hire longer than what should be.

  1. First of all, break down the hiring process, measure the real amount of time candidates take to go from one step to the other.
  2. Understand how much time do team spend on every step, and if they are spending too much time on specific parts of the process.
  3. Teach recruiters and teams should how to interview properly, and use less time on unfit candidates. Sometimes the team is the first that does not understand how to manage time and tasks.
  4. Have no rush in filling the chair: what happens if, pushed by time, the recruiter sources someone who isn’t fully qualified for the task? To avoid these kinds of situations, companies must take a proper amount of time to make sure candidates are the ones they were looking for.

Time to hire the quality candidates

Time to hire should be seen as “time to hire quality candidates” and how the various steps of the processes, however long they may take, lead the company to the right individuals. How can you rebuild your process considering this factor?

  1. If you consider how long does it take to fill a certain spot, this won’t provide the perfect analysis you can get. You have to combine it with the metric “quality of hire”, so the organization can see strategies and replicate them.
  2. There is no need of starting a recruitment process every time: recruiting can be part of the company values and culture, and it means creating talent communities, engagement, and attracting prospects. This is a way to pre-screen candidates and hire much faster.
  3. Time to hire vs efficiency: when you focus on the efforts that bring in the best talent, the company can adopt a more proactive, future-oriented strategy instead of looking backward and making reactive adjustments.

As recruiting continues to become more challenging, and companies rush to fill seats before the competition does, it is important not to lose sight of the end goal – finding the most qualified individuals for the job at hand. While there is still value in tracking time to hire, it must be looked at in a new way. After all, the length of time an employee stays with the company is a much more important metric than how quickly they’re hired.

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