6 Jan 2023

Time to Hire v. Time to Fill


Two commonly used hiring metrics you’ve most likely heard of, maybe even confused with one another, are time to hire and time to fill. Both can be great indicators of success or needed improvement for your company, but before they can be of service they must be properly understood.

What are they and why are they useful?

Let's say I need to hire a Sous Chef. I open the role on February 1, and a great candidate, Pierre, applies on February 9th. We hire Pierre on the 20th. Time to fill is 20 days and time to hire is 11 days.

Time to hire, more commonly used by recruiters and talent acquisition teams, refers to the number of days between the time an applicant applies and when they accept an offer. It measures each candidate’s applicant journey, and is therefore useful in spotting specific inefficiencies on that path. By breaking down time to hire and looking more closely at the candidate’s time in each stage of your hiring process, you can spot potential bottlenecks and A/B test to continuously improve your process’s efficiency as well as your candidate experience.

Time to fill, on the other hand, refers to the number of days between an opening being created and being, well, filled. The start date can be adjusted to begin when HR or Finance approves the new job, when the job is actually posted, or when a recruiter advertises the job for the first time. This metric is typically used more by business and financial leaders in a company and, because of its broader nature, is usually longer than time to hire.

Because it measures the length of the entire process without focusing on specific candidate engagement, it is useful for headcount planning, seeing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and more. Unlike time to hire, which is more focused on candidate journey, time to fill is higher-level and not so focused on the specifics of each candidate’s progression.

How long should my time to hire and time to fill be?

This depends greatly on the role you are hiring for and the specific qualifications that go with it. For a construction role, the average time to hire could be around 13 days, whereas the hiring process for a manufacturing role could take a month or more. The specificities of the role will impact both time to fill and time to hire on a similar scale.

When is it not useful to track time to hire and time to fill?

For job postings that are always open, time to fill is irrelevant. It would show as extremely long, regardless of how effective your processes are. With these types of roles, however, time to hire is crucial. It tracks each candidate’s journey, so will still give you indicators of success and need for growth, regardless of when you opened the job.

Improve your hiring without sacrificing scalability or security.

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