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What is Time-to-Hire, and Why Is It Important For Your Hiring?

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December 30, 2020Hiring

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What does time to hire mean?

Time to hire is a metric that measures how many days elapse between initial communication with a job candidate and the moment when he ecstatically accepts your job offer. These measurements are then compared to industry benchmarks.

Measuring this metric will help to reveal wasteful inefficiencies. You can use this data to fine-tune the hiring process, which will help boost your company's productivity.

For example, you might find out there’s a slower-than-molasses turnaround time for background checks. Or that you’re having trouble getting high-quality candidates to accept your job offers because the interview stage is way too long.

Although there are many recruiting metrics, not many of them are used as often as time to hire. In fact, more than 50% of all businesses in the US use this metric to eradicate money-sucking inefficiencies and figure out if the right people are being hired.

In this article, you'll find ways to use the time to hire metric to dramatically improve your hiring process. These are things like the difference between time to hire and time to fill, why you should measure time to hire, and best practices for time to hire measurements.

Time to hire vs. time to fill

The point at which you initially start collecting data is different between time to hire and time to fill.

With time to fill, you start measuring when you post a job. With time to hire, the clock only starts when your candidate applies for the position. Time to fill shows you how long company positions remain unfulfilled, and time to hire shows you how long your hiring process takes.

Taking both metrics together gives you a comprehensive look at your recruitment process's overall efficiency.

Formulas for each metric

Look at the formulas below: 

Time to hire formula  

The first variable of the time to hire formula is the day a job is posted. The moment a candidate accepts a job offer is the second equation variable. The day the prospective employee applies for the position is the third variable.

To arrive at the time to hire metric, subtract the third variable from the second one.

Time to fill formula  

There’s some room for variation in this formula. You can start measuring when a job opening is first submitted for approval, when it's approved, or when the position is first advertised.

In all scenarios, the end variable is the same—when a candidate accepts a job offer. While leeway is allowed in this formula, it’s essential to ensure that consistency is maintained across all departments if you want your metrics to be accurate.

Use the picture painted by your time to hire and time to fill averages to identify parts of your hiring process that are woefully inefficient.

Why should I measure time to hire?

You should measure time to hire because even in the best of hiring processes, there’s always room for improvement. By collecting this kind of data, you’ll be able to identify weak spots in your recruitment efforts, which will help you enhance your methodology.

You need to figure out how long it takes you to hire so you don't risk high-quality candidates dropping out. Almost 60% of job hunters lose all interest in a position if they think the application process is taking too long.

That's why it's good to know exactly how long it takes to hire someone. This way, you'll streamline your methodology, and your candidates won't drop out prematurely.

How can I improve my time to hire?

To decrease the time it takes to hire employees, start by doing a little problem-solving.

Analyze your hiring process in exacting detail. Start with how long it takes to move a candidate from one stage to another. Compare your data to industry benchmarks. This way, you can figure out if your company is dilly-dallying when it should be moving more quickly.

You’ll also need to calculate time to hire for each department. If one team is bringing down your average, brainstorm ways to solve the problem.

Providing training to your hiring teams might help them to spot high-quality candidates faster.

You can also try using time-saving interview techniques such as interviewing over a Zoom call. In some industries, you can even test applicants' skills remotely by placing them in various virtual reality scenarios.

Ready to improve your time to hire? Get started with Hunt Club today! 

Why speed isn’t everything

 Decreasing your time to hire shouldn’t be your only objective when it comes to recruitment metrics.

If parts of the hiring process are inefficient because they take up too much time, see what you can do to improve them. Just don’t succumb to the temptation of skipping crucial parts of your methodology just so things will be speedier.

Other best practices for time to hire measurements

 Here are some other best practices for time to hire measurements:

Break your hiring process into stages

When it comes to time to hire measurements, break your hiring process down into discrete stages so you can analyze every part of it. 

By breaking down your time to hire in stages, you can find out how long it takes for an applicant to travel from one step to the next.

This way, you can fine-tune your hiring process one part at a time.

Segment by role and department

You can also break down your analysis of your process by role and department. Some jobs are easier to fill, so doing this will give you an excellent overview of the more challenging positions. 

Compare your results with competitors

When you’re looking at your time to hire metrics, compare your results with those of the competition.

If you’re a lot faster than your rivals, you might want to make sure you’re being as thorough as you should be when hiring a new employee. If you’re slower, check your recruitment process for inefficiencies.

Be Data-Driven

Measuring time to hire will give you cold, hard data that will help you fine tune your hiring process.

Here are the kinds of data you should use:

  • HOW LONG IT TAKES TO FILL ROLES: Taking an eternity to fill a position can be a sign that you’re not sourcing your candidates properly.
  • TIME IT TAKES TO MOVE BETWEEN STAGES: This kind of issue indicates a problem with one or more stages of your hiring process. By collecting precise information, you'll be able to identify which stage it is.
  • HOW YOUR TIME TO HIRE COMPARES TO THE INDUSTRY AVERAGE: Use this benchmark to see how your hiring process ranks against companies in similar industries. This will help you to be more competitive.

Once you’ve amassed your data, look at it to see if it reveals areas where you need to make improvements.

Be consistent

Stick to your measuring process, and make sure you record your time to hire in the same way every single time.

This is the only way to generate dependable results!

What other recruitment metrics matter most?

Time to hire is a crucial recruitment metric.

However, it doesn’t give you the full picture when it comes to enhancing your hiring process. That’s why you need to use other recruitment metrics. When you do, you'll gain invaluable insights into every part of your recruitment funnel.

Quality of hire

One of the most useful of all recruitment metrics is quality of hire, which measures the value new employees bring to a company.

You’re not going to be able to immediately get data for this benchmark because you’ll have to wait and see what impact your new employee makes on your business. This means the earliest you can start measuring quality of hire is six months from when the employee first starts working.

Say you know what the ratio of high-quality vs. low-quality applicants is. In that case, you'll be able to figure out if there's a problem with the sourcing stage of your hiring methodology.

 Measuring your time to hire can generate lots of invaluable knowledge about what's working and what's not.

Sourcing stats

These days, there are lots of sourcing channels. Here are just a few of them:

Employee referrals

  • Social media
  • Professional networking platforms
  • Job boards
  • Agencies
  • Network recruiters

It's a good idea to generate data about these various sourcing channels, so you know which is the best one.

Applicant drop off rates

 This metric lets you know how many of your candidates drop out before completing the application process. Among other things, you’ll need to find out precisely when they fall out of the funnel.

Cost per hire

Like every other metric, measuring cost per hire will help you gain actionable insights into how efficient your recruitment process is.

Offer acceptance rates

Your candidate might make it all the way to the end of your recruitment process. But if he doesn’t accept your job offer, all your efforts will be for naught.

The offer acceptance rate metric tells you what percentage of your candidates accepted your job offer. Low acceptance rates indicate there’s a problem in your funnel. If you find out why your job offers keep getting rejected by looking at your data, you’ll be able to rectify the problem.

How network recruiters can reduce hiring time

The best way to reduce time to hire is by using network recruiters.

Hunt Club is one such company. We’ll source, qualify, and hire for you so you can spend more time working to grow your business. You get access to quality pre-vetted talent that you just can’t find in traditional recruiting channels.

Give us a call today!

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Amanda Price avatarAmanda Price