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Recruiting System Metrics that Matter – Time to Fill vs. Time to Hire

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The task of recruiting and hiring candidates for a position is getting tougher. It’s also very competitive as hiring managers must do what they can to lure top candidates. This leads to a constant analysis of what is working, what isn’t, and what can be done better. For that reason, various metrics exist to help hiring mangers determine where their applicant tracking software excels, and conversely, where it could use improvement. Two popular metrics are “time to fill” and “time to hire.” What exactly are these metrics, and why do they matter?

What Is “Time to Fill?”

The term “time to fill” refers to the time between when a job vacancy is posted and when it is filled. This component of job hiring has two fundamental parts. The first is the physical gap in time between posting a job and filling a vacancy. The second is making sure that the right candidate was selected. This metric is just as important as determining “time to hire” as it can provide clear insight as to how well your job recruiting tactics are (or are not) working. In many cases, as evidenced by interviews and feedback from prospective candidates, those who report having a bad experience in the hiring process owe it to waiting a long time to hear about the hiring manager’s decision. Worse still, they never hear back at all.

What Is “Time to Hire?”

In the world of recruiting software, the term “time to hire” is the amount of time that elapses from when a candidate applies for a job to the moment they accept the job offer. This translates to the time a job is posted to the date a new employee starts. What gets confusing is that the definition of “start date” varies. For some companies, it means the moment a hiring manager sends a job opening to upper management for approval. It can also be the minute a finance officer or an HR manager approves a job opening on paper. Some also consider a start date as the time a recruiting manager fills a position.

How Can Effective Recruiting Software Help?

Regardless of how companies define metrics, statistics show that across all metrics, the hiring process is taking longer. Research indicates that despite a drop in unemployment, it’s taking longer to fill job openings. As of 2017, it took nearly 24 days for candidates to fill a position. That’s about two days longer than in 2014. So in a time when technology is improving, why is job hiring slowing down? As it turns out, both technology and processes are to blame. To stay ahead of the curve, hiring managers must have the best recruiting software to take the lead. Furthermore, they must have lean and effective processes to narrow the gap in the hiring time. Without these two critical components of job hiring narrowed down, companies will fail to capture the best candidates’ interest.

Although the two metrics “time to fill” and “time to hire” are different, neither is more important than the other. Both are critical for attracting top candidates and keeping their attention. At a time when job hiring is slowing due primarily to insufficient technology and subpar internal processes, hiring managers have much to gain by using the best applicant tracking system software available.


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