Time to Hire: What It Is & How to Reduce It

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Bruna Vasconcelos
Bruna Vasconcelos
Head of People

Table of Contents

Learn more about time to hire, the metric that measures how quickly a candidate moves through your hiring pipeline, and the benefits of tracking it to refine hiring inefficiencies and secure better talent faster.
Published on
February 2, 2024
Updated on
July 1, 2024

In any business, finding the best candidates to fill open positions is crucial to success. Open positions often waste resources while HR teams and hiring managers work to fill the role, reducing team productivity until a skilled developer becomes available. Companies utilize and track several metrics to determine whether their business has an efficient hiring process, one of which is time to hire.

Time to hire is a metric that measures the speed at which a candidate goes from application to accepting an offer. A business with a fast hiring time is efficient, which leads to more candidates, a more extensive selection pool, and reduced company costs from the recruiting and hiring process. Utilizing effective strategies and resources to reduce the time necessary to make a new hire is vital but also challenging. This article details the specifics of time to hire, and other metrics organizations use to improve hiring. 

What Is Time to Hire?

Human resources departments measure the duration of the entire hiring process using a metric known as "time to hire." This recruitment metric tracks the period between an interested job candidate's application for an open position until the time of placement when a candidate accepts an employment offer. The entire duration covered by time to hire encapsulates multiple stages, including application screening, the interview process, and negotiations leading to the acceptance of a job offer.

Time to hire assists companies in understanding inefficiencies in their overall hiring process. When the time to hire metric shows a longer hiring process timeline, you can review your organization's recruitment strategies and look for ways to optimize them. Shorter time-to-hire periods are indications that your company is efficiently responding to its staffing needs. Filling a position quickly and efficiently is vital for maintaining a competitive advantage and keeping teams productive.

Hiring Velocity and Other Key Time to Hire Metrics

Time to hire informs your organization of multiple insights, including the efficiency of your recruitment process, potential improvements, and cost analysis. Other key hiring metrics include the following:

  • Hiring velocity: Hiring velocity is a metric that measures the speed at which your company hires someone. Businesses use hiring velocity to measure hiring across the entire organization instead of a specific open role. This metric informs your business of the number of days it takes to staff teams, which benefits benchmarks, planning, and resource allocation.
  • Cost per hire: Cost per hire calculates the total expenses incurred to fill a position. Cost to hire covers advertising, recruitment agency fees, staffing overhead, screening costs, and more. Cost to hire is essential for understanding how to optimize recruitment and budget effectively. 
  • Interview-to-hire ratio: The interview-to-hire ratio is a recruitment process metric considering how many candidates your HR department interviewed and how many you hired. For example, your ratio may be 15:1, meaning your company interviewed 15 candidates and hired one. This metric examines the hiring process’s efficiency and its cost implications.
  • Offer acceptance rate: Offer acceptance rate is the percentage of candidates that accept a job offer. If your business extends 10 offers and three accept, your offer acceptance rate is 30%. Companies use this metric to determine the success of their recruitment process and its reputation among candidates, as companies perceived better will have higher offer acceptance rates.

Time to Fill vs. Time to Hire

Time to hire and time to fill are similar recruiting metrics companies utilize to determine different business planning decisions as you measure different aspects of the hiring process. Time to hire begins when an interested candidate responds to a job posting and submits a job application for an open position, and ends when your company hires this candidate. This metric measures the efficiency of the overall hiring process and the candidate's experience moving through the hiring pipeline. 

Time to fill incorporates the time-to-hire timeline but extends to cover a longer duration. Time to hire begins when your company advertises a job opening and ends at the same point where a candidate accepts a job position. In addition to the period covered by time to hire, time to fill also includes the time you spent preparing a job description, advertising the opening, and the talent sourcing speed with which you operated. 

Time to hire and time to fill are recruiting metrics measuring periods in your organization's hiring and recruiting process to improve HR efficiency. Factors such as market conditions, the role's complexity, and the recruitment process's efficiency often affect both metrics. A key difference is that time to hire tracks a candidate's journey, while time to fill tracks your entire organization's efficiency. 

In cases where the time to fill duration shortens while the time to hire metric lengthens, it may indicate that the early stages of the recruitment process are efficient, but there may be bottlenecks in the hiring process, potentially causing negative experiences for candidates. 

Conversely, if the time to fill metric lengthens while the time to hire metric shortens, it may not be negative. This situation may reveal that more time is being put into the early recruitment stages, and it pays off by attracting a larger pool of highly qualified candidates, which improves the quality of hires and simplifies the hiring process.   

How to Reduce Time to Hire and Improve Hiring Efficiency

Sometimes, you may be better off taking your time with the hiring process. Some organizations may want to interview more candidates than usual to determine the best fit if the market is oversaturated with high candidate experience levels. The time-to-hire metric isn't as important when businesses are restructuring or replacing an executive or senior position. However, there are many reasons why your organization should aim to reduce time to hire and improve its hiring efficiency.

Using data-driven metrics to improve hiring efficiency helps your company reduce costs over a period of time. Longer hiring processes require more resources for recruiters that your business could use in other areas to facilitate growth. An unfilled position also equates to less productivity, which could hamper your team’s progress or require a reallocation of resources. Organizations employ various strategies to reduce time to hire and improve hiring efficiency.

Improve job descriptions

A job description attracts qualified applicants and deters them when poorly developed. Job descriptions that are clear about the role, responsibilities, and growth opportunities will appeal to more candidates than a job description with a lengthy list of strict requirements to apply. With more applications to screen, you'll have a better chance of finding talent to fill your roles quickly. 

Recruitment tools

Using recruitment software and automation significantly improves hiring efficiency. Many recruitment tools are available, ranging from applicant tracking systems, which help manage the entire recruitment process, to automated screening, which sifts through resumes based on set criteria. Utilizing recruitment tools often leads to a better allocation of resources, faster hires, and higher-quality candidates.

Stronger branding

Companies focusing on building a strong brand will attract more candidates with less recruitment effort in the long run. An established brand with well-known values and culture will attract more applications and draw candidates who may not be looking for jobs. Strong branding also leads to unsolicited applications, creating a talent pool to draw from when new positions open up.

Fast recruiting and hiring may also play a part in securing top talent. A streamlined process will result in a favorable experience for candidates, whereas a lengthy process may cause frustration and lead to candidates leaving for positions at other companies. In competitive markets, such as tech recruiting, it helps companies entice top-tier candidates before competitors can. 

What Is the Average Time to Hire in Tech?

In 2023, the average time to hire metric for a position increased to an average of 44 days and is up across all industries. The Energy and Defense industry had the longest time-to-hire rates at over 67 days. Some easy-to-fill jobs, such as those in the retail and consumer industry, may have a hiring time of as little as 14 days.

In the tech industry, recruiting remains one of the lengthier processes. Time to hire and time to fill varies depending on factors such as location and specific roles. On average, the global time to fill tech jobs — including developers, data scientists, and engineers — is 68 days, while the time to hire is 33 days. In the U.S. and Canada, the time to hire remains at 33 days, but the average time to fill is significantly less at 56 days. 

With time-to-hire rates increasing despite recruitment efforts, companies without effective hiring strategies may need to endure weeks or months with open roles, delaying development and straining resources. To avoid recruitment issues for your tech team, consider utilizing Revelo’s resources to quickly find highly qualified developers at a fraction of the rate.

Reduce Time to Hire with Revelo

Companies utilize metrics like time to hire to monitor and improve their recruitment timeline. The recruitment process and candidate onboarding time often add up to a long period that could delay your team’s productivity or stall software deployment. Getting your organization’s recruitment process optimized is vital for success, especially when it comes to tech recruiting.

To reduce your organization’s recruiting time frame and divert resources away from hiring to other areas of your business that facilitate growth, consider working with Revelo. At Revelo, we pair businesses with expert developers from Latin America whom we pre-vet for technical abilities, soft skills, and English proficiency. Our team helps you onboard these remote software developers, dealing with issues such as taxes, payroll, benefits administration, and local compliance. We also offer continued support throughout the developer’s tenure to ensure retention. 

Contact Revelo today to learn how we can help you build your team.

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