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The recruitment space is dynamic. The hunt for top talent is ongoing, with organizations placing prime importance on landing stellar employees. After all, people are not just mere workers but contributors to success. In this light, hiring teams also need to step up. Recruitment and talent acquisition is not just about how great a candidate is, but it is also about how efficient recruiters are. You may have the best candidate for a role but without hiring that candidate, what can they do for your company? That is why companies have metrics such as “time-to-hire” and other parameters to help HR teams and hiring teams stay on top of their game. 

What does “time-to-hire” mean? 

Time-to-hire is a recruiting metric that is commonly measured in human resources, more specifically, in hiring teams. Time-to-hire refers to the specific period between two points: the first is when a candidate is contacted by a member of the HR team or when they apply for a job and the second is when that candidate accepted a job offer. Because a lot of factors come into play between these two points, measuring the time elapsed between points A and B is essential. 

Why is it important? 

Time-to-hire may sound relatively simple. And, in most cases, it is simple in the sense that it tells us just how long an HR team can convert an applicant to a hire. However, the time-to-hire metric allows organizations to explore answers to different questions about the hiring process. How quickly does the hiring process move a candidate through the different hiring stages? How fast do hiring teams make hiring decisions that involve different candidates in the pipeline? How long does it take for recruiters to engage and communicate with candidates through the hiring funnel? 

These are just examples of questions that the time-to-hire metric answers. Because it tells a lot about the speed of the hiring process, how candidates are assessed, how they are interviewed, how fast hiring teams and managers make hiring decisions, and how fast hiring teams extend a job offer, the time-to-hire metric is a good reflection of efficiency. 

Additionally, companies can also take a look at the time-to-hire metric as one of the indicators of candidate experience. Typically, candidates prefer a hiring process that is efficient and smooth. One that does not take a long time to process and decide. Especially for specialized positions where candidates are sought after and have many options, companies need to be as efficient as they can in processing their applications. From rank-and-file roles to executive positions, each candidate's experience is a reflection of the organization. 

Companies with a significant delay between engaging a candidate and having that candidate accept a job offer have a poor time-to-hire metric. Consequently, having a good time-to-hire metric speaks of an efficient hiring process. Companies that regularly keep tabs on their time-to-hire measurement can identify areas for improvement and bottlenecks. For example, HR teams may not have any problem in contacting an applicant. However, it could be that candidates who have been contacted wait too long to undergo assessment and interviews. This sends a ripple effect down the hiring pipeline. In this case, HR teams can pinpoint which part they can improve on. 

Time-to-hire and time-to-fill

Time-to-hire and time-to-fill are two measurements that many people use interchangeably. While both are important parameters for human resource teams, time-to-hire and time-to-fill are fundamentally different from each other. 

Time-to-hire tells us how long it takes from the time a candidate is engaged or has applied to accepting a job offer. On the other hand, time-to-fill tells us how long it takes for a hiring team to fill a position from the moment a job requisition is approved. 

Keeping in mind their definition, the two measurements differ in focus. Time-to-fill is focused on how long the recruitment process is while time-to-hire is focused on how fast the hiring team processes a candidate in the hiring funnel as soon as they are contacted or havef applied to a job post. 

Additionally, time-to-fill has a wider space to measure because it is from the time a job requisition is approved. For time-to-hire, the clock only starts once a candidate applies or is contacted by a member of the HR team. Because of this difference, time-to-hire is always shorter than time-to-fill. 

To gain a better understanding of the difference between time-to-hire and time-to-fill, let’s take a look at the following example:

Now, let us have a review:

Using the example above, we can say that the time-to-fill is 20 days while the time-to-hire is 10 days.  Overall, both time-to-hire and time-to-fill are useful measurements for companies to consider. When it comes to improving the recruitment process, understating both will give HR teams a clear picture of recruitment and its efficiency.

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