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HR & Recruitment

What Is Time to Fill? All You Need to Know About This Recruiting Metric

What Is Time to Fill? All You Need to Know About This Recruiting Metric
indre ozalinskaite

Indre Ozalinskaite

June 14, 2022

Data is becoming an increasingly important part of recruitment. It helps companies grow their teams faster and find the best-fit candidates more efficiently. 

One of the ways that companies measure the efficiency of their recruitment process is by tracking how quickly they find and hire suitable candidates.

Knowing this information about the recruiting process makes it easier to set goals and improve the current methods. 

This article will explain the difference between time to fill, time to hire, and discuss the advantages of monitoring the average length of the hiring process in the organization.

What is time to fill?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), time to fill is a metric that measures the average number of days it takes to fill a job position, from job requisition to job acceptance.

Keeping track of this information can help a company improve the efficiency of the hiring process, and it also works as a warning signal when the process is too long.

Many major and minor factors influence the time to fill. Here are some examples:

  • Talent sourcing method
  • Industry and job market situation
  • Hiring team and the hiring manager
  • Interview process

When it comes to talent sourcing methods, many companies rely on public web data to source qualified candidates at scale. Using rich and accurate data, the hiring teams can find qualified candidates through channels that suit the needs of the organization.

Coresignal's employee data consists of more than 569 million records. Data points like education and past workplaces give you an overview of a person's professional career. Using this information, you can find qualified candidates quicker. Download the sample below for a brief overview of our employee data offering.

How do you calculate the time to fill?

The time to fill measures the total time it takes to complete the hiring process. It's the number of days between when the hiring process begins and when the person is hired.

To calculate the time to fill, you need to count the days between the day the job position opened and when it was filled. HR experts suggest various options for the start and the endpoint for this calculation, so organizations can choose whichever works best for them.

For example, the start date can be the day the job post appeared online or the day that this job position was internally approved. The endpoint is the date the position is filled. Filled can mean the candidate's first day at the company or the day they accepted the job offer.

associative image of numbers

Which of these options the HR team will choose to measure time to fill doesn't matter as much as measuring it the same way. Consistency will help ensure that the data is accurate and, because of that, more valuable.

To calculate the average time to fill in your company, count the days it took to fill all positions during a specific period and divide them by the number of job positions. So, for example, if it took the company 20,30 and 25 days to fill three roles hired this quarter, the average time to fill was 25 days.

Time to fill, time to hire: What is the difference?

person looking at smart watch

Time to fill and time to hire are two popular metrics of recruitment analytics

They are very similar because both are used to measure the time spent finding, interviewing, and officially hiring the best candidate. The main difference is the start date. The time to hire measures the period after the candidate enters the recruitment pipeline and focuses on how quickly the hiring team finds the best candidates.

When measuring the time to hire, the start date is the day when a candidate enters the pipeline, meaning when a candidate applies for the job or when they are found through talent sourcing. The endpoint when measuring the time to hire is the day when the candidate accepts the offer.

What's the value of measuring time to fill?

Measuring the time it takes to complete the hiring process is valuable for enhancing the entire recruitment process. Below we will discuss how measuring and tracking time to fill can be helpful and why it matters.

Evaluating recruitment efficiency and identifying bottlenecks

Time to fill shows how effectively recruiters and hiring managers are hiring new people. If the company is tracking the average time to fill, some cases which are very different from the average can indicate that the process has bottlenecks that need to be fixed.

To evaluate the efficiency of the process, the recruiting team can look into its interviewing practices, talent sourcing methods, quality of applications, communication with candidates, and more.

After evaluating the number of applications that don't meet the minimal criteria of the job position, some companies consider changing the source of job applications or implementing an AI-based tool to screen CVs to save time.

A survey by Statista shows that 63% of people think that time saving is the key benefit of AI in recruitment.

Avoiding staff shortages

empty office

Tracking time to fill can also help prevent situations where the teams are understaffed, which can be challenging for any organization. Here's why:

  • The understaffed team might not be able to perform all operations.
  • Compensating for the lack of human resources means that the company will need to find employees who can work overtime.
  • If staff shortage continues, there is a risk of burnout, which can have long-term effects on employees' mental health and motivation.

All the above situations can require lots of additional resources from the company.

Improving workforce planning

Gathering such data as average time to fill or time to hire allows companies to generate valuable insights for workforce planning. Workforce planning aligns the company's business goals with the organization's supply and demand of talent and skills.

If a company is growing, so do the teams. When predicting what talent the company will need to meet its future goals, it's also essential to know how long it will take to find the right people with the right skills. 

For instance, according to Glassdoor, it takes 8 days on average to hire a waiter and six times longer to hire a Communications specialist.

Let’s say a company needs to hire a whole team of communication specialists. Knowing the average time to fill would allow the company to evaluate when the recruitment process should start and how long it should take. 

Then, a more in-depth analysis of other recruiting metrics will also provide information into what resources will be needed to hire this whole team in time and for optimal cost.

data and diagrams


Time to fill is one of the recruiting metrics that help organizations measure the effectiveness of their hiring practices. Implementing data into workforce planning and recruitment strategies allows companies to make better-informed decisions and choose the tactics and tools that help them achieve the best hiring results.

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