Talent Acquisition

Time to Fill vs. Time to Hire: Essential Hiring Metrics

There is no doubt that finding your people when recruiting takes effort. Streamlining the process is certainly helpful. That’s where reducing your average time to fill and time to hire metrics step in. It’s how organizations can move more swiftly to meet their staffing needs while creating better candidate experiences.


  • Time to fill and time to hire are metrics that help HR teams and business leaders improve their hiring processes.
  • Ensuring job descriptions are clear, concise, and accurately reflect the roles’ requirements draws more qualified candidates.
  • Simplifying the application process to be as quick and user-friendly as possible decreases drop-off rates and speeds up hiring time.
  • Utilizing hiring software and applicant tracking systems to automate hiring processes is more efficient.

What Is Time to Fill?

It measures how long it takes to secure a qualified candidate, usually from when the job is posted to when the offer is accepted. But, there are some variations in how companies track this. For instance, some might start the clock when an employee submits a role for internal approval or when the role has the green light to move forward.

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What Is Time to Hire?

Time to hire measures how long it takes to hire a candidate from the time of application to the acceptance of the offer.  It is a more focused metric than time to fill, and the number of days should be shorter.

Why Are Both Metrics Important?

They offer insights into the efficiency of your recruitment process. Extended vacancies can hinder business growth, so tracking how quickly you fill open roles can positively impact business outcomes.

Extended durations in filling roles can indicate delays in processing resumes or scheduling interviews, leading to candidate ghosting and poor candidate experiences. This can damage your company’s reputation.

When job seekers post their negative experiences with your recruitment process on review sites like Glassdoor, it can be difficult to change the narrative, impacting your employer branding.

Remember, the aim is to understand why your interview process might be cumbersome. If it consistently takes a long time, your process may be too complex because it is not automated or involves multiple interviews and assessments, which can frustrate candidates.

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How to Calculate Time to Fill

Time to fill can be calculated per individual role, department, and organization. 

You’ll need to assign a starting point for your calculations. Decide whether you want to use the date of role approval, the date of the initial job posting, or another starting point. 

Then, calculate the days between your starting point and the offer acceptance for the role.

Time to fill = Day of your starting point to the day the candidate accepts the offer.

For a specific department, divide the total number of filled roles within that department over a measured period to find the average time to fill.

For the entire company, follow the above procedure but include all roles within the business that were filled during a specific timeframe.

In both instances, the calculations will look like this:

Average time to fill: Time to fill job 1  +  time to fill job 2 time to fill job 3 ÷  by total number of filled job = time to fill.

To illustrate the math, let’s say you filled three roles, and the number of days it took for each is 20, 30, and 40. Add those numbers together for a total of 90. Next, divide 90 by 3, and your average time to fill is 30 days.

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How to Calculate Time to Hire

To calculate your team’s time to hire, measure the days between the date your chosen candidate submitted their application and the date they accepted the job offer.

Time to hire = Day the candidate applied to the day the candidate accepted the offer. 

If you’re measuring time to hire for multiple candidates, add all those calculations and divide by the number of new hires to calculate the average time to hire.

Average time to hire = time to hire job 1 +  time to hire job 2 +  time to hire job 3  ÷ total number of hires

For example, if Juan submitted his job application on April 1st and accepted the job on April 19th, his time to hire is 19 days. Let’s say another candidate’s time to hire was 21 days. In that case, 19 + 21 = 40. 40 divided by 2 is 20, making your average time to hire 20 days long. 

How to Reduce Time to Fill and Time to Hire

The job type and industry often influence the time it takes to fill a position. For instance, open roles requiring specialized skills or licenses could take longer to identify suitable candidates.

According to the SHRM Talent Access Benchmarking Report, the time to fill non-executive roles is 54 days. A good target benchmark for the time to hire is around 40 days.

If your hiring process takes longer, you can try several strategies to speed it up.

Write Compelling Job Descriptions

Writing job postings that attract top talent can reduce hiring times and the number of unqualified candidates who apply—winning!

Ensure you provide job seekers with sufficient information about the job and your company. Don’t hesitate to highlight perks, benefits, or anything distinctive about your business and employee value proposition. These are essential details that set you apart from the competition.

Review Applications More Quickly

Reviewing applications promptly as they come in is a great way to speed up the recruiting process. If you let applications pile up for too long, you may miss out on great candidates who moved on. Not to brag, but Wizehire’s platform filters and sorts job candidates so the people with the right qualifications rise to the top.

Use an Applicant Tracking System

An applicant tracking system is software designed to help businesses automate and manage their recruitment process. It is a central hub for all hiring activities, from job postings and candidate sourcing to applicant screening and interview scheduling. Learn how Wizehire’s award-winning applicant tracking system works.

Streamline the Interview Process

Implementing a multi-step interview process, including personality tests and skills assessments, provides a thorough evaluation of candidates’ abilities and fit. Conducting multiple interviews also allows various team members to interact with the candidate. 

However, streamlining the hiring process by combining individual interviews into a single panel session with multiple leaders and team members can accelerate assessments and reduce candidate drop-out rates.

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Time to Fill vs. Time to Hire

Time to hire and time to fill are related metrics within the recruitment process, but they measure different stages and aspects. However, both reflect the organization’s efficiency in filling open positions. When growing businesses start tracking candidates’ journeys, they can refine their recruiting strategies.

Wize Words

Improving metrics for time to fill and time to hire creates better candidate experiences, boosting how job seekers see your organization. This is the secret ingredient that makes your growing business irresistible to job seekers.


  • Deirdre Sullivan

    Deirdre has more than 20 years of experience in content creation, leading creative teams and producing engaging online experiences. With a strong background in content marketing, she is committed to delivering valuable and captivating content to Wizehire's audience, going beyond recruitment tips.

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The article was reviewed by Marisa Ramirez

Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre has more than 20 years of experience in content creation, leading creative teams and producing engaging online experiences. With a strong background in content marketing, she is committed to delivering valuable and captivating content to Wizehire's audience, going beyond recruitment tips.

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