Time to Fill

June 6, 2023
Hiring & Recruiting
Optimize your hiring process with Time to Fill. Measure efficiency, reduce costs, and attract top talent efficiently. Essential for HR & hiring managers.

What is Time to Fill?

Time to Fill refers to the duration taken to fill a job vacancy from the moment it is opened until a suitable candidate is hired and officially onboarded. It is a crucial metric that measures the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process. Time to Fill is typically calculated by tracking the number of days elapsed between the opening of a position and the acceptance of the job offer by the selected candidate.

Importance of Time to Fill in the Hiring Process

Time to Fill holds significant importance in the hiring process for several reasons:

  1. Efficiency and Productivity: A shorter Time to Fill indicates a streamlined and efficient hiring process. It ensures that the organization promptly secures qualified candidates, minimizing the disruption caused by a vacant position and maintaining the productivity of the team.
  2. Cost Control: Prolonged vacancies can lead to increased costs associated with lost productivity, additional workload on existing employees, and the need for temporary staff or external resources. By reducing Time to Fill, organizations can effectively control these costs and optimize their recruitment budget.
  3. Competitive Advantage: In today's competitive talent market, organizations need to act swiftly to secure top candidates. A shorter Time to Fill enhances an organization's competitive advantage by ensuring that they can attract and hire the best talent before competitors do.
  4. Candidate Experience: The duration of the hiring process significantly impacts the candidate experience. Candidates are more likely to have a positive perception of an organization that demonstrates efficiency and respects their time. A lengthy Time to Fill can result in candidate frustration, withdrawal, or acceptance of offers from other employers.
  5. Strategic Workforce Planning: Tracking Time to Fill provides valuable data for strategic workforce planning. It helps HR professionals and hiring managers assess the effectiveness of recruitment strategies, anticipate future hiring needs, and make data-driven decisions to align their talent acquisition efforts with organizational goals.

Significance for HR and Hiring Managers

Time to Fill holds immense significance for HR professionals and hiring managers in the following ways:

  1. Process Evaluation: Time to Fill allows HR professionals to evaluate the efficiency of their recruitment process. By monitoring and analyzing this metric, they can identify bottlenecks, streamline procedures, and implement improvements to expedite the hiring process.
  2. Resource Planning: Tracking Time to Fill enables HR professionals to allocate resources effectively. By understanding the average duration required to fill positions, they can plan and allocate their recruitment team's time, budget, and other resources accordingly.
  3. Performance Measurement: Time to Fill serves as a performance indicator for HR departments. It helps assess the effectiveness of recruitment strategies, evaluate the performance of recruiters, and identify areas where improvements are needed.
  4. Candidate Management: Monitoring Time to Fill allows HR professionals and hiring managers to manage candidate expectations more effectively. They can proactively communicate with candidates, provide updates on the hiring process, and maintain a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment journey.
  5. Data-Driven Decision Making: Time to Fill data provides HR professionals and hiring managers with valuable insights to make informed decisions. It helps them identify trends, evaluate the impact of process changes, and implement strategies to optimize the hiring process and enhance overall recruitment outcomes.

By recognizing the significance of Time to Fill and leveraging its insights, HR professionals and hiring managers can make data-driven decisions, enhance their recruitment strategies, and secure top talent efficiently.

Benefits of Tracking Time to Fill

Tracking Time to Fill offers several significant benefits for HR departments and hiring managers, including:

  1. Efficient Resource Allocation: By understanding the average time it takes to fill a position, organizations can allocate their resources effectively, ensuring that hiring efforts align with business needs and goals.
  2. Reduced Cost per Hire: Streamlining the recruitment process and minimizing the Time to Fill helps reduce the cost per hire. Decreasing the time spent on recruitment activities, such as advertising, screening, and interviewing, can lead to significant cost savings.
  3. Improved Candidate Experience: A shorter Time to Fill demonstrates the organization's efficiency and commitment to candidates. It improves the overall candidate experience, increasing the likelihood of attracting top talent and maintaining a positive employer brand.
  4. Enhanced Workforce Planning: Tracking Time to Fill enables HR departments to plan and forecast their workforce needs more accurately. With insights into the time required to hire candidates, organizations can better anticipate staffing gaps, succession planning, and resource allocation.

How to Calculate Time to Fill?

To calculate Time to Fill, organizations typically follow these steps:

  1. Opening Date: The date when a job vacancy is officially opened and published for applicants.
  2. Closing Date: The date when the job vacancy is closed, indicating that no more applications will be accepted.
  3. Offer Acceptance Date: The date when the selected candidate accepts the job offer.
  4. Time to Fill Calculation: Subtract the Opening Date from the Offer Acceptance Date to determine the duration it took to fill the position.

Factors influencing Time to Fill include:

  • The complexity of the position: Roles requiring highly specialized skills or qualifications may take longer to fill due to a narrower candidate pool.
  • Internal approval processes: Delays in obtaining necessary approvals from stakeholders can prolong the hiring timeline.
  • Availability of internal resources: A lack of dedicated recruiters or HR personnel can impact the speed of the recruitment process.
  • Recruitment strategies and channels: The effectiveness of different recruitment methods and platforms can impact the speed and quality of candidate sourcing.

Factors Affecting Time to Fill

Several internal and external factors can influence Time to Fill. Understanding these factors is crucial for HR and hiring managers to optimize their recruitment strategies effectively. Here are the key factors to consider:

Internal Factors

  1. Company Size and Structure: Large organizations with complex hierarchies may experience longer Time to Fill due to multiple layers of approval and decision-making processes.
  2. Hiring Process Complexity: Organizations with lengthy and intricate recruitment processes, involving several stages of assessment and interviews, may experience longer Time to Fill.
  3. Availability of Internal Resources: Insufficient HR staff or limited recruiting resources can slow down the hiring process, resulting in longer Time to Fill.
  4. Recruitment Strategies and Channels: The effectiveness of recruitment strategies and channels, such as job boards, social media, employee referrals, and talent acquisition software, can significantly impact Time to Fill.

External Factors

  1. Labor Market Conditions: The availability of qualified candidates in the labor market and the level of competition from other organizations seeking similar talent can affect Time to Fill.
  2. Industry Competition for Talent: Industries facing high demand for specialized skills or niche expertise may experience longer Time to Fill as competition intensifies.
  3. Geographic Location: Time to Fill can vary based on the geographic location of the organization. Regions with a limited talent pool or higher unemployment rates may experience longer hiring cycles.

Challenges in Reducing Time to Fill

Reducing Time to Fill can be challenging, but by addressing the following key challenges, organizations can streamline their hiring process and expedite candidate onboarding:

  1. Identifying Bottlenecks in the Hiring Process: Conducting a thorough analysis of the recruitment process helps identify areas where delays occur and allows for targeted improvements.
  2. Streamlining Communication and Collaboration: Enhancing communication and collaboration among hiring stakeholders, including recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers, can minimize delays and improve efficiency.
  3. Implementing Efficient Applicant Tracking Systems: Leveraging technology, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS), helps automate and streamline various recruitment stages, reducing administrative tasks and improving overall process efficiency.
  4. Overcoming Talent Scarcity: In a competitive job market, attracting and securing top talent within a shorter timeframe requires proactive sourcing strategies, employer branding, and offering competitive compensation and benefits.

How to Reduce Time to Fill?

Implementing the following best practices can significantly reduce Time to Fill and optimize the recruitment process:

  1. Building a Strong Employer Brand: Developing a compelling employer brand helps attract a larger pool of qualified candidates, reducing the time required to identify suitable candidates.
  2. Optimizing Job Descriptions and Requirements: Crafting clear and concise job descriptions, along with realistic qualifications and requirements, attracts candidates who closely match the position, reducing the time spent on reviewing unqualified applicants.
  3. Implementing an Effective Interview and Assessment Process: Streamlining the interview and assessment process by utilizing structured interviews, standardized evaluation criteria, and relevant assessments reduces decision-making time and ensures a more efficient evaluation of candidates.
  4. Utilizing Technology and Automation Tools: Leveraging technology, such as AI-powered resume screening tools and automated interview scheduling, speeds up the initial stages of the hiring process, allowing recruiters to focus on more strategic tasks.
  5. Enhancing Candidate Engagement and Communication: Maintaining regular and transparent communication with candidates throughout the hiring process improves their experience and prevents potential delays due to miscommunication or candidate drop-off.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Related to Time to Fill

To measure and assess the effectiveness of their recruitment process, HR and hiring managers often rely on the following KPIs:

  1. Average Time to Fill (ATTF): The average duration it takes to fill a position, calculated by summing up the Time to Fill for each position and dividing it by the total number of positions filled within a specific period.
  2. Time to Offer: The duration from when a candidate is identified as a potential fit to the point at which a job offer is extended.
  3. Time to Hire: The time it takes from the first contact with a candidate to the point at which they officially accept the job offer.
  4. Time to Start: The duration between a candidate's acceptance of a job offer and their first day of employment.


Time to Fill plays a crucial role in the recruitment process, enabling HR professionals and hiring managers to optimize their strategies, reduce costs, and attract top talent efficiently. By tracking and continuously improving Time to Fill, organizations can enhance their overall recruitment process, increase efficiency, and maintain a competitive edge in the talent market. Implementing best practices, leveraging technology, and staying attuned to future trends will enable organizations to reduce Time to Fill, secure top talent, and drive business success.