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Hiring Insights Blog

Your Time-to-Fill Fact Book
Thursday, Jun 09, 2016

Time-to-Fill: An Essential Recruitment Metric

Organizations know that time to fill is a critical talent acquisition metric. It helps measure individual recruiter performance and gauge the effectiveness of an organization’s strategic workforce planning.

Optimizing Talent Acquisition Metrics

We know that the longer a job remains vacant, the more cost-per-hire can increase, the more productivity can suffer, and the more likely it is that competitive candidates may opt for employers who extend an offer sooner. Given that our iCIMS U.S. Hiring Trends Report shows that the average time-to-fill in 2015 was 44 days, and, for small companies, the average time-to-fill was 20 percent longer. it’s clear that reducing time-to-fill remains a challenge for employers.

The Economy

As the economy improves and companies increase their headcounts, job seekers are better positioned to hold out for the best opportunities. Employees are so confident about these opportunities that 45 percent say they expect to change jobs in 2016.

Heightened Screening

Organizations are keen to the costs of a bad hire and many are placing more emphasis on quality of hire by way of more thorough screening. This can prolong time-to-fill. 39 percent of surveyed companies say that quality of hire is the most valuable key performance indicator.

More Jobs to Fill

Many organizations find they simply have more jobs to fill, which can stretch HR departments too thin and delay the hiring process. Forty-six percent of HR professionals and hiring managers surveyed planned to increase temporary and contract hiring in 2015, up from 42 percent in a similar 2014 survey.

The growing skills gap, too, will have an impact on hiring. Hiring managers say the struggle to find qualified candidates is the primary reason it takes longer to fill open positions.

Reversing the rising time-to-fill trajectory is important for many reasons. It can lower cost-per-hire, increase efficiencies, and benefit organizational goals. But it might stand in the way of quality of hire, a metric that seems to require more time to identify and attract best fit candidates? It doesn’t have to. Asking the right questions about your talent acquisition process can yield desirable time-to-fill and quality-of-hire metrics.

Communication, too, is essential to the recruiting process, both internally and externally. Inefficient internal communication can exhaust time that competitive candidates may spend entertaining other others, while inefficient external communication can result in hiring managers losing track of their best candidates. Automated email services and mobile-optimized recruiting are essential to having streamlined communication with candidates, and thereby improving the candidate experience.

A simplified application process will also improve time-to-fill, as candidates are much more likely to abandon the application process if the application is too lengthy or confusing. A career site that strategically targets candidates and promotes a visible employer brand are the most beneficial for optimizing time-to-fill. With detailed job descriptions, the cultivation of specialized talent pools, skills-based keyword searches, and advanced sourcing reports, specialized talent can more easily be located and targeted by recruiters. By having a clear employer brand, candidates who best-fit your company culture are able to identify themselves with you: companies with a strong employer brand were found to attract at least 3.5 times more applications per job posting than other companies in the same industry.