How to Calculate Time to Hire

In today’s fast-paced business environment, hiring and keeping top talent efficiently is crucial for companies to stay competitive.

One of the key metrics used in talent acquisition is the “Time to Hire.”

It measures the duration it takes for an organization to fill a vacant position from the moment a job opening is posted to the day a candidate accepts the offer. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to calculate Time to Hire effectively and optimize your hiring process.

What is Time to Hire?

Time to Hire refers to the length of time it takes for a company to hire a new employee. It encompasses various stages of the hiring process, such as job posting, sourcing candidates, screening resumes, conducting interviews, and extending job offers. By tracking this metric, organizations can evaluate the efficiency of their recruitment efforts and identify areas for improvement.

Why is Time to Hire Important?

Reducing the Time to Hire has several advantages for organizations. Firstly, it minimizes the chances of losing high-quality candidates to competitors due to a lengthy recruitment process. Top candidates often have multiple job offers, and a prolonged hiring process can result in them accepting another opportunity. Secondly, a shorter Time to Hire enhances the overall candidate experience, positively impacting the employer brand. A streamlined and efficient hiring process signals professionalism and respect for candidates’ time. Lastly, faster hiring helps organizations maintain productivity levels by quickly filling vacant positions, reducing the burden on existing employees.

Factors Affecting Time to Hire

Several factors can influence the Time to Hire metric. These include:

  1. Job Requirements: The complexity of the role, required qualifications, and specific skills can impact the time it takes to find suitable candidates.
  2. Sourcing Strategies: The effectiveness of sourcing strategies, such as job boards, social media, employee referrals, and recruitment agencies, affects the pool of candidates and the time it takes to attract them.
  3. Screening and Interviewing Process: The efficiency of resume screening, pre-screening assessments, and interview scheduling can significantly impact the overall hiring timeline.
  4. Internal Processes: Internal decision-making, such as feedback collection, interview panel coordination, and background checks, can introduce delays in the hiring process.

How to Calculate Time to Hire

Step 1: Define the Hiring Process

To calculate Time to Hire accurately, you need a clearly defined and documented hiring process. It should outline the different stages involved, the roles and responsibilities of team members, and the estimated time required for each step. A well-defined process provides consistency and allows for easier identification of bottlenecks.

Step 2: Identify Key Metrics

Determine the specific metrics you want to track within the hiring process. Key metrics may include time spent on sourcing, time spent on screening, time spent on interviewing, and time spent on decision-making. Identifying these metrics helps you understand where the most significant time investments occur.

Step 3: Gather Data

Collect the necessary data for each step of the hiring process. This can be done through manual tracking, using an applicant tracking system (ATS), or utilizing HR software that provides analytics and reporting capabilities. Ensure you have accurate data for each candidate, including the date the job opening was posted, the date resumes were received, the date interviews were conducted, and the date offers were extended.

Step 4: Calculate the Time to Hire

To calculate Time to Hire, subtract the date the job opening was posted from the date the candidate accepts the offer. This will give you the total number of days it took to fill the position. You can calculate the average Time to Hire by summing up the individual hiring durations and dividing it by the total number of hires.

For example, if you posted a job opening on January 1st and the candidate accepted the offer on January 15th, the Time to Hire would be 15 days. Repeat this calculation for multiple hires to obtain an average Time to Hire over a specific period.

Step 5: Analyze and Improve

Once you have calculated the Time to Hire metric, analyze the data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Look for stages in the hiring process that are taking longer than expected and investigate the reasons behind the delays. It could be due to inefficient sourcing methods, lengthy screening procedures, or delays in decision-making.

Based on the analysis, implement strategies to streamline the hiring process and reduce Time to Hire. This may involve optimizing sourcing channels, automating certain tasks, improving communication and collaboration between hiring stakeholders, or reevaluating the job requirements to attract more qualified candidates.

Best Practices for Time to Hire

  • Set realistic timelines: Ensure that the estimated time for each stage of the hiring process is reasonable and achievable.
  • Streamline the screening process: Implement pre-screening assessments or phone interviews to filter out unqualified candidates early on.
  • Leverage technology: Utilize applicant tracking systems, HR software, and automation tools to streamline administrative tasks and improve efficiency.
  • Improve communication: Maintain regular and transparent communication with candidates to keep them engaged throughout the hiring process.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly review and update your hiring process to identify and implement strategies for improvement.

Benefits of Monitoring Time to Hire

Monitoring and optimizing Time to Hire offers several benefits for organizations:

  1. Increased hiring efficiency: By reducing the time it takes to fill a position, organizations can onboard new employees faster, improving overall operational efficiency.
  2. Enhanced candidate experience: A shorter and well-organized hiring process improves the candidate experience, increasing the likelihood of attracting top talent.
  3. Improved employer brand: Efficient hiring practices contribute to a positive employer brand, making the company more attractive to both candidates and employees.
  4. Better workforce planning: Accurate Time to Hire data helps organizations plan for future hiring needs and allocate resources effectively.

Challenges and Solutions

While calculating Time to Hire, organizations may face some challenges, such as:

  • Lack of data: Inconsistent data tracking or insufficient data collection can hinder accurate Time to Hire calculations. Implement robust systems and processes to ensure data integrity.
  • Complex hiring processes: Lengthy and convoluted hiring processes can prolong Time to Hire. Simplify and streamline the process by removing unnecessary steps and optimizing workflows.
  • Limited resources: Small businesses or organizations with limited HR resources may struggle to allocate sufficient time and personnel to the hiring process. Consider outsourcing certain tasks or utilizing technology to streamline operations.


Calculating Time to Hire is a valuable practice for organizations looking to hire and following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, companies can streamline their recruitment efforts and reduce the time it takes to fill vacant positions. By monitoring Time to Hire, organizations can improve the candidate experience, attract top talent, and enhance their employer brand. Additionally, optimizing the hiring process leads to increased operational efficiency and better workforce planning.

Remember, consistently tracking and analyzing Time to Hire metrics, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing best practices will contribute to a more efficient and effective recruitment strategy.


  1. What is the ideal Time to Hire?
    • The ideal Time to Hire varies depending on factors such as the industry, position, and company size. However, on average, a Time to Hire of 30-45 days is considered reasonable.
  2. How can I reduce the Time to Hire without compromising quality?
    • To reduce Time to Hire without compromising quality, focus on streamlining the hiring process, optimizing sourcing channels, implementing effective screening methods, and improving internal communication and decision-making.
  3. Does Time to Hire affect the quality of hires?
    • While Time to Hire is an important metric, it is not the sole determinant of the quality of hires. It is crucial to strike a balance between efficiency and thoroughness to ensure both a timely process and the selection of qualified candidates.
  4. How often should I monitor Time to Hire?
    • Regularly monitoring Time to Hire is recommended to identify trends and make timely adjustments. Depending on the hiring volume, monthly or quarterly reviews can provide valuable insights.
  5. Can Time to Hire be improved for remote positions?
    • Yes, the principles and best practices for reducing Time to Hire apply to remote positions as well. Leveraging technology for virtual interviews, online assessments, and collaborative hiring tools can help expedite the process for remote positions.

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