How to Calculate and Improve Time-to-Fill—and Why You Need To

Caroline Chessia | July 7, 2023

“I’ve got a crucial backfill to open up as soon as possible,” a director in your organization says in a frantic ping on a Wednesday afternoon. “How long does it take to hire someone? If we can open the role by the end of the week, when can I expect someone to start?”

How do you answer her?

Good recruiters are people-persons who excel at matching candidates and roles for their organizations. They have a knack for identifying just the right experience and culture fit. Great recruiters do this important work quickly—and they have the hiring metrics to prove it.

One of those metrics is “time-to-fill,” and if you’re not already tracking it, you should be. Read on for more guidance on how to calculate—and what it means for your team.

What is Time-to-Fill?

Time-to-fill is the amount of time it takes to fill an open position. It’s the time between when a job opening comes across your desk and when your new hire accepts your offer. It highlights the total time spent on your hiring process.

Why is Time-to-Fill Important?

  • Time-to-fill shows you the time investment you put into each job opening
  • It is an indicator of the health of your talent acquisition process
  • Calculating time-to-fill shows you where and how you can improve your process

Time-to-fill metrics provide an essential data point for understanding the time investment you put into each job opening. Necessary information for calculating ROI and proving your value as a recruiter.

Additionally, time-to-fill is an indicator of the health of your talent acquisition process. A long time-to-fill means a poorer candidate experience. Especially as applicants quickly lose interest in roles if they don’t hear back from you promptly.

Flags raised by this recruiting data help you identify areas to improve. For example, do you find that your time-to-fill is longer for openings in one department than others? Quickly spotting this discrepancy helps you troubleshoot the delays, improve your talent acquisition team’s strategies and skillsets to adapt, and give realistic estimates to hiring managers.

Additionally, knowledge of your time-to-hire will arm you with the insight you need to plan your recruiting strategies. Which ensures sustainable operations for your organization and your team.

How to Calculate Time-to-Fill

To calculate your average time-to-fill, add the number of days between job postings and hires from the roles in a set period of time. Then divide by the number of roles.

Time-to-Fill Statistics by Industry

Have you done the math yet? If so, you’re wondering how your metrics for talent acquisition stack up against others in your industry.

Here’s a quick look at how this hiring stat averages out across industries:

  • Accounting/Finance: 21 business days
  • Construction: 25 business days
  • Consulting/Business Services: 23 business days
  • Design/Creative: 27 business days
  • Education: 30 business days
  • Healthcare: 27 business days
  • Hospitality: 20 business days
  • IT/Technology: 30 business days
  • Legal: 28 business days
  • Logistics/Supply Chain: 7 business days
  • Manufacturing: 28 business days
  • Other: 28 business days
  • Retail: 20 business days
  • Staffing/Recruiting: 20 business days
  • Travel: 24 business days

However, it’s important to note that some of those stats are a little out of date. If your time-to-fill seems noticeably longer than those averages, you’re not alone; in a January 2023 survey from Robert Half, recruiters reported something more like 11 weeks as their current average.

Time-to-Hire vs. Time-to-Fill

Time-to-hire refers to the time elapsed between when a candidate applies and when they are hired. It is slightly different from time-to-fill, because the candidate might not apply on the first day of the job posting.

Time to hire is also an essential stat for measuring the quality and efficiency of the recruiting experience. It’s a good practice to track both of these recruiting metrics and use them to inform your improvements.

How Can You Reduce Time-to-Fill with interviewstream?

If your time-to-fill or time-to-hire is longer than you’d like it to be, what can you do to improve it?

Your biggest speedbump likely comes during the interview process. Coordinating everyone involved can seriously slow you down. But modern recruiting software is here to help. And, a video interviewing platform like interviewstream is the ideal place to start.

By using tools like on demand video interviews and automated interview scheduling, you can significantly reduce your time-to-hire. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo and we’ll be happy to walk you through each time-saving feature built into the interviewstream platform.


About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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