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The Road to Faster Hiring: Strategies to Improve Average Time to Fill

Posted by
Nupura Ughade
July 27, 2023

Welcome to the world of recruiting where the timelines are as unpredictable as the weather in Scotland. Companies want vacant roles filled sooner than later to ensure there’s no disruption in the business-as-usual activities and no critical tasks remain pending for long. But time-consuming activities such as screening, interview scheduling, and follow-ups prolong the hiring process. And then there’s candidate ghosting. Ugh!

That’s why ‘time to fill’ is an important metric for the talent acquisition team. It is a measure of efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness in the recruiting process. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about ‘time to fill’, why it matters, and most importantly, how you can improve this elusive metric.

What is average time to fill?

The average time to fill is the length of time it takes for a company to fill a job opening from the time the job requisition is approved to the moment the candidate accepts the offer.

How to calculate average time to fill

To calculate the average time to fill, talent acquisition teams typically measure the number of days between the date the job opening was posted and the date the candidate accepted the offer. This timeline includes all the steps involved in the recruitment process, such as posting the job, sourcing candidates, interviewing, and making an offer. Some teams may also exclude any delays caused by external factors, such as background checks or reference verifications, to get a more accurate picture of their internal recruiting process.

It's essential to note that the time to fill metric can vary significantly depending on the role, location, and industry. For example, positions that require a specific skill set or experience may take longer to fill than entry-level roles. Similarly, the time to fill may differ between industries, with some sectors facing a more competitive job market than others.

Importance of average time to fill for talent acquisition teams

It goes without saying that a shorter time to fill is crucial in today's competitive job market, where top talent is in high demand. In a world where candidates apply for up to 12 jobs at once, moving fast is crucial.

Reducing time to fill also has a significant impact on employee performance and productivity — and ultimately, your company’s bottom line.

Additionally, candidates will love you for your rapid hiring process! A focus on reducing time to fill will help to improve the overall candidate experience, enhancing your employer brand, and making it more likely that candidates will recommend the organization to others.

Factors that affect time to fill

Several internal as well as external factors affect the average time to fill. The level of experience and skills required for the role can impact the time it takes to find a suitable candidate. More specialized roles may take longer to fill as there are fewer qualified candidates available.

The size and complexity of the organization can also have an impact, with larger organizations often having more extensive hiring processes and more stakeholders involved in the decision-making process.

The effectiveness of your recruitment process, including the quality of job postings, sourcing strategies, availability of recruiters, and the time taken for candidate screening impact the time to fill as well. These factors are mostly within your control and can significantly impact the speed of hiring.

5 Actionable strategies to reduce time to fill

Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are powerful tools you can utilize for reducing time to fill and optimizing the recruitment process. Here are 5 specific strategies you can implement today to reduce time to fill:

1. Use AI-powered sourcing strategies

Automate your candidate outreach and deploy multi-channel candidate communication strategies to stay in touch with the candidates. Your existing candidate database is a talent goldmine! Leverage AI-powered search-and-match capabilities to match candidates in your database to specific job requirements based on skills, experience, and location, enabling recruiters to focus on the most promising candidates.

2. Re-evaluate screening methods to improve fill rates

AI-powered screening chatbots screen applications within minutes, identifying the most qualified candidates based on predetermined criteria, and reducing the time spent on manual screening.

3. Engage interested candidates proactively

Deploy AI-powered chatbots that can engage with interested candidates on your career site, answer frequently asked questions, and schedule interviews - all within a few minutes. Not only does this significantly enhance the speed of hiring, but it also reduces the workload on recruiters and improves the candidate experience.

4. Automate interview scheduling (and follow-ups) to improve time to fill

The endless back-and-forth communication when scheduling an interview can delay interviews by days or even weeks. Interview scheduling automation tools enable candidates to automatically schedule interviews with recruiters via text or chatbots and send an automated interview confirmation email even while your team is offline or enjoying their weekends. Automating reminders and follow-ups to both candidates and hiring managers can also significantly reduce the time taken to complete the interview stage.

5. Implement an employee referral strategy

Referral programs allow organizations to tap into their employees' networks, expanding their reach to a wider pool of potential candidates. Screening referred candidates is much faster, as they are often pre-vetted by the employee. Due to the personal nature of the process, referral candidates are often more engaged and invested in the hiring process, resulting in a shorter time to acceptance.

Time is money. Are you prepared to improve time-to-fill?

By leveraging AI and automation, organizations can reduce time to fill, improve the candidate experience, and optimize their recruitment process, ultimately attracting and retaining top talent. Our customers have achieved 55% faster hiring with Sense’s AI-powered talent engagement platform. Want to see how Sense can help you? Book a demo with our team of talent engagement experts now!

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