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Average Time-to-hire: How to Measure and Improve it

Posted by
Nupura Ughade
July 27, 2023

The best candidates are off the hiring market in just 10 days. Yes, you read that right! The Hiring landscape today is incredibly competitive and the longer it takes you to hire for a position, the more likely it is that you'll lose qualified candidates to competitors.

In fact, according to a study by SHRM, the average time-to-hire in the US is 36 days (!) and can be even higher in some industries.

Time-to-hire is a crucial metric for any company that wants to stay competitive in today's fast-paced job market. So how can you measure time to hire and improve it?

Let's take a closer look.

What is average time-to-hire?

Time to hire is the number of days it takes for a company to fill a job opening from the time a candidate applies to the moment the candidate accepts the offer. Time-to-hire is an important metric to understand the efficiency of your recruiting process and the quality of candidate experience from the moment they enter your hiring lifecycle by submitting an application.

Time-to-hire vs time-to-fill

There’s a small but significant difference between time-to-hire and time-to-fill, where the latter measures the number of days it takes to fill a job from the day it is posted to the day the candidate accepts.

How to calculate average time-to-hire?

Time-to-hire = The day candidate accepted the offer - the day candidate applied for the job.

You can calculate time-to-hire using the formula above for each role and then calculate the average time to hire across roles, functions, or the entire company. Most ATSes calculate time to hire automatically as part of the hiring analytics dashboard.


Time-to-hire can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the job, the location of the position, the availability of qualified candidates, and the recruitment strategy used by the company. Faster time to hire is an indicator of a company’s ability to secure top talent more quickly and efficiently, reduce recruitment costs, and improve overall recruiter productivity.

Why is the time-to-hire metric important for recruiting?

Time-to-hire directly impacts the cost of recruitment. The longer a position remains unfilled, the more it costs the company. Moreover, a longer time-to-hire negatively affects candidate experience. Candidates who have a positive experience during the recruitment process are more likely to accept a job offer and become long-term employees. However, candidates who are kept waiting for extended periods or who have a disjointed recruitment experience may become frustrated and disengaged, leading them to decline a job offer. Additionally, time-to-hire impacts employee productivity. When a position remains unfilled for an extended period, it can lead to an increased workload for existing employees.

Fortunately, AI and automation have evolved significantly in recent years and are helping recruiters reduce time-to-hire, even in a competitive and unpredictable talent market.

How to reduce time-to-hire with AI and automation

Improving time-to-hire requires a combination of process improvement and technology. Here are some actionable strategies you can implement today to reduce your time to hire:

1. Reduce time-to-hire with automated screening

Leverage AI-powered pre-screening chatbots to conduct pre-screening interviews with candidates, asking pre-determined questions to assess their qualifications, skills, and fit for the position. This helps recruiters to quickly weed out candidates who are not a good fit for the role, saving time, and also improving the quality of the candidate pool.

2. Improve time-to-hire by instantly engaging inbound candidates

Instantly engage candidates on your career site with an AI sourcing chatbot. These chatbots engage with interested candidates, answer frequently asked questions, and even schedule interviews for qualified candidates - all within a few minutes. This significantly reduces time-to-hire and improves the candidate experience.

3. Simplifying the interview scheduling process can significantly reduce time-to-hire

Scheduling interviews can be a time-consuming process, with endless back-and-forth communication that can delay the interview for days or even weeks. Automatic scheduling frees up time so that recruiters can focus on relationships, not administrative tasks. This can be especially powerful when candidates apply at night or on the weekend. This makes candidates feel valued, skips delays, and enhances hiring speed.

4. Reduce time-to-hire with consistent candidate communications

Candidate experience is a critical factor in your ability to attract and retain top talent. If your hiring process is slow or unresponsive, candidates are likely to lose interest and pursue other opportunities. Look for ways to improve your candidate experience, such as:

  • Provide a clear timeline for the hiring process.
  • Communicate with candidates throughout the process to keep them informed.
  • Use email / text messaging / WhatsApp to craft powerful cross-channel journeys that engage your talent with the right message at the right time.
  • Ask for feedback from candidates to identify areas for improvement.

5. Leverage employee referrals to achieve faster time-to-hire

Your employees know your company culture and the skills needed for a specific role, which means they can refer candidates who are a good fit. Since the candidates are pre-vetted, it saves you time in the screening process. Referral candidates are often more engaged and hence, more likely to accept the offer, resulting in faster time-to-hire.

Getting started with Sense to improve time-to-hire

AI and automation has helped several organizations can reduce time-to-hire without compromising on the candidate experience. 800+ talent centric organizations have achieved 55% faster hiring with Sense’s AI-powered talent engagement platform. Want to hop on the road to faster hiring with Sense? Book a personalized demo now!

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