Finding the right talent on time has an impact on a business bottom line. HR professionals have a responsibility to minimize business interruption and reduce the risk caused by having open positions. This means reducing the amount of time a position becomes available to the day a new employee starts, although there are many tools to measure the time to fill a position but there is not a set average time to hire that applies to all industries.  There are too many variables depending on the market, the position, company’s location, the time it takes you to research the resource, advertise, head hunt etc. Unfortunately you can not put specific metrics into place to calculate that. You can maybe estimate it.

For example, IT positions will take longer to fill than clerk positions. High volume/low complexity jobs, such as call center operators, will be hired much quicker than Healthcare certified positions. At very high-level stats average time to hire may be between 21-30 days for non-exempt, 40-45 days for exempt, 60 days for Manager level, 90 days for Director level and 120-180 days for VP level.

Time to hire appear to be one of the more poorly understood metrics in the field of staffing.  The first thing to acknowledge when looking at time to hire is that it is primarily a measure of staffing speed; it is not necessarily associated with candidate quality. There is little value in making bad hires quickly, and the emphasis time to hire places on time over quality significantly limits its value for measuring staffing performance. Simply put, time to hire is grossly inadequate for evaluating overall staffing effectiveness. However, it does provide useful information for evaluating staffing efficiency. Like most staffing metrics, time to hire also suffers from poor definition.

For example, some organizations measure time to hire starting with the initial approval of a requisition, while others don’t start measuring it until a requisition has been assigned to a recruiter or posted to a career site. One of the most critical difference in time-to-hire definitions is whether to stop measuring when an offer is secured from an approved candidate or to include the time that elapses between when a candidate accepts an offer and when they actually start the job (these metrics are more appropriately referred to as “time to fill” and “time to start,” respectively).

Some variables that affect time to start may not affect time to fill, and vice verse. For example, company policies restricting internal employees from transferring to new positions until replacements are found for their current roles may radically lengthen time to start, but could have little effect on time to fill.

Ignoring these variables could result in a company falsely assuming that staffing performance is high because time-to-hire numbers are low, when in actuality their staffing practices may be systematically hindering company performance. Making the effort to clearly define and understand metrics such as time-to-fill and time-to-start will not only improve understanding of staffing performance, but can also lead to somewhat counterintuitive but highly profitable changes in staffing strategies.