Time to Hire

What do other HR terms mean? HR Glossary

Time to Hire is a crucial metric in the recruitment process that measures the time taken from when a candidate enters the recruiting pipeline until they accept a job offer. This metric is vital for understanding the efficiency of the hiring process and identifying potential bottlenecks.

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1. Candidate Experience: A prolonged hiring process can lead to candidate dissatisfaction, potentially causing top talent to lose interest or accept offers from competitors.
2. Cost Efficiency: Longer hiring times can increase recruitment costs, including additional advertising, agency fees, and the opportunity cost of unfilled positions.
3. Operational Impact: Vacant positions can hinder productivity and strain existing staff, impacting overall organizational performance.

Components of Time to Hire:

1. Application to Screening: Time taken to review applications and shortlist candidates.
2. Screening to Interview: Time spent scheduling and conducting interviews.
3. Interview to Offer: Duration between final interviews and extending a job offer.
4. Offer to Acceptance: Time for the candidate to accept the offer.


Calculate Time to Hire by tracking the number of days from when a candidate applies or is sourced until they accept the job offer. This can be done using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or manually tracking the dates in a spreadsheet.

Improving Time to Hire:

1. Streamline Processes: Automate parts of the recruitment process using technology to reduce manual tasks and speed up decision-making.
2. Efficient Communication: Ensure clear and prompt communication between recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates.
3. Proactive Sourcing: Maintain a talent pool to quickly identify potential candidates when a position opens.
4. Clear Job Descriptions: Provide precise job requirements to attract suitable candidates and reduce the time spent screening unsuitable applicants.


- Internal Delays: Scheduling conflicts and delayed decision-making within the organization can extend Time to Hire.
- Market Conditions: High competition for talent in certain industries or roles can lengthen the hiring process.
- Candidate Availability: The availability and responsiveness of candidates can impact the duration of the hiring cycle.


Time to Hire is a vital metric that reflects the efficiency of the recruitment process. By monitoring and optimizing this metric, organizations can enhance their talent acquisition strategies, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity.