Recruitment Strategy

Time to Fill vs Time to Hire: a Guide to Successful Recruitment

Learn the differences when it comes to time to fill vs time to hire and discover how you can leverage this data with the right tool.

When it comes to time to fill vs time to hire, both are the key metrics that help recruiters and HR professionals ensure successful recruitment. Why is that? Because these metrics can help you measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring process, identify potential bottlenecks and challenges, and optimize your recruitment strategies accordingly.

But what exactly are time to fill and time to hire? How do they differ from each other? And how can you leverage time to fill and time to hire data with the right tool? In this article, we’ll explore the definition of each, learn the differences, and discover how you can use a tool like an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to improve your recruitment performance.

What Is Time to Fill?

Time to fill is the amount of time you need to fill a position. It starts from the moment you publish a job opening until the moment a candidate accepts your job offer. It reflects how long your entire hiring process takes, from sourcing to screening to interviewing to offering.

Time to fill is usually measured in days, and it can vary depending on the industry, role, location, and market conditions. Note that some industries may have longer or shorter times to fill than others.

This is a useful metric to help you plan your hiring better and identify potential bottlenecks or inefficiencies in your hiring process. For example, if your time to fill is too long, you may risk losing qualified candidates to competitors, damaging your employer brand, or missing business opportunities. On the other hand, if your time to fill is too short, you may compromise on the quality of your hires or overlook important steps in your hiring process.

To calculate time to fill, you need to define the start and end points of your hiring process. For example, you can choose the start point as the day you publish a job ad, and the end point as the day a candidate signs an offer letter. Then, you can subtract the start date from the end date to get the number of days it took to fill the position.

For example:

  • Day Candidate Accepted Job Offer - Day Job Ad Published = Time to Fill
  • If you want to calculate your average time to fill for a given period (e.g., a year), you can add up all the time to fill measurements for each position you filled in that period and then divide by the number of roles.
  • (Time to Fill for Role A + Time to Fill for Role B + Time to Fill for Role C) / 3 = Average Time to Fill
time to fill vs time to hire

What Is Time to Hire?

Time to hire is the amount of time that passes between when a candidate applies for a job and when they accept an offer. It starts from the moment a candidate enters your talent pipeline until the moment they become your new hire. It reflects how fast and effective your selection process is, from screening to interviewing to offering.

Time to hire is also usually measured in days, and it can also vary depending on various factors. The average global time to hire is three to six weeks. However, some industries may have longer or shorter times to hire than others. [2]

For example, LinkedIn found that businesses in Engineering and other technical positions had the longest average time to hire (as long as 49 days), while businesses in Sales and Customer Service had much faster times to hire (averaging around 33 days). [3]

Time to hire is a valuable metric to help you assess the efficiency of your selection process and improve your candidate experience. If your time to hire is too long, you may lose candidates’ interest or engagement, or create a negative impression of your company. On the other hand, if your time to hire is too short, you may rush your hiring decisions or miss out on important information about your candidates.

Time to Fill vs Time to Hire: What Are the Differences?

The main difference when it comes to time to fill vs time to hire is the point you start counting. You may start counting time to fill before a job is published. But your time to hire timeline starts when your best candidate applies or gets sourced. So, time to fill tells you how fast your hiring process moves.

Here are some other differences between time to fill and time to hire that recruiters need to know and focus on:

Time to Fill Time to Hire
Influenced by external factors, such as market conditions, talent availability, employer branding, and job advertising. Influenced by internal factors, such as hiring team collaboration, candidate communication, screening methods, and decision making.
Helps you plan your hiring better and avoid talent shortages Helps you assess your hiring quality and avoid losing top candidates
Can vary significantly depending on the industry and role. For example, the average global time to fill in Engineering is 62 days Can vary depending on the candidate pool and competition. For example, the average global time to hire in Sales is 33 days
Can be reduced by using more efficient recruiting strategies, such as building a candidate database, creating talent pools, using referrals, and streamlining your hiring workflow Can be improved by using more effective screening tools, such as skills assessments, video interviews, and automated scoring

Optimize Your Recruitment with Data from Time to Fill & Time to Hire

You can leverage time to fill and time to hire data from a tool like Applicant Tracking System (ATS). It is a software that helps you manage your entire hiring process from sourcing to hiring. ATS automates tedious tasks, organizes candidate information, and tracks key metrics.

Beyond that, an ATS can also optimize your recruitment process with many abilities. You can create and publish attractive job ads on multiple platforms, find and reach out to passive candidates on social media and professional networks, filter candidates based on their qualifications, skills, and fit for the role, schedule interviews with candidates and hiring team members easily, as well as generate and send personalized offer letters with electronic signatures. All can be done within a few clicks.

There are many ATS systems available on the market today, but one of the most reliable ATS that specifically tuned to make your day easier is Manatal. It is an innovative cloud-based recruitment solution that offers powerful features that enable you to source, screen, and hire top talent faster and smarter.

Some of Manatal’s features include:

  • Multi Channel Sourcing: Manatal offers a seamless candidate sourcing experience by providing access to a wide range of job boards, both free and paid. Platforms like Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and others are at your disposal. Additionally, Manatal simplifies the process of sourcing candidates from social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more. This feature is crucial in reducing the time it takes to hire, as it increases the visibility of your job openings and accelerates the arrival of candidates.
  • Branded Career Page: Moreover, you can create and customize your own branded career page and integrate it to your existing website with no coding required.
  • AI-powered Recommendations: Many companies have extensive databases of past candidates, but efficiently locating the ideal candidates can be a laborious task without the appropriate tool. Manatal simplifies this process with its AI recommendation feature, which swiftly identifies the best candidates for a specific role based solely on a job description. This significantly reduces the time required to fill the position by streamlining the sourcing phase.
  • Candidate Scoring: You can also rank candidates based on their skills, experience, and fit for the role using AI algorithms. This can substantially fasten screening time and allow recruiters to focus their time and energy on the most promising candidates.
  • Social Media Enrichment: Manatal enables you to enhance candidate profiles by incorporating data from various platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others. This further streamlines the screening process and improves the chances of finding a candidate who aligns well with your company culture.

Recruitment involves multiple stakeholders, including recruiters, HR personnel, and hiring managers. However, using traditional tools can lead to bottlenecks, with emails getting lost and unclear deadlines or responsibilities. Manatal solves this problem by centralizing all interactions related to the hiring process within the platform. This streamlined approach accelerates the recruitment process, resulting in a positive impact on the time to hire.

One of Manatal’s highlights is its Reports & Analytics feature that provides time to fill and time to hire data. With this feature, you can:

  • Track your average time to fill and time to hire across different roles, teams, and locations.
  • Compare your time to fill and time to hire with industry benchmarks and best practices.
  • Identify bottlenecks and areas of improvement in your hiring process.
  • Optimize your recruitment strategies based on data-driven insights.
Time to fill vs time to hire

Imagine if you can smoothly ride through a hiring process from end to end while being certain that you’ll have full visibility of important metrics. Start a 14-day Free Trial with Manatal now and see for yourself how our ATS can elevate your recruitment game within a few tabs.


1. Top 100 Hiring Statistics for 2022 | LinkedIn

2. How Long Does It Take to Get Hired? | LinkedIn

3. Can you wait 49 days? Why getting hired takes so long in engineering | LinkedIn

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