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Time-to-Hire: What Is It and How to Track It

Guest Author, October 21, 2023
understanding time-to-hire: what is it and how to track it

Before you work on your strategies to boost productivity in the workplace or search for ways to motivate your team, you should find the right people for the job since any company’s success depends on those who work in it. How can you approach the recruiting process for optimal results?

The answer is – by tracking the right metrics. Nowadays, many metrics can help optimize your recruiting process. Unfortunately, many of them are undervalued or unrecognized. One of these metrics is ‘time-to-hire’.

By tracking this metric, you can better affirm recruiting choices and streamline onboarding processes. It’s a worthy piece of data to pursue and puts you ahead of the competition.

Before we discuss why and how you can track time-to-hire, let’s see what this metric encompasses.

What Is Time-To-Hire?

understanding time-to-hire: what is it and how to track it

Time-to-hire is the amount of time it takes your HR team to source, interview, and recruit a new employee. Thanks to technology and quality tools, recruiters nowadays can track just about everything. From time tracking to task management, the most time-consuming tasks can be done with ease.

To set up an efficient workflow, you need to ensure that you have selected the right people for the job. For this to happen, you need quality offers as well as a great recruitment process. That is where the time-to-hire metric can be handy. 

Let’s say that you’re in the process of choosing the talent. It would indicate that you have a hiring framework, also known as a recruitment policy, outlining the process. It helps you comply with laws and legislation, as well as promote transparency and consistency for your company.

Based on this policy, you’ll be picking your candidates and executing their onboarding process.

The period from the moment candidate apply for your offered job position to the moment they accept it is the time-to-hire.

As you can imagine, this process shouldn’t be too long. It means that you have little time to track it and use the data to your advantage. According to the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), the average time-to-hire is 36 days.

Why Tracking Time-To-Hire Is Crucial

Helps you learn if your HR team is fast enough

If your recruitment team is too slow, they are probably losing some high-quality candidates. Great employees won’t wait around for you to check their resumes or brainstorm for weeks. Chances are, they have applied elsewhere too.

If that other company has a faster recruitment process, they will throw in a tasty offer, and you’ll lose the opportunity to hire that person. This metric tells you how long it takes you to find a good candidate for a position.

Shows how long it takes you to onboard the candidates

Naturally, you have to decide what is the perfect hiring time for your company, as well as the job position in question. It is not the same for every organization, not even for every position.

For example, if you’re hiring someone for a lower position that doesn’t require tons of experience or training, the process should be relatively short. However, if you’re hiring someone who can truly impact the quality of your organization’s work, it will take longer to find a good candidate.

Still, even if you need to hire highly qualified professionals for the job, you need to be super fast at evaluating their skills.

If your team is coming up with assessments while the hiring process is in progress, this can take forever.

Although, if they have a specific test to check the qualifications of the candidates, this can go much faster – and therefore avoid losing the great candidates because the process is too long.

There are many stages of the recruitment process. These include resume screening, interviews, assessments, etc. Break this down ahead of time to find out how long it takes you to move candidates from one stage to the next one.

Tracking Time-To-Hire

understanding time-to-hire: what is it and how to track it

Are you aware that around 57% of job seekers lose interest because the hiring process is too long? It makes it highly important to track the time-to-hire. 

By doing this, you are measuring how efficient your recruiting plan and process are, and it shows you how much it takes for your business to get a replacement for a lost employee.

Here comes the most important part – how do you do the time tracking for that? Let’s look at the general formula for this:

The day your candidate accepts the offer to work for you – the day they applied for the job = your time-to-hire

Since the formula is quite simple, you can easily do it manually, but it can take forever, and human error is never out of the picture. Luckily, there are loads of tools that can help you with this endeavor.

Here are the areas that a time tracker can take care of within the recruitment process:

Data analytics

A time tracker will automatically measure and track your time-to-hire whenever you are recruiting new employees. Based on this data, you can improve your strategies to speed up the process and find the best candidates. You’ll detect the stages of the selection process that take too long, and find ways to resolve that issue.


The longer this process lasts, the more applicants you’ll lose. The most qualified applicants will easily find work elsewhere, so it will take a financial toll on your business to find the right people. There’s also the matter of replacing employees you’ve lost, training the new team members and prepping them for the job, etc. Such a tool can help you manage the budget of your project in every sense.

Team management

Last but not least, various time tracking tools, for example, time clock apps will help you monitor the team members – from the moment they are recruited. If some of your candidates are in a trial period before they get recruited formally, this tool can help you evaluate their work and skills.

How Time Tracking Can Improve the Hiring Process

Look at it this way. The success of your company depends on how the people employed in it work. It depends on how well you track employees’ salaried hours, whether you provide them with good working conditions, what your reward programs are like, how you manage employee benefits, who you have appointed as a leader, etc. That being said, the hiring process is vital to the success of your business.

Measuring the metric called time-to-hire can pinpoint the weak spots in the recruitment process and guide you towards improvement.

Final thoughts

Time-to-hire is an incredibly useful method for organizations in different industries and of various sizes. While some roles are easy to fill, other ones can prove to be a challenge. You can lose people because your process is not well-thought-out or your hiring team is too slow.

To prevent this from happening and maximize your odds of getting the best talent out there, you need to track this particular metric. Instead of guessing how long things will take and wondering if you made the right decision, you can get reports and necessary data that will boost your company’s recruiting – as well as its overall success. 

And if you’re wondering how to fire someone instead of hiring, we also got you covered 😉

All-in-one time management system for your team

Estimate tasks, set budgets, customize reports – direct in your project management tool.

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Guest Author

This excellent article was written by an equally excellent author.