GrabJobs Blog

Why Time-to-Hire is the Most Important HR Metric

Within every industry, there are some metrics that have been proven to be THE factors in determining success. Within HR and recruiting, metrics such as time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and drop-out rates, are all examples that recruiters and HR teams have faithfully monitored and improved on. However, there is one metric that has a compounding effect on the others:


Time-to-hire is the number of days it takes between the moment that the candidate submits his job application, and the moment that the candidate is hired. It involves the specific pipeline of that successful candidate.

For non-executive positions in the Service Industry, for example, we have observed that it takes about 23 days for Time-to-Hire. In contrast, a quality candidate is only available for about 5 days before being hired.

This is highly inefficient; in high-volume recruitment, the focus is on hiring for a large number of positions quickly. It shouldn’t take 23 days to identify the best candidate and make an offer!

Time-To-Hire vs Time-to-Fill

Many recruiters and HR departments tend to conflate time-to-hire and time-to-fill, but they’re not the same thing: the former focuses on the HR team’s ability to hire the best candidate available, while the latter deals with how fast you posted the job advertisement and got a person to fill the seat.

Time-to-hire is an indication of the efficacy of your hiring process; time-to-fill is an indication of the efficiency of your hiring process.

Time-To-Hire and its relation to Cost Per Hire and Quality per Hire

Time-to-hire is also an important HR metric due to its ability to affect other metrics; the ability to hire the best candidate quickly will affect the cost-per-hire and the quality-per-hire, as well as the candidate drop-out rate.

Let us explain with an example:

  1. One method to improve time-to-hire is to utilise Recruitment Process Automation (RPA) tools. By speeding up the sourcing, screening, and interviewing scheduling process, you can focus your time on interviewing shortlisted candidates. That will lead to more thorough interviews, which can mean the difference between hiring the right candidate and hiring the first candidate. In high-volume recruitment, this time saved will undoubtedly help you to hire better.
  2. By improving your time-to-hire (for example, from 23 days to 16 days), you reduce the cost-per-hire, as well as the time-to-fill. You reduce candidate drop-outs due to them accepting another role within that time frame.
  3. You also increase the quality of hire, because you hire the best candidate in less time. Candidates are also less frustrated over the time taken to hire them, leading to higher satisfaction among job candidates.

Doesn’t this sound like a good situation? And it all starts with trying to improve your time-to-hire. That will snowball into bigger benefits for your team and company, and also save you time in terms of manual sourcing and screening.

Try out our GrabJobs Job Portal and improve your time-to-hire now!