Why The Time To Fill Recruiting Metric Hurts Your Hiring

the time to fill recruiting metric

Recruiting is a time-consuming process, period.

Why do we celebrate the time to fill recruiting metric? Does prioritizing speed in recruitment produce the best hiring results?

Most organizations believe that the most important measure of their recruiting teams success is in their time to fill ratios. We don’t. We believe that slow is the new fast in recruiting. Take your time. Don’t settle.

time to fill recruitment metric

How you spend your time in the recruiting process is what Y Scouts is challenging leaders to rethink.

When a job opening becomes available, the natural question to ask ourselves is, “How quickly can we fill the job?” The problem with the question is that the best answer is “fast.” Fast equals better. At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe.

But what happens if you fill a job really quickly?

Often times, you will spend more time cleaning up the effects of a rushed hiring decision. When the time to fill recruiting metric is a priority, it is easier for misalignment on values, cultures or mission to occur between an employee and an organization. That’s when you’ll find yourself doing damage control, fighting fires and working on helping people work together that maybe should not be working together in the first place.

The “time to fill” metric has grown dangerous. Does it correlate to faster equals better? If you can fill a job faster, has that yielded better people delivering better performance in the jobs? There’s no correlation between how fast you fill a job and how well that person does the job; they’re mutually exclusive.

Slow doesn’t equal better, either.

It’s about having a crystal clear image of who you are as an organization and knowing what you stand for. It’s about knowing who are the types of people that fit really well with your culture — who believe what you believe and have the skills you need to deliver what success in a job looks like.

Taking far too much time to fill positions can also present challenges. In April 2016, the national average time to fill hit an all-time high of 29.3 working days, according to the DHI Hiring Indicators. That’s a staggering figure, and many recruiters see lowering that as their one objective.

But if you take your time to really define your culture, behaviors and skills, you will end up having a precise picture of the right person that can integrate into the company and perform the job. It’s crucial to do that part right to prevent hiring the wrong person for the job. Don’t focus too much on the time element.

It may sound counterintuitive, but slow may actually be much faster in hiring.

Not slow just to drag it out. But slow to take a methodical approach to defining every step along the way of what really matters. By defining who, why, how, and what success looks like, you’ll end up having a clearer picture of who you need to hire. Then, once you start interviewing people, you can bounce them off of that image of clear-cut standards of success that you have.

Stop using “time to fill” as a metric. You are bound to spend a lot of time in the recruiting process. Spend it wisely and make sure to get it right the first time, so that you are making the best possible hiring decision.

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.