How to Use Your ATS to Reduce Average Time to Hire

by:
on September 18, 2019

When was the last time you checked what your average time to hire rate is? A month ago? Six months ago?

I’m betting it’s been a while. Yet did you know that top candidates only stay on the job market for 10 days before getting hired?

In a tight labor market, it’s common for companies to focus their efforts on getting quality candidates through the door in the first place. But hiring and recruiting managers need to be keeping a keen eye on their average time to hire rate. If your time to hire is too long, your candidates are guaranteed to shift their focus to other companies.

In this article, we’ll show you how to measure the average time to hire metric, why the average time to hire metric is important, and how an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you speed up your hiring processes.

What is time to hire?

Time to hire is a metric used to measure the time elapsed between the time your hire applied for the job and the time they accepted the job offer.

It’s calculated like this:


Day candidate accepted offer –
Day candidate entered the pipeline
= Time to hire

For example: Let’s say Day 1 is the day you opened the position. Day 8 is the day the candidate applied for the job. Day 28 is the day they accepted your offer. This specific position’s time to hire would be 28-8 = 20.

As a metric, time to hire is important because it shows you how quickly you were able to notice and move your candidate throughout the hiring process. It also allows you to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, such as interview scheduling delays, or gaps in feedback from members of the hiring team.

What is average time to hire?

Average time to hire, as the name might suggest, is the average time you took to hire a group of open positions.

For example, in one month you opened and filled three positions. The first position took 10 days to hire, the second 12 days, and the third 11 days. You can calculate your average time to hire like so:


(10 + 12 + 11) ÷ 3 =
11 days is your average time to hire for that month

You can also use this calculation over longer time periods to check the health of your hiring timelines. According to LinkedIn data, 70% of companies take between one and four months to process a new hire

Why is average time to hire important to measure?

The main reason it’s important to measure—and, crucially, reduce—your average time to hire is because the lower your time to hire, the better your candidate experience and the more chance you have of capturing top talent.

And as we’ve reported before, candidates are keen on shorter hiring times. You’re not the only company the candidate has applied to, and the longer you keep them waiting, the quicker your competitors will snap them up.

So, what’s the trick for reducing your average time to hire? Eighty-six percent of recruiting professionals say that their ATS has helped them hire candidates faster. Let’s take a look how.

An ATS builds a talent pipeline in advance

One of the best ways to help reduce average time to hire is by using your ATS to build a talent pipeline in advance. This means proactively cultivating a talent pool full of potential candidates before you even draw up job requisitions and post them, saving you time on sourcing.

When you come across a great candidate, but perhaps no suitable role for them right now, adding them to your ATS ensures that you don’t lose solid candidate information for any future roles.

Re-engaging previous candidates stored in your ATS is also a great way of reducing time spent on candidate sourcing efforts.

Jobvite talent pipeline

Jobvite helps recruiters build out a talent pipeline (Source)

An ATS automates resume parsing and screening

Resume parsing and screening through an ATS reduces average time to hire by automatically sorting through applicants that are suitable for the open position. This means that only qualified candidates will make it through the process, and recruiters don’t need to sift through hundreds of unsuitable resumes.

As it screens for keywords and key information, ATSs then create rich candidate profiles ready to view. Automatic parsing extracts candidate information from resumes including contact details, skills, educational qualification, work experience and stores it directly in the ATS system.


CEIPAL TalentHire allows you to screen and parse bulk resumes (Source)

An ATS automates interview scheduling

Time is a valuable commodity in the recruiting game, and it shouldn’t be spent on administrative tasks such as arranging and scheduling interviews. Back and forth emails and phone calls can and often do lead to delayed processes. In a competitive hiring market, if you can’t schedule a simple interview, your candidate is already interviewing with a competitor.

ATS systems optimize the interview schedule for both parties, by allowing candidates to self-schedule interviews themselves via a built-in online schedule tool. This effectively removes recruiters from the process, by providing the candidate with the flexibility to schedule their own interviews.

Avature interview scheduling

Avature uses time-blocking to manage interview scheduling (Source)

Reduce your average time to hire and capture top talent

Average time to hire is a crucial metric to monitor in order to improve your candidate experience and securing the best candidates for your open positions. At the very least, it’s a starting point in helping you see exactly where the inefficiencies in your hiring process are.

We’ve given you just three of the ways that an ATS system can help you reduce your average time to hire. If you want to know more about how ATS software can reduce your average time to hire, give us a call now on (844) 675-2849. Our expert software advisors offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to give you a full assessment and product recommendations for your unique business needs.

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