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Beyond Time to Fill

Time to fill in the staffing industry is a great performance indicator. The numbers vary from staffing vendor to staffing vendor and should be tracked precisely for each of their specific clients. The biggest issue however is how we define “TTF”. While many track the metric from when they receive a client’s requisition to when an offer is made, the most important measurement is when the candidate actually goes to work at the client site. Additionally, we should only be counting business days (no weekends or Holidays) as the hiring process takes a hiatus when people are not working.

If we go through the trouble of counting days for each fill, we should separate them out to understand the components of filling those job orders. More specifically knowing that it took us 38 days to fulfill a job (from receipt of a requisition to the day that the candidate went to work) is one thing, but if we can identify:

  • How many days it took for us to find, vet, and submit the candidate;
  • How many days before the client got back to us to set up the first interview;
  • How many more days it took to get the interview conducted;
  • How long after the interview before the client made the offer;
  • How long it took to get the offer accepted by our candidate; and finally
  • How long before the candidate was fully on-boarded and working
we can then begin to dissect the process to determine where improvements could be made. Maybe the client takes too long to tell us they want to interview the candidate. Or maybe we can identify that the reason behind us taking too long to find the “hirable” candidate lies in the fact that we are not able to speak directly to the hiring manager to fine-tune exactly what is needed. All of this becomes very visible when we break down each step in the process in terms of days elapsed.

On top of knowing how “fast” we are able to fill jobs, we have to factor in the hiring failure rate. This is determined by looking at how many candidates were hired but then left the organization or were terminated before the end of the contracted period. As an example, say that a client made 10 hires in a specific time period and the average time to fill for those 10 hires came out to be 35 days. Unfortunately, 3 of those hires terminated prematurely and were backfilled, which changes performance numbers. If it took us 35 days to hire the candidate and the manager let them go after 3 weeks (15 days) and subsequently replaced each in another 35 days, the actual time to fill for each of the three placements is now 85 days. This blended data (3 replacements at 85 days, plus 7 placements at 35 days) equates to 500 days to fill all 10 positions, or an average of 50 days to fill instead of 35 days.

When speaking with prospects or clients about “TTF” make sure:

  1. You understand how they calculate the number (opening of req to offer or to start)
  2. That they are counting business days (no weekends or Holidays); and
  3. That they calculate the cost of their re-hires.
Every day that a job remains unfilled costs clients in unrealized revenue. And if we can help reduce that time while increasing the quality (i.e. fewer replacements), the total cost of hiring is reduced for the client. Data like this helps us to differentiate ourselves from the competition and gives us the opportunity to identify solutions that help improve the hiring process and the quality of hires.

Rick Carlson
Sales & Recruiting Management Program Director
TechServe Alliance