20 Metrics in 20 Days- Day 1: Time to Fill

Day 1 in our series of 20 consecutive posts on HR metrics: Time to Fill


Time to Fill is the time between the job creation date and the date the job offer is accepted.


The formula is about as simple as it sounds:

$latex {Time\ to\ Fill\ (in\ days) = Job\ Creation\ Date – Acceptance\ Date}&s=2$

Additional Considerations

The date of job creation can be little tricky. In many organizations, it is the date that the job was approved internally. In others, it is the date that the job was actually posted.

If you do not have a standard measure for this already, then be sure to check with your HR leadeship as to how this is defined or how this should be defined from here on out.

Defining the date of job creation as the date of approval might be preferred because it takes account of any lag between the approval date and the posting.

Put bluntly, if it takes you two weeks to get a job posted after it’s been approved then you are losing two weeks of beneficial labor because of an internal operations issue. If you don’t include the time between approval and the posting in your time to fill, you could be missing out on a key area of improvement.

Why You Should Care

Job openings are created because, in principle at least, the financial benefits of filling that role exceed the costs. For that reason, a company effectively loses money every day that a role is not filled. Minimizing time to fill means minimizing lost revenue.


By keeping track of time to fill, organizations can better understand where they need to place greater recruiting and internal development resources to minimize time to fill.

In addition, measures for time to fill might also help draw important retention resources. For example, if I know that it takes a long time to fill developer roles, it might make more sense to first focus on keeping the good developers I already have…whether that means bonuses, extra time off, flexibility, promotions, pay raises, or even just a little recognition now and then.

Suggested Analyses

  • Standard descriptives such as median and standard deviation
  • Plot the distributions of time to fill
  • Key comparisons:
    • By business area (sales, IT, HR, etc)
    • By seniority/ hierarchy of the open role
    • By region of the country (if you have multiple locations)

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