Register now for our upcoming webinar Getting Ahead of 2024 Compliance on 12/5!

Understanding Time to Hire and Time to Fill in Health Care


When it comes to providing high-quality care, fast hiring is crucial – but that’s easier said than done. One pain point can occur when candidates get stuck in the recruitment pipeline, making your time to hire to fill that position even longer, which can be frustrating. We understand that reducing your time to hire isn’t always easy, but you can tailor your recruitment strategy to shave days off your process and jumpstart your hiring process.  

Let’s start with the basics first: 

What Is Time to Hire?  

Time to hire covers the moment you contact a candidate until the moment they accept your offer. It’s an important metric to consider when understanding if your hiring process is efficient.  

There are a lot of reasons why your time to hire might be longer than you’d prefer. Multiple interviews, numerous screening phases, or a long period of deliberation will all add up to a longer time to hire. Sometimes unexpected issues can also contribute to this, like falling out of touch with a candidate or needing to go through multiple rounds of negotiation.  

What Is Time to Fill?  

Time to fill refers to the whole time it takes to actually fill the role. That’s the whole time you had an open position, even before you started talking to new candidates. Time to fill is an equally important hiring metric, as open positions can affect quality of care – especially over time.  

But if you’re trying to fill an opening quickly, you’ll probably need to find ways to shorten this period. You need to understand both time to hire and time to fill so you can fill your positions quickly without sacrificing the quality of the search.  

Why Does Time to Hire and Time to Fill Matter? 

Now that we know about time to hire and time to fill, we can see that they are obviously linked. If you can shorten your hiring process (i.e., your time to hire), you’ll also shorten the length of time you have an opening (i.e., your time to fill).  

Why does this matter? These two metrics give different insights into your hiring process. Time to hire can tell you if you’re getting stuck on interviews, screening, or getting candidates to accept an offer. A long time to fill suggests that you might have problems finding candidates in the first place.  

What’s the Average Time to Fill in Health Care? 

The average time to fill a position in health care is a whopping 49 days. By comparison, the average across industries in the United States is only 36 days. 

So why is the health care time to fill so high? Let’s break it down. Time to fill is almost double time to hire in health care. This suggests that candidate sourcing is a big part of the problem. That’s no surprise – health care is working through a well-documented talent shortage 

Also, many health care organizations struggle with antiquated technology that may not stand up to the industry’s demands. Health care recruiters need to automate steps where they can, and not every system supports this. With too few candidates and inefficient systems, the hiring process can get far too long.  

How to Improve Your Time to Hire and Time to Fill in Health Care 

Get Creative with Candidate Sourcing 

Part of improving your time to fill is, quite simply, recruiting more widely. One of the things that makes health care recruiting unique is the relatively high ratio of openings to applicants – in other words, there are more jobs than candidates. This tends to make health care recruiting highly competitive, but it also points to an opportunity to recruit from other industries and to focus on attracting candidates who are underrepresented in the industry.  

Health care recruiters should also consider focusing on social media recruiting, incentivizing referrals from current employees, and running awareness campaigns for college (or even high school) students. 

If you’re using recruiting software to automatically distribute job posts to relevant sites, you may have the flexibility to spend time on these less conventional recruiting tactics. 

Implement 1-Click and Mobile-First Apply 

To recruit in health care successfully, you need to be able to do two things: find qualified candidates and hire them quickly. If you’re not able to onboard a new hire rapidly, it’s inevitable you’ll see some candidates take jobs with other organizations. 

One way you can speed up your hiring process is by making the whole application process mobile friendly. Setting up quick-apply or 1-click apply will also bring in more candidates, including job seekers who are applying for new jobs in between shifts. That way, you’re not just getting more applicants – you’re getting more applicants who are actually qualified. 

Be Upfront About Company Culture  

Whether you’re focused exclusively on traditional job postings or you have a whole collection of recruiting strategies, try to be transparent about your culture. Social media can be a great place to do this. But even without a social media presence, you can demonstrate your culture through career pages, your website, and individual job posts. 

You can save both yourself and your candidates a lot of time by trying to answer their questions early in the recruitment process. Some of those questions (What is it like to work here? Will I fit in? Have support? Be safe?) can be implicitly answered by making your values clear. In other words, giving your candidates an early understanding of your culture can also help them make a decision quicker. 

Standardize Candidate Communication 

Stay top of mind with candidates by maintaining a consistent flow of communication. A more standard recruiting process is a good idea in general. Making sure everyone involved with hiring approaches it the same way will help you track recruitment metrics, which can then show you what’s working and what needs to change. A great place to start standardizing your process is your candidate communications.  

If you have software that supports automatic messages, you can schedule follow ups to send before and after an interview. Otherwise, it’s still helpful to have a series of emails or texts drafted in advance. This will let you control your voice, even if many people are sending messages. 

Viventium Recruiting and Applicant Tracking Powered by Apploi 

With Viventium Payroll and Viventium Recruiting powered by Apploi, find top candidates, make an offer, and bring them on board before the competition gets a chance. Interested in learning more? Reach out to schedule your free demo. 


Subscribe To Our Monthly Roundup

Flexible Software Anyone Can Use


By filling out this form, you submit your information to Viventium, who will use it to communicate with you regarding updates and other services.