More often than not, work takes longer than we think…
In recruiting, “time to fill” is the number of days between when a job posting is approved, and the day the offer is accepted by the candidate.
I’ve seen average time to fill rates range anywhere from 41 days to 62 days. Sometimes waaay longer.
The problem with focusing too much on time to fill is that it feeds right into a common bias we all have with our work, The Planning Fallacy. You can Google that term but essentially “The Planning Fallacy” is a situation in which we underestimate the time needed to complete a project. This happens regardless of our past knowledge of the task, and we naturally tend to bite off more than we can chew.
It happens with massive construction projects (for instance, the Boston Big Dig project or Denver Airport construction project – they were delayed for years and ended up going billions of dollars over budget).
Don’t get me started on software implementations inside of companies – these planning fallacies run rampant when implementing software inside of a company… but that’s not the point.
The main point to emphasize with The Planning Fallacy and recruiting is that you should expect it.
I’ve seen it happen far too many times before and the best thing I can do to prevent it is to be honest and upfront with a client. I have learned this the hard way. Work will take longer and cost more if you ignore this detail. Get clear on the work and how long it will take.
Budgets get slashed, reorgs happen, hiring managers get fired, candidates go dark – this scenario happens frequently, but you should focus on what you can control. Control the scope of the work, meet with the hiring team and set expectations on what they want.
Sometimes, I’m too honest about how long it will take.
Why? Because It’s important to take the time upfront as it will speed things up later in the process. Your relationships will be more peaceful that way.
Use your time to fill the job, not time to fail at recruiting for the job. Plan, plan, and do, then do some more. Execute the plan – that is your plan, every day.
Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.
Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.
PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.
Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.