Are You Hiring Fast Enough? Here’s How to Reduce Your Time to Hire

Businesses are feeling the pressure of an ongoing struggle for top talent. In a tight labor market, there’s a lot you can do to win over the best candidates, like offering good benefits and competitive compensation and building your employer brand. 

But those things will only get you so far, if you’re not also focusing on reducing your time to hire. 

Moving slowly in a hiring process means that you won’t get the opportunity to engage your best candidates and get them excited about working for you . They’ll move on to other opportunities with companies that contacted them first, got them into interviews sooner, and made them an offer. 

Are you hiring fast enough to secure the best talent for your team?

In this article, we’re looking at how quickly businesses are hiring so that you can see how you compare. We’ll also share some of our best tips for reducing your time to hire. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Time to hire is an overall metric for how long it takes to complete a hiring process from the initial job post to an accepted offer. 
  • In 2022, employers in our study took an average of 16 days to hire, but we believe that shaving this number down to 5 is crucial for beating the competition for top talent. 
  • You can improve your time to hire by automating candidate communication, utilizing text recruiting, and letting candidates self-schedule interviews. 

How fast should you be hiring? 

We define “time to hire” as the amount of time it takes you to fully complete a hiring process – from initial job posting to accepted offer. 

When thinking about hiring faster, you might be wondering how quickly other companies are hiring. In our Recruiting Metrics Report, we’ve found that employers are shaving down their time to hire a little each year. 

In 2020, the average time to hire was 24.7 days, and in 2021, that number dropped to 18.4 days. This means that employers were hiring 6.3 days (nearly a week!) faster than they were the previous year. And in 2022? Employers took just 16.3 days.

average time it takes businesses to hire

Employers have made great progress speeding up their time to hire over the years. But is it enough in today’s labor market? Or should you be trying to hire even faster to lock down the best candidates? 

The 24-48-5 Rule 

We’d like to challenge you to speed up your process even more. 

We recommend following the 24-48-5 Rule: Contact applicants within 24 hours. Schedule an interview within 48 hours, and hire within 5 days. You can put your business at a significant advantage if you contact them fast, before the competition scoops them up.

how fast should you be hiring

CareerPlug President, Jenny Leman advises that “taking more than 5 days to hire causes a dramatic drop off in an employer’s ability to close the hire with the right applicant.” 

Taking longer than 5 days limits your options for great employees. It could also be costing you money in lost revenue. It’s estimated that a job vacancy costs companies an average of $95 per day

CareerPlug president quote on hiring quickly

How to reduce your time to hire

Hiring in 5 days? Depending on your current hiring process, that might sound like a bit of a stretch. But unprecedented competition for talent means you might have to do things differently than you’ve done before. Here are some ways you can try to hit those goals of contacting and hiring candidates. 

Speed up candidate communication 

Contacting candidates within 24 hours is a great goal for employers, and candidates appreciate it, too! In a recent survey of job seekers, we found that applicants consider prompt and frequent communication to be a major factor in a great candidate experience. 

So how do you reach out to candidates within 24 hours without being glued to your phone or computer all day? 

An applicant tracking system can help. With an ATS, you can set certain parameters around your application, and get notified when someone that checks all your boxes applies. Once you’re notified, you can reach out to that candidate right away. 

You can even automate some of your candidate communication for more instant results. With CareerPlug, you can automatically send interview invitations to candidates that meet your criteria, and automate sending polite rejection emails to those that don’t, saving you even more time.  

Use text recruiting 

Another way to streamline candidate communication is with text recruiting. Even if you are reaching out to candidates within 24 hours, if you’re using email, they may not see it. 

Sending candidates a text is a faster way to get a response and engage them early.  The proof is in the data: 

  • Email has only a 20% open rate – compared to text messages, which have a 98% open rate. 
  • The average email gets a response about 6% of the time. The average text message has a 45% response rate. 
  • 68% of recent job seekers told us that they’ve been contacted by an employer via text message during the hiring process. 84% of those job seekers said their experience with text recruiting was positive. 

The video below shows text recruiting in action, and is a great example of how it can improve your time to hire: 

Automate interview scheduling 

If you’ve ever experienced the countless back and forth emails with candidates trying to figure out a time that works for both of you to meet, or played endless games of phone tag, then scheduling an interview within 48 hours may sound like an impossible task. 

That’s why automated interview scheduling is a game changer for businesses, and the best way to hit the goal of getting interviews scheduled instantly after someone applies. 

Automated interview scheduling eliminates the back and forth with candidates, by simply sending them a link so that they can self-schedule an interview. You sync your calendar, candidates see your open time slots, and choose a time to interview that works for them. The interview automatically shows up on your calendar. 

CareerPlug clients that use Autopilot, our automated interview scheduler, have cut their interview scheduling time by up to 91%. Less time scheduling interviews means a quicker time to hire, and better chance of making those right hires for your team. 

Automated Interview Scheduling: The Complete Guide to Hassle Free Interviews 

How much of an impact can automated interview scheduling have on the way you hire? And how does it all work? We’re covering everything you need to know in our ultimate guide. Click the button below to claim your copy! 



Being a great place to work will help you attract job seekers to your open roles, but in order to turn them into hires, you have to move quickly. 

For the past three years, CareerPlug clients have hired a little faster than the year before, shaving their time to hire down to around 16 days in 2022. This is great, but to really beat the competition, we recommend aiming to turn an applicant into a hire within 5 days. 

You can do this more easily by improving your communication with automations and text recruiting and letting candidates self-schedule their interviews.

Improve Your Time to Hire with CareerPlug

Streamlined communication tools and hiring automations can help you hire faster than you ever have before, but don’t just take our word for it! Click the button below to take a tour of our hiring software.


Recent Posts

Steve Fowler

Manager of Partner Growth

Christina Waite

Platform Engineering Manager

Taylor Coleman

Tier 2 Manager

Al Foote

Consultant Manager

Sydney Kidd

Tier 1 Manager

Nicolle Gatlin

Manager of Partner Success

Aiden Kinney

Consultant Manager

Joe Lepis

Engineering Manager

Polly Schandorf

Engineering Manager


Hiring is hard, but partnering with us makes it easier. From posting jobs to scheduling interviews, CareerPlug allows you to automate certain parts of the process to improve your results and save you time.



Once you think you have found the right person, use our reference and background check resources to verify them. Then, send an electronic offer letter from CareerPlug to close the deal!



Use our prescreen questions and assessments to identify the best applicants. Then use our interview questions and scorecards to evaluate for the right things consistently.



Use our notifications and automations to be the first to respond to qualified applicants. Send texts and emails from directly from CareerPlug to convert applicants to scheduled interviews.



Use our templates to create an attractive careers page and job posting. Then promote it through our job board partners, as well as directly with your employees, customers, and social network.


Brandy Lee

Business Intelligence Manager

Eric Morales

Manager of Account Executives

Kirsten Penaloza

Director of Client Experience

Zach Garcia

Senior Manager of Operations

Tulay Solak

HR Manager

Tyler Berndsen

Manager of Partnership Account Executives

Ashley Johnson

Senior Manager of Partner Services

Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.

Kate Sensmeier

VP Marketing

Ashley Garia

Director of Product Marketing

Canaan Davis

Director of Engineering

Teresa Hall

Director of UX & Product Design

Brad Pilot

Senior Director of Sales

Leslie Chamberlain

Senior Director of Client Experience

Natalie Morgan

Senior Director of People

Andrew Robinson III

Vice President of Product and Engineering

Chris Igou

VP of Business Development

Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.

The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.

In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

Jenny Leman


Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”

In her non-work life, Jenny enjoys time with her family, playing drums and performing with the Austin Samba School, and finding excuses to be on the lake.

Clint Smith

Founder & CEO

Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.