How Long Does It Take To Fill a Vacant Position When an Employee Leaves?

One goal of the talent acquisition process is to fill vacant positions in a timely manner. The longer it takes to fill a position, the more it costs: spending on the hiring process, and loss of revenue that would otherwise be brought in from the position waiting to be filled.

So, how long does it take to hire someone?


A recent study from Bersin by Deloitte found that the time it takes to fill a position has increased over the last four years. In 2011, companies filled vacant positions in 48 days, but now Bersin has found that it takes an average of 52 days to fill an opening.

While the actual window of the talent acquisition process varies ” Bersin noted in their study that this number is shorter for entry level employees, and longer for upper level positions ” the fact of the matter that the average fill time for a position is now almost a full work week longer.

The extension on fill times, according to Bersin, is largely due to a turn in the job market. More positions are now opening up, and candidates are now given more options and are able to be more selective about the position and company they want to work for.

The idea of taking the first job they come across because they may not find another one is long gone, due to improvements in the job market and the decline of the recession. Furthermore, advancements in recruiting and job hunting have made finding jobs and applying for jobs easier than ever. A candidate can, at any time during their hiring process with one company, discover a new opportunity, apply, and get the application process started with that other company with much greater ease.

So what does this mean? For starters, focus on two things ” applicant needs and application experience.

Developing a Talent Acquisition Strategy

Since the goal of any applicant is to find the best position and company possible, you need to address your candidates’ needs first and foremost when creating your talent acquisition strategy. Make sure that you’re promoting aspects of the company and the position that the candidate is looking for, and make them excited about the position. Avoid overselling because that can lead to early stage attrition and increase your turnover rates, which means you’re back to the hiring process all over again. Instead, listen to what the candidate is looking for and make them feel like you’re delivering on what they’re looking for.

The second goal is to make the applicant experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Just as the candidate has more control over their decision on where to work, so while you may never be able to fully influence a candidate’s decision, making their experience enjoyable can work in your favor. Consider your interview process and your hiring assessments, and make sure that they’re as informative and helpful for you as they are easy to use and supportive of the candidate.

By evaluating a candidate’s needs and making sure their experience is a good one, not only will you be able to worry less about candidates looking to other positions during their hiring process with you, there’s also the likelihood the position will be filled more quickly.

For more information on how you can improve your talent acquisition process, request a discussion with us today, or download our whitepaper on quality of hire below.