White staircase for time to fill blog

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With hourly turnover high and the labor market tight, time to fill is a top challenge for many restaurant, retail and hospitality employers. In fact, 37% say its their #1 hiring challenge right now, according to Snagajob’s 2017 survey results. Just how long is the average time to fill for an hourly job?


Snagajob survey data shows 60% of hourly job seekers find a job within 1 week, but only 16% of employers fill their open jobs in that same timeframe.


That gap is significant and should worry anyone who’s hiring hourly employees. And while there’s a lot that can slow down time to fill metrics after someone applies to a job, the biggest time sucks for your time to fill all lead back to not getting enough applicants for each job opening. 


Time to Fill: Why applicant volume is really to blame

Whether you’re not getting enough high-quality applicants or you’re not getting enough applicants period, low applicant volume means your jobs stay open longer.

Most employers don’t recruit a reasonable number of applicants to get the right-fit candidate they want.

Hiring is a numbers game. You have to fill the top of your funnel with enough applicants so that — by the time you work backwards from your typical interview > pre-hire screening > completed application > impressions conversion rates — you still have candidates left at the end.


4 common causes for slow time to fill

Here are four common causes of low applicant flow which all lead to longer average time to fill metrics. 

1. Your job postings aren’t optimized for search

When hourly job seekers start searching for open positions, they start on search engines … most likely Google. This means your job postings need to be optimized for how job seekers actually search for jobs. One way you can do this is to use common keywords in your job descriptions and titles that will help you show up in more searches.


Yes, “Retail Jedi” sounds fun, but no one is searching for that. Popular search terms like “cashier” or “salesperson” will give you a better chance of ranking in Google job search results.


2. You aren’t focused on mobile

According to our latest research, 82% of job seekers now search for jobs from their mobile phones. This means your job postings, career page and application form all need to be mobile friendly to ensure candidates can quickly and easily apply to them. Most hourly job applicants will abandon a job application when they find out it’s not mobile friendly — leaving you with little candidates and longer time to fill. Try these 3 quick tips to make your jobs more mobile friendly


3. You aren’t putting the right information in your job postings

While hiring is ultimately a numbers game, casting TOO wide of a net can hurt your time to fill, too. Managers waste a lot of time weeding through bad applicants and are more likely to miss great ones in the process. If you’re getting too many applicants and not enough qualified ones, take a second look at your job descriptions.


Make sure you’re accurately describing the position and including all job skills, requirements and duties. 2,000+ hourly workers told us “Qualifications to apply” was their #1 factor when viewing a job description. Give them all the information they need to make a solid decision. Not only can this help you show up in more job search results, but it can also save you AND applicants time by letting job seekers self-qualify (out) before applying.


4. You aren’t putting enough information in your job postings

If you’re seeing decent applicant volume but low quality, check to make sure your jobs are highlighting the information we know is most important to hourly workers. Specifically call out 1) Pay; 2) Location address; and 3) Anticipated hours/week in every job description — these are the top three factors employees consider when looking for hourly jobs.


Also be sure to highlight your job perks and benefits … even ones you may not even think to promote — like a flexible dress code or family discounts. Or, perhaps you have all the right information in your job postings, but it’s not in the right order. Ensure the most important job info is at the top of your postings.


How time to fill can impact your bottom line

When your time to fill an open job starts to take too long, your team — and your bottom line —  can feel it. While understaffed, you’re working harder, your team is under more stress, and it can be difficult to deliver the top-notch service that drives customer satisfaction and same-store sales. 

There are certainly a number of other places the recruitment process can fall down. For more tips and insights, check out our 2017 Ultimate Guide to Hourly Employee Recruitment.