The average time from advertising a job vacancy to the new hire starting in the role can vary significantly based on several factors, including the industry, the level of the position, your own company’s recruitment process, and local market conditions. However, a general timeline might include the following stages:

1. Job posting and search (1-2 weeks): The job vacancy is typically advertised on various platforms, such as company websites, job boards, and social media. If you want to throw some headhunting into the process as well, this can often take businesses an additional 1-2 weeks minimum, so getting started is crucial if you have a business critical vacancy to fill.

2. Application review (1-2 weeks): After the job posting/search period, there is usually a period for collecting and reviewing applications. This process should take 1-2 weeks if you want to stand the highest chance of securing the very best talent for the role, but often businesses lose momentum and go-slow, meaning they have to either settle for a lesser fit, or go back out to the market for more applicants. Also, depending on the number of applications and the complexity of the selection criteria, this can also lengthen the process.

3. Interviews (2-3 weeks): Once applications are reviewed, candidates are shortlisted for interviews. The interview process, including initial interviews, second-round interviews, and possibly assessments or testing, can take 2-3 weeks or more. We would (like all stages of the process), recommend that employers move through this stage at pace, so as to ensure good applicants don’t secure alternative roles due to a slow process.

4. Reference and background checks (1-2 weeks): After the interviews, reference checks and background checks may be conducted. Sometimes this comes once the job offer has been made, but if your business requires these checks pre-offer, you need to factor in an additional 1-2 weeks into the overall timeline.

5. Job offer and acceptance (1-2 weeks): Once a suitable candidate is identified, you’ll extend a job offer (yay!). The candidate may take some time to consider the offer, negotiate terms, and officially accept it. This stage can take 1-2 weeks.

6. Notice period (4-12 weeks): The selected candidate will usually have to serve a notice period at their current company before joining the new organisation. Notice periods vary dependent on the seniority of the role, with 4 weeks being the norm for less senior roles, and 12 weeks for managers and leaders.

7. Onboarding and training (1-2 weeks): After the candidate accepts the offer and completes their notice period, you’ll be busy onboarding them into your business and getting them trained in ‘your way’ before the new hire fully starts in the role. This can take 1-2 weeks or more, depending on the complexity of the position, but we usually say it takes a minimum of 12 weeks for a new hire to be effective in a new role.

Considering all these stages, the overall timeline from advertising a job vacancy to the new hire actually starting in the role can range from approximately 2 months (if you’re very focused and there’s not much notice to work), to 5 months or more, depending on your recruitment team’s ability to ensure a streamlined recruitment process.

At The HR Consultants we specialise in taking the hassle out of hiring for our clients and finding the very best people for your business. We’ve got plenty of hiring tips on our blog, and if you’d like some expert help to find you the best candidate for your vacant role, get in touch on 01789 614336 or