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7 Recruiting Metrics You Should Really Care About

If you measured every metric that every article on the web suggested you should measure to confirm whether you are employing effectively or not, you would end up spending most of your time measuring recruiting activities instead of actually recruiting!

While measuring your recruitment activities is certainly important, from my two decades in the recruitment industry I can confidently tell you that there are really 7 metrics you really need to care about.

Keeping tabs on these metrics will ensure you are informed as to how your business is doing on the talent management front. I have also included some tips for how to simply and quickly implement these metrics within in your organisation, whether large or small.

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1. Time to Hire

From the time you advertise your vacancy, how much time passes before the successful candidate starts? Not just before they accept your offer, but until they are actually on board?

Companies with strong talent management processes have faster hiring times than those without.

Of course, the exception is any market that is short of suitably talented candidates; if you have strict hiring standards, it may take longer to find the appropriate person.

Compare the time to hire across different roles and aim to lower the average as time goes on.

2. Sourcing Channel

It’s important to track where your candidates came from.

If you’re smart about your recruiting, you will have multiple channels from which to source your potential candidates – an advertisement on a job board; another one on LinkedIn;  some direct contact with passive candidates;  and a pool of potential employees connected to your careers pages either on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Every job vacancy needs to know:

  • How many applicants came from each source;
  • How many qualified applications were garnered from each source;
  • Where the short listed applicants were sourced; and ultimately
  • Where the successful candidate first heard about the position.

These metrics need to be kept in a database that can be cross-referenced over periods of time. Keeping tabs of this metric will save you money in the long run as it will highlight the effectiveness of your various channels.

If one channel is proving to be ineffective, you have justification to shut it down. Similarly, if one channel seems to be producing a higher than expected ratio of qualified candidates, you can focus more resources in that direction.

3. Cost of Hire

It’s a no brainer that the cost of every hire should be measured but have you considered all costs involved in a hire? Recruiter fees, whether internal or external, are straightforward. But what about the time it took the manager to interview?

You should consider these factors when calculating the cost of hiring new employees:

  • Advertisements placed (if they are billed directly to you);
  • Setting up and maintaining social media accounts like Facebook and LinkedIn;
  • Time your hiring managers spend interviewing potential employees;
  • Recruiter fees; and
  • Any accounting and administrative costs involved in setting up a new employee (eg contracts, pay accounts, health benefits etc)

4. Retention

Now that you’re seeing the true extent of the costs involved in hiring a new employee, it’s important to look at your retention rates.

Thousands of dollars per year can be drained from your budget with low staff retention rates. The costs don’t just come from direct expenses associated with hiring a new person but also in the loss of productivity around the resignation, rehiring and retraining processes.

Remember the cost of losing an employee can be as high as 3-4 times their salary. Retention rates are best looked at from a cross-sectioned perspective. What is the turnover rate for a specific role?

Compare that to the turnover rate across specific departments. Try checking the turnover rate by pay grade. i.e how many resignations vs terminations has each department / role / pay grade had? A proper analysis of this metric should be performed every 3-6 months and graded across a period of time to show trends.

5. Open Vacancies vs Positions Filled

Larger organisations will need to keep track of the number of vacancies the organisation has vs the number of vacancies that have been filled recently.

This metric could be measured either per month or per quarter and the result should go alongside the ‘time to fill’ ratio.

A company managing their talent acquisition will have a low amount of open vacancies when compared to positions filled.

6. Offer : Acceptance Ratio

It’s great to be in a position to make an offer to a rock star candidate. Unfortunately, if they then turn it down for something else, you are back to square one.

This process costs you time and money, as well as morale, which is why this is such an important measure. How many formal offers did you have to extend before you ultimately filled the role?

This measure can go alongside your ‘cost of hire’ metrics.

7. Gender Mix

Many studies have shown the benefit of a mixed gender team, from greater innovation to greater profits.

Think about placing a metric within your dashboard that measures the percentage balance of men and women on your team in three levels; front line, middle management and senior positions.

From time to time it’s good to step back and assess the gender mix within teams and within the organisation as a whole.

How to Implement These Metrics

If you are working within a large organisation, the clear way forward for easy collation of this information is a customized software application that gathers data from as many sources as possible and automatically populates a dashboard with figures and timelines. Consider providing mid level information for your hiring managers as well.

The information should relate specifically to one particular team or department and compare them to averages from the rest of the company so they are aware of their own talent management capabilities.

If customized software is not a possibility in your budget right now, a simple excel spreadsheet will do. Set up a regular interval to measure the metrics – eg every three months at a minimum – and request the information from your hiring managers at the appropriate time.

If you are a small operation, keeping tabs on these metrics as you go is the easiest way – updating the spreadsheet each time a hire is made and comparing each one to the previous ones. When done right, metrics will save you time and money rather than sucking away precious resources into analysis.

The Internal Recruiters' Playbook: This guide will provide you with all the tools you need to recruit the best people, in the shortest time, within budget. And all while keeping everyone onside! Get it Now!

Paul Slezak

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years. Follow me @paul_slezak.

  • Mac

    Sorry to tell you Paul but these are typical and a really a waste of time. Let me share why…
    Cost per hire? Against what are you benchmarking? Sorry, but there are none and ever company has different needs. Are you measuring against yourself? Even if you did that volume varies and demand requires you to spend more per hire from time to time. Are you not going to spend more when the need requires it? Also, what constitutes your cost? The full budget, just advertising, do you include systems?
    Open vacancies vs. filled? Again, this assumes that hiring volume is static and evenly distributes. If a huge influx of jobs roll your way, this means nothing.
    Any type of cycle time misses the mark and encourages recruiters to fill a role with anyone that is acceptable rather than finding the best person. Any company would be wise to lengthen their cycle times if they can hire someone who is top-notch and has greater longevity.
    Retention? First no one can track that given the data integrity issue and systems that don’t talk. Please, retention issues are generally not hiring related. This is a mythical metric that no one has a handle on.
    The only two listed that have any relevance is the source and acceptance ratios. And even they don’t really tell too much about the health of the function. It can perhaps tell you if your comp is in alignment with the market and if you employment brand is any good. Or give you a sense of how to better spend your advertising money, but not much more.
    I am really not trying to be rude, but these are the types of metrics are those that keep recruiting departments in turmoil and underperforming. As such, it is clear that the author has never really run an enterprise recruiting function.

    Try throughput metrics or use the CLC to get recruiter performance benchmarking. Measure your recruiting capacity so that you can really understand who your performers are and make quantifiable arguments that demonstrate that you really are busy. Essentially you want to measure your productivity and service level. That’s what really matter.
    Good luck everyone

  • Amishyasiri Michelle

    Cost per hire are intense measures set by the organisation which is an ideal cost per hire. Therefore recruiters are best measured against the set cost per hire and ultimately you don’t want to bust the budget set for you.

  • dfd

    Let me see if its work like this link addition. I am just testing. No bad feelings.

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