Recruiting is an essential component of every healthy, growing business—and the quality of a company’s recruitment efforts can directly support (or hamper) that health and growth.
As business recruiting becomes increasingly tech-driven, businesses have greater opportunities than ever before to use data to inform and improve their hiring practices.
To capitalize on this opportunity, businesses must first track and understand the data generated by their recruitment processes. And that’s a big undertaking.
Below, we’ll show you 15 essential recruiting metrics your business can use to boost recruitment efforts and eliminate hurdles to growth.
First, let’s explore what recruiting metrics look like, why they matter, and how you can determine which ones to focus on.
What Are Recruiting Metrics?
Recruiting metrics are a collection of measurements that give organizations insights into the results of their recruitment efforts.
With the right set of metrics and accurate data collection, organizations can pinpoint which elements of their recruitment funnel are working well and which may need adjusting.
Why Recruiting Metrics Are Important
Effective hiring is nearly impossible without a robust recruitment strategy and helpful data to inform this strategy.
That’s where recruiting metrics come in.
Recruiting metrics provide some of the clearest insights into an organization’s recruiting efforts and its ability to find and hire top talent.
Measuring recruitment quality or effectiveness is even more relevant in tight labor markets or specialized positions where firms aggressively compete for a limited number of quality candidates.
What Are the Key Questions to Ask About Recruiting Metrics?
Below, we’ll show you 15 of the most important recruiting metrics.
It’d be great to track all 15, but that’s usually not a realistic place to start. For example, your organization might not need all 15, or you might need to track others we haven’t listed.
To narrow down the list of metrics your organization should prioritize and track, start by asking the following questions:
- How efficient is your current recruitment funnel?
- How do candidates find your job openings?
- Is your business doing a good job of finding qualified people?
- What does it take to make a successful hire?
With answers to these questions, you’re ready to build a customized set of metrics and start tracking them. And if you can’t come up with a clear answer to one or more of these questions, that’s okay. That lack of clarity should also direct you to the metrics you’re currently missing and reveal some areas of opportunity.
15 Essential Recruiting Metrics to Track
These 15 recruiting metrics are some of the most common and powerful ways to measure the overall health of an organization’s hiring and recruiting efforts. Many of them are powerful on their own, but tracking the right combination of metrics is even greater.
1) Time to Fill
Time to fill is the amount of time (measured in days) it takes to fill an open position. It usually starts when your recruiting team posts the position and ends on the day the candidate accepts an offer.
You can calculate the average time to fill across an organization, department, or job type by tracking the time between a position opening and offer acceptance, then averaging those totals across a population of new hires.
This metric helps organizations know what timeline to expect for a typical vacancy, which is useful for all sorts of project management purposes.
It also serves as a measure of an organization’s agility. While many factors that affect time to fill are outside an organization’s control (such as labor shortages, background checks, and references’ schedules), several steps are controllable (such as the length of time a hiring manager spends reviewing and interviewing candidates).
2) Time to Hire
Time to hire measures the number of days between candidate contact (either a candidate’s application or being approached by a recruiter) and job offer acceptance.
While that sounds similar to time to fill, there’s a key difference: Time to hire excludes the pre-contact period—the time that the job is posted, but wherein the candidate has not yet applied or been contacted.
Note that this metric can vary according to an organization’s unique hiring process or role. For example, a single-interview entry-level position will likely have a much shorter time to hire than a senior executive role with multiple interview rounds and other elements in the recruiting funnel.
3) Source of Hire
Most organizations use multiple channels to find new hires. For example, they might use:
- Internal hiring pages on the business’s website.
- Recruiting firms or search agencies.
- Third-party sites like LinkedIn or Indeed.
- Internal referral programs via existing employees.
Tracking how many hires come from each source is valuable in determining where to invest future recruiting efforts. If a particular source generates virtually no successful hires, either the approach is wrong, or the source is not worth the investment.
You can easily track the source of hire in any recruiting software or applicant tracking system.
4) Applicants Per Role
Measuring how many job seekers apply for a given role or position can be a way to gauge interest. It also makes implications about a job post’s exposure, especially when indexed against the source of hire or source of application data.
Establishing baselines of this metric for your company or business unit can help you find outliers or positions that are especially attractive or unattractive to applicants.
Identifying these unattractive job posts can then help you evaluate and adjust job descriptions, titles, pay ranges, and more to attract a larger volume of applicants to the job listing.
5) Attrition Rate
Attrition rate measures how many people leave an employer within a set period of time, whether in days, months, or years. A popular related metric is first-year attrition (how many people have left the company within the first year of employment).
The attrition rate is measured as a percent, dividing the number of employees who left by the total number of employees in a given time, then multiplying by 100. Here’s what the formula looks like:
Number of employee departures / Total number of employees X 100 = Attrition Rate
Understanding your attrition rate matters because hiring comes at a cost (and a former employee's years of experience can't just be replaced overnight with a new hire).
Organizations also track attrition rates to assess questions like these:
- Are certain roles or departments experiencing markedly high attrition rates?
- Have attrition rates spiked compared to historical data?
Knowing this kind of information gives organizations the ability to investigate and adjust their recruiting and retention efforts.
6) Quality of Hire
Your time to hire, cost per hire, and other metrics are far less meaningful if those hires don’t even stick around.
Quality of hire measures how well and quickly a new hire adapts to their new role and becomes a fully productive team member. On another level, it’s a measure of how successful your recruiting process is at delivering qualified candidates.
It’s difficult to create objective criteria for quality of hire, especially in creative and professional contexts. Each business, department, and even job function will likely need to customize the criteria within this metric.
That said, some criteria are relevant in nearly every role, including:
- Retention rate.
- Time to productivity.
- Performance rating in the first year.
- Satisfaction level (hiring manager satisfaction).
7) Cost Per Hire
Hiring costs money, both directly and in the form of (paid) time your hiring managers and HR professionals must spend on hiring and recruiting decisions. According to SHRM data, the average cost is $4,700. Of course, this figure will vary depending on the industry and the level of the position being filled.
Measuring cost per hire can be a bit complex as you’ll be taking into account direct costs (hiring services, recruiting firms, background checks) and indirect costs (salary of those involved in the hiring process). But doing so can deliver value in defining a part of the cost for other useful metrics such as employee churn or attrition.
8) Offer Acceptance Rate
The offer acceptance rate is the number of accepted offers divided by the number of offers made (expressed as a percentage).
A high acceptance rate can help you confirm that your recruitment efforts are producing fit candidates and that your job offers are competitive.
Conversely, a low acceptance rate suggests trouble somewhere in the recruitment funnel.
For example, it may expose a problem with compensation. When adjusting compensation isn’t feasible, disclosing compensation information earlier in the funnel can weed out candidates who would ultimately reject the offer.
9) Candidate Experience
Candidate experience isn’t a measure of candidates’ average time in related roles; it’s a measure of the candidates’ perceptions of your recruitment funnel and hiring process.
Did the candidate feel frustrated or in the dark, or was the process streamlined and pleasant?
This metric is subjective, no question, but it has the potential to reveal elements in the recruitment process that may need improving.
Many larger organizations measure it with an after-the-fact applicant survey that leads to a net promoter score (NPS).
10) Candidate Job Satisfaction
Candidate job satisfaction measures how well the day-to-day job responsibilities actually line up with what the applicant expected.
It can be measured using qualitative survey questions about job satisfaction.
This metric matters because low job satisfaction generally leads to high churn or attrition. Given the cost per hire metric discussed earlier, businesses should seek to improve retention wherever they can influence it.
Usually, low candidate job satisfaction points to an incomplete, poorly written, or downright misleading job description. This includes the written job posting itself and any other communication about roles and responsibilities during the recruitment process.
Other factors can contribute, such as an ineffective interview process, manager incompetence, or poor onboarding procedures, so be sure to cover other potential sources of dissatisfaction in survey questions to gain a holistic view.
11) Sourcing Channel Effectiveness
This metric is a more sophisticated version of #3, source of hire.
Sourcing channel effectiveness evaluates where a new hire came from and how well each talent acquisition source or recruitment method is working.
Effectiveness can be measured in multiple ways depending on what matters to your organization. For example, you could measure within each sourcing channel:
- Number of visits/impressions against the number of applications (conversion rate).
- Number of visits/impressions per successful hire.
- Number of applications per successful hire within a specific channel.
Most recruitment sources have a web-based element, and for these, Google Analytics or any other web traffic analytics tool can provide most of this information.
Keep in mind that uniformity shouldn’t be the goal. Your clicks-per-application rate on a 3rd-party hiring site won’t necessarily match social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And your clicks from social media platforms might not match your job board, either.
But within a channel, you can track trends over time and compare their effectiveness along with their respective recruiting costs (see next metric) to further refine your approach.
12) Sourcing Channel Cost
Sourcing costs money, and this metric tracks how much you spend to achieve a certain outcome within each channel.
In other words, how much ad spending does it take to generate an applicant? What about a successful hire? And are those costs different on LinkedIn than they are somewhere else?
Your effectiveness might look very different across channels, but costs and spending work differently in each channel, too. By combining metrics 11 and 12, you can see how well a channel works and how expensive it is to maintain.
From there, you can make more informed choices on where to put your recruiting spend.
For example, working with a recruiting firm may be more expensive than running an occasional Facebook ad, but the results of the two approaches will likely be far from equal. You may choose to spend more per hire on a recruiting channel that consistently delivers exceptional candidates than on a channel with lower performance.
13) Application Completion Rate
Application completion rate measures the number of candidates who simply start the application process against the number who start the process and successfully submit an application.
Any business using an online application system can track the number of starts and the number of finishes.
While this metric doesn’t tend to carry the same weight as some others, you might want to track this metric because the completion rate suggests some things about your application process in general.
Once a person has gone through the trouble of preparing to apply, it usually takes something fairly significant to convince them to stop mid-application.
If a significant percentage of your applicants are dropping off, you may need to evaluate your online application process.
Start by asking these questions:
- Are applicants encountering technical errors that scare them off?
- Is the job description missing any vital information that would prevent someone from submitting an application?
- Is the process way more complex than it needs to be?
Walking through the system yourself with a mock application may reveal the causes of a low application completion rate.
14) Fill rate
Fill rate compares the number of hires in a given month to the number of open positions at the conclusion of the previous month. It’s usually expressed as a decimal figure and can also be given as a percent.
For example, if your organization had 100 job openings at the close of last month, and hires 80 people this month, your fill rate will be 0.8 (or 80%).
Combined with other metrics (such as high retention), a high fill rate tends to suggest healthy, successful recruitment efforts.
15) Hiring Velocity
Hiring velocity measures whether you’re keeping pace with your business’s needs. It compares the number of open positions during a set timeframe against the number of positions filled in that same time period.
Where fill rate gives you an idea of how you’re doing compared to the needs as of last month, hiring velocity shows you the directional trend in a given window: Are you filling as many roles as you post? Catching up on a backlog? Over-staffing? Or falling further behind?
Hiring velocity gives you the answer.
To find out more about this metric and how to calculate it, read our blog here.
Let Hunt Club Help You Meet Your Top Recruiting Metrics
Hiring the best candidates is vital to the continued success of any business. Ongoing efforts to improve your staffing and recruitment processes are vital as they help your organization find the best candidates and make hiring decisions quicker.
Recruiting metrics are the fuel powering that ongoing improvement, giving you data-driven strategies for increasing your hiring capabilities.
Of course, metrics aren’t the only component of a healthy recruiting strategy. Many organizations turn to a recruiting firm for added capabilities or for help sourcing specific and/or difficult-to-fill roles.
Hunt Club leverages a network of over 15,000 expert business leaders and 7 million candidates, supercharged with industry-leading recruitment technology.
If you’re ready to start hiring the best candidates, Hunt Club can help.
Join Hunt Club and start hiring the best talent today.