8 Important Recruiting Metrics

Tactics post image
Tactics post image


The modern recruiting landscape is increasingly competitive.

Thanks to technological advances and the widespread use of social networking, job applicants have a wide variety of channels and platforms at their disposal. This means recruiters must spread their efforts across multiple channels to execute a successful candidate sourcing strategy.

The responsibilities of a successful recruiter have changed. It’s no longer good enough to post job listings and hope for the best. Today, all aspects of business are data-driven—including recruitment. Modern recruiters must measure and analyze every part of their strategy. To do that, they must have access to key recruiting metrics.

This blog post breaks down eight of the most important recruiting metrics and how you can use them to build a more effective recruitment strategy.

Top Performance Metrics for Recruiters

1. Source-of-hire

Source-of-hire answers the all-important question: “Where do my best hires come from?” Specifically, source-of-hire tells you the percentage of successful hires that entered your pipeline from each channel you use.

Source-of-hire metrics are usually broken out into two categories: Internal source-of-hire (candidates from within your organization) and external source-of-hire (candidates from outside sources, like job boards, social media, or other advertising methods).

Source-of-hire data allows you to measure the effectiveness of the platforms you use, and as a result, adjust your strategy and budget accordingly.

For an in-depth guide into source-of-hire as a recruiting metric, check out the following article: Source of Hire: The Key to Successful Recruiting.

2. Time-to-fill

This metric captures how long it takes to hire a candidate. It’s the amount of time between posting a job listing and hiring a candidate. Time-to-fill is an important recruiting metric from a business planning standpoint. It helps recruiters to plan and support their staff better.

For example, if an employee is leaving a company, a manager will need an idea of how long it will take to hire their replacement. A short time-to-fill is ideal because it minimizes the time that your team will be understaffed or overworked.

3. Time-to-hire

Time-to-hire is the amount of time between the moment a candidate submits an application and the moment they accept a position. Tracking time-to-hire is key to measuring your own performance. For reference, the average time-to-hire in the U.S. is 24 days (source), though it varies depending on your industry.

If your time-to-hire is significantly higher than average, that’s indicative of a slow hiring process. If you find that to be the case, examine every step of your hiring process to identify possible reasons. Do you take too long to reach out to candidates? Do you put candidates through too many rounds of interviews? Address any inefficiencies or unnecessary steps so you can create a smoother hiring process.

This will help you fill positions faster and reduce the risk of losing candidates to other jobs.

4. Applicants per position

You can gain valuable insights from simply looking at how many applicants an open position attracts. For example, if one job receives an unusually high number of unqualified applications, your job description may be too broad. But, if you receive an unusually high number of qualified applicants, you might have stumbled upon a particularly effective channel. Take a look at your promotion strategy to see if you did something different that can be duplicated for your next job opening.

5. Rate of qualified candidates

Quality is everything when it comes to recruiting. Think about it, a large quantity of candidates means nothing if they aren’t qualified for the role. To measure candidate quality, keep track of the number of applicants who make it to the next round for every recruiting channel.

For example, a paid Facebook advertisement brings in 50 applicants, but only three make it to the next round. Meanwhile, your posting on Indeed nets only 15 applicants, but 8 of them make it to the next round. Indeed may have brought you fewer candidates, but ultimately it was the more successful channel.

6. Cost of hire

Do you know the cost of a bad hire? Consider this statistic: 27% of employers report that just one bad hire costs their company over $50,000 (source). To properly budget for recruiting initiatives and avoid making costly hiring mistakes, you must calculate the cost of hire. To accurately calculate the cost of hire, you must factor in every single expense that contributes to the hiring process. That includes both internal and external costs, such as:

  • Advertising
  • Candidate expenses
  • Onboarding time
  • Background checks
  • Time spent by a recruiter
  • Lost productivity
  • Any other internal or external costs

Once you calculate cost of hire, look for ways to reduce costs without damaging the hiring process, such as cutting back on ineffective ads or reducing time spent in interviews.

7. Offer acceptance rate

This number refers to the percentage of candidates that accept a job offer. A low percentage means that you have a problem somewhere along your hiring process. Low offer acceptance rates may be related to compensation, the interview process, a poor employer brand, or something else entirely.

The best way to boost your acceptance rate is to survey candidates about the hiring process—whether they accept an offer or not. Learn from this feedback on the candidate experience and tailor your recruiting strategy to prevent offer rejections.

For example, if a number of candidates turn down offers because of compensation, you might want to discuss compensation a earlier in the hiring process, to avoid last-minute offer refusals.

8. Candidate experience

Did you know 83% of talent say that one negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked (source). For this reason, it’s critical to measure and improve your candidate experience.

One of the most popular ways to measure candidate experience is with a Net Promoter Score. It’s a simple formula: ask candidates how likely they are to recommend this experience to someone else, on a scale of 1–10. You then subtract the percentage of 1–6 scores (detractors) from the percentage of 9–10 scores (promoters). This will give you a score between -100 and +100.

For example: 10% of candidates answer between 1 and 6, while 32% of candidates answer 9 or 10. You subtract 10 from 32 to get a Net Promoter Score of 22 (32 – 10 = 22). In general, a Net Promoter Score above 0 indicates an overall positive candidate experience.

Final Thoughts About Recruiting Metrics

There you have it—eight key recruiting metrics. Of course, this list is far from comprehensive. There are dozens of data points recruiters can track to improve their performance. But for those looking for a good starting point, the recruiting metrics in this article will give you a good baseline for your recruiting efforts.

Remember, once you calculate these recruiting metrics, your job isn’t over. Try to extract actionable insights and always ask yourself, how can this information improve my hiring and recruiting processes? Keep that mindset, and you’ll facilitate a more enjoyable, productive hiring process for both your organization and your candidates.

Contact ZoomInfo today to learn more about our recruiting platform and how it can help you with your efforts.