Top 10 Recruiting Metrics to Track

December 4, 2012

Recruiting has evolved immensely and there are a ton of articles out there about how the metrics behind recruiting have changed, too.

HRM recently authored an article outlining these changes, but I have to say I disagree. Yes, new recruiting metrics have come into the field, but that does not mean we should stray away from the old ones.

Instead, we should keep the foundation that’s already been built and add new recruiting metrics to it for better results.

Recruiting metrics allow us to take a more analytical approach to hiring. Tracking day-to-day details are what eventually make up the big picture. Measuring what we do creates focus and accountability.  It helps us to target efficiency, headcount, cost and the more tactical pieces that make up the effectiveness of a recruiting function.


Simply put, metric tracking should be used to measure and improve recruiting effectiveness and efficiency.  Keep in mind with some quality-based metrics this can be difficult to track due to timelines and subjectivity.  However, while quality is a huge driver in hiring, those in the trenches of recruiting need to rely on the number driven metrics for their own productivity and efficiency. So, while you should take in account the facts, do not for one minute discount quality.


Ultimately, identifying the right recruiting metrics for your business should boil down to two steps:


  • Step 1: Choose right metrics that make sense to your organizational goal and business strategy.
  • Step 2:  Ensure alignment and that the team understands the meaning and purpose of each specific metric and how to measure for standardization.

With that said, here are my picks for the top 10 recruiting metrics you should consider tracking:

  • Open requisitions by recruiter
  • Closed searches and reason for the close
  • For every open requisition track:

    • # candidates sourced
    • # candidates interviewed
    • # offers extended
    • # accepted
  • Time-to-hire
  • Source of hire
  • Retention Rate
  • Quality/productivity per-hire
  • Cost-per-hire
  • Manager satisfaction
  • Applicant satisfaction

Here’s why I think those recruiting metrics are so important:

Open requisitions by recruiter: Know what the team is working on. This will keep everyone on the same page and allow management to see the capacity for taking on new searches.


Closed searches and the reason for the close: Not all searches close because of an acceptance. In some cases, there is restructuring, reprioritizing, and other factors that lead to closing a search. It is necessary to have answers to why each search closed, and to track the frequency. These details will allow you to see if there is a breakdown in the selection process when taking on a search.


Recruiting metrics by requisitions: This will allow you see the intricacies of recruiting behind a search, and will help to track efficiencies, impediments and productivity. It will give you the opportunity to look objectively at each search and change tactics for improvement. It will also help you to track important ratios such as the number of candidates sourced to interviewed, interviewed to offered, offered to accepted.


For example, if it takes you 10 first interviews to move one candidate along in the process, look at what’s wrong. It’s possible you are not screening thoroughly enough, or you may be looking for specific traits that are not “requirements.”  Have three offers extended and no acceptances? Time to look at your offers and ensure they are competitive in the market.


Time-to-hire: You should track this in three ways:

  • The date the search opened to the date of an accepted offer.
  • The number of hours spend on each requisition. Why? This will help you compare the length of the search with other factors such as the workload of the recruiter, and will allow you to find an ideal workload balance.  For instance, spending five hours versus twelve hours per week on a search with heavily impact these numbers.
  • The breakdown of time-to-hire. This will help you also measure time from source to first interview and then interview to offer.  This will show you a breakdown of the hiring process, specifically the timeline of your internal interviewing schedule.

Source of hire: Track the number of successful hires from targeted sources to measure the effectiveness of those sources (referrals, LinkedIn,internal and external job boards, sourcing tools and college fairs are the main sources of candidates). Tracking the candidate source over time will help you to modify the list of sourcing resources you are using based on the effectiveness and cost.


Retention rate: Making the wrong hire is costly and so is needing to replace a strong employee who leaves. Watch the retention rate for new hires and use it to improve both recruiting and retention policies within your company.


Quality/productivity of hire: This can be difficult to accurately measure because it may be based on subjective feedback as well as time within a role. Still, it is important to keep track of candidate success once they are on-boarded.


Cost-per-hire: This is probably the most talked about metric. It measures the amount of financial investment your company makes to attract and recruit new hires.  It can be argued that the productivity of the hire offsets the recruiting cost, but I won’t go there in this post.


To measure accurately, narrow the focus of the metric to track the cost-per-hire only as reflected in the hiring process. The number will fluctuate based on the volume of searches because of fixed recruiting costs (mainly subscriptions for sourcing and job postings).


Manager satisfaction:  Get feedback on each search from hiring managers. This will help you to see what worked, what didn’t and what you can improve internally for the next search.


Applicant satisfaction: In other words, how is your candidate experience? Create a standardized survey that measures the candidate’s experience based on their impression of the selection process. Feedback will help to improve future candidate experience, which is key in recruiting for all applicants whether selected or not.

Overall, implementing standardized recruiting metrics will help you to improve the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of your talent team.

What recruiting metrics are you using?

Director of Talent

<strong>Carlie Smith</strong> was the Senior Talent Manager, Sales & Marketing at OpenView. She worked directly with hiring managers and key stakeholders within OpenView and its portfolio to lead vital searches and provided process guidance on recruitment strategy, including talent identification, strategic sourcing, relationship building, and competitive intelligence. Currently, Carlie is the Director of <a href="">Circle</a>.