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3 Expert Tips to Measuring Recruiting Productivity

measuring recruiting productivity

Introducing a new monthly series on the Lever blog, where we feature expert advice from select partners to help you source and hire the best for your company. This month, we’re kicking things off with the topic of measuring recruiting productivity.

Using your talent metrics to drive strategy can be tough, especially when you’re sitting on a treasure trove of data. While you’re probably already using part of it to guide decisions, the question is: Are you looking at the right metrics? And how can you ensure your team continues to get more efficient as you scale your recruiting?

We asked four talent experts to share their advice. Here’s what they had to say!

This month’s expert contributors:

  • Melissa Thompson, Vice President, Talent Acquisition at McGraw-Hill
  • Mike Bailen, VP of People, Lever
  • Meredith Herberg-Waldron, Global Talent Operations Manager, Eventbrite
  • Mark McFarland, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Relativity

Tip #1: Learn to Forecast Talent Like a Sales Leader

Over the past several years, it’s become clearer that the core of talent acquisition has its roots in sales and marketing.  

From a sales perspective, recruiters have volume metrics. From a marketing perspective, recruiters have funnel or pipeline conversion metrics. The most successful recruiters not only understand how these are measured, they drive results to ensure continuous improvement.  

Melissa Thompson, Vice President, Talent Acquisition at McGraw-Hill, offers three tangible measurements to ensure you’re thinking like a sales leader:

  1. The Recruiter Scorecard
    Recruiters on my team all have scorecards that measure things related to volume, time, quality and effectiveness. This monthly metrics report clearly defines what good looks like and where recruiters have opportunities to improve. Recruiters are challenged to continuously progress and understand that the scorecard drives their annual performance rating.”
  2. Business Hiring Reviews
    This quarterly report shares key recruiting data trends with business leaders and HR business partners. The business review looks back at what has been filled YTD and evaluates data related to time and source. It also provides a snapshot of current activity understanding volume, time, and location.The conversation might dive into the reasons why roles are aging or what key projects will need targeted talent in the coming quarter.”
  3. Customer Experience
    “The most valuable metric to improve candidate experience is Net Promoter Score. I use this metric to measure the experience for managers and candidates. The TA Leadership team does a quarterly deep dive into the data which can include verbatim feedback in addition to the aggregate NPS score. We find that there is rich information in the verbatims and have pulled specific opportunities to improve the discovery session, quality of candidate slate and dispositioning unsuccessful candidates.”

“Early in my career,” says Thompson, “I worked at Dell where there were posters on the wall that said, ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’’  More than a decade later, the success of my team is based on measuring, managing, reviewing and improve recruiting metrics.” 

Tip #2: Leverage Data to Advise on Where the Company Can Scale 

Oftentimes, recruiting and talent acquisition leaders are seen as an adjunct function to fill roles when the company asks for it. Nowadays, talent teams have earned a first seat at the table to determine where and when to expand based on strong labor and talent data.

When Lever decided to expand to Toronto just this year, head of talent acquisition, Mike Bailen quickly ran the numbers to see which areas would not only be receptive to product, but also achieving and meeting the talent goals required to expand the company. And just like many companies today, Lever is open to remote work when the time calls for it to ensure we aren’t missing growth goals when talent comes up short.

Meredith Herberg-Waldron, Global Talent Operations Manager at Eventbrite, is no stranger to digging into metrics as their company grows. She’s seen the company grow from 400 employees to over 1,100 since starting at Eventbrite in 2014 with the launch of their Nashville office. 

“With the addition of LTI,” Herberg-Waldron says, “we’ve been able to work with the team at Lever to create custom dashboards that allow us to cut our data and drive metrics by function, team, recruiter, location, and then some! This has been instrumental insight into how we’re thinking about hiring on a global scale. Having the data, and the runway, to get as granular as we need to be is of great value to us in supporting our productivity in every geo. We are now able to dive in to different functions in all of our locations, and these dashboards support our company’s mindset of ‘thinking globally, but acting locally.’” 

Tip #3: Know Limitations Within the Data 

Mark McFarland, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Relativity, believes that every good recruiter needs to be a good sourcer as well — even though his team has dedicated sourcers. But he doesn’t use time-to-fill as a performance metric. His recruiters are focused on quality of hire and work with the business to ensure they are given the time to find quality candidates to be assessed. Why? Because time-to-hire can be a limiting metric if it’s the only thing you are looking at.

Instead, the team at Relativity use a key hires model to report to the C-level. Recruiters provide a roll up of activity and status of the search on a weekly basis, which is then viewed by leadership. Their Chief People Officer regularly discusses with executives the updates on key hires, and reminds them of the commitments they need to make to assist in finding talent for the business and help to set recruiters up for success.

Final Thoughts: Measuring Recruiting Productivity

It takes having the right systems and tools in place and data at your fingertips to ensure your team is set up for success. Implementing scorecards to ensure you can forecast like a sales leader and add predictability to your hiring will show leaders within your organization that you are proactive at mitigating risk and looking out for your team and the company. Also, ensuring your candidates (or customers) have a positive experience can help reduce  gaps. 

Talent leaders have finally earned their seat at the table to ensure they are driving company growth conversations. Knowing how and where to scale based on talent metrics gives leaders a strategic edge. But remember, only looking at some data and not others limits your view.

Ready to add more predictability to your hiring? Get started today with the Capacity Model Cheatsheet.