Recruiting metrics are an essential part of any data-driven recruitment and hiring strategy. The (supposed) issue is the number of metrics and data points they could measure seems endless.
Organizations constantly find themselves asking which metrics actually matter and what data they should focus on to make the most informed hiring decisions.
To ensure your hiring team leverages the right data, we’re breaking down the 12 most important recruiting metrics you should be tracking. But first, let’s look at what recruiting metrics are and the role they play in hiring top talent.
What are recruiting metrics?
Recruiting metrics (also sometimes referred to as hiring metrics or staffing metrics) are a set of measurements or data points teams use to track, manage, and optimize hiring candidates for an organization.
When used properly, these metrics help your hiring team evaluate your recruiting process, the success of your hiring strategies, and whether you’re hiring the right talent for your company.
You can also tie these metrics to your company’s recruiting matrix to help ensure your hiring process is diverse, inclusive, and equitable (i.e., fair for all candidates you engage).
Why should you track recruiting metrics?
As a talent acquisition team, you must consistently make the right decisions regarding who to advance and archive in your funnel.
Meanwhile, your hiring managers must ultimately make the right decisions regarding which candidates they should extend offers to.
At the end of the day, each new hire has to contribute to your org and drive ROI.
Tracking your the recruiting metrics you deem imperative to monitor can help you measure the success of those hiring decisions by looking at the employee lifetime value (i.e., quality and performance) of each employee you bring onboard.
Of course, not all businesses use the same types of recruiting metrics to set key performance indicators (KPIs) for their talent teams.
For example, one hiring team for one business unit may be more concerned with signing on C-suite candidates, while another is interested in employing only junior associates.
With this in mind, it’s important to know what your growth goals are as a company before you set your distinct talent acquisition benchmarks (i.e., the typical results by which you measure the success, or lack thereof, with your hiring).
Recruiting benchmarks can range from reducing recruitment costs and improving the candidate experience to bolstering one’s employee retention rate and increasing engagement with and applications for job postings.
When setting the benchmarks you want to measure against, look at the past performance of your hiring team. You should ask specific questions like:
- Did we meet our hiring goals compared to other quarters?
- Have we reduced the time and costs associated with hiring?
- Has our attrition rate of new hires increased or decreased?
- How effective are our candidate sourcing channels?
- Have we seen any changes in offer acceptance rates?
This list isn’t exhaustive, by any means. That being said, understanding your past performance with sourcing, nurturing, interviewing and hiring can help you improve.
12 critical recruiting metrics to track
Whether you’re just starting to measure your recruiting efforts or want to focus on tracking the more critical metrics that will help you optimize your hiring process, our list of a dozen key metrics is a great jumping-off point.
1) Time to fill
Time to fill refers to the amount of time it takes to source and hire a new candidate. Typically, recruiters measure time to fill based on the number of days between advertising an open role and hiring the right candidate.
Supply and demand often influence this metric — and several factors can lend to this, such as industry demand or how quickly a hiring team operates.
This metric matters because time to fill helps recruiters and hiring managers better understand how long it usually takes them to fill open roles.
2) Time to hire
Not to be confused with our first metric (time to fill), time to hire shows how quickly a candidate moves through the various stages of hiring.
Depending on the role type and your company’s respective recruiting process, time to hire can be relatively quick or quite long.
A pretty straightforward recruiting process can reduce time to hire, but roles that require multiple rounds of interviews, panel discussions, test projects, and other steps will drastically increase time to hire.
3) Source of hire
Knowing where your top candidates and applicants are coming from is invaluable, especially in your recruitment marketing. With this metric, you can track which sources and channels are driving the most ROI in attracting job seekers to your open roles.
For example, you can look at your careers page, the job boards or platforms you post open positions to, your social media accounts, and any paid advertising channels you use to determine where candidates come from and which channels are most successful.
4) Candidate diversity
Diversity recruiting is becoming an essential part of any hiring team’s process for sourcing top talent, and yet, teams may not always track this metric in the same way they do top-of-funnel ones like time to hire.
To ensure you’re driving diversity in recruiting, look closely at the data around the diversity of your candidate pipeline. You can gather this data and measure this metric by leveraging things like EEO dashboards, candidate surveys, hiring feedback, and more.
5) Attrition rate
Attrition rate is the rate at which your organization loses employees in any given time period. A similar metric is first-year attrition (i.e., the number of employees to leave the company within 12 months of being hired).
While attrition isn’t just a recruiting concern, replacing top talent can be costly. There are recruiting and hiring expenses to consider as well as the resources it takes to onboard new employees.
Tracking attrition rate helps you better discern whether job descriptions and postings accurately communicate expectations and if hiring teams are being transparent during the recruiting process about roles and responsibilities.
6) Quality of hire
This metric refers to the performance of a hire typically within their first year. It also considers the employee’s adjustment time, their acclimation to their teams and culture, and any outcomes of performance reviews.
While measuring quality of hire can be subjective, it’s arguably one of the most important metrics to track. It doesn’t matter how quickly you fill a role, or how much you reduce the cost of hire. Poor performance can indicate you have the wrong candidate filling the wrong role.
Given poor hiring can cost mid-sized and large-scale companies across industries thousands of dollars annually, ensuring you’re measuring quality of hire is crucial.
7) Applicants per role
A big part of a recruiter’s role is bringing exposure to open position. But how do you gauge whether job seekers are interested? You measure metrics like applicants per role.
With this recruitment metric, you can determine the demand for and interest in an active role based on data like the number of applicants per role, location, or hire.
You may also want to look at how many job seekers abandon application processes or choose not to apply to a role once they reach a certain stage of consideration.
8) Cost per hire
Cost per hire is simply the total amount you spent on recruitment annually, divided by the total number of hires you’ve made. The costs associated with recruitment differ in every org, but it’s wise to benchmark the average costs for various roles in your own company.
To leverage this metric, analyze how much it costs you to hire for each role and the funds you spend both internally and externally.
For example, internal costs can include employee or recruiter referrals, while external costs may be agency-related, paid advertisements, and more.
Reducing cost per hire is a common objective for many hiring teams, but only when you dig deeper into this data will you have a clearer picture of what hiring truly costs your company.
9) Offer acceptance rate
This metric lets you compare the number of candidates who accepted an offer versus the number of candidates who received an offer. And this insight can reveal a lot for your recruiting team.
Salary and compensation, benefits programs, flex work, and other factors can impact whether candidates accept or decline an offer of employment. A low offer acceptance rate is often indicative of issues that weren’t clarified or resolved during the hiring process.
To prevent this, consider offering more pay transparency in your impact job descriptions along with info about your company culture and working styles across the org.
10) Number of open positions
You can compare the number of open positions your company has to the total number of positions to determine the success of your hiring strategy — and, more specifically, for certain departments or teams.
If you have a high number of roles still open, for instance, this can be indicative of a lack of demand or interest. Meanwhile, a lower number of open positions could indicate high demand, especially during periods of rapid growth or expansion.
This metric is also one to keep an eye on if high-volume hiring is a frequent concern for your team, or if you need to hire in bulk and want to track how quickly roles are being filled.
11) Application completion rate
Tracking this metric alongside others like applicants per role can help you understand how streamlined your hiring process truly is.
In some cases, org may require candidates to go through an elaborate application process that can take too much time and create frustration for job seekers.
A drop in your application completion rate can indicate problems with this process and show you where you can streamline your recruitment funnel and remove bottlenecks for candidates.
12) Sourcing channel effectiveness
Similar to source of hire, sourcing channel effectiveness shows which specific job boards, social media sites, and career communities deliver the most ROI for your recruiting efforts.
With this metric, you mainly measure conversions per channel.
However, before you can do that, you’ll want to create goals for each channel so that you can track which channels are worth the time and investment. This also helps make the conversion rate data more accurate, especially if you’re sharing this with your C-suite or other teams.
Schedule a LeverTRM demo to learn how you can track and improve your important recruiting metrics with ease using Visual Insights, our built-in talent analytics solution.