The Essential Recruiting Metrics – From Startup to Enterprise

By Paul Slezak - May. 5, 2016
Improve Your Company Branding With Zippia

If you measured every metric that every article on the web suggested you should measure to confirm whether you are recruiting effectively or not, you would end up spending most of your time measuring your recruiting activities as opposed to actually recruiting!

Recruiting metrics are absolutely essential, as long as you are tracking the most relevant activities for you and your team … and your priorities can certainly shift depending on the circumstances.

From my two decades in the recruitment game, I know that unfortunately for many hiring managers (and recruiters too for that matter) the notion of recruiting metrics is often ignored or even deemed irrelevant.

What are the most essential recruiting metrics for you or your organisation? What behaviours are you hoping to create through the use of effective recruiting metrics?

For example, it’s a no brainer that the cost of every hire should be measured, but have you considered all the costs involved in a hire? Recruiter fees, whether internal or external, are straightforward. But what about the time it took the hiring manager to interview?

What about your ‘offer to acceptance ratio’? It’s great to be in a position to make an offer to a rock star candidate. Unfortunately, if they then turn it down for something else, you are back to square one. This process costs you time and money, as well as morale, which is why this is also an important measure.

How many formal offers did you have to extend before you ultimately filled the role? This measure can go alongside your ‘cost of hire’ metric.

The answers to any metric driven question will vary depending on whether you are assessing or measuring certain activities from the perspective of a recruiter, hiring manager or HR specialist.

We wanted to uncover the most important recruiting metrics inside organisations of any size … from startup right through to enterprise. So we assembled a panel of experts who shared their ideas from various angles – sourcing and talent attraction; candidate selection and assessment; through to staff retention and attrition.

Our panel comprised of Wendy Keo – Chief of People with Movoto; Annie Brown – Global Talent Acquisition Leader with Citrix; and Ty Goodrich – Lead Staff Recruiter with JobVite.

Here’s a snapshot of what they shared.

1. Sourcing Metrics

Wendy keeps a very close eye on specific sourcing metrics at Movoto (where sourcing is handled in-house as opposed to externally). In other words she places a strong emphasis on the process before a candidate even moves into the actual recruiting funnel. Some of the specific activities she keeps a close eye on include:

  • How many potential candidates were reached out to in a particular outreach campaign?
  • What was the open rate on specific messages?
  • What percentage of sourced candidates moved through to a phone screen?
  • How many touch points were required before candidates start to respond?

Wendy also stressed that if a prospective candidate replies with a “thanks but no thanks”, it’s still a perfect opportunity to keep in touch with that candidate.

This becomes another metric in itself – ie how many candidates that agree to a phone screen or an interview, or who eventually accept a role with Movoto, initially declined the opportunity to speak with someone from the talent acquisition team.

2. Recruiter Performance Metrics

Ty explained how he and his team look very closely at the recruiting funnel and how the recruiting team at JobVite stick to the philosophy that “recruiting is marketing” which plays a key role in the metrics they measure.

Metrics are examined at JobVite to help spot bottlenecks in the hiring process. For example “time to fill” or assessing how long a particular requisition remains open can reveal which departments might be sitting on resumés for too long or how long an average candidate might be ‘stuck’ in the interview process. If a candidate is stuck in a ‘holding pattern’ for too long, they could decide to withdraw or actively pursue other options.

3. Metrics Around the Candidate Experience

Annie and the Talent Acquisition team at Citrix place a huge emphasis on the results of the Candidate NPS.

A Net Promoter Score questionnaire is sent to every candidate who either has a phone interview or a face-to-face interview with Citrix.

The metric centres around the result of a single question: “On a scale of 1 – 10 how likely is it that you would recommend the Citrix interview process to a friend or colleague?”

Annie also believes in what she refers to as the “silver medalist phenomenon”. Much like Wendy’s “thanks but no thanks” theory, Annie and her team keep stats on how many candidates who may have been pipped at the post for one opportunity are ultimately successful in securing a different role later on. In other words the ‘silver medalists’ are an essential group in the Citrix talent pool.

4. The ‘Efficiency Ratio’ vs. the Cost of Hire

The cost of hire is something each of our panelists keeps a close eye on. Basically it is the total cost of recruiting divided by the number of hires made over a particular period of time.

You should consider these factors when calculating the cost of hiring new employees:

  • Advertisements placed;
  • Setting up and maintaining social media accounts like Facebook and LinkedIn;
  • The time your hiring managers spend interviewing potential employees;
  • Invoices to contract recruiters or fees to external recruiters; and
  • Any accounting and administrative costs involved in setting up a new employee (eg contracts, pay accounts, health benefits etc).

On the other hand, the ‘efficiency ratio’ is another (alternative) metric – especially for any talent acquisition team / hiring manager recruiting roles at different seniority and pay levels.

As opposed to dividing the cost of of hiring by the number of employees, you divide the total cost of hiring by the total of all the salary packages offered to the new hires in the same period of time. This can be quite eye opening.

Towards the end of the webinar, Ty asked the question that I am pretty sure anyone working in talent acquisition would be thinking: “Does anyone actually have a perfect system for tracking these metrics?”.

How you track your metrics is up to you. But as each of our panelists strongly agreed, it’s what you do with the information you measure that counts.

To access the full webinar recording, click below.

Essential Recruiting Metrics

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.


Paul Slezak

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.

Find Your Next Hire Out Of Over 5 Million Candidates

Get connected with quality candidates whose resumes on Zippia best fit your job description.

Related posts

Find Your Next Hire Out Of Over 5 Million Candidates

Get connected with quality candidates whose resumes on Zippia best fit your job description.