Recruiting Metrics for Skeptics

By The Recruiting Division

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Standard recruiting metrics such as turnover rate, time to hire, and cost to hire have their place in recruiting and hiring analysis, but their value lies more in benchmarking than in meaningful measures of recruiting effectiveness. They don’t reflect current recruiting needs and only provide an estimate for future recruiting needs.

They don’t even analyze the real costs of recruiting, such as the costs of hiring the wrong person or the revenue lost from a long-vacant revenue-producing position. Some managers are skeptical about the value of basic metrics like these.

Recruiting Metrics for Skeptics

So how is a busy recruiter or hiring manager supposed to measure recruiting activity to report on effectiveness and opportunities for improvement? Try some meaningful metrics that change your recruiting analysis from rote routine into strategic planning that gives your company a competitive edge.

Delivering true value in the measurement of the recruiting and hiring process means going beyond mere numbers-hired and cost-to-hire. Recruiters must be able to use metrics that demonstrate how different aspects of the hiring process impact the business.

Create Business Impact Metrics

Create metrics that illustrate the impact of recruiting on the business and that are valuable tools for employers and recruiters alike to plan and focus recruiting activities. Find out what’s important to your company’s core business and develop metrics to measure recruiting impact on the things that matter, such as:

  • What percentage of new hires are innovators? Survey hiring managers about how many new hires are employees who go beyond the job description to help move the business forward or create extraordinary value, and track how these employees are recruited to judge the effectiveness of recruiting practices.?
  • What percentage of projects are delayed by recruiting? Develop a project delay metric by surveying project managers about projects that have been delayed by recruiting to reveal information like number of project delays, project days lost, and cost of project delays from recruiting.
  • How long on average are key revenue-generating positions vacant and how much does it cost every day or week they aren’t filled? Start tracking this to see how these key vacancies can be reduced or eliminated.
  • What percentage of high-level positions are diversity hires? Measure diversity hires to know how close or far your company is from diversity hiring goals and practices.

Use Predictive Metrics

Look at predictive metrics including forecasted unemployment rates, recruiting competition from competitors’ hiring or layoffs, and forecasted labor costs to better adjust and plan recruiting strategy.

Use Tactical Metrics

Tactical recruiting metrics look at specific areas of recruiting and the strengths and weaknesses in them.

  • Measure offer acceptance rates with a metric that analyzes weaknesses in the offer process that cause loss of top candidates.
  • Track which sources produce the best hires, such as employee referral hires and intern program hires, and you can see where best to allocate time and budget for sourcing candidates.
  • Measure satisfaction with the recruiting process by surveying hiring managers, new hires, and applicants, to find opportunities for improvement.
  • Pay attention to employer brand strength by looking at comments on or conducting regular Google searches of the employer and openings.

Use Real-Time Recruiting Metrics

Create metrics that measure real-time recruiting impact.

  • Current workforce productivity from performance evaluations and productivity statistics gives recruiting direction.  Skills testing for line worker applicants may be indicated if the productivity information shows a lack of mathematical ability.
  • Zero turnover for the current week may indicate the need to relax internal and online job postings; or a week in which many employees walk out at once shows turnover is critical and requires an emergency recruiting response.
  • Engagement scores that indicate a high level of frustration and dissatisfaction can give managers and recruiters advance notice that they may soon have a workforce shortage, either through voluntary or involuntary vacancies.

Backward-looking or historical metrics like turnover, cost-per-hire, and time-to-hire metrics are lacking forward-looking impact. They should be your baseline recruiting history, but strategic recruiting metrics give you real control over effective and proactive recruiting activities. 

Andrew Greenberg is the founder and managing partner of The Recruiting Division, a leader in On-Demand recruitment solutions. You can follow on Twitter: @RecruitDivision

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