10 Most Important Metrics Every Recruiter Should Care About

Small Business Applicant Tracking SystemAs a recruiter, it’s always important to have some understanding of how we’re performing. Now our performance doesn’t just fall down to ‘have we filled the role or not’. It’s much more complex than that and this article is going to tell you the 10 metrics every recruiter should care about.

Being a recruiter is hard, it involves not just finding suitable candidates to fill roles, but finding great candidates to fill roles. It comes down to more than posting job ads wherever you can and hoping for the best.

  1. Time-to fill. If you don’t know the average time it takes you to fill a role, how do you suppose you will be able to plan which recruiter has what workload? If you know that it takes a certain amount of time to fill one role, you know not to give 7 of those roles to one recruiter as there is little chance they will be able to fill the roles. Time-to-fill is a metric that varies from sector to sector to position to position. It’s something that’s learnt in time and is very good for predicting the outcome of certain hires.
  1. Source of hire is a metric every recruiter should be focusing on. When you notice lots of good, successful candidates are coming from the same source, it’s important that you put much more effort into that space in order to find more great candidates. If you need to do paid promotion on your job adds, it’s beneficial to do so in the spaces where you’re most likely to get great talent. Have a look at your recent hires, examine the data and actually find out which sources are the best performers. Examples of different source: social media, job boards, or referral programs. Things are changing quickly and people are finding new ways to look for jobs. It’s important you stay ahead of this and have an understanding in order to find and secure the best candidates. Always check your source of hire metrics to make sure you’re not spending too much money on something that’s not giving you enough value and not enough money on something that’s giving you very little value.
  1. One metric everyone seems to profess they have but is quite tricky to measure is how well the particular recruiter is performing. Now some might say this is a tough one because you gauge how the recruiter is doing by looking at their other metrics. When looking at recruiter performance, one should not try and compare the recruiters against each other, like a number game. Instead, you should look to take each recruiter as an individual and create a list of improvements and achievements for them. You should review this list of improvements and achievements regularly and as long as they have achieved some of their improvements, you can assume they are performing well. Remember, you hired the recruiter for a reason, if at any point you don’t feel they’re up to the standard you need them to be, it’s your job as an employer to help them get there.
  1. External and internal offer declines. When people reject your offer, don’t just ignore those metrics. These are important. Often these are what tells you whether your efforts at recruiting are good or not. Externally you should see whether offer declines is because of trends that are going on in the industry. However internally you should look at offer declines as well. Perhaps one particular department in the company is seeing a lot more declines than others. Perhaps there has been a change in structure or strategy that needs to be addressed. Why people said no is just as important as finding out why people said yes, if you want to improve your overall recruiting process.
  1. The number of candidates. When looking at recruitment metrics, the number of candidates you’re talking to/interviewing is an important metric to consider. It’s not just a case of too few candidates but too many as well. If a recruiter is only interviewing a few candidates for a role that should warrant a lot more applications, then there might be a problem in how the recruiter is either approaching the candidates or where they are looking for the candidates. Alternatively, if a recruiter is interviewing many many candidates for a senior role that shouldn’t have that many people who are suitable for the role, then it might be that they’re not sure on the process of interviewing and securing the right candidates. Sending time on too few, or too many candidates is a waste of time and only means the recruiter has to spend longer doing the same job.
  1. Inbound referral. You should try to ensure you have a system in place, or a plan for inbound referrals. For executive roles that come up often, it’s important to have a full talent pipeline with as it’s important to have a  full pipeline of great talent at your disposal. One way to ensure you get talent referrals that people often overlook is to talk to the candidates that weren’t right. Yes, it’s important to see if the successful candidates know anyone else for other roles you’re hoping to fill, but you should also talk to the non-suitable candidates too. From each person you speak to, suitable or not, you should try and get at least two different names from them. Remember who is likely to know the people who are looking for roles more than the people they work with.
  1. Conversion rates. How often conversations move from LinkedIn to E-mail. You should be aiming for a conversion rate of 50%. This means half the people who you talk regarding the role should be getting in touch with via e-mail to talk further about the role or you should be contacting them to talk about the role further via e-mail. LinkedIn is a great tool for outbound recruitment.
    You should also look at the conversion rates for job adverts. You might find that 500 people looking at your job advert but only 75 applying for a role. This means you have a conversion rate of 15%, which obviously seems low. The idea is not to get as many people reading the application as possible, but to get as many people applying as possible. This means if 50 people read your application and 35 people apply, you have a conversion rate of 70%. Although less people applied than the previous one, having a higher conversion rate means your job advert is targeting the right people and everyone who is reading the application believe they have the right skills to do the job. At the same time, if you’re writing really effective job adverts and there aren’t enough people viewing or converting, it might be the case that you have an issue with visibility.

    Cost of hire

    People consider cost of hire as a measured metric, but they often overlook some of the other costs that are concerned with hiring. First of all there are recruiter fees whether you’re using internal or external recruiters. Other metrics that should be considered under the umbrella term of cost to hire are the amount of time it took the manager to actually interview the candidate. Whether you had to pay to place your job advert on the board, the time and cost it took to set up and manage your social media accounts you use to hire such as facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. The cost of administrative tasks such as writing and creating contracts, health benefits

    Retention rates

    Once you’ve understood the true value of what it costs to hire a candidate, you should now look with more scrutiny at your mention rates. If you have poor retention rates metrics then you are undergoing the cost of hire repeatedly. If you’re unable to retain the employees you hire, you will find that you lose unnecessary budget because you have to repeat an already expensive process.

    The best way to look at retention rates is to consider the turnover rate for their specific role. Cooper this to the turnover rate in the department and then also see by pay-grade. Find the departments, pay bracket and roles that have the highest turnover rate and then come up with solutions to stop this happening.


    Have you ensured you have a mix of people of different genders, different racial backgrounds and have been 100% inclusive of people with disabilities. One metric to check is that you are ensuring you have mixed teams as it has been proven in various studies that companies who have a mixed team rather than just one sort of demographic perform better, have greater innovation which then leads to higher profits.

    You should be measuring the different genders and demographics across different levels. You should look at your front line, your middle management but also your senior positions and see that you have a nice mix of everyone in all three levels. It’s

    If you’re a small company then keeping track of your metrics should be fine to be done on a spreadsheet. For larger organisations, you might need to seek out software that will help you keep track of the metrics you want to measure.

    Measuring metrics is a great way to ensure you save your company and yourself both time and money.

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