9 recruiting metrics HR professionals should know

November 1, 2021 Updated: September 28, 2023 10 min read

Recruiting metrics: 9 metrics recruiters need to track

The world of recruitment is changing—and if companies don’t keep up, those exceptional candidates you’ve got your eye on will quickly go elsewhere. To stay on top of your game, tracking some key metrics is one of the best ways to optimize your recruitment funnel and attract the right people.   

Once upon a time, recruitment was driven by recruiters themselves—but those days are long gone. With the unemployment rate decreasing across the U.S., we are back in a candidate-driven job market. If you don’t measure, track, and continually improve your recruitment funnel, you’ll soon find it hard to successfully recruit and compete for top talent.

The recruitment metrics we’re about to cover will help you make data-driven decisions about how to manage, measure, and improve your recruitment processes—what’s not to like about that?

What are recruiting metrics?

Recruiting metrics are a way for companies to track their overall process of recruitment—from writing an ad through each interview stage to onboarding new hires. 

The insights they provide can show you which parts of your funnel are working well and which parts need to be improved. They also give valuable insights into whether you’re hiring the right people. The only way to truly know if your processes are effective is to use these metrics as the backbone of your decision-making.  

They can also be used as key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the performance of your talent acquisition team. Benchmarking your results against industry standards can give a good indication as to whether your processes are efficient and effective—or not. 

Why are recruiting metrics important?

Tracking recruiting metrics can give you valuable information and insights about your application process and your recruitment funnel overall. Without knowing the efficiency of this process, it’s impossible to optimize it.   

Recruitment metrics can be used to identify areas where your processes are strong, as well as any areas where you may need to improve and refine your strategies. Recruitment processes are changing—largely driven by evolving candidate expectations—and knowing how to meet those new expectations is more critical than ever before. 

Unfortunately, many organizations are struggling to keep up with these changes—with the result being that they miss out on the best candidates. 

If your talent acquisition team is taking too long to source high-quality candidates, for example, recruitment will suffer. If your interview process is so convoluted that it takes a long time for your team to agree on which candidate to choose—there’s a high chance that the candidate will have accepted another role by the time you get around to calling them.    

Making the right decisions at every stage in the recruitment funnel is crucial. And the only way to do that effectively is by first taking an in-depth look at your current metrics. With the insights these metrics provide, you can then make data-driven decisions that improve both the candidate experience and the overall efficiency of your recruiting process. 

Top 9 recruiting metrics 

Consider this your ultimate list of recruiting metrics. The results of each metric can be used to inform and refine your hiring process (and beyond!).  

1. Time to hire

Time to hire is the number of days between a candidate applying for a job and accepting your job offer. It’s a valuable metric to follow as it provides a great indication of how efficient your hiring process is. 

A shorter time to hire is preferable as it means there’s less risk of your preferred candidate accepting a job from another business. It’s also preferable for candidates, as their experience can be negatively impacted by a longer time to hire.   

The time to hire is dependent on your recruitment funnel. Filling a relatively straightforward job opening can have a shorter time to hire, while the process for a more senior or complex role can take longer. The average time to fill an open position across all industries is 36 days, but candidates’ expectations are much faster—with many expecting you to make them an offer within a week or two of applying.

2. Time to fill

This is the amount of time taken between advertising your job vacancy and hiring a new candidate. Time to fill metrics can be affected by the efficiency of your Human Resources (HR) department and the supply and demand of qualified candidates within specific industries. 

Knowing your organization’s average time to fill an open position is essential as this metric allows managers to plan ahead when filling vacancies. If you see that the time to fill for a specialized role is above average, it’s important to get an early start. 

3. Source of hire

This prevalent recruiting metric helps you track the source of each candidate. This can be a helpful way to see which channel is most effective at attracting quality candidates and help inform your advertising budget. Common examples of sources to track include:

    • LinkedIn
    • Social media
    • Staffing agencies
    • Company website
    • Job boards
    • Internal recruitment
    • Employee referrals

4. First-year attrition

Also known as new hire retention rate, this metric helps you track the success of your hiring process. If a newly hired candidate leaves their role within one year, the significant time and cost of both hiring and training them is effectively lost. You’ll also have to start the process of sourcing candidates for those open roles all over again.

First-year attrition can be split into two categories:

      • Managed attrition. The employer terminates the contract. This often comes down to poor performance or hiring an employee who doesn’t mesh well with the existing team.
      • Unmanaged attrition. The employee gives notice and leaves on their own accord. This can be caused by the job being very different from the description, unrealistic expectations, or an onboarding process lacking in depth. 

5. Cost per hire

This can be a complex metric to track, but it’s well worth the effort. It can be calculated by dividing the total cost of your recruitment process by the number of hires. Calculating an average cost per hire can help you create a more efficient recruitment funnel and accurately budget for future hiring requirements.    

To calculate cost per hire, you’ll need to identify both internal and external costs. Use the examples we’ve listed below as a starting point and add your own additional costs as needed.  

Internal costs:

  • Staff time spent
  • New onboarding time
  • Lost productivity

External costs:

  • Cost of job postings
  • Agency fees
  • Candidate expenses
  • Training costs

6. Quality of hire

This metric tracks the overall performance of your new employee. A high quality of hire indicates that you’re attracting the top candidates to your roles—one of the ultimate signs of success! 

Using data from annual reviews is an excellent way to track the performance ratings of your new employees. One new employee with a low-performance rating can impact your business by thousands of dollars in their first year.

Quality of hire can be linked back to your source of hire metric to identify where the highest percentages of top-quality talent are coming from.  

7. Hiring manager satisfaction

This is an easy metric to track and indicates how successful your recruiting process is. Ultimately, if the hiring manager is satisfied with their new team member, it’s more likely that your new hire will perform well and become a valued member of the team.   

8. Candidate net promoter score

You may think your recruiting process is perfect—but do your candidates agree? A low candidate net promoter score (NPS) is a red flag that you’re perhaps not effectively communicating all aspects of the job role. Does your job description give a realistic overview of what the job entails? Or is there a mismatch between your description and reality? 

Tracking this metric helps improve the candidate experience and offers valuable insights into your processes from the other side of the fence. Offering a feedback survey that doesn’t take much time to complete can help you collect data for this metric. You might offer this at the end of the candidate journey or at specific stages within it. 

9. Offer acceptance rate

Your offer acceptance rate compares the number of offers made with the number of offers accepted. A lower rate may indicate that your benefits or compensation package isn’t sufficient or that your business has a poor brand image. 

Asking for a feedback survey from potential candidates may help shed some light on a low acceptance rate too. Perhaps your time to hire is too long because you’re spending time reviewing remote interview footage, and while you were deciding on the perfect candidate, they accepted another offer. 

How to track your recruitment metrics 

Now you know what some of the most important recruitment metrics are—how do you measure them effectively? 

Here are three steps to get you started:

  1. Determine what to measure

    Tracking metrics can be a data-heavy process. And if you jump into the deep end trying to measure everything out of the gate, you’ll start to feel overwhelmed pretty quickly. Choosing the right recruiter metrics for your organization to track is an important step—so don’t rush it.  

    Instead, it’s better to start off with a narrow focus—select one or two metrics that you can easily track and start there. These are likely to be quantitative, numbers-based metrics like time to fill and time to hire. 

    As you gain confidence in measuring some of the most important metrics, you can expand your approach to include other qualitative data like candidate-job satisfaction.   

  2. Define who will collect your data

    Tracking recruitment metrics usually falls to your HR department or talent acquisition team. However, each team may have specific metrics that are more valuable for them to track. For example, cost per hire is an important metric for your HR team, but they’re probably more interested in tracking things like the quality of hire for your talent acquisition team. 

    If you haven’t focused on tracking recruitment metrics before, you’ll need to clearly communicate to your team what the overall benefits are and how you anticipate this new task will impact or change their existing responsibilities.    

    Within this step, you can also decide how often to collect your data. For example, some metrics, like first-year attrition, only need to be collected annually. But you may choose to track other metrics, including the source of hire, quarterly for deeper, more detailed insights.

  3. Identify the formulas you need

    For specific metrics, like offer acceptance rate, quality of hire, and cost per hire—you’re going to need formulas to calculate your results. 

    Ultimately, tracking as many metrics as possible is going to offer the most in-depth analysis of your recruitment process. But this can take a while to implement fully. 

Hit your recruiting metrics targets with AI

For specific metrics, like offer acceptance rate, quality of hire, and cost per hire—you’re going to need formulas to calculate your results. 

Ultimately, tracking as many metrics as possible is going to offer the most in-depth analysis of your recruitment process. But this can take a while to implement fully. 

As candidate expectations continue to rise, so too are the demands on your recruiting function. Failing to meet your recruitment metric targets can put your company in danger of being left behind. With the war for talent well and truly alive, recruiters need to drive metrics like time to hire down or risk losing exceptional candidates to companies with more efficient timelines.  

Switching up your strategies to meet the changing expectations of candidates is a powerful way to meet and exceed your recruiter metric targets—and make sure you can attract and retain the best talent.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to achieve this.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed how companies manage their hiring processes, and it can have a huge positive impact on many recruiting metrics. It’s why 67% of hiring managers and recruiters say that embedding AI into their processes saves time, while 31% say it helps them identify the best quality candidates. 

With an AI-powered video interview solution like Clovers, for example, HR and recruitment teams can significantly improve several critical recruitment metrics, including time to hire, quality of hire, and candidate satisfaction. By leveraging AI in your interview and talent acquisition processes, you can transform your recruitment metrics from ordinary to outstanding.  

Revolutionize your recruitment processes

Schedule a demo to learn how Clovers’ interview intelligence platform can help you meet ambitious targets. Make smart decisions quickly, drive down your time to hire, and better engage top talentwithout making them wait.

Doug Leonard

Doug is constantly working to make the hiring process more objective, insightful, and informed. As a trusted leader in the recruitment industry, Doug is always ready to guide candidates and companies to (and through) a person-first hiring experience.

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