Recruitment analytics help you measure your efforts.

Recruitment Analytics: The 9 Recruiting Metrics You Should Be Watching

Are any of these true for you? 

  • You suspect that one of the job boards you’re using only brings you weak candidates.
  • There’s a specific recruiting tool that you need, but you’re having a hard time convincing leadership to invest.  
  • You think some part of the hiring process is broken, but you’re not sure which.
  • You work hard, but it goes unnoticed.

If so, we have two words for you: recruitment analytics. Recruitment analytics is the process of using data-driven metrics to improve hiring decisions.

We know, we know. Metrics sounds a lot like… math. And you’re a recruiter. Or a manager. You may have come from a variety of backgrounds, but we’re guessing you’re more interested in people than you are in numbers.

And not just interested: You genuinely care about people. You might even be asking yourself if some of these metrics aren’t, well, evil.

Plus, you’re busy. Chances are, you’ve got enough on your plate trying to understand hiring needs, create job descriptions, interview candidates and file paperwork to add data analytics and data visualization to your list of to-dos.

We hear you. We also know that making hiring decisions based on recruitment data, rather than intuition, will ultimately save you time and make your job easier. We’ll explain how below, and suggest a few recruiting metrics you might want to start tracking.

Recruitment Analytics: Which Metrics Should I Use and When?

Where to begin? A quick Google search for “recruiting analytics” comes up with over 80 thousand results. The lists of recruiting metrics in these results have up to 20 performance indicators. Which should you focus on?

“If you measured every sourcing metric that experts suggest you measure to test your effectiveness, you’d spend most of your time measuring,” says staffing and recruiting expert Barbara Bruno.

She does believe that there are seven metrics that organizations big and small can benefit from paying attention to. We’ll list them below – and add two bonus metrics in case you want to go deeper. 

Recruitment Analytics Essentials

1. Time to Hire

Are you good at discovering top talent? Once you identify the best candidate for a position, do they move fast through the hiring process? Time to hire will show you.

Why it’s important

  • It’s an indicator of the effectiveness of your talent acquisition process.

How to measure it

  • Count the days between when you first published a job ad to when the candidate accepted the job offer.

2. Source of Hire

You might be using a number of channels for talent acquisition: your company’s careers page, your employee referral program, various job boards, an agency, and more.

Do you know which one(s) deliver the best results? Find out by tracking source of hire. 

Why it’s important

  • It helps you understand which sources of hire are the most valuable so you can direct more resources to them.
  • It helps you figure out which channels you can drop from your recruiting process.

How to measure it:

  • Identify your sources and whether you want to track each one or group them in categories. For example, you may choose to track WeWorkRemotely and Remote OK, or group them under “job boards”.
  • Track not just how many candidates came from each source, but also how many of them were qualified and which source brought in the hired candidate.
  • Add the question “How did you find out about this position?” to application forms and provide the sources you’re tracking as answer options.
  • Get a report from your Applicant Tracking System.
  • Use web analytics to track job seeker engagement across channels. For example, you can add UTM codes to your job ads, then use Google Analytics to see which post brought in the most traffic.
  • Send new hires a survey asking them how they applied and how they found out about the job opportunity.

3. Cost per Hire

How much does your company spend to hire someone? Even simple hiring processes have costs. Here are some common examples:

  • Advertising
  • Recruiter fees
  • Interviewing time
  • Referral bonuses
  • Recruiting software
  • Travel costs
  • Administrative costs
  • Background checks and testing

Why it’s important

  • It tells you how much, on average, your company spends to hire a new employee. You can use this number as a reference for future hires.
  • It helps inform future hiring budgets/plans.
  • It shows how expensive it can be to hire new employees and the importance of avoiding turnover. When the top talent you recruit stays long enough to fully contribute, you save your company thousands of dollars.

How to measure it

  • Use the cost per hire formula, which takes the total costs spent on recruiting and divides it by the number of hires.

Note: Costs and number of hires are for a certain period in time – a month or a year, for example.

4. Quality of Hire

Quality of hire answers the question all recruiters and hiring managers want to know: Am I choosing the right people? Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most popular metrics among talent acquisition leaders.

Why it’s important

  • Great employees stay longer, are more productive, help create a positive work environment and contribute to the company’s success. Measuring the quality of hire can be another way to show how your recruiting efforts directly impact business results.
  • If the recruitment data shows the quality of hire could improve, it’s an opportunity to make changes to your recruiting process.

How to measure it

  • Work with company leaders to establish what indicators you will be using to measure the quality of hire. A few examples are new hire performance; turnover and retention rates; hiring manager satisfaction ratings. Rate employees on a scale of 1 (poor) to 100 (excellent) for each indicator.
  • With your chosen indicators in mind, use the formula below to calculate the average of a number of indicators.

5. Applicants per Hire

How popular are specific job openings in your company? Are certain job posts attracting a disproportionate amount of candidates? Are too many of them unqualified? Applicants per hire gauges a job’s popularity, and it’s worth looking into.

Why it’s important

  • It can indicate that a job description is too broad. By editing it and adding more hard criteria, you’ll spend less time screening resumes to find qualified candidates.

How to measure it

  • Add the number of applicants interviewed before a position was filled. 

6. Offer Acceptance Rate

The offer acceptance rate compares the number of candidates who accepted a job offer with the number of candidates who received an offer.

Why it’s important:

  • If your offer acceptance rate is low, you might need to adjust the compensation you are offering.

How to measure it:

  • Take the number of accepted job offers and divide it by the total number of job offers within a period of time.

7. Diversity and Gender Mix

Is there a balance of men and women being hired at your organization? Are you hiring people of different races and ethnicities? Tracking your organization’s diversity and gender mix will reveal how inclusive your hiring process is.

Why it’s important

  • Diverse organizations are more productive, more innovative, and perform better financially. Increasing diversity in the workplace is also the right thing to do since everyone should have an equal opportunity to develop themselves through work.

How to measure it

  • Look at the historical data to find imbalances in sourcing, recruiting, and hiring.

Note: For tips on recruiting diverse candidates, check out this article.

Recruitment Analytics for Going Deeper

Tracking the metrics above is key to practicing data-driven hiring. Here are other metrics you might want to consider:

8. Application Completion/Abandonment Rate

What percentage of people complete your application process? More importantly, how many quit before hitting send?

If a significant amount of job seekers are abandoning your application form, it could mean a few things:

Your form might be too long.

It may not be optimized for mobile.

Your required questions may include some that candidates don’t want to answer.

There may be a technical problem you’re not aware of. 

Why it’s important:

  • Your recruiting efforts might be going to waste if your application process isn’t effective.
  • The application completion/abandonment rate is a relevant indicator for measuring the candidate experience.

How to measure it

  • With Google Analytics or a similar tool.

9. The Candidate Experience

What do candidates think about your company and brand after taking part in one of your hiring processes? Do they come out eager to tell their friends about how great you are? Determined to re-apply in the future? Or do they come out feeling resentful and annoyed? That is something you can measure.

Why it’s important

  • Candidates judge companies based on their experience during the hiring process. Waste their time, leave them hanging, withhold information during the recruiting process and they’ll dread working with you.
  • Candidate experience affects your employer brand. An unhappy candidate will take to social media and review websites such as Glassdoor to let everyone know just how rude, unprofessional, and disorganized your company is, potentially hurting your reputation.

How to measure it

  • Send applicants a short survey when the hiring process is over.
  • Monitor social media and employer review websites for feedback about your hiring process and incorporate that into your evaluation. You can use social media listening tools such as Hootsuite to check for mentions in real-time.

Before You Begin

Now that you’ve learned about some of the key performance indicators in recruiting, consider which ones you might want to start tracking. You can begin by asking yourself:

Are there things I know my team could be doing better? 

Is there specific information senior management wants to see?

Once you decide what you are going to measure, consider how you are going to do it.

How will you collect the data? 

How often will you report on each metric? 

What time range will you use?

Keep in mind that some metrics are best tracked together and that analyzing numbers in context is crucial. For example, a source of hire might bring in fewer applicants, or contribute to fewer hires, but if the quality of these candidates is excellent, then it’s definitely worth the investment.

With a well-thought-out plan, you’ll be ready to start gaining insights and fine-tuning your recruiting strategy. 

What recruiting metrics are you tracking? Let us know on Twitter and on Facebook.