For the vast majority of hiring managers, attracting high-quality candidates is the biggest challenge they face today. Although there are plenty of metrics that recruitment teams can track when looking to capture the best talent for their businesses, some metrics are more important than others, depending on how a business defines success and health in terms of recruitment. In 2022, though, every organization should put the following seven recruitment metrics at the top of its priority list.
Hires-per-month and head-count growth
These are two of the most important metrics for recruitment teams to track. Hires-per-month is how many people a company is hiring on a monthly basis, and the head-count growth is the staffing number the company aspires to achieve over a longer period of time. These growth targets need to be realistic and account for the size and capacity of the hiring team, as well as for market trends and the nature of the roles. (For instance, it can be unrealistic for a business to hire someone for a managerial position on a regular basis.) Both metrics can shed light on how successful an organization is at meeting its hiring and expansion goals.
Average interview time
A common mistake made when setting recruitment metrics is being too rigid about time-to hire-targets when different levels and types of roles require unique timelines. (For example, Glassdoor’s study found that although the average hiring time for a waiter was 8 days, the average hiring time for a professor was 60 days.1) Given the unique circumstances of each hire, the average time to hire might be too broad of a metric. Instead of measuring the time between the date the position was advertised and the date an offer was accepted, it can be more useful to measure the average interview time, which spans from when someone’s application is received to when they have their initial interview. This metric will shed light on both the candidate’s interview experience and the overall time to hire, without the need to sacrifice candidate quality for the sake of speed.
Cost per hire
To calculate the cost per hire, look at factors such as how much is being paid to agencies, how much the company is spending for memberships in certain networks and for job board listings, and the salary of the recruitment team. Some businesses also include the costs associated with relocations and visas.
Percentage of new hires who pass probation
Hiring candidates who don’t stick around can drain company time and resources, so it’s surprising how few businesses consider the performance of candidates post-hire as a measure of effective recruitment. By measuring the percentage of new hires who pass their probation periods, a company can quickly identify whether it’s hiring the right candidates, in terms of both quality and cultural fit. This metric sheds light on how successful a company’s onboarding practices are and the hiring team’s ability to do excellent work, but it is equally influenced by a candidate’s potential and motivation.
If a concerning number of candidates are failing their probation, it’s likely that the new hires have been poorly selected or that the organization’s expectations fail to align with the new hires’ abilities. This can be a sign that the company needs to be clearer about its expectations of candidates before hiring them, or that the company could benefit from more extensive and rigorous recruiting processes to better predict each candidate’s success.
(Note that this metric is controversial among talent professionals, many of whom hold managers and individual employees most responsible for the success of a new hire’s probation period.)
Percentage of inbound hires
To determine if it’s attracting the right candidates through its marketing, a company should examine where the candidates it’s hiring come from and how they find the company. By tracking the number and proportion of inbound hires, an organization can get a sense of whether it’s attracting the right talent with its content marketing and job advertisements. If the majority of hires are reached through outbound recruitment, it’s possible that the company’s target applicants either aren’t encountering its outreach or simply aren’t converting into hires when they do. To reduce the time and money spent sourcing candidates through outbound efforts, a company should measure the percentage of inbound hires it has coming into the organization, then (if necessary) find ways to increase this number to about 30 percent to 40 percent of hires (or 50 percent, if referrals are included as an inbound recruitment source).
Offer acceptance rate
The offer acceptance rate reflects how often a business succeeds in its goal of securing the best candidates it can. But this metric offers useful data on other areas as well. For example, a low offer acceptance rate could indicate that a company is delivering a substandard hiring experience, that its offers aren’t appealing enough, or that it takes too long to progress candidates through the hiring process. That said, it’s unrealistic to aspire to achieve a perfect offer acceptance rate. Organizations that achieve this may not be sufficiently ambitious or focused in their hiring. Generally speaking, 75 percent to 85 percent is a good acceptance rate to target.
Deciding what to track
When deciding which recruitment metrics to track, it pays to be strategic.
Although it can be tempting to try to track every recruitment metric under the sun, it’s important to recognize which metrics provide only limited value or information. A better strategy is to prioritize the recruitment metrics that best align with the organization’s specific overarching business goals and to keep the others on the back burner until they’re needed to examine particular issues.
A version of the article was originally published as a guest post on the JazzHR blog.
1Glassdoor Team. 2020. “How Long Should Your Interview Process Take? We Found Out.” Glassdoor website, July 28, www.glassdoor.com/blog/how-long-should-interviews-take.