7 Key Recruitment Metrics every Recruiter Should Know

By Neelie Verlinden

Last month we wrote about measuring the Holy Grail of Recruitment, also known as quality of hire (QoH). If you want to get the full picture though, quality of hire should be connected with other key recruitment metrics. Linked together, they can give you valuable insights into every single part of your recruitment funnel. That’s why today’s blog is about 7 key recruitment metrics.


1. Sourcing Stats

Let’s start with square one: sourcing. 21st century recruitment gives us plenty of choice when it comes to sourcing channels. Job boards, employee referrals, social media, you name it.

Having sourcing options is great of course, but measuring their effectiveness as well is even better. Knowing which channel gives you the best candidates – that ideally turn into actual hires further down the line – can be very helpful. And cost effective.

If for example your sourcing stats show you that most of your long-term employees came in via job board Y while the ones who leave the company prematurely generally came in via agency Z, you can modify your sourcing strategy accordingly.

How to measure you ask? UTM parameters! To measure the traffic coming in via your various online channels you can use so-called UTM codes. With these parameters you can easily discover which job board, social network or other source worked best for each specific job advert. Find out more about UTM's here. 

2. Applicant drop off rates

How many of your applicants don’t make it to the end of the application process? And at what point do most of them drop off? Do most of them drop off via mobile or desktop?

If you monitor your application completion/drop off rates, this should help you answer these kind of questions. The insights you gain from the collected data are useful when you start optimizing your application process.

An example. It turns out that of all the applicants who use the mobile version of your website to apply for a job, only 10% read the job description from top to bottom while on the desktop version this is 70%. In this case, you might consider rewriting your mobile job description. 

3. Time to Hire

This recruitment metric shows you how difficult (or not) it is to get a certain position filled. The time span covers everything from the moment it becomes clear that there is a need for a new employee, until this employee’s very first day.

Time to hire also tells you something about the efficiency of your recruitment process. In order to optimize this process and be able to do succession planning, organizations should be aware of how long it takes to hire someone.

For more information on how a good understanding of Time to Hire can help improve your recruitment process, check out this case study of supermarket chain Albert Heijn and how they shortened the hiring cycle with 60% while improving on quality as well.

4. Quality of Hire (QoH)

Quality of Hire is also known as the Golden Metric. We wrote an extensive blog about it (go here if you missed it), but what it boils down to is this.

QoH is the number one recruiting metric for hiring managers in terms of importance. There are several reasons for this:

1) Quality of hire has a long-term impact on the business and;

2) QoH improves the overall quality of staff which;

3) eventually will increase retention rates.

An example of how quality of hire has a positive effect on the overall quality of staff. About 11 months after they’ve joined your company, it turns out that those employees who scored superbly on stress resistance during the pre-employment assessment, perform up to 93% better than those who didn’t.

With this insight you can modify your preselection process and let stress resistance weigh heavier. As a result, both the the individual and overall QoH of your workforce will increase.

5. Cost per Hire

Do you know how many resources it takes for successful candidates to go through your recruitment funnel? Think of advertising costs, recruiter fees, LinkedIn and other social media accounts and job fairs for example.

The cost per hire recruitment metric shows companies how much it costs them to hire new staff. This includes both individual hires as well as the total number of new employees. Just like time to hire, the cost per hire metric also gives you an insight into the (in) efficiency of your recruitment process.

6. Offer Acceptance/Rejection Rates

So your applicants make it all the way to the end of your recruitment funnel, well done. But if they don’t accept your job offer afterwards, that doesn’t mean a lot.

The offer acceptance rate metric shows you the percentage of candidates who accepted your formal job offer. A low acceptance rate indicates that there’s something off in your talent acquisition funnel.

A few examples of what could be the issue here. It’s possible that candidates simply weren’t happy with the proposed salary and/or company benefits. Or that they didn’t like your company culture. Perhaps they got a better offer somewhere else. And sometimes candidates just want to use an offer to get a pay raise from their current employer.

If you know why your offer got rejected and the reason is within your control - like when your salary isn’t in line with the competition for instance - you can do something about it.

7. Early Turnover

We’ve said it before, recruiters and hiring managers really only want to know one thing: is our recruitment process selecting the right people or not?

Another very important recruitment metric to look at for the answer to this question is your early turnover rate; the percentage of people that left the company voluntarily within a year after they started.

A high early turnover tells you there’s either a mismatch between the candidates and your company culture or between the candidates and their (expectations of the) job.

Pepperminds, a field marketing agency in Europe was experiencing high early turnover rates and was looking for ways to bring this number down. Read the case study to find out how they brought turnover rates down with 11% in just three months time.

Stop guessing, start measuring

It’s great that we can now use all kinds of 21st century HR tech to source, recruit and hire candidates. But one of the biggest advantages of using that same HR technology arguably is that we can track and analyze performance. It turns the recruitment funnel into a big machine with lots of different knobs you can turn.

Measuring the 7 key recruitment metrics described in this post provides us with valuable insights into, among other things, our recruitment process. It shows us what works and what doesn’t. As such, these insights form the first step in optimizing the recruitment funnel, one metric at a time.

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Recruitment metrics and HR Technology go hand in hand. The use of Predictive Analytics in your recruitment process is a good example of this. Now that you've had an update on some key recruitment metrics, we suggest you get up to speed on Predictive Analytics as well. In our E-book we go way down the rabbit hole regarding Predictive Analytics in HR. And the best thing about it? It's free! Spread the knowledge!

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