Recruiting is an essential but costly process. Using recruiting metrics can help you bring the best talent on board,  ensuring you have a strong team that’s committed to your mission. Tracking and understanding recruiting metrics can let you know how well this process is working – ideal if you’ve missed out on some great candidates or if you’ve had more bad hires than good.

The Purpose of HR Recruitment Metrics

Human resources metrics or HR metrics are key pieces of data that allow companies to measure the performance of their HR efforts, like recruiting. According to SHRM, key HR metrics like recruitment metrics allow companies to qualify the health of an organization. These metrics measure how HR is doing as a whole and how it is leveraging its employees to maximize company performance.

Recruiting metrics can help improve your team’s entire recruitment process. Tracking recruiting metrics allows you to evaluate the strategic work of each member of your recruiting team. Recruiting metrics also help recognize opportunities for improving inefficiencies and removing weaknesses. Leveraging recruitment metrics allows you to take a results-based, data-driven approach to decision making, which will lead to a more productive and effective talent team.

Six Recruiting Metrics You Need to Track


Time to hire is a recruiting metric that measures the time from the beginning to the end of the recruiting process. The end can be the date an offer is made, the date an offer is accepted or the date a new employee shows up for their first day. Time to hire helps you determine how much time your company is spending recruiting, which can raise the cost per hire.

To gain valuable insight into time-to-hire metrics, make sure you track:

  • Time from search kickoff to accepted offer.
  • Number of hours spent on each requisition.
  • The breakdown of time-to-hire (i.e. the intervals of time from when a candidate was sourced, to when they were screened, to when they were interviewed, etc.). This will also allow you to discover any inefficiencies in your overall process such as a delay in the interview process, etc.

Source of Hire

Candidates can come from a variety of sources, from national job boards to employee referrals. Tracking where your best hires come from with source of hire recruitment metrics can help you decide where your time and money will give you the best ROI. If your company has a limited budget to spend on jobs ads on such online platforms like Monster or LinkedIn or has limited resources to set up a booth at a job fair, tracking where your top candidates originate (LinkedIn, referrals, college job fairs, etc.) you will be able to measure the effectiveness of recruiting sources over time. Then, when the time comes to put your money where your best hires are, you’ll know exactly how to invest.

Retention Rate

If you’re spending a lot of time and money on recruiting but employees aren’t sticking around, it’s a clear sign something isn’t working with your process. Tracking the retention rate of new hires can help you improve recruitment and employee retention policies. There are a couple of formulas that can be used to track retention:

  • Calculate Retention Rates: Use this formula to calculate your retention rate: (# of individual employees who remained employed for the entire measurement period / # of employees at the start of measurement period) x 100.
  • Calculate Voluntary Turnover: To better gauge employee satisfaction, calculate the number of employees who leave voluntarily versus those left involuntarily. Use this formula: = 1 – (Total Number of Employees at the Level/Total Number of Voluntary Terminations) × Days in Year ÷ Average of 30 days per month (360) × (Start Date – as a numeric, Current Date – as a numeric)

Cost Per Hire

Just as a sales team measures new customer acquisition costs, you can weigh the financial investment your company must make to attract and recruit new hires. Cost per hire recruiting metrics take the total costs spent on recruiting, like recruiter fees and advertising, and divides it by the number of hires made from those efforts. Cost per hire metrics allows you to estimate the average amount spent to hire a new employee. This data is valuable when developing hiring budgets and plans.

Applicant Satisfaction

The better the candidate experience, the more likely your applicants will accept your job. Give a standardized survey to new hires to collect feedback that will assist in improving the overall candidate experience in the future. One way to use this recruiting metric is to measure applicant satisfaction by finding out your applicant completion rate, which determines the time it takes a candidate to start the application, to when they submit it. A complicated application process could lead to more applicants falling off before completion. Using a mobile-friendly application gives candidates the ability to find your career page or submit an application without a home computer, allowing you to reach more candidates.

Quality/Productivity of Hire

This is on recruiting metric that is tough to measure and can be based on subjective feedback. However, tracking it will allow you to stay updated on new employees’ successes. A good performance management system can track the performance of both new and veteran employees.

Calculating recruitment metrics is much easier when you have an applicant tracking system (ATS) that feeds you data. Once you have organized your data (retention rate, time to hire, source of hire, etc.), you can dive in and see where you can make some improvements. The important thing is that you begin collecting the data as soon as you can so that you can begin using it to work smarter – not harder – and improve your hiring process to truly develop a talented workforce.

Learn more by downloading our ebook, To Attract the Best Talent, Offer the Best Pre-Hire Experience: 3 top tips to make applicants want to work for your Company. To attract top talent. an ATS is the most important tool in your arsenal.

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