5 recruitment metrics you should be optimizing

Last updated:
March 1, 2021
November 30, 2022
min read
Sim Samra
Table of contents

An efficient hiring process supported with good quality recruitment data enables your business to make better hiring decisions.  For most organizations, streamlining the hiring process begins with monitoring your recruitment metrics to identify potential areas for improvement.

But if you’re not familiar with managing data in your recruitment, you can be left feeling a little in the dark. Especially when it comes to making improvements in your hiring process.

What are recruitment metrics?

Recruitment metrics are data points collected at key points in your recruitment process (see Recruitee's Report Builder feature below). Some popular recruitment metrics include time to hire, candidate conversion rate, proceed rates, and interviews to hires ratio.

Wondering where to get started and which recruitment metrics you might want to start monitoring? Below are the five most important recruitment data points to optimize.

5 recruitment metrics you should optimize

1. Time to hire

Also referred to as time to fill, time to hire is measured by how long your job posts are left unfilled. 57% of job seekers lose interest if the hiring process takes too long, so reducing this recruitment metric should be a priority.

A lengthy application form alone can lose up to 90% of the qualified candidates reviewing your job posts but prolonging the interview process with multiple interviews also adds to the frustration among the candidates in your pipeline.

recruitment metrics quote

How to optimize your time to hire:

  • Offer a one-click apply application form.
  • Carry out effective pre-employment screening to ensure the candidates you see are the best fit for your vacancy.
  • Fast-track highly qualified applicants and employee referrals by tagging them through your ATS.
  • Structure your interview process.
  • Make a prompt job offer to your preferred candidate.

2. Quality of hire

Quality of hire can be a problematic recruitment metric for HR to measure as it can take into account a number of factors, including productivity and cultural fit. Employee retention levels among your most recent hires will give an indication of the quality of your hire.

If the recruitment data in your ATS shows a significant percentage of new hires leaving before the end of their probation period, the problem may lie in your hiring process. 90% of new hires would leave their new job within the first month of employment if it doesn’t match the expectations conveyed by HR during the interview process.

recruitment metrics quote

How to optimize your quality of hire:

To improve your quality of hire, focus on your most successful hiring sources, review your screening filters in your recruitment software and resist the temptation to make a hiring decision based on the interview. Gut feeling is still the most common deciding factor in hiring, taking precedence over interview experience and qualifications and it directly contributes to poor quality of hire and often lack of diversity within your organization.

Support your decision with the recruitment data in your ATS gathered throughout the hiring process to improve your overall quality of hire.

3. Source of hire

Understanding the source of your most qualified candidates enables your hiring team to focus resources on those areas, reduce your time to hire and build up a talent pool of pre-qualified candidates for future vacancies.

Ideally, your top source of high-quality candidates should come through your employee referrals. Identify which channels convert the most candidate through your ATS, which will show where your conversion rate can also be improved. Then dedicate resources to the channels in your recruitment funnel which are proven to produce the highest numbers of qualified candidates.

How to optimize your source of hire:

Source of hire is an important recruitment data point to help you determine your best performing talent acquisition channels. So what can you do with this information? Well, successful sources of hire should be doubled down on when it comes to financial investment, attention, and marketing focus.

For example, if a channel like LinkedIn has produced five of your most recent successful hires, this may suggest that it’s a good channel for these kinds of hires. For future sourcing efforts you may want to consider budgeting for promoted posts on LinkedIn. Alternatively, if you know a channel has not been generating good quality candidates resulting in hires, you may want to limit resources (time, effort, money) spent on that particular channel.

You have to keep in mind that candidates have access to a wide range of sources where they could have come across your job ad, so determining the exact source that encouraged them to apply to your organization isn't always straightforward, as you might think.

For example, social media is a very influential tool in being able to attract a candidate's attention to you, yet it will get them to apply via other sources. Therefore, this makes it difficult to track where your candidates are applying from.

To help you better understand where talent is finding you, use a recruitment marketing platform to understand your candidate's interaction with your brand better. Once your candidate has applied, you could send out an automated survey asking them exactly how they found you:

  • How did you find this job opportunity?
  • What source did you use to apply?
  • What made you consider the role?

You can cross-reference any data you get back to get a more accurate reflection of what sources are working for you and which aren't. By going straight to the source (the candidate), you're likely to obtain more accurate reporting of your sourcing techniques.

4. Applicant drop-off rate

This critical recruitment metric is gauged by the percentage of applicants who begin but do not complete your application process. It can also include those who abandon your pipeline while waiting for your hiring team to respond to their application. The more drawn out your time to hire, the higher your applicant drop-off rate. Paying attention to this recruitment metric also results in a better candidate experience.

How to optimize your applicant drop-off rate:

Take the following steps to reduce your applicant drop-off rate through your recruitment software:

  • Reduce your time to hire by identifying the roadblocks through your ATS.
  • Offer a  to make it easy for talent on the move to apply to your job posts.
  • Engage with the talent in your pipeline by acknowledging applications promptly and managing expectations by outlining the key steps in your hiring process at the outset. Notify your candidates of any delays in meeting those key steps.
  • Schedule automated updates on their progress through your recruitment software, including interview confirmations and reminders to minimize candidate no-shows.

5. Job offer to acceptance ratio

As qualified candidates in talent-starved sectors receive multiple job offers, your job offer to acceptance ratio will become an increasingly important recruitment metric for your business to measure.

High levels of job rejections suggest:

  • You’re taking too long to decide. A quarter of candidates will wait for just one week for you to make an offer. Review the data in your recruitment software and aim to make a hiring decision within 24 hours.
  • A problem with your candidate experience, which can often lie within the interview process itself.  Focus on structured interviews to evaluate candidates on an objective basis.
  • A salary which doesn’t reflect market rates (or a counteroffer from their current employer).
  • A problem with your onboarding process. A job offer acceptance doesn’t necessarily equate to the new hire joining your company. Review the levels of reneged job offers in your ATS as well as those that refused your job offer to ensure an efficient hiring process.

How to optimize your job offer to acceptance ratio:

Because this metric is collected at one of the last stages in your recruitment process, poor ratios can be a result of multiple factors from earlier stages. Assess your hiring process with this recruitment data point in mind. Look for reasons as to why candidates might be turning down your offers. You may also want to consider more broadly your candidate journey and assess the candidate experience your hiring process generates. While there is no quick (or easy fix) for poor job offer to acceptance ratios. But it can indicate the need to review your recruitment process as a whole.

recruitment metrics in recruitee
Recruitee allows you to track all of the important hiring metrics to predict future recruitment success.

Improving your process with recruitment and hiring metrics

The path towards fully optimizing your recruitment process can be long. Sometimes you may have to take a step back before taking two steps forward.Gathering, monitoring, and analyzing your recruitment data is a core part of this process.

Make sure that you are using recruitment software, like Recruitee (see below), that can accommodate and facilitate this process with reporting features and automated monitoring.

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