6 Key Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Recruiting Process

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starIdentifying the key metrics to measure the success of your recruiting process can certainly be challenging for talent acquisition professionals. The difficulty of measuring the success of recruitment processes is one of the reasons why recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) companies thrive, and why they spend a great deal of time fine-tuning their measurement techniques and strategies.

As a professional in the recruitment space, I have seen many organizations select various key metrics to measure the success of their recruiting processes over the years. Understandably, these metrics are generally grouped under measurements of efficiency and quality, and the organizations utilize a mixture of measurements that allow them to better determine the success of their recruitment efforts.

While measuring recruitment activity is very important, measuring and reviewing every single possible metric will leave you very little time to actually recruit.

So, assuming you already have a star-studded recruiting team that is ready to build an outstanding workforce, it’s time for you to take a step back and consider the following six key metrics to measure the success of your recruiting process.

Speed and Efficiency Measures

Having a lot of candidates in your pipeline is a great thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are on your way to meeting your hiring goals. The following three measures should be reviewed regularly to ensure that your candidates move through your pipeline efficiently, and that your pipeline leads to on-target hires.

1. Time to Present/Number of Candidate Slates

One of the most critical indicators of both time-to-fill and hiring manager satisfaction is the length of time that elapses between the opening of the job requisition and the presentation of a qualified candidate slate.

Usually, a slate is defined as three qualified candidates for a job, and the target date for presentation of a slate is 10-14 days from the opening of the job (depending on the position type and complexity).

By measuring both the average time needed to present a slate and the percentage of slates presented within the target period, you will quickly be able to identify whether or not the recruitment team is meeting hiring manager expectations for speed. If you find that targets are consistently being missed, you can start to dive into root-cause issues of advertising and posting effectiveness, proactive sourcing capabilities, and recruiter efficiency and workload.

2. Hiring Manager Feedback Timeliness

Getting quick feedback from the manager about the quality of the submitted candidate slate is critical. We generally encourage an internal service level agreement (SLA) of two business days for managers to provide go/no-go feedback on the presented candidates.

By measuring the actual time it takes to receive feedback, talent acquisition teams can often uncover critical bottlenecks in the recruitment process and avoid both delays and the potential loss of good candidates who get caught in “we don’t have an update for you” limbo.

It can be very effective for TA to publish a quarterly scorecard, by department, of the time-to-hiring-manager-feedback averages. Often, business leaders will compete to see who can turn in feedback the quickest once it becomes apparent that certain departments are outperforming others in this area.

3. Aging of Requisitions

Tracking and monitoring aged requisitions is critical for evaluating the effectiveness of your recruiting team and process. While zero aged requisitions is a laudable goal, it isn’t necessarily a reasonable one. Generally, 10-20 percent of requisitions aged beyond 45 days is normal, even in a well-functioning recruiting department.

By tracking and reporting on both the number and the percentage of aged requisitions weekly, TA leaders can identify and solve small problem areas before they become big problems.

Quality Metrics

Measuring speed and efficiency only tells half the story. Measuring the quality of the recruiting process is equally important.

4. Present-to-Interview Ratio

Getting a slate of candidates in front of a hiring manager won’t be enough to fill the job if the hiring manager doesn’t like any of the candidates!

A key measure of initial quality is the ratio of candidates presented to the hiring manager to the number of candidates selected for an interview. Anything less than 75 percent selected (three selected for interview out of every four presented) should be a cause for concern. Why aren’t candidates meeting the manager’s expectation? Was it a miss on the part of the recruiters? Was it a manager being overly selective?

Whenever the present-to-interview ratio is not at target levels, you’ll need to dive deeper to uncover what the problem may be.

5. Interview-to-Offer Ratio

The interview-to-offer ratio measures how many candidates on average a hiring manager needs to interview in order to make a hire. Ideally, this ratio should be no higher than 3:1, with every three interviews resulting in one hire.

If your measurements peg this ratio as something higher than 3:1, more analysis will determine whether this is the result of the recruiter submitting poor candidates or of the manager failing to effectively evaluate candidates.

In either case, a high interview-to-offer ratio is a cause for concern because of the waste it creates — not just in the recruitment department, but also the wasted time the hiring manager invests in performing too many interviews.

6. Offer Acceptance Rate

The offer acceptance rate — that is, the percentage of offers made to candidates that are accepted — is a key measurement for talent acquisition teams.

The ideal number for this rate varies, depending on position type and industry. It usually ranges from 80 percent in the highly competitive IT space to 95+ percent in less-competitive corporate support functions like finance, HR, or administrative roles.

By establishing a baseline and tracking the offer acceptance rate month over month, TA leaders can identify the competitiveness and attractiveness of their offers to the candidate market and tweak offers accordingly.

Measuring the overall success of your organization’s recruitment efforts will always produce challenges as the market changes. However, these metrics are examples of how your organization can assess the effectiveness of the recruiting process it has in place.

What’s more, measuring and tracking efficiency and quality of hire is a great way to demonstrate talent acquisition’s value to the rest of your organization. HR as a function has great potential to maximize the value of an organization’s talent and make a major contribution to the company’s overall strategy. This can be achieved by first understanding the overall impact the recruiting process has on the business and then demonstrating that improvements in hiring efficiency and quality can produce incredible business benefits.

Read more in Recruitment Metrics

Amy Caswell is a director of talent acquisition for Motion Recruitment Partners. She has more than eleven years of experience within the recruiting industry and is responsible for delivering Motion Recruitment Partner’s solutions to clients. She has also held the title "Director of Client Services." Her areas of expertise include recruitment process outsourcing, client relationship development, partnership programs, team building, and operational delivery. She began her career at Seven Step and previously held roles as a recruiter, team manager, and solution delivery manager. She is a graduate of Fairfield University and lives near Boston, MA.