What benchmarks do you use to measure success in your recruitment process?

While some consider recruitment a success when an open position is filled, there is much more to consider. Recruiting, training, and onboarding all require time and money. Repeating this process after a bad hire not only costs money but can lead to decreased productivity and attrition among other team members. Tracking hiring statistics that help quantify recruitment success can help refine and improve the process. Keep reading to learn what benchmarks other recruiters are using to measure success.
Tony Giacobbe

Tony Giacobbe

Tony Giacobbe, HR and Talent Acquisition Leader at Amica Senior Lifestyles.

Evaluating Recruitment Methods

You can assess whether the new hire’s manager is pleased with the new employee(s) by emailing them a quick questionnaire one to three months after onboarding has taken place. It would ask for their thoughts on how the new employee is settling in, as well as how much of a positive contribution they believe the hire has made to the team and company. Questions would ideally be centered on teamwork, KPIs, and the performance of the department.

The invite must be also extended to the new hire to comment on their experience through a similar questionnaire. Employees should know that their answers are confidential, so they feel more able to comment on their performance honestly. This enables [recruiters] to refine recruitment processes moving forward.

Generally, annual staff turnover is another benchmark of success. HR teams want to retain their employees and their expertise and minimize advertising, onboarding, and training costs. At the end of each year, recruiters should divide the number of employees who have moved on (before reaching one year of service at the company) by the total [number that] have left that year. A high turnover indicates that the company needs to reconsider management, expectations, and work culture.

Importantly, the thing that makes a good HR team different from an average HR team is the ability to act on findings from such measurement exercises.

Measuring the Success Rate of the Recruitment Process

1. Time to Fill/Time to Hire
These are similar metrics. “Time to fill” is a company-wide metric tracking the total elapsed time from posting a job opening to hiring a candidate. “Time to hire” measures the length of the individual candidate’s hiring process from turning in their application to accepting the job offer. It’s smart to track both metrics. If the “time to fill” is significantly longer than the “time to hire,” this is a sign you’re not getting enough high-quality applicants and should analyze your job postings and sourcing strategy. Conversely, a long “time to hire” is often a sign of bottlenecks or inefficiency in the hiring process.

2. Offer Acceptance Rate
Ideally, this will be 100%. In reality, the current average is around 65-75%, depending on the industry. If your offer acceptance rate is lower than your industry’s average, this is a sign you’re missing out on top talent and should work to identify why candidates are declining your offers. Don’t just assume you need to raise salaries. It is a common reason why candidates decline an offer, but other factors like the work hours and environment, benefits offered/not offered, or workplace culture could be to blame.

3. Application Completion Rate
Most systems will let you track how many people start an application as well as those who submit one. This can be a useful metric for refining the application process itself. A few abandoned applications aren’t cause for concern, but if a significant percentage of applicants give up before they’re finished, this is a sign your process is overly long or complicated and you’re potentially losing qualified applicants.

4. Percentage of Qualified Candidates
There are two numbers to consider here. First, the total number of qualified candidates who apply for a given position. Second, look at what percentage of the total applications that [number] represents. You can often gauge this [percentage] by looking at what percentage of applicants are invited to interview. The average percentage interviewed is around 10-15%. An applicant to interview ratio under 10% is a sign you need to refine your job posting or sourcing strategy. You’re reaching job seekers but not necessarily the ones you want. If your percentage is 15% or higher, and you’re still struggling to find enough qualified candidates, this means your total application volume is too low and you should ramp up your recruitment marketing to get more eyes on your job openings.

Matt Erhard

Matt Erhard

Matt Erhard, Managing Partner at Summit Search Group.
Ramakrishna R.

Ramakrishna R.

Ramakrishna R., Co-founder & CTO of CureSkin

Recruitment Metrics to Consider

The sustained success of an organization, firm, or business hinges, among other things, on its recruitment process.

1. Satisfaction of the Hiring Manager
For instance, the process of hiring recruits allows me [get] to know them well. Thus, if I hire based on quality, I have confidence in their ability to perform.

2. Quality of Candidates
I know our call for job applications is at the level of desired quality depending on the quality of candidates that apply, not just the numbers. Merely seeing very qualified applications, you can rest assured you will be selecting from a pool of best [candidates].

3. Time to Hire
For me, it is also important [to know] how long it took us to get applications. In addition, I consider how long they took to accept our job offer. It shows how much the job appeals to them and their future dedication to the project.

4. Retention of Candidates
Given the expensive cost of replacement, it is not important to only hire workers. It is equally important to retain them, especially when highly qualified. When candidates remain working with you, it means you have had a successful recruitment exercise.

Four Ways to Points to Check When Recruiting

Total Headcount Budget
Leaders work hard to get their headcount budgets approved, especially if additions are needed. Showing that our efforts mirror their anticipated need is important.

Review Posting Views and Click-throughs.
If 1000 people reviewed your posting, and 25 applied, that may be fine if the 25 [applicants] match what is needed in the role. If not, you may need to tweak your posted job title or requirements.

Requisitions Per Recruiter
If you have overburdened recruiters, your candidate experience will suffer, and in this market, it may make the difference between finding the right talent [and coming up empty-handed].

The Number of Clicks to Apply
If candidates have to retype the resumé they worked hours on or hired a killer resumé writer to perfect into your ATS, it is a waste of time.

Jamie Swaim

Jamie Swaim

Jamie Swaim, SPHR and Founder of Parcel Knows
Patricia Lenkov

Patricia Lenkov

Patricia Lenkov, Founder, and President at Agility Executive Search LLC.

Two Key Reference Points

The first is, of course, finding the right candidate for the role. The right candidate meets not only the qualifications of the position but also the culture of the organization. Once they begin in their new role, success can be measured by the accomplishment of pre-determined goals measured in intervals after the person begins – for example after 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Tenure is another important measurement of success. Does the person remain in the job? Turnover is expensive and no company needs unnecessary turnover.

Another measure of success, particularly for those leading teams, is turnover amongst team members. Bringing on a new manager who meets the needs of the role is one thing, but that person’s success is also dependent on fostering growth and success for their team. If direct reports are regularly leaving the company after the new manager arrives,it is certainly an issue and an indication of lack of success in the recruitment process.

Retention Rate, Turnover Rate, and Quality of Hire

I measure several pre-hire criteria and decide on the prospective candidate’s viability by looking at their work experience, extracurricular activities, relevant certifications, desired salary range, and interview performance.

I also look for candidates who score above a minimum threshold on tests such as the Wonderlic Personnel Test and ASSET test. On average, five out of any given 100 prospects make it past this initial filter stage to be considered for an offer or interview with my company(s).

It is at that point where I assess how they are performing in their role using metrics like retention rate, turnover rate (percentage of employees who left), quality of hire (measured by comparing scores from pre-hire exams to post-hire work.

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker, Founder and Head of H.R at dogfooddesire.com
Matthew Paxton

Matthew Paxton

Matthew Paxton, Founder, and Owner of Hypernia.

Recruitment Yield Ratios

We use recruitment yield ratios as a key metric to see how many candidates we’ve hired from a total number of applications. It allows us to assess the efficiency of our sourcing, screening, and overall recruitment process, pinpointing bottlenecks to decrease the time it takes for us to make a good hire.

For example, what specific filters we’ve applied in the initial screening process are causing us to lose suitable candidates for the position? Since time to hire is a crucial point of focus for HR, calculating yield ratios gives us numbers we can compare with our data and industry benchmarks to save us a lot of cost and time.

4 Statistics to Measure Recruitment Success

  1. Number of new hires that reached the 3-month mark after hiring.
  2. The work quality and productiveness of a new hire within a time frame.
  3. How many new hires were offered a contract extension after the trial period?
  4. The number of new hires that accomplished the trial period.
Heather Reid

Heather Reid

Heather Reid, Resource Manager at UkuleleTabs

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