Recruiting metrics are key to evaluating the health and effectiveness of your recruiting process. The proper mix of recruiting metrics won’t just tell you what’s working and what’s not: they tell you where you should be allocating time and budget.

These are the eight recruitment metrics you should take the extra effort to track in 2019:

1) Time to Fill

Time to Fill is the time it takes to identify a candidate and fill an open position in an organization. Tracking Time to Fill is imperative because it directly impacts your ability to onboard the most lucrative talent. 

The average time to fill is 42 days. (Though time to fill varies across industries – from 14 to 63 days – some organizations are filling positions the same day they open.)

For the enterprising talent acquisition team, this is a tremendous opportunity. With the proper application of artificial intelligence, hiring times of under a week are not unheard of.

How long it takes to fill a requisition has knock-on effects for other metrics. Shorter fill times mean:

  • Increased hiring manager productivity, since managers need to spend less time interviewing candidates.
  • Decreased cost of vacancy, since open roles are filled more quickly and the business can operate at peak bandwidth.
  • Decreased cost to fill, since recruiters spend less time on each requisition.

With a hiring time of 42 days, imagine how many top candidates select employment at other organizations. For companies hiring in under 24 hours, not only are they acquiring the best employees for their organization, they are avoiding the opportunity cost of missing out on top talent. 

How to hire in under 24 hours

2) Time in Process Step

Time in Process Step describes the time a candidate spends in each step (you should be able to see this in your ATS). Examples of process steps include phone screens, submissions to the hiring manager, and interviews. 

When you analyze time in each process step, chances are you’ll find some bottlenecks. Candidates could be sitting in hiring manager review for weeks at a time, or a faulty integration could be preventing candidates from moving along in the process.

Identifying these bottlenecks is critical for prioritizing where teams spend their time. For example, if it takes weeks for hiring managers to bring candidates in for interviews, a more advisory approach to the recruiter-hiring manager relationship might speed this along. If moving candidates through the ATS is manual and time-consuming, you can use this metric to drive the conversation around automation and integrations. 

Every process hand-off lengthens the time it takes to hire. Generally speaking, the fewer process steps, the faster the process. 

3) Quality of Hire

Quality of Hire (also known as First Year Quality), is the percentage of candidates submitted by recruiters who are accepted for employment plus the percentage of these that do not leave, divided by two. The resulting metric indicates the effectiveness of the recruiting team in identifying quality, loyal talent. It represents the distinction between more candidates and the best candidates. 

This is a metric that matters tremendously to business stakeholders. If recruiting teams are submitting low-quality talent, hiring managers are wasting valuable time and resources filtering through them. 

So how can this metric be improved? On the surface it seems like something that can only be fixed retroactively, either by altering the recruiting team or changing the way candidates are submitted.

In years past, this assumption would be correct. But with artificial intelligence (AI), HireVue is able to build models based on performance data  – and feed this back into the initial pre-employment assessment

4) Submittal to Business Acceptance Percentage

Another way to quantify Quality of Hire is with the Submittal to Business Acceptance Percentage (SBA) metric. SBA is the percentage of candidates submitted by the recruiting function that are ultimately hired. 

To calculate Submittal to Business Acceptance Percentage, divide the percentage of candidates ultimately hired by the number of candidates submitted to a hiring manager. For example, if 100 candidates are submitted to be interviewed by a hiring manager and 10 are hired, SBA is 10%.

This number will quite likely be different across departments. 

Submittal to Business Acceptance Percentage is an excellent measure of how well recruiting is sourcing and screening candidates. A low SBA indicates that – for whatever reason – hiring managers are not happy with the majority of candidates they are receiving. A high SBA means recruiting is doing its job very well: finding the best possible talent for the organization. 

5) Offer Acceptance Rate

This metric is a straightforward comparison between the number of candidates given a job offer and the number that accept, though its implications are far from simple. If your organization has an industry-low Offer Acceptance Rate, your offers are likely not competitive enough. 

But the implications of a low Offer Acceptance Rate don’t stop with lackluster 401k matching. If it comes to light that certain demographics are not accepting otherwise lucrative offers, there may be a systemic problem with your talent pipeline that makes these groups uncomfortable with your workplace. 

6) Application Drop Off Rate

Application Drop Off Rate is the percentage of applicants who start but do not complete the application process. Improving this metric not only creates a better candidate experience, it gives your organization better access to top talent. 

The traditional job application takes over 30 minutes to complete, is not optimized for mobile, and requires extraneous information many job seekers are uncomfortable giving out. The best candidates know they are the best, and will not put up with a bloated application.

7) Candidate Net Promoter Score

Bottom-line observers are starting to notice the importance of Candidate Net Promoter Score (measured by survey during the hiring process) as we continue the march toward social media’s ascendancy.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric commonly used to gauge consumer satisfaction, but it can also gauge the satisfaction of candidates. To measure NPS, ask candidates: “How likely are you to recommend this experience to a friend or colleague?” on a scale of 0-10. Subtract the percentage of candidates who answer with a “9” or “10” from the percentage that answer between 1 and 6. The resulting score can range from -100 to +100, with a score above 0 considered “good” and a score above 50 considered “excellent.”

An unsatisfied candidate is no longer a voiceless unknown who will complain about their experience to a couple friends at dinner. In the 21st century, an unsatisfied candidate is an enraged Twitter account, an antagonistic Facebook page, and a hostile Instagram profile. Your company’s reputation among customers is no longer distinct from your reputation as an employer.

Virgin Media famously learned this lesson in 2014. In their first-ever “Rejected Candidate Survey,” they uncovered that 18% of their candidates were customers- and 33% of these had such an atrocious experience they switched to a competitor. The revenue lost from these lost customers was estimated to be around $5 million dollars, the same amount they spent on hiring. 

Building strong candidate satisfaction does more than ameliorate losses – it also has the potential to drive revenue. In the Talent Board’s 2017 Candidate Experience Research Report (a survey of 100,000+ candidates), 74% of candidates who gave their experience the highest rating said they would also increase their business relationship with that employer.

Unemployment is at record lows. Read why candidate experience matters more than ever.

8) Cost to Fill

Cost to Fill is a metric that measures the average cost to fill a position, from candidate attraction to onboarding. In large organizations, cost to acquire has measurable impact on the bottom line. In smaller organizations, it can make or break the yearly budget.

Cost to Fill should be viewed in the context of the previous seven metrics. For example, a decreased Time to Fill usually results in a lower Cost to Fill ; an increase in Quality of Hire can help justify any increased expenditures. Cost to Fill should inform your overall recruiting strategy, but it should not drive it.

The Importance of Brevity

In September 2015, Rob McIntosh of ERE Media put together a phenomenal, comprehensive list of 19 trackable recruitment metrics. He explains that prior to the composition of this list, “you could find millions of results by searching for most of the basic recruiting metrics, but try finding out the actual formulas of how these metrics are made up, and there are few to no results, or they are hidden and not published.” 

But for most, his list is too comprehensive. Two months after the list’s publication, John Sullivan (also of ERE Media), hit the nail on the head with his article “The 6 Strategic Recruiting Metrics That Executives Want To See.”

Three years later, this is still an important distinction to make: there are many recruiting metrics that can be useful in some scenarios, but far fewer that are necessary in all- particularly as tech continues to influence recruiting standards.