recruiting metrics

Important recruiting metrics you should track

Recruiting is a critical function for any organization, as it directly impacts the company’s ability to attract and retain top talent. In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to ensure your recruiting efforts are efficient and effective.

To do this, many HR and talent acquisition professionals rely on recruiting metrics to measure the success of their efforts. In this article, we will explore what top recruiting metrics are and why tracking them is crucial for your organization’s success in talent acquisition.

What are recruiting metrics?

Recruiting metrics are essential data points and key performance indicators (KPIs) that organizations use to assess, measure, and optimize their recruitment processes. These metrics provide valuable insights into the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance of an organization’s talent acquisition efforts. They are crucial for making data-driven decisions, improving the quality of hires, and enhancing the candidate experience.

Recruiting metrics encompass a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data, tracking various aspects of the recruitment process. Some of the most common recruiting metrics include:

  • Time to Fill
  • Time Taken to Hire
  • Quality of Hire
  • Cost per Hire
  • Offer Acceptance Rate
  • Number of Open Positions
  • Selection Ratio

These metrics serve multiple purposes. They help organizations identify areas where their recruitment processes may be experiencing challenges or bottlenecks, such as prolonged vacancy periods or high recruitment costs. They also allow organizations to assess the effectiveness of their sourcing strategies, candidate screening methods, and overall hiring approaches.


1. Time to fill

Time to fill is a key recruiting metric to track that measures the number of days it takes to fill a job vacancy from the moment it’s opened. This metric is vital for assessing the efficiency of your recruitment process. A shorter time to fill indicates a faster response to hiring needs, reducing the chances of productivity losses due to unfilled positions. It can also positively impact the candidate experience by demonstrating your organization’s agility.

The Time to Fill metric takes into account several stages of the hiring process, such as posting a job vacancy, sourcing candidates, interviewing, and making a job offer. A protracted Time to Fill can lead to lost productivity, increased workloads for existing employees, and potential damage to your organization’s reputation.

2. Time taken to hire

Time taken to hire measures the total time taken to hire a candidate, starting from the moment the job is posted to the candidate’s acceptance. This metric provides insights into the entire recruitment process. A shorter time to hire not only reduces the risk of losing top talent to competitors but also minimizes administrative costs and can improve the overall candidate experience by reducing delays in communication.

Reducing the time taken to hire often involves optimizing your candidate screening, interviewing, and onboarding procedures. By creating a more streamlined, efficient process, you can enhance the candidate experience, reduce costs, and address critical staffing needs more promptly.

3. Quality of hire

Quality of hire is a vital metric that evaluates the performance and impact of new employees once they have been onboarded. While speed and efficiency are crucial, the ultimate goal of recruitment is to bring in candidates who will contribute positively to your organization. Quality of Hire assesses how well a candidate’s skills, competencies, and cultural fit align with your organization’s needs.

This metric helps in evaluating the effectiveness of your recruitment process and the accuracy of candidate assessments. A high-quality hire typically leads to increased productivity, lower turnover, and a positive contribution to your organization’s goals and culture. To measure the Quality of Hire, organizations may rely on key performance indicators (KPIs), such as job performance, retention rates, and peer feedback.

4. Application per hire

Applications per hire is an HR recruiting metric that calculates the number of applications received for each position before it’s filled. A high number of applications per hire can signify a healthy talent pipeline.

However, it’s essential to assess this metric in tandem with the quality of applicants. High application numbers may not be beneficial if they don’t match up with the quality of hires.

By analyzing applications per hire, you can identify areas where your recruitment process may need improvement. This might include revamping job descriptions, refining candidate sourcing strategies, or enhancing your employer brand to attract better-fitting applicants.

5. Cost per hire

Cost per hire is a key recruitment metric that calculates the expenses incurred during the recruitment process. It includes expenses such as job advertisements, agency fees, recruiter salaries, and any other related costs. Reducing the Cost per Hire is a common goal for organizations seeking to optimize their recruitment processes. Lowering costs without compromising the Quality of Hire is essential for maintaining profitability and financial sustainability.

Understanding your cost per hire can help you make strategic decisions about your recruitment budget and resource allocation. It can also highlight areas where you might be overspending or suggest where you can cut costs without sacrificing the effectiveness of your hiring process.

6. Offer acceptance rate

The offer acceptance rate measures the proportion of job offers that candidates accept. This metric is a crucial indicator of your organization’s ability to attract and engage with candidates effectively. A high Offer Acceptance Rate is generally a positive sign, suggesting that you are making compelling job offers to the right candidates and that your recruitment process is well-aligned with candidate expectations.

Conversely, a low Offer Acceptance Rate may signal issues in the recruitment process. This can include unrealistic job offers, misalignment between candidate expectations and your company’s offerings, or intense competition in the job market. By analyzing Offer Acceptance Rates, organizations can refine their approach to securing top talent, ensuring that their offers are competitive and attractive to the candidates they want to hire.

7. Number of open positions

The number of open positions is a crucial recruitment metric that provides a snapshot of an organization’s current staffing needs. It reflects the total count of job vacancies within a company at a given time. Monitoring this metric is vital for HR and talent acquisition teams as it directly influences resource allocation, workload distribution, and strategic hiring planning.

A high number of open positions can indicate various factors such as company growth, staff turnover, or seasonal workforce demands. On the other hand, a low number suggests stability but can also reveal the challenges in finding the right talent. It’s essential to strike a balance, ensuring that the organization has the right workforce to meet its operational requirements.

8. Selection ratio

The selection ratio is a recruitment metric that measures the number of job applicants who successfully move through the selection process compared to the total number of applicants. It provides insights into the competitiveness of the recruitment process and the organization’s ability to identify and secure the most suitable candidates.

A high selection ratio, indicating that a significant portion of applicants progress through the selection process, suggests that the initial screening criteria may be too lenient. This can lead to a higher workload for the hiring team and potentially result in a suboptimal quality of hire. A low selection ratio, conversely, may indicate overly stringent screening criteria, causing organizations to potentially overlook strong candidates. Striking a balance in the selection ratio is crucial, aiming to attract and evaluate the best-fit candidates efficiently.

9. Experience of candidates

The experience of a candidate is a critical factor in recruitment and is often assessed in terms of qualifications, work history, and relevant skills. Evaluating a candidate’s experience is essential to determine their suitability for a specific role and to gauge their potential contribution to the organization.

Experience can vary in terms of seniority, industry knowledge, and the relevance of past roles to the position in question. A candidate with extensive experience in a relevant field may require less training and onboarding, potentially contributing more quickly to the organization’s goals. However, candidates with less experience can also bring fresh perspectives and adaptability.

Balancing the experience of candidates with other factors, such as cultural fit and potential for growth, is essential. While experience is crucial, it’s not the sole determinant of a candidate’s suitability. A holistic approach to candidate evaluation, including interviews, skills assessments, and reference checks, is necessary to make well-informed hiring decisions.

10. Source of hire

The source of hire is a metric that tracks where an organization’s successful hires originate. It could include sources like job boards, employee referrals, career fairs, social media, or recruitment agencies. By analyzing this metric, companies can determine the most effective channels for finding and attracting talent.

This information helps in optimizing recruitment strategies and allocating resources to the most fruitful sources. For example, if employee referrals yield high-quality candidates, the company might incentivize and encourage current employees to refer potential candidates. Understanding the source of hire is essential for efficient and cost-effective recruitment practices.

Read more: Recruitment methods

Why should you track recruiting metrics?

1. Data-Driven Decision-Making

Recruiting metrics provide hard data that helps organizations make informed decisions. By relying on data rather than intuition, you can refine your recruitment strategies for better results.

2. Continuous Improvement in hiring

Tracking metrics allows for ongoing process improvement. Identifying areas of inefficiency or opportunities for enhancement helps streamline the hiring process.

3. Better Resource Allocation

Understanding cost-per-hire and source of hire helps in allocating resources effectively. You can invest more in channels that yield high-quality candidates and reduce expenses where necessary.

4. Measuring ROI

By tracking recruiting metrics, you can quantify the return on investment for your recruitment efforts, making it easier to justify expenses and demonstrate the value of HR and talent acquisition to your organization’s leadership.

Tools to track Recruiting metrics

1. Application tracking system

An Application Tracking System (ATS) is a valuable tool for tracking recruiting metrics throughout the hiring process. It offers a range of features that help HR teams monitor and evaluate their recruitment efforts. Key metrics that can be tracked using an ATS include time to fill, source of hire, candidate pipeline,  quality of hire, and more.

2. Screening and Assessment Software

Screening and Assessment Software is designed to evaluate and assess candidates’ qualifications and suitability for specific roles. While screening and assessment software primarily focus on assessing candidates, they can also track various metrics related to the assessment process: The following are the important recruitment metrics that can be tracked using these tools: Assessment completion rate, assessment scores, and time spent on assessments.

3. Human resource information system

Last but not least, a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) can be a powerful tool for tracking recruitment metrics and enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process. HRIS systems often include an applicant tracking module that allows HR teams to monitor and manage all job applications and provides a centralized repository of applicant data, making it easy to track each candidate’s progress through the hiring process.

HRIS tools can also calculate and display the time it takes to complete the hiring process, from the moment a job opening is posted to the candidate’s onboarding.  It also allows organizations to track the costs associated with recruitment. This includes expenses such as job board advertising, agency fees, background checks, and personnel costs. Analyzing these costs helps organizations optimize their recruitment budget allocation.


In summary, recruiting metrics provide the necessary data for organizations to evaluate, fine-tune, and optimize their talent acquisition strategies. By using these metrics, businesses can attract, hire, and retain the right talent more effectively, ultimately contributing to their overall success and growth.

These metrics also provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your recruitment process, enabling data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement.

From measuring time-to-fill and cost per hire to assessing the quality of your hires and the source of your talent pool, these metrics offer a comprehensive view of your recruitment efforts.

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