Here Are 10 Recruiting KPIs and Metrics You Need to Be Tracking

Written by
Rachel Thomson
Last updated:
Created on:
May 17, 2024

Here Are 10 Recruiting KPIs and Metrics You Need to Be Tracking

Every recruiter wants the ability to improve their hiring processes reliably. Maybe you want to find better-fit candidates. Or maybe you want to speed up your recruiting process so you can get high-quality talent in seats faster. The point is, there’s always something to improve upon in recruitment.

But there’s a problem.

According to Aptitude Research, only 50% of recruiters actually collect data on their recruiting process. And without this data, attempts at improving your recruiting process are nothing more than educated guesses.

Recruiting KPIs and metrics (like data in any field) allow you to take a more scientific approach to optimization. It helps you understand which parts of your process are working well, which aren’t, and exactly which levers you need to pull to get the results you want.

Not sure which recruiting KPIs to track (or why)? In this Willo guide, we share ten recruiting KPIs that will help you optimize your recruiting process. For each, we explain what it is, why it’s important, how to calculate it, and finally, how to improve it.

But first…

What Are Recruiting KPIs?

Recruiting key performance indicators (KPIs) are strategic metrics used to measure the success of your recruiting efforts and help you optimize your recruitment process

Technically speaking, any recruiting metric can be considered a KPI—the only requirement is that it helps you track your progress toward your recruitment goals. That said, certain metrics tend to offer more valuable insights than others.

For a well-rounded recruitment monitoring strategy, you want to have KPIs for every stage of the recruiting process, including:

  • Sourcing KPIs (e.g., cost per hire)
  • Selection KPIs (e.g., time to fill)
  • Screening and interview KPIs (e.g., candidate satisfaction)
  • Onboarding KPIs (e.g., turnover rate)
  • Outcome KPIs (e.g., quality of hire)

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with some (or all) of the KPIs listed above—we’ll dive into them in more detail later on. The important thing is to understand how recruiting KPIs can improve your recruitment efforts.

Why Are Recruiting KPIs Important to Track? 

There are two main mechanisms that make tracking recruiting KPIs useful for improving your recruiting process and outcomes. 

The first is benchmarking—comparing KPIs to industry standards or internal goals. This can help you identify areas where you may be falling behind and need to make adjustments. However, it’s important to mention that not all KPIs are comparable—some simply reflect internal processes.

The second is continuous improvement—tracking KPIs reveals trends, patterns, and causal relationships. Being able to confidently say “doing X leads to Y” allows you to optimize your recruiting efforts.

These two mechanisms unlock benefits across your whole recruiting process:

  • Strategic workforce planning: Recruiting KPIs inform strategic workforce planning by identifying trends in hiring needs, success rates, and challenges. This aids in anticipating future hiring needs, creating succession plans, and securing talent to meet goals.
  • Identify bias: Recruiting KPIs help you highlight biases in your hiring process by bringing inconsistencies to light. This understanding can help you take the necessary steps to make your recruiting strategy more inclusive
  • Improve hiring efficiency: Recruiting KPIs help boost efficiency in your hiring process by helping you spot bottlenecks that are slowing the process down. With these insights, you’ll have some direction on optimizing your recruitment strategies, reducing the time it takes to fill your open positions and reducing your hiring team’s workload. 
  • Improve the quality of hires: Recruiting KPIs allow you to track the success rate of your hires by monitoring their performance over time. This gives you a better understanding of which recruiting strategies lead to better-quality hires. 
  • Increase retention rates: Recruiting KPIs help you better understand how well new hires fit into their roles and the company culture by tracking things like employee satisfaction and turnover rates. This allows you to make improvements in your recruitment process and company culture to increase employee retention.

How Do You Know Which Recruitment KPIs Matter? 

This is a very common question. There are tons of KPIs out there, but you only need to track the ones that are relevant to your goals. How do you figure out which ones are important for your business? 

Ask yourself whether each metric your considering is:

  • Relevant: Is the metric essential to achieving your company goals? Can it guide you to success? 
  • Measurable: Are you able to collect the data needed to calculate the metric accurately and consistently?
  • Benchmarkable: If relevant, do you have access to comparative data from your industry or company history for this metric?

10 Essential Recruiting KPIs and Metrics to Track 

While you’ll select KPIs and metrics that align best with your organization’s recruiting goals, here’s our essential selection to get you started. 

1. Time to hire 

Time to hire measures the amount of time (usually in days) it takes from when a candidate applies for your job opening to when they accept the job offer. It’s a valuable quantitative metric that helps you understand the speed of your hiring process and the efficiency of your hiring team so that you can identify any bottlenecks and work to remove them. 

In general, a shorter time to hire is better because it means your recruiting process is efficient. This also correlated to a better candidate experience because it can be quite frustrating to go through a recruiting process that takes too long.

  • Calculation: Simply count the days between the date a candidate applied for the job and the date they accepted your job offer.
  • Benchmark: The average time can vary widely based on the industry, but a good ballpark figure is around 25 to 30 days.

How you can improve time to hire

To shorten your time to hire, focus on improving your job descriptions, streamlining your interview process, and using candidate screening tools that minimize manual effort and speed up the review process.

You can also break time to hire into sub-stages like time to application review, time to interview, and time to offer. This allows you to identify specific areas where you can improve efficiency.

For example, let’s say your data shows there’s a long time between application screening and interviewing. This may signal there’s an issue with interview scheduling, which your team can solve by implementing automated interview scheduling tools or asynchronous video interview solutions like Willo.

Source: How MyTutor Increased Recruiting Capacity And Reduced Overheads

The main benefit of opting for async video interviews is that candidates can complete their interviews at their own pace, without waiting for your recruiting team to get to them. For example, using our platform, MyTutor increased its recruiting capacity by 75%, allowing it to decrease the time it took to interview without compromising on candidate experience. 

2. Interviews per hire 

This metric measures the ratio of interviews you conduct to the number of accepted job offers. It helps you understand whether you’re engaging the right candidates for your open role(s), and improving it helps you reduce the time and resources spent on interviewing.

  • Calculation: Divide the total number of interviews by the total number of hires for a given period (i.e., total interviews / total hires).
  • Benchmark: It often varies, but to be more efficient, aim for an average ratio of 3:1 (interviews to hires).

How you can improve interviews per hire

To help improve interviews per hire (and reduce the time and cost associated with your interview process), you can implement the following: 

  • One-way video screens: With an async interview tool like Willo, you can set up short video questions and invite candidates to record their responses. This can help reduce interviews per hire by making evaluation more effective—recruiters have time to review recordings and the uniform interviews make comparison easier. This means only the top candidates need to be interviewed in person. Feel free to play around with our interview savings calculator to see how much time and money you could save by switching to video interviews.
  • Candidate skills assessments: A reliable talent assessment tool is great for reducing the number of bad-fit candidates who reach the interview stage. By providing skills tests or assignments, you can more easily filter out candidates who don't meet your requirements and limit interviews per hire.

3. Cost per hire 

The cost per hire metric encompasses the expenses of recruiting a new employee. This includes job advertising, recruitment software, and the administrative costs for your hiring team. As you can probably tell, this is a valuable metric for helping you budget and ensure you’re using your recruiting resources most efficiently. 

  • Calculation: Add up all the expenses for a given recruiting campaign (ads, software, and labor costs) and divide it by the number of new hires (i.e., total recruiting costs / total hires).
  • Benchmark: This varies depending on your budget and industry. However, a good benchmark is generally between $3,000 and $5,000

How you can improve cost per hire

To help reduce your cost per hire, start by implementing tools and processes that help your recruitment team increase capacity or reduce overhead (or both!). The time cost of your team is often (not always) the most expensive part of your recruiting process, so finding ways to streamline and automate tasks can greatly impact your cost per hire.

By using a one-way video interviewing solution like Willo, you can lower your cost per hire as we reduce the need for multiple in-person interviews. You’ll be able to avoid associated costs such as travel and time, making your hiring process more efficient.

At the same time, looks for ways to reduce sourcing costs by:

  • Prioritizing your most effective channels
  • Implementing an employee referral program
  • Building a strong employer brand to make candidate marketing less expensive

4. Quality of hire

Quality of hire is an interesting metric that tracks how well hires perform in their jobs—either individually or collectively.

When you track the quality of hire for individuals, you’re not really gaining much insight into your recruitment process. When you track quality of hire collectively by averaging across cohorts, you start to get a holistic picture of how well your recruitment process achieves its purpose—hiring high-performing employees.

So, how do you define quality? 

This is up to you. Some companies look at job performance metrics, like sales numbers or customer satisfaction ratings. Others consider cultural fit ratings and output. It depends on your company's goals and values.

  • Calculation: Define the factors you want to grade hires on and give each one a weight (these should add up to 100%). Score each employee for each factor (on a scale) and multiply the score by the weight. Sum the scores for each hire and divide by the total number of hires to get the average.
  • Benchmark: Since this KPI is subjective, you’ll need to set internal benchmarks based on past performance and achievements. 

How you can improve quality of hire

The best way to improve quality of hire is by implementing more effective evaluation methods, such as:

The idea is that by using these methods, you can gather more objective and relevant information about a candidate's skills, experience, and cultural fit. This will help you make better-informed hiring decisions.

For example, with Willo, interviewers can re-watch and share interviews with all stakeholders to ensure a thorough evaluation process. Additionally, Willo’s Scorecards feature lets recruiters create a customizable digital rubric that enables every stakeholder in the recruiting process to rank candidates based on pre-defined criteria. 

This way, you’ll have concrete metrics and valuable analyses at your disposal to help guide your hiring decisions and improve the quality of your hires. 

5. Candidate satisfaction 

Candidate satisfaction is a qualitative metric that can be turned into a quantitative KPI using a candidate feedback survey. By asking candidates about their experience throughout the recruitment process, you can gather valuable insights and data on improving your overall candidate experience.

A candidate net promoter score (cNPS) is a particularly useful tool for measuring candidate satisfaction. It measures how likely candidates are to recommend your company based on its recruitment process and can give you a general sense of how satisfied they were with their experience.

Remember—you must survey both successful and unsuccessful candidates for a more balanced understanding. And even still, your results will likely skew negative, as many candidates associate negative hiring outcomes with negative experiences.

  • Calculation: Sum the number of candidates that fall into the “detractor” category (rating of 1-6) and subtract from that the number who fall into “promoters” (rating of 9-10). Then, divide by the total number of respondents and multiply by 100% (i.e., [detractors - promoters] / total respondents x 100%).
  • Benchmark: The higher, the better.

How you can improve candidate satisfaction

The best way is to streamline your application process for efficiency and consistency, maintain clear communication with your candidates, and request feedback at the end of the recruitment process.

A great way to improve your candidate satisfaction is by providing a stress-free application and interview process. Use a user-friendly platform that eliminates the negative parts of traditional interviews, like scheduling and unstructured screening questions that can encourage bias.

Source: How Willo Helped Packaly Do The Work of 4 Full-Time Recruiters

For example, with Willo’s help, Packaly was able to do the work of 4 full-time recruiters, allowing them to meet their recruiting needs while providing a smooth recruiting process for their candidates. 

6. Qualified candidate rate

Your qualified candidate rate reflects the percentage of candidates who pass the initial screenings for the open job role. This helps you assess the quality of your talent pool and the clarity of your job descriptions.

  • Calculation: Count the number of candidates who pass through your screening round and divide it by the total number of candidates who applied (i.e., number of candidates passing initial screening / total number of candidates x 100)
  • Benchmark: The higher the rate, the more effective your screening process. You can compare your rates from past experiences. 

How you can improve qualified candidate rate

If you find this metric is low, you will likely need to re-evaluate and restructure your job descriptions to ensure they’re clear and accurate. 

You can also determine which sourcing channels provide the most qualified candidates and focus your efforts on those channels (using the next metric on our list).

Further, you may want to redesign your screening process. For example, if you have primarily written questions, you might be getting fantastic ChatGPT-provided answers rather than the candidate giving you their honest work. It’s not that a candidate using ChatGPT is necessarily a problem! It’s simply that you have to design a screening process that captures a real picture of a candidate’s abilities, whether aided by AI or not.

7. Source of hire

The source of hire metric helps you identify your most effective recruiting channels by tracking where qualified and successful candidates discover your job openings. It allows you to adjust your sourcing strategies to optimize for the channels that bring in the most high-quality candidates.

To track this metric, you can ask qualified and successful candidates how they found out about your job opening. You can also use tracking links or codes for sourcing methods, like job boards, social media platforms, and employee referrals.

  • Calculation: Create a spreadsheet that tracks the number of both qualified and successful candidates hired via each channel. You can also enrich this spreadsheet with other metrics (like quality of hire) that will help you prioritize.
  • Benchmark: Create your own internal benchmarks of where top candidates came from. However, be open to changing—different sources may increase or decrease in quality over time.

How you can use source of hire

Source of hire isn’t a KPI you improve. Instead, it’s a KPI you observe to improve your recruiting efficiency. 

The process is simple—look into the data to figure out which channels lead to successful hires who perform well in their jobs. Then, use those channels more and allocate your budget accordingly.

8. Hiring manager satisfaction

This KPI gauges how satisfied your hiring managers are with the recruitment process and the quality of hires. This feedback is important because it can help refine your selection criteria and improve your internal processes. 

  • Calculation: Survey your hiring managers to see their satisfaction with new hires. Track the results over time to see how they change.
  • Benchmark: Not applicable.

How you can improve hiring manager satisfaction

Make sure hiring managers collaborate effectively throughout the recruitment process and refine candidate personas based on collective feedback. You can also invest in tools like Willo that lighten the burden placed on hiring teams while allowing them to work more effectively.

9. Adverse impact

Adverse impact helps identify conscious and unconscious biases in your hiring process by comparing the success rates of different demographic groups. It’s quite important because ensuring fairness and diversity in recruitment is vital for reaching a wider pool of top talent and enhancing your company culture.

  • Calculation: Calculate the selection rate (percentage of applicants hired) for different demographic groups (race, gender, etc.). Divide the selection rate of each protected group by the selection rate of the group with the highest rate and multiply by 100%.
  • Benchmark: If the result of the calculation above falls below 80% (or four-fifths) of the highest rate, it might be evidence of adverse impact. You can use more sophisticated measures, such as Fisher's exact test once you have a hunch.

How you can improve adverse impact

The best way to improve this KPI is by implementing blind hiring practices and ensuring inclusion and diversity in your recruitment funnel. 

You can also ask candidates to self-disclose, since requiring this information on job applications is not allowed in many regions. It’s also important to note that some people might choose to not disclose, so this metric is more about giving you additional insight rather than providing perfect information. 

10. New hire turnover

New hire turnover measures the percentage of new hires who leave your company within a specific timeframe (often one year). This metric is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of your onboarding process and the long-term fit of your hires. 

When tracking this metric, we also suggest you take note of the candidate personas that tend to leave. This way, you can adjust your strategies to make sure you cater to the diverse needs of your candidates for specific job roles. 

  • Calculation: Determine a time frame. Sum the new hires made and the number of new hires that left your company during that period. Divide the number of new hires that are left by the total number of new hires and multiply by 100%.
  • Benchmark: According to the Work Institute, 40% of new hires leave their jobs within the first 12 months. This benchmark can give you a reference point for your own turnover rate.

How you can improve new hire turnover

Focus on your quality of hire, enhance onboarding, and ensure job expectations are made clear in your screening and interview processes. 

Also, try putting more emphasis on culture fit—perhaps with a dedicated culture fit interview or training period. According to recruiting agency Robert Walters, 73% of employees have quit a job due to poor company culture fit, making it one of the leading causes of turnover.

Finally, consider implementing a mentorship program to boost engagement and build connections.

Enhance Your Recruiting Process With Willo

Ultimately, tracking the right KPIs and metrics will give you a reliable picture of your recruitment process’s health. You’ll have an indication of what needs improvement in your hiring process and the steps you can take to make those improvements. But of course, you shouldn’t stop there—the real progress happens when you use your metrics to optimize your ongoing efforts.

At Willo we provide an async video interviewing solution designed to help you accommodate high-volume hiring while enhancing your candidate experience. Improving recruiting KPIs requires a holistic approach, but Willo can be an essential tool in the process.

Why not try it out for yourself? Explore Willo with a live demo today.

Rachel Thomson
Marketing Manager
LinkedIn profile

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