5 Tips Every Talent Leader Needs To Know About Recruiting Metrics

As a recruiting executive, you know how important it is to be able to demonstrate the value your team brings to your business. But with everything on your plate, it’s easy to put your recruiting metrics on the back burner. Or, perhaps you’re just not a math person, and so you’ve been putting it off for as long as you can.

That won’t work for your leadership team though. They’ll want to know the real ROI of your talent acquisition strategy and programs. And the best way to build your business case for more budget and resources is to back up your efforts with good data.

So how do you get started with your recruiting metrics? Last week, Proactive Talent Strategies Lead Consultant Sedef Buyukataman, along with Lever’s CMO Leela Srinivasan and Will Thomson, President of Bulls Eye Recruiting, got together for this RecruitingDaily webinar to give talent acquisition leaders a crash course on recruiting metrics.

In case you missed it, here are their top tips and advice on how you can effectively build, measure and report on the metrics you need for recruiting success.

1. What data do you think is most important?
You want quality data, not noise. And what’s important to you can be as simple as identifying what you're trying to achieve. You want to step back and think about what’s not working with your existing programs, or where you need to drive better results, and work backward to define the metrics that will help you identify the areas you could improve on.

For example, for your engineering team, you may prioritize metrics like the hours engineers spent on hiring candidates. Since every hour spent on interviewing is an hour lost of engineering work, this will be a key metric to track to help optimize your tech recruiting efforts.

For your sales hiring, on the other hand, time-to-fill may be more important because with every week without sales productivity, your business is losing revenue. Whereas with university recruiting, time-to-hire may be less applicable for your team since it may sometimes take up to a year to fill your openings, depending on the hiring landscape. And so you may want to focus on metrics like quality of candidates and applicant-to-hire conversion, and the metrics between those stages.

What if you find that some of your key metrics aren’t owned by your recruiting team? What should you do then? For example, time-to-hire can vary from hiring manager to hiring manager. Each manager may have a different interviewing process and expectations around when they want to close a role.

In the panel’s view, such cases present great opportunities for you and your recruiting team to work with the business and hiring managers to improve the metrics that you’re not necessarily driving. This not only help hiring managers improve their recruiting efforts, but also establishes your team as a strategic partner to the business.

2. If you don’t measure anything else, what’s one metric you must absolutely track?
For Leela, she believes that there are different metrics you’ll want to measure to match the stages of your company’s trajectory.

For example, close/conversion rate is key for her recruiting team right now. Interviewing can be extremely time-consuming, and with a lean recruiting team, resources are very limited. By measuring close/conversion rate, the recruiting team can make sure that they’re not burning team time and resources on the wrong candidates.

But a year from now, this metric can evolve and change as the business grows. That’s why it’s important to regularly review your metrics and adjust based on your business objectives accordingly.

For Will, his one key metric is the number of submissions it takes to get to an interview. If your recruiters are getting tons of applicants, but none moves forward for an interview and ultimately the final offer, that increases the cost and resources required to hire and fill a role.

Putting her employer brand and recruiting optimization hats on, Sedef says Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one metric that companies must absolutely measure.

NPS is a great measurement tool to determine how likely candidates will recommend your company to others, with or without a job offer. It’s a metric that will help you validate whether you’re hitting the right recruiting and employer brand message and experience with the right audience, so you can attract the talent your business needs.

And internally, you can leverage NPS to understand how well your hiring workflows and processes are working, such as whether your recruiting team is giving hiring managers the right experience, if you’re educating your internal teams enough about the workflow, whether the tools are easy for them to use, and so on.

This data will help identify the areas you could improve on to deliver a more effective and positive hiring experience for all your internal key stakeholders, not just for job candidates.

Make sure you check out the webinar recording for the rest of the lively discussion on NPS and for additional expert tips from the panel.

3. How do I have a data-driven conversation with my stakeholders?
One of the best advice Sedef has ever gotten was to “read the room.” When dealing with your internal stakeholders and customers, one of the most important things is to understand what they’re working towards, their priorities and the metrics they’re being evaluated against.

Once you have those insights, you can more effectively translate your metrics and speak in the language of your stakeholders by showing how you’re supporting their priorities and helping them to achieve their goals.

For example, a lot of times business leaders are focused on metrics like productivity. So if you’re trying to build a manager training or rotational program for early career talent, what will resonate with them isn’t how personally and professionally enriching those programs will be for the target employees, but how they can impact productivity.

What you’ll want to focus your conversation on is how, by getting employee skillset to a certain level, productivity will increase and fill the skill gaps they have, and ultimately lower their overall recruiting costs, since they have already built a workforce that is ready to be promoted into new roles when they open up.

4. What metrics would you include in your recruiter scorecard?
One of the metrics the panel suggests is measuring the satisfaction of hiring managers. According to a talent acquisition research from Bersin by Deloitte, the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers is the #1 indicator of whether you have a high-performing talent acquisition organization or not, and how well your team is supporting the business.

Another metric you may want to include is the response rate for recruiter outreach, whether that’s InMails, emails, etc. You want to know whether recruiters are getting qualified candidates through the interview process or not, since your ultimate goal is to help hiring managers find and recruit the talent they need for their teams as quickly as possible.

Other metrics you may also want to use to evaluate your recruiters include quality of candidates, their understanding of the market they’re recruiting for, and how well they’re working as a strategic advisor and partner to the business.

At the end of the day, your recruiter scorecard should include metrics that will steer your team to focus on what matters the most to the business, as well as the metrics that will help your recruiters be better at what they do. This in turn will motivate your recruiters to hold themselves accountable to what they need to accomplish and meet those metrics you have set for them.

5. What’s a realistic metric to set with hiring managers?
A good metric to set and measure your hiring managers against is the timeline for communications and other key deliverables during the recruiting process. Whether it’s the pack of applications you’ve sent hiring managers for review, or the candidates they have interviewed in-person, you want to mutually agree on a timeline for when to set up time to discuss feedback and next steps.  

For some companies, Leela says that their recruiting teams actually set service-level agreements (SLAs) for review/feedback submissions, to hold hiring managers accountable to meeting the metrics they have set.

Another metric to set with hiring managers would be, you guessed it, NPS! NPS isn’t just for those on the recruiting team. Everyone’s involved in hiring, so NPS is for the entire business.

Hiring managers play such a crucial role in the experience candidates have, and by measuring them against your NPS ensures that hiring managers are delivering the best candidate experience possible.

With the right strategy and tools, recruiting metrics can actually be your friends, not your enemies. Your team will be armed with better analytics and insights into how your talent acquisition strategy is working, to more effectively optimize your recruiting efforts and hire the top talent your company needs for continued success.

Do you need help with building or optimizing your recruiting strategy? Contact us here and let’s chat about how we can help your organization with attracting and hiring the best talent.