Recruiting: Metrics



Key Recruiting Metrics you should be tracking


Recruitment has become so much more than just having a good network. The way we access and encounter candidates has changed drastically over recent years, with technology democratising access and rendering many databases obsolete and irrelevant.

As a result, successful talent acquisition is now far more dependent on other factors. One way to improve your chances of getting the best people into your team is by ensuring that you are measuring and testing what you’re doing with your talent pool. Keeping an eye on key recruiting metrics will help you identify successes, challenges, and bottlenecks in your recruiting process and help you make informed decisions on how to improve them.

We will take you through some of the most common ones, and hopefully give you a better idea of how to use them to optimise your hiring process.


You want to make sure that when you are initially reaching out to candidates the rate of people saying yes to the business is high – this first metric is conversion.

If you’ve got a role open and you tell a potential candidate about the role, either in a message or an email not necessarily even on the phone, they will essentially be saying yes or no.

The number of people saying yes, basically speaking, is your conversion rate. Say, you send 100 messages and 10 people say yes, your conversion rate is 10%. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re going to get the job, it means they are interesting in the opportunity that you’ve given them.

Measuring conversion on its own does not give you a great deal of insight. What it does indicate, however, is the various things that can affect your conversion rate – from this data you can look at the quality of your search, and whether you are reaching out to the relevant people in the first place.

You can also measure the quality of that initial message – is what you are writing and your tone of voice representative of the company? Does it present the role effectively? Is it succinct enough to sustain people’s interest but not too short that it is missing key content? Is the role attractive to the people that you’re reaching out to? Even things like the job title in the subject line can dramatically affect your conversion rates.

Essentially, the answers to all these questions will help you evaluate whether this initial reach out is constructing the role positively and effectively, and as a result whether you are putting forward the best perception of your brand.

Pass-through Rates

Once these candidates are in the pipeline you have a bit more access to them. Pass through rate is the first thing we look at: how many people are getting through the various stages like phone screen, face to face, first-, second-stage and so forth. Pass through rate is essentially a measure of the ratio of people moving from one stage of the hiring process to the next.

Pass through rates can show various patterns, for example if different hiring managers are working together effectively. If you have separate hiring managers for stage one and two, and people are getting through stage one but being rejected at stage two, this could indicate that the two managers have not discussed what they need in the role. You might need to discuss the brief and make sure this is sorted at the beginning of the process.

Similarly, if recruiters put lots of people through to face-to-face interviews, then the hiring manager rejects them at this stage, the recruiter might not be finding the right kind of people.

Pass through rates can throw these kind of issues into relief, and ensure your hiring process is doing what you want it to do efficiently.


The way we access candidates has changed drastically, with technology democratising access and rendering many databases obsolete and irrelevant.


Time between phases

Time between phases is another metric looking at interim periods. This tells you how long somebody is sitting between stages in the hiring process.

If someone is seen at first stage, then the second stage interview isn’t for two weeks, this is your time between this phase. Ideally, this would be kept short in a candidate-driven market..

If there are consistently longer periods of time between stages then this could point to a bottleneck in the system. Maybe a hiring manager is too busy, going in and out of meetings and never having the time to meet candidates, causing delays. In this case, it’s worth looking at maybe decentralising the process and getting another hiring manager to ensure things run smoothly.

Drop Out Rates

Another useful metric to look at is the rate at which candidates are bouncing out at various stages of the process. Dropout rates tend to be quite high at the testing or presentation stage.

These are often highest before you’ve met candidates face to face, a specific example would be technical testing for developers. This kind of off-site testing before the candidate has met the team sometimes means their not sufficiently bought-in. Especially in a market like tech, they are likely to drop-off at that particular stage.

What you can do to minimise this is look at your dropout rates, and maybe adjust your process accordingly. For the previous example, you could remove the test and arrange it so candidates are tested after they have met the hiring team in person. This means they can understand the culture and personality of the team and the company and really establish whether they want to invest the time to do the test in the first place.

Dropout rates can be really useful with identifying issues with the process that you are currently operating.

Time-to-Hire & Cost per-hire

A metric that people are more familiar with, time to hire is important data to collect. Unsurprisingly, the shorter the better. The same with cost per hire, the lower the better. These are key metrics and are informed by all of the ones we have already looked at.
It’s important to remember that Linkedin is, at its core, a networking site. This means that, unfortunately, you can’t just set it and forget it, you’ll get much better results if you engage with it actively.

Final thoughts

The main thing to remember with all these metrics, and any process you are undertaking that is data-driven, is to ensure you are testing, measuring, and iterating the numbers you collect.

For example, if your conversion rates are quite low then don’t repeat the same thing the following month. Try some variations in the job title, change the tone of voice of that initial reach out message, change the talent pool you’re reaching out to, and track that conversion rate. Repeat again, test, measure, and iterate to ensure that you are constantly evaluating your recruitment process and pipeline.