The Adler Group - Performance-based Hiring
Performance-based Hiring - A systematic process for hiring top talent

Recruiting Metrics

Question 12: How would you rank your company in using the following metrics to track performance?

One of the areas we wanted to explore in our recently completed survey was the use of metrics in tracking recruiting effectiveness. We asked recruiters and recruiting managers to rank their use of a particular set of recruiting metrics in tracking their team’s effectiveness. We picked metrics that we considered to be some of the most important indicators of recruiting efficiency and success. These include:

  1. Candidates interviewed compared to number presented
  2. Candidates interviewed per hire
  3. Number of candidate interviews set up by recruiter by week or month
  4. The use of web trends to track ad performance
  5. Quality of candidates hired by recruiter and by manager
  1. Quality of candidates by sourcing channel
  2. Time to hire
  3. Candidate on-the-job performance compared to predicted performance
  4. Turnover by position
  5. Turnover by manager


The graph above shows the percent of respondents that reported particular metrics that where either not tracked or tracked but not used. 65% of respondents didn’t track ad performance. 45% didn’t track quality of hire by manager and/or recruiter. Time to hire, which is one of the most common metrics was either not tracked or not used 35% of the time.

Why did we pick these particular metrics to track? These metrics allow recruiters and recruiting managers to quickly understand recruiter productivity, quality, and the longer term effect of making quality hiring decisions. They also help recruiting managers see sourcing channels in terms of outcomes and quality rather than just sheer numbers. Many companies continue to ignore recruiter productivity metrics including candidates interviewed and presented by recruiter, interviews scheduled per week by recruiter, interviews per hire, and time to hire. These metrics provide critical measures of recruiter productivity.

Key conclusions:

1. Even with all the talk and focus on metrics over the last few years, recruiting departments and recruiters still struggle to implement real-time metrics. We hear recruiting departments complain that their technology doesn’t track this metric or that metric. So be it. But that doesn’t stop recruiting departments from manually tracking some of these critical numbers. Let technology catch up when it can, but don’t mortgage your recruiting future to bad technology. Get the numbers.

2. If you’re going to track them, use them! Many companies are capturing the data, but metrics are only valuable if they influence and change recruiting and sourcing behavior. The goal of a good recruiting metrics program should be to improve efficiency, quality, and capability.

3. Metrics must be captured real time and must be actionable. Historical metrics will give recruiters and recruiting managers some insight but come too late to make real time changes in the recruiting or sourcing process.

4. Quality of hire is the gold standard for recruiting metrics. Companies can increase their time to hire, they can increase the number of requisitions closed in a month or quarter, but if they can also increase quality of hire, the entire game changes. Better employees translate into higher performance, more revenue, and higher profits. That’s the ultimate goal of the recruiting department. One of the reasons we teach recruiters to use a structured evaluation tool like our 10-factor candidate assessment is because it allows us to measure quality of hire before we extend the offer. Companies that really want to validate their hiring process should go back six months and a year later to reassess the candidate using the same methodology and compare the candidate’s scores on the job to the pre-hire 10-factor. This is a great way to measure true candidate quality.

Are we making progress?

The graph below shows the percent of respondents reporting regular use of these metrics or reporting that they consider the metric in question to be a critical performance indicator for the team. Overall these percentages are much lower than those reporting the same metrics as untracked or tracked but not used. We have a long way to go to bring recruiting departments up to a reasonable level of performance in use of metrics for managing the recruiting and sourcing function, both in corporate recruiting departments and with third-party recruiters.


Just for fun I went back to compare these numbers from our 2006 Recruiting Challenges survey. I was shocked to find that the numbers were virtually the same. We had made small incremental changes in a few categories, but the differences were measured in less than six percentage points. This is a huge call for improvement. Here are a few sample comparisons


2006 (Not tracked or not used)

2007/08 (Not tracked or not used)

Candidates Interviewed per Hire



Ad Response Tracking



Quality of Hire by Manager and Recruiter



Quality of Candidate by Sourcing Channel



The bottom line is metrics do matter. We can’t improve what we don’t measure. If you are measuring these metrics, then use them to change the process. If you aren’t, don’t start unless you intend to make some changes.

Happy recruiting.

Search Articles

Search by Keyword:


Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Lost connection to MySQL server at 'reading initial communication packet', system error: 113 in /nfs/c07/h04/mnt/173027/domains/ on line 3
Unable to connect to DB: Lost connection to MySQL server at 'reading initial communication packet', system error: 113