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5 Metrics You Must Measure When Recruiting High Volume

While recruiting metrics are important for human resource practitioners to perform their jobs well, they’re even more crucial when it comes to high-volume recruiting. Particularly in industries like technology, healthcare, retail, and for highly-skilled or specialized positions, there are specific metrics that can help you understand what’s working when it comes to your recruiting efforts in high volume hiring.

By consistently capturing a small amount of information during your interviewing process, you can assess data points that will help you optimize your hiring efforts when recruiting high volume. With the acquisition of talent being one of the most expensive and critical functions in the company, improving upon it is not just a good idea, it’s essential. Improving upon how well your hiring process performs can save thousands of dollars on each employee that you hire. At the minimum, you need to know how many people you need to forecast, when the hires will be offered, when they will be onboarded and fully trained to help fill holes at your organization. There are also standard metrics, like turnover by location or position, employee engagement, and general turnover rate.

Five Important Recruiting Metrics for High-Volume Hiring

In this post, we’ll cover the five most important metrics to measure when recruiting high volume, plus what the metrics tell you about how to quickly pivot or make changes to your hiring processes.

1) Qualified candidates per hire

This metric measures the number of candidates who made it past the first stage of your hiring process. This metric helps to show how effective your sourcing, advertising techniques and/or qualifications provided by the hiring manager have been attracting the right candidates to your job posting and/or opening.

If the number of candidates seen before one is hired varies widely or is too high, it indicates your entire hiring process is not targeted or focused enough. For high volume positions, a hiring manager should only need to see two to three people before hiring a person. Shoot for four if it’s a unique, critical or senior level spot.

Formula: Number of qualified candidates / Number of hires

A bonus metric to consider is the number of candidate ratios in total to help forecast and plan for high volume hiring. This is key for forecasting applicant numbers needed for new location openings or when hiring for seasonal or temporary positions.

2) Source of hire (SoH)

Tracking source of hire (SoH) will help you distribute your hiring resources to the most effective recruiting channels. Calculate this metric by dividing your recruiting source yield by number of applicants from the recruiting source. Use this metric to determine which sources, job boards or websites are most effective for hiring for your business. 

Formula: Recruiting source / Number of applications by specific recruiting source

Depending on the type of ATS you use, it should record the application source a candidate entered your pipeline from through automated tracking. Create and review a report to view the distribution of candidates and hires among different sources. You can also collect this data via candidate surveys or using a drop down self-selection menu as part of the application although these two are not as reliable because the candidate is providing the data and information. Source of hire shows what percentage of your overall hires entered your pipeline from each recruiting channel or source (e.g. job boards, referrals, direct sourcing). This information can help you allocate your recruiting budget more effectively and direct more resources to the most valuable channels.

One example: According to an iCIMS survey, more than 65% of employers agree that employee referrals fit better with their company culture. If you discover through data that referrals represent a significant percentage of hires, it might be worthwhile to increase (or add) a bonus for employee referrals.

If you discover that a recruiting channel isn’t working as well as you predicted, you can drop or adjust these sources. For example, if promoting a job opening on your own social channels with a small budget is being outpaced by a job ad on a site like Jobs2Careers, you can rapidly redirect the social budget and step up your ad budget.

3) Time to fill (TTF)

Time to fill is defined as the time it takes from a hiring manager submitting the request for a new hire to the time the job offer is accepted by a qualified applicant. The faster the speed of hire, the shorter is the time to fill.

Why this matters: Top talent is in high demand and high demand candidates find jobs faster. Vacant positions, especially for customer facing and revenue generating jobs, result in financial loss to the company. Currently employed individuals (passive candidates), when they are interested in looking for another job, must be recruited quickly, otherwise they may receive counter-offers or incentives to stay in their current job.

Formula: Total days of open requisition / Number of positions

If time to fill is a challenge, recruiting teams can break down the average time to fill by varying stages from application, qualifying, final interviews and first date. Recruiting teams can try to uncover where hiring bottlenecks exist by breaking down the information even further by department, division or hiring manager.

4) Offer acceptance rate

This measures how often candidates actually accept an offer after you’ve invested the time and money to get to that point in the hiring process. This can help you understand where the process is being derailed for candidates who decline an offer. Calculate this metric simply by number of offers accepted divided by number of offers made.

If this percentage is low, talent acquisition teams may need to rethink what candidates want or how competitive their job offers are. This is incredibly important to evaluate by geography and by position. If candidates aren’t buying what you’re selling, then you have a mismatch between expectations, a poor culture fit, or they accepted an offer from a competitor. Keep tabs on where you lose candidates and find ways to improve those areas.

On the other hand, if you are interviewing a lot but failing to extend offers, it’s time to reevaluate your vetting process.

Formula: Total number of accepted offers for time period / Total number of offers

5) Interview to hire ratio

Interview to hire ratio measures the number of conversations your hiring staff has with prospective employees, from phone conversations, to assessments, to various rounds of interviews. Interview to hire ratio shows the effectiveness of a company’s recruiting efforts and whether they could be improved.

When companies have a high interview to hire ratio, it usually means they are spending valuable time interviewing which could result in interviewing too many candidates for each job. While it is important to interview several viable candidates to find the best person for each open position, it is equally important to be able to identify the top few candidates before interviews begin. When recruiting high volume, it’s crucial to implement a screening process that ensures you effectively screen out candidates that are not likely to be a good fit.

Formula: Number interviews completed over period of time / Number hires over period of time

This can be done via online surveys or assessments, a tool that pre-screens resumes for specific keywords relevant to the position, or quick phone screens. Companies can also re-evaluate their minimum job posting qualifications or by creating opportunities for candidates to learn more about the company and position prior to formally applying for the job. Taking some time at the beginning of the process will save time for your hiring managers, bypassing candidates that aren’t qualified or would not be a good fit.

High Volume Hiring Must Be a Well-Oiled Recruiting Machine

High volume means high performance for recruiters. In high-performing HR departments, leaders do not rely on HR best practices or administrative standard operating procedures as key drivers. They rely on data-driven practices that are tied to their organizations’ business strategies. This allows them to make data-based decisions about human capital management and to engage in discussions with senior executives based on business strategy and data, particularly important when recruiting for high volume and being able to justify strategic allocation of hiring budget.