Hiring metrics proactive recruiters should focus on in 2023

Janis Kreilis

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Tracking the right metrics is essential for making data-driven recruitment decisions. But when we start building our strategies, it's easy to get carried away measuring every single data point and get lost in a sea of numbers. In this article, we'll take a look at which metrics to focus on, what insights they can give you, and how to track them.

To make the world of recruiting data easier to navigate, we'll distinguish between two different types of metrics. The first type includes high-level recruiting metrics that allow you to look at the entire process comprehensively. The second type is attraction phase metrics which help you determine which channels to use for sourcing talent and how to position your job ads effectively.

High-level recruitment metrics

High-level metrics tell you the overall state of your recruiting processes. In this article, we’ve highlighted the 5 most meaningful ones that together can show you where to put most of your focus and help you identify trends.

1. Time to hire and time to fill

Time to hire refers to the time period it takes you to hire the candidate from when they’ve submitted their application. Time to fill goes further back and starts at the point when you first realized the need for opening a vacant position.

Shortening the time to hire is a key factor in improving the overall candidate experience. When the hiring process is efficient and streamlined, qualified candidates are more likely to remain engaged throughout the process and less likely to drop out in favor of other job opportunities. Therefore, reducing the time to hire not only benefits the organization by filling open positions more quickly but also ensures that the best candidates are not lost to competitors.

For time to hire, simply measure the time it takes from when the candidate applies for the job until their first day at work. For time to fill, change the starting point for the day when the position was first brought up internally.

To pinpoint the bottlenecks, you can also divide time to hire into sections like application review, initial screening, take-home task evaluation, on-site interview process, final interview, offer, and others. By looking at which parts take the longest, you can get a clear picture of what you may need to work on to shorten the time to hire.

Benchmark: According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average time to hire sits at around 36 days. However, keep in mind that it varies across industries and roles.

2. Cost of hire

All of the costs - both internal and external - associated with hiring a new employee.

This metric tells you how expensive hiring processes are for different roles so you can estimate the necessary budgets more precisely. Keep in mind that this is not the cost of replacing an employee - to measure this, you would also need to include the cost of getting to the optimum productivity level for the new employee.

To get the variable cost of hire for a specific recruitment project, sum up all the direct expenses for the hiring project like sourcing and advertising costs and referral program bonuses, among others. To get the fixed costs for each project, add up all other recruitment expenses for the year like recruiter salaries, software costs, and office expenses, and divide them by the number of recruitment projects. By summing up both the fixed and variable costs, you'll get the overall cost of hire for each project.

For your company's average cost of hire across all positions, simply add up all recruitment-related expenses for a year and divide them by the number of hiring projects that year.

Benchmark: According to Zippia, the average cost of hire in the U.S. is $4,700, while the average cost of hire for executives is $14,936.

3. Hiring manager satisfaction rate

A measure of how well the new hires fit in the organization.

High hiring manager satisfaction rates indicate that you’re hiring candidates that meet or even exceed the organization’s expectations. Conversely, low hiring manager satisfaction rates would suggest you need to either switch up recruiting methods or put more emphasis on expectation management with the hiring managers.

A similar metric that looks at the process from the other side is candidate job satisfaction.

Survey your hiring managers. The timing of the survey depends on your company's processes. A good time for it can be after the first employee performance review as by then, hiring managers will have gained a fuller picture of the competencies and personality traits of the new hire.

The simplest way to get feedback is by asking for the hiring manager’s satisfaction with the hired candidate on a scale from 1 to 5. You can also create more detailed surveys asking the hiring manager to rate the new hire by different categories such as technical skills, culture fit, and professional growth, among others. Likewise, the scale can be substituted with percentages to be even more precise.

4. Source of hire

The breakdown of the methods and channels through which you attracted your new hires. For example, you'd want to know how many new hires were sourced, applied themselves on job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed, were referred to you by a member of your team, or provided by an external recruitment partner.

By looking at where your hires are coming from, you can determine which channels you should focus most of your resources on as they bring in the best-fitting candidates.

Either use your recruitment software to create breakdowns of your new hire’s entry channels if it offers such a feature or survey candidates on how they found out about the job.

5. Yield ratio per channel

Yield ratios (sometimes called conversion or selection ratios, depending on the context) showcase how many candidates move from one step in the hiring process to the next one.

On the top level, for example, you'd track how many sourced candidates or applicants you'd need to make one successful hire.

Then, you could also dig down into the specific stages of each hiring funnel to pinpoint where your candidates drop off. For example, if you got 500 applicants and decided to interview ten of them, the ratio would be 50:1.

Measuring yield ratios for all of the recruitment process steps for each channel or recruitment method is another way of looking at how effective the channel or method is - the fewer applicants you need to fill a single open position, the less time you need to spend, therefore making you more efficient. It also lets you predict how many candidates you need in your pipeline before starting the selection phase. Additionally, you can see where your candidates drop off during the process and optimize that part so as not to lose them.

By tracking just these five metrics, you can gain insight into which recruiting channels and methods to focus on and which steps of the hiring funnel to improve, as well as spot overall trends.

In addition, by breaking down your data by organizational function, you can get strategic about your hiring needs. For example, if you find that full-stack developer roles are taking longer than average to fill and that more qualified candidates are coming from a single niche tech job board, you may want to increase the visibility of your job ads on that job board.

At the same time, if you notice that an office administrator role can be filled from just a few applicants from the LinkedIn Jobs section while keeping the hiring manager satisfied, maybe you don’t even need to post it anywhere else.

To help you make more informed decisions about what recruitment channel and method to choose, let’s take a look at a few attraction-level metrics.

Inbound channel metrics

1. Applicants per channel

A statistic showing the ratio of applicants coming from each job board - LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, or niche job boards as a percentage of all applicants for that position.

Looking at channels bringing in the most applicants can tell you where to invest more resources to optimize your recruitment efforts.

To get the percentage of applicants per channel, use this formula:

(Number of applicants from a channel / Number of all applicants) x 100%

2. Cost per channel

This metric shows how much you spend on each recruitment channel.

In combination with the applicants per channel metric, cost per channel can reveal the most efficient job advertising channels.

Count all of the associated costs for an advertising channel or method per recruitment project. This can include job ad placement costs, boost fees, external recruitment agent fees, referral program costs, etc.

3. Applicant quality per channel

A metric that tells you where the most suitable candidates come from.

Simply looking at applicant numbers is not enough as you may be receiving a lot of applications from unqualified candidates. Therefore, measuring quality application rates is a more insightful way of quantifying the impact of different job ads and channels.

Look at the number of applicants from each channel who made it past the screening stage of the hiring process. You can also calculate the quality ratio for each channel by using the formula:

(Number of qualified applicants / Number of all applicants in the respective channel) x 100%.

4. Cost of quality applicants per channel

A combination of all the previously mentioned inbound ad metrics.

While other inbound metrics let you take a detailed look at the upsides and downsides of different job ad channels, this data point serves as the one go-to metric for evaluating inbound channel efficiency for your recruitment purposes.

Use the formula: (Cost per channel / number of candidates that have gone past the screening phase per channel)

Outbound channel metrics

As job markets continue to shift in favor of job seekers and competition for talent increases, more and more companies are reaching out to prospective employees instead of just waiting for people to respond to their job ads. Outbound recruiting provides us with new, meaningful metrics that can support our recruiting efforts.

1. Message open rates / Invite acceptance rates

Depending on how you’re conducting outreach, you may want to track different metrics. For email and LinkedIn InMail messages, it’s the percentage of outreach messages that were opened by your prospects. For LinkedIn invite messages, it's the percentage of accepted invites.

Based on how you approach your prospects, it can show slightly different things. If you use email or LinkedIn InMail messages, this metric will show you how impactful and persuasive your subject lines have been.

In contrast, if your outreach involves inviting prospects to connect with you on LinkedIn, you can measure how well your invite message converts.

Use this formula: (Opened messages / Sent messages) x 100% or ( Accepted invites / Sent invites ) x 100%

To find out whether your email has been opened, you’ll need an email automation or email outreach tool like Mailchimp, Overloop or others which include transparent tracking pixels that signal the system when the recipient opens the email.

Benchmark: According to Campaignmonitor, the average email open rate in 2022 across various industries was 21.5%.

2. Response rates

Percentage of people who replied to your outreach messages or entire sequences.

Shows you how interested your prospects are in your job opportunity.

You can measure both response rates to each outreach message in your message sequence and add them up to get a cumulative response rate for the entire sequence. You can also split your data between outreach channels to see how response rates differ between them.

To calculate the response rate, use the formula: (Replies / Sent out messages ) x 100

Benchmark: According to Evaboot, the average response rate on LinkedIn is between 5% and 20%.

  1. Positive response rates

As a subset of the overall response rates, this metric tracks the percentage of positive responses in relation to the number of prospects you've reached out to.

Not all responses are positive. Some people may reply to let you know they’re not interested in your job opportunity. Therefore, it’s worth singling out only positive messages as well to see the ultimate attractiveness of your job message and job opportunity

Use the formula: (Positive replies / Sent out messages) x 100

4. Mail click-through rate

The percentage of prospects who’ve clicked on a link in your outreach email.

Shows engagement. Prospects clicking on the job ad link within the email signify their interest in the job opportunity.

Similarly to open rate, you’ll need an email automation tool that can provide statistics to find out your email click-through rates.

Responsive outbound ad metrics

If you’re using either custom landing pages or Hyperjob microsites as the format for your outbound job ads, you can also see how prospects interact with the job ad itself. In that case, you may want also to track these metrics.

To measure these data points, you’ll either need website analytics tools such as Google Analytics or stats provided by Hyperjob natively.

1. Session length

The time prospects spend looking through the job ad.

The longer the prospect spends on the job ad, the more likely they are interested in the opportunity.

Benchmark: According to Hyperjob data, on average, an interested candidate will spend anywhere from thirty to ninety seconds viewing the job ad the first time they see it.

2. Repeat sessions

How many times a prospect has opened the job post.

Just like time spent on the job post, more opens can indicate more interest from the prospect.

3. Early drop-off rate

Percentage of prospects who closed the job ad in less than five seconds.

Shows how many people got turned off instantly. A high early drop-off rate can indicate too low of a salary or another factor like no remote job options that are turning prospects away from the opportunity.

Benchmark: According to Hyperjob, on average, 13.2% of sessions end in less than five seconds.

4. Ad open rates

A metric that shows the percentage of people who have opened your job ad. For example, if you've sent the job ad to 100 on LinkedIn, and you get 15 unique opens, the open rate would be 15%.

Similarly to email click-through rates, this metric shows interest in the job opportunity.

5. Section views

A metric that lets you know how often candidates have viewed each section of the job ad. (OK, we'll admit it, we're in promotion mode here since Hyperjob ads have expandable and trackable sections.)

It allows you to find out in which parts of the job opportunity the prospect was most interested in.

If you're ready to explore the world of outbound recruiting, check out Hyperjob - a platform designed to streamline the entire outbound recruiting process, from creating job ad microsites optimized for conversion in outbound recruitment to sourcing candidates and managing your talent pipeline.

To help you get started on your outbound recruiting journey, we've also written our guidebook for efficient recruitment in 2023, which explains different outbound methods in detail and sets you on the path to successful talent acquisition. Check it out and let us know what you think.


“Since we began using Hyperjob, we've noticed a significant bump in replies from candidates. Regular ads can be a bit boring, but Hyperjob's got this eye-catching format that has impressed both the candidates and the hiring managers.”

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Krists Vitols

Team lead for tech recruitment team

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