Recruiting Metrics- Measure what counts!

“If you don’t collect any metrics, you’re flying blind. If you collect and focus on too many, they may be obstructing your field of view.” 
― Scott M. Graffius

The key to talent acquisition metrics is measuring what counts. I know it sounds redundant to say but there are a lot of recruiters and talent acquisition teams measuring the wrong metrics.

Much like a pilot, recruiters need to have a dashboard to provide real-time data on their candidate flow, open jobs, time to fill and placement numbers. Unfortunately, many in the talent acquisition industry tend to focus on time to fill and number of hires. Although these are critical metrics, they are by no means the only talent acquisition metrics to focus on.

Here are some recruiting metrics you should keep your eye on to be successful. Keep in mind that some of the metrics I tend to measure are associated with the Sprint Recruiting Methodology my team and I have adopted.

First, let me share with you the dashboard I created using Google Data Studio:

The Candidate Funnel

I like to know at the beginning of each week how many candidates we have in each stage of the process. In Sprint Recruiting, we work in two week sprints, focused on a designated number of priority positions assigned points by our clients. The points dictate the priority recruiters place in their sourcing and recruiting efforts.

The section “How many candidates do we have in each stage of the process” is my pulse check for the week. This information is fed by a google sheet our team uses to track the jobs and other necessary metrics associated with Sprint Recruiting.

Using the screenshot above, I can see we have 8 jobs being sourced, 6 in active interview stages and 3 offers out. If this is the beginning of the sprint cycle, I am stoked because it means we have a jump on the sprint. However, if I am looking at this information the Wednesday before the sprint ends (our sprints end every other Friday), I might be alarmed by the number of jobs being sourced with no active candidates.

As the leader for the talent acquisition team, I would use this information to determine which team member I need to help. I would want to determine if there are any obstacles I could remove to help the process along. Perhaps there’s been a shift in the industry creating havoc in our candidate flow that we should discuss.

Regardless of the obstacle, this view helps me quickly assess where my energy should be as a recruiter and a recruiting manager.

Sprint Recruiting Points

In Sprint Recruiting, we work with our clients biweekly to assign a budgeted amount of points to prioritize the work. Points are attained when we fill those roles which populates the “Points by Line of Business” chart.

As you can see, we created a threshold of 300 points biweekly. This is our baseline for success in the sprint. Depending on what day during the sprint I review this metric, I could be excited or depressed by our progress. Again, this metric tells me quickly where I need to focus on as a leader.

The points indicate success defined by our client for that sprint. If by mid sprint we are not at least halfway to the threshold, I leverage my one on ones to dig deeper to find the causes. This metric has helped my one on ones with the team become more efficient and insightful.

Photo by Pixabay

Number of Positions in the Sprint

We also track the number of positions in each sprint. This helps us spot trends, be alerted to increased volumes in a particular area and manage capacity on the team.

If I begin seeing an upward trend, it usually shows the early signs of issues in that particular line of business. It helps us quickly make the right moves on our team to coordinate the work while also allowing us to work with the HR partner to identify the root causes.

Questions I tend to explore would include:

  • Is this a special project where we need additional headcount?
  • If the trend is not the result of recent adds to staff, what is the turnover data telling us?
  • Is this the result of a change in the market or industry? If so, how can we move quickly to stay ahead?
  • Does anyone else on the team have capacity to help?

Before we began Sprint Recruiting, I had to rely primarily on my gut. With this key metric in my face every day, I am able to move quicker and more efficiently to avoid disaster.

Quick Quits

I am amazed at the number of talent acquisition teams that focus only on recruiting metrics and not on what happens with the candidates join. One area I’ve begun tracking is what we call “Quick Quits” or candidates who leave within the first six months of hire.

There is a lot of noise in this metric so you will have to do some data mining to be sure you have quality answers. The data I typically review has all terminations, but I only focus on those terminations when the candidate determined we were not a fit for them.

Let’s imagine your involuntary terminations in your sales organization begin to spike. You might want to meet wtih the sales leaders to understand where your team or they missed the mark. It could be that the industry changed so candidates who were once great targets will no longer succeed in your new environment.

This data can help you spend more time recruiting the right talent. It also saves your reputation with your client by positioning you as a consultant and not just someone who puts a cheek in a seat!

The Experience

If you do not have a survey to send candidates and managers after you fill the job, you are missing out on some great information!

Our surveys are sent out quarterly to both managers and candidates wtih a series of questions using a sliding scale of 1 to 5. We use Google Forms to build our survey so the responses are captured in a Google Sheet in real-time. I leverage Data Studio to pull the information over in the graphic you see above.

I have another page I chose not to share that breaks the experience scores down by line of business and recruiters. This gives me the ability to proactively identify issues with our candidates and clients.

It’s another reason why I love using Sprint Recruiting. Every two weeks, we look at this information during our team’s retrospective to identify any obstacles we can address to increase our experience scores.


I know the other metrics like time to fill and number of hires against goal are
important but there’s a ton of posts out there explaining how to track and
measure those recruiting metrics. I wanted to share the metrics my team and I
have been focused on since implementing Sprint Recruiting and
share some of the early successes we’ve experienced.

What are the Talent Acquisition Metrics you measure?

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Published by Trent Cotton

I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. My passion to lead, innovate and engage the HR industry. I use my blog at NakedHR.me to reach thousands of readers and provides unique insights into a range of HR and business topics. I currently write for NakedHR.me and SprintRecruiting.com. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive. Connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/trentcotton or on Twitter @TrentCotton.

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