Back to Hiring & Recruiting

10 Important Recruiting Metrics to Track

Written by:

Talia Knowles is an avid reader, writer, and coffee enthusiast, with over five years of experience in writing and editing.

Reviewed by:

As a seasoned HR professional with over 20 years of experience, Keca is an expert in various aspects of Human Resources.

10 Important Recruiting Metrics to Track

10 Important Recruiting Metrics to Track

Recruiting is a complicated process with many different stages and strategies at work. Because there are so many parts of the process, it can be hard to notice which stages are working well and which ones might be falling through the cracks.

For best results, work to optimize every stage of the recruiting process. This entails closely monitoring discrete stages and analyzing their success rate in light of the bigger picture, including metrics like retention, hiring manager satisfaction, and productivity. 

What Are Recruiting Metrics? 

Recruiting metrics are measurements used to assess the effectiveness of recruitment strategies and processes.

These metrics help recruiters and HR professionals evaluate their recruitment efforts’ efficiency, identify improvement areas, and make data-driven decisions. 

Though there are distinct phases in recruiting, they significantly impact each other. 

For example, suppose your organization is excellent at speeding candidates through the hiring process. You might be happy with that efficiency and not notice that the candidates you’re sourcing aren’t the best fit for the company culture. 

In this case, the issue began with candidate sourcing. If that initial stage goes poorly, no matter how efficient the hiring process is, your organization will still end up with sub-optimal hires. 

That’s why paying attention to each stage of recruitment is essential to guarantee the best results.

Recruitment is a complicated process, with countless factors that ultimately determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit for a specific position and the company as a whole. Sometimes it can be challenging to decide which metrics to focus on to improve your recruiting efforts. 

Why Are Recruiting Metrics Important? 

Recruiting metrics can help you improve many aspects of your business, including recruiting efficiency, your applicant pool, overall productivity, and your brand as an employer. 

Tracking metrics such as time to hire, cost per hire, and applicant sourcing allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your recruitment strategies and make data-driven decisions to improve your efforts. 

For example, if you spend very little time and money filling open positions, that may seem like a good thing until you notice that most new hires leave within their first year. 

Keeping an eye on recruitment metrics can help you notice weak spots in your recruitment process and strategize ways to improve them

You can also utilize recruitment metrics to improve your business as a whole. Of course, recruiting decisions always significantly impact your organization’s success, but you can also use these metrics to improve diversity, inclusion, and other aspects of company culture

Recruitment metrics can also provide insight into the candidate experience. By analyzing metrics such as candidate feedback or time to hire, you can identify areas where candidates may be experiencing frustration with the hiring process and make changes to improve their experience.

10 Important Recruiting Metrics to Track

Important Recruiting Metrics to Track

As you can imagine, countless metrics can be used to track recruiting. However, since paying attention to all of these statistics wouldn’t leave you any time for actual recruiting, we’ve identified 12 metrics that stand out as most helpful in improving your hiring process. 

1. Time to Fill

Time to fill measures how much time passes from when a position becomes available to when it is filled. This metric can indicate the overall effectiveness of your recruiting efforts, as vacant positions cause stress to other employees and can decrease overall productivity. 

The average time to fill an open position is 41 days, but this average varies significantly across different industries. No matter what kind of business you run, being short-staffed is never a good thing, and a quick recruitment process can help your team get back on track. 

However, making a quick hire won’t benefit your organization in the long run if the new employee isn’t a good fit. If they leave or are terminated after a short period, your productivity may suffer even more than if the position had remained vacant. 

This demonstrates the importance of balancing different aspects of recruiting to ensure the best overall result for the company’s future. 

2. Cost Per Hire

Cost per hire can be a complicated metric to analyze because it requires a breakdown of your recruiters’ time and salary, as well as subscriptions to hiring platforms and more. 

Hidden hiring costs that are easily overlooked include advertising, travel costs, screening fees, signing bonuses, and relocation compensation. Therefore, the best way to calculate this metric is to look at the big picture of recruiting costs. 

Create a list of all costs associated with recruiting and hiring and determine how much you spent in a given period. Then, divide this amount by the total number of hires in the same period. The answer will be the average cost per hire. 

Even if you eventually make a great hire, if it costs the company weeks of recruiting hours or wastes money on hiring platform subscriptions inefficiently, your business may experience more loss than gain. 

This also demonstrates the tension between wanting to fill a position quickly and needing the new hire to keep up the productivity of their predecessor. Of course, hiring is expensive to begin with, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to make the process as cost-effective as possible. 

3. Time to Hire

Analyzing time to hire means looking at how long it takes from the first contact with a candidate to them accepting the position. 

This metric primarily reflects the recruiter’s efficiency — if they take a week to schedule an interview and another week to follow up, the time to hire will be significant. 

You typically will want to avoid an extended time to hire, as taking too long to lock down a candidate may allow them to look elsewhere and accept a different position. 

A slow process may also give your candidate the impression that your organization is disorganized or doesn’t value their time. On the other hand, an efficient operation will keep candidates’ attention and reassure them that your organization respects their efforts. 

4. Offer Acceptance Rate

Offer acceptance rate refers to how many candidates accept an offer once it is extended to them. Examining your offer acceptance rate can help you notice potential flaws in your recruiting process. 

If a candidate was enthusiastic during their interviews but then turned down your offer, it could be because your organization somehow failed to meet their expectations. 

Though sometimes this can’t be avoided, clear communication can prevent the majority of these scenarios and save you valuable recruiting time and resources. 

5. Applicants Per Hire

The applicants per hire metric tracks how many potential candidates submitted applications for an open position. This metric helps gauge the job’s popularity among job seekers and indicates if your job description was specific enough to attract only desirable applicants. 

If you receive many applications from underqualified candidates, it is likely because you did not provide specific qualifications for skills and experience. 

Though receiving many applications may seem like a good thing, if most of the applicants aren’t a good fit, this will ultimately waste valuable time as recruiters sift through dozens of applications. 

You can improve this metric by ensuring your job posting clearly lists candidate requirements and creating a mandatory assessment that screens applicants before their resume is submitted to recruiters.  

6. Candidate Callback Rate

Candidate callback rate is a recruitment metric that measures the percentage of candidates who are contacted for a follow-up interview or conversation after the initial screening. 

This metric provides similar insight as applicants per hire, as it reveals the effectiveness of your recruitment process and the quality of your candidate pool.

A high candidate callback rate indicates that your recruitment process effectively identifies high-quality candidates who are a good fit for the job. It also suggests that your recruitment team engages and communicates effectively with candidates, which can help build a positive candidate experience.

On the other hand, a low candidate callback rate may indicate that your recruitment process needs improvement. This could be due to various factors, such as a lack of communication with candidates, a poor candidate experience, or an inadequate job description. 

To calculate the candidate callback rate, divide the number of candidates contacted for a follow-up interview or conversation by the total number of candidates who applied for the position, and multiply the result by 100 to calculate a percentage.

7. Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is a recruitment metric that measures the overall experience of candidates during the recruitment process. 

It encompasses all a candidate’s interactions with a company, including the job application process, communication with recruiters and hiring managers, and the interview process. 

As an employer, creating a positive candidate experience is very beneficial, as it affects your ability to attract more top-quality candidates in the future. 

Candidates with positive experiences are more likely to recommend the company to others and accept a job offer if extended.

To evaluate candidate experience, recruiters can use a variety of approaches, such as:

  • Easy apply: Once a candidate is interested in a role, you don’t want to lose them to a tedious application process. Easy application features allow candidates to submit their resumes in just a few clicks, increasing the likelihood that they will follow through. 
  • Candidate feedback: Collect feedback from candidates on their experience during the recruitment process, and use it to make improvements.
  • Time-to-hire: Evaluate the length of the recruitment process, and make changes to streamline and reduce the time-to-hire.
  • Communication: Ensure that candidates receive timely and regular communication throughout the recruitment process and that communication is transparent and clear.
  • Job description: Ensure that job descriptions accurately reflect the job requirements and that candidates clearly understand the responsibilities and expectations.

As you probably noticed, many factors affecting candidate experience are already noted as other recruiting metrics. 

Again, this demonstrates the interconnectedness of all aspects of recruiting and the importance of ensuring professionalism and efficiency throughout the process. 

Poor communication during recruiting can lead to a negative candidate experience, which in turn could impact their job satisfaction and the length of time they stay with the organization. 

The different stages and aspects of recruitment can blur together in light of the company’s overall success and longevity, so it’s worthwhile to ensure each stage is functioning properly.

8. Application Completion Rate

The application completion rate is a recruitment metric that measures the percentage of job applicants who complete the application process. This metric is important because it can highlight user-friendliness issues in your application process.

A high application completion rate indicates that your application process is easy to use and suggests that your job descriptions and requirements are clear and well-communicated to potential candidates.

On the other hand, a low application completion rate may indicate that your application process needs improvement. This could be due to various factors, such as an overly complicated or lengthy application process, unclear job descriptions or requirements, or technical issues with the application platform. 

To calculate the application completion rate, divide the number of candidates who completed the application process by the total number of candidates who started the application process, and multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

9. Sourcing Channel Efficacy

Sourcing channel efficacy helps measure various sourcing channels’ effectiveness in generating job applicants. In addition, this metric provides insight into the best channels for attracting top-quality candidates, allowing you to prioritize them in future efforts. 

The sourcing channels that can be easily evaluated include job boards, social media platforms, employee referrals, and direct sourcing. 

To calculate the sourcing channel efficacy, recruiters can use a variety of approaches, such as:

  • Source of hire: Track the source of hire for each candidate, and evaluate which sourcing channels generate the highest-quality candidates.
  • Cost per source: Evaluate the cost per source for each sourcing channel, and determine which channels are the most cost-effective in generating job applicants.
  • Time to fill by source: Track the time it takes to fill a position for each sourcing channel and evaluate which channels are the most efficient in generating job applicants.

This metric also demonstrates the overlap between different aspects of the recruiting process, as you’ll want to consider multiple factors when choosing which sources work best for your business’s needs. 

10. Retention

Retention, or first-year attrition, is a recruitment metric that measures the percentage of employees who leave the company within the first year of employment. 

A low retention rate or high first-year attrition rate indicates that your recruitment process may need to be more effective in identifying and hiring top-quality candidates who fit the company culture and job requirements. 

It may also suggest that the onboarding and training process may need improvement.

On the other hand, a high retention rate or low first-year attrition rate indicates that your recruitment process effectively identifies and hires top-quality candidates who are a good fit for the company culture and job requirements. 

It also suggests that the onboarding and training process is effective in helping new hires adapt to the company culture and requirements.

To calculate the retention rate, divide the number of employees who left the company within the first year of employment by the total number of employees hired during that period, and multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage. 

How to Use Recruiting Metrics

As previously mentioned, dozens of possible recruiting methods can be used to improve your recruiting process. Hopefully, the metrics discussed in this list have provided a good starting point in evaluating your hiring process, but don’t be afraid to brainstorm other metrics to track. 

To get the most out of recruiting metrics, recruiters should follow these steps:

  1. Before choosing recruiting metrics, define your recruitment goals, such as reducing time-to-hire, increasing candidate quality, or improving the candidate experience.
  1. Based on recruitment goals, identify the most relevant metrics to track. This may include time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, applicant sources, offer acceptance rate, diversity and inclusion, or retention.
  1. Collect data on the identified metrics using recruiting software or manual tracking.
  1. Analyze the data collected on recruiting metrics to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
  1. Based on the analysis of recruiting metrics, make data-driven decisions to improve recruitment efforts, such as adjusting recruitment channels, streamlining the application process, improving the candidate experience, or optimizing the recruitment budget.
  1. Finally, be sure to continuously monitor recruiting metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment efforts and make new adjustments as needed.

Recruiting methods are only useful with a strategic application. These steps will help to identify precisely where your recruitment process needs improvement and monitor whether adjustments have their desired impact. 


Recruiting is complex, but measuring its success doesn’t have to be. By identifying a set of recruiting metrics to track, you can quickly determine which parts of the process contribute to your success and which need work

It’s important to remember that recruiting is about people, so though metrics are helpful, it’s not an exact science. 

Recruiting involves human behavior and judgment and is influenced by a wide range of factors. Unlike some other business processes that can be precisely measured and predicted, recruiting involves working with people who are complex and unpredictable.

Even the most advanced recruiting strategy can’t always account for the behavior and decision-making process of job seekers and labor market dynamics, such as supply and demand of specific skills or changes in technology. 

Because of these factors, recruiters must be open to changing their recruitment strategies to adjust to changing conditions and account for the subjectivity and unpredictability of the recruitment process.

Recruiting metrics help recruiters maintain that flexibility. Consistently monitoring recruiting metrics can reveal new trends in hiring or gradual shifts in which strategies work best in attracting talent, prompting recruiting teams to pivot accordingly. 

Investing in finding employees who share your vision for your organization will always be a worthwhile endeavor, as the makeup of your team will dictate productivity, creativity, and the company’s culture.