• Talent acquisition metrics can be divided into four major categories – speed metrics, quality metrics, productivity metrics, and cost metrics
  • Speed metrics measure the time that certain parts of the process take, while quality metrics examine the level of satisifacation with candidates hired, the recruiting process, etc.
  • Productivity measures provide recruiting leaders with an indication of their ROI, while cost metrics look at how much it costs a company to acquire a candidate or to have a vacancy


December 01, 2015

A Glossary of Talent Acquisition Metrics

For quite some time now, recruiting organizations have been capturing and monitoring performance data. Additionally, they have been using benchmark data to provide an objective lens through which information can be viewed and comparisons can be made.  These comparisons are often used to drive the changes in behavior, strategy, or technology needed to improve performance. However, often the terminology and nomenclature of these metrics varies from company to company or analyst to analyst.

In this article, we provide a glossary of the major talent acquisition metrics that companies should be tracking and compiling.

Speed Metrics

Time to Fill: Time to fill measures the time required to fill a position in days, with a start date of when a requisition is approved through the date the chosen candidate has completed a background check. Recent studies indicate that time to fill is at its highest in fifteen years, and the number of job openings in the U.S. has reached a new record.

Time to Accept: This is a sub-metric of time to fill that measures the time required to fill a position in days, with a start date of when a requisition is approved by a business through the date the chosen candidate has accepted the job offer.

Time to Start: This is another sub-metric of time to fill that measures the time required to fill a position in days, with a start date of when a requisition is approved by a business through the target or actual start date of the candidate.

Recruiting vs. Business Consideration: This metric is a two-part calculation that measures recruiting performance in a cross-functional context. It is first calculated by looking at the data of when a requisition is approved through the date the recruiter submits a candidate to the hiring manager for consideration. The second part is calculated by looking at when a candidate is submitted for consideration through when the candidate accepts the position.

Time in Workflow Step: This is a measure of recruiting efficiently as well as the strength of the overall recruiting process, and can be used to identify bottlenecks. It measures the time a candidate is in a particular workflow step, starting when the candidate enters the workflow step and stopping once the candidate moves to the next one.

Quality Metrics

Submittals to Business Acceptance Percentage: This is the percentage of candidates submitted for consideration versus those accepted by the hiring manager to proceed to the next step in the workflow process. This metric can be used to show the general quality of candidates and the quality delivered by individual recruiters.

First Year Quality: First year quality is calculated by the submittals to business acceptance percentage metric plus the percentage of candidates that do not leave in the first year, divided by two. Knowing how long new hires stay can be an indicator of recruiting performance, and can be used as a basis for future hiring decisions.

New Hire Turnover Rate: This metric is calculated by dividing the number of new employees that separate from the company by the total number of employees during that time period. This can be calculated in any set interval. According to Aberdeen Group, companies with best-in-class onboarding see a 91 percent employee retention rate.

Offer Acceptance Rate: The offer acceptance rate is generally a high-level metric that can be used to drill down into the reasons behind low numbers of offer acceptances. It measures the number of candidates presented with a verbal or written offer versus the number of them who accept the offer.

Submittal to Hire Ratio: This metric shows how well talent acquisitions teams are in delivering good candidates to hiring managers. It is measured by taking the ratio of candidates submitted to the hiring manager for consideration against the number of hires.

Application Drop off Rate: This metric examines the strength of the application process. It is calculated by looking at the number of candidates who start an online job application minus the number who complete it, divided by the number of candidates who start.

Hiring Manager Satisfaction: This measurement is a high-level key performance indicator that shows how well talent acquisition is performing. There are many approaches to measuring hiring manager satisfaction including Net Promoter Score or the Likert Scale.

Candidate Satisfaction: Beyond looking at just hiring manager satisfaction, best-in-class organizations also consider the candidate experience and how that translates to candidate satisfaction.

Productivity Metrics

Source of Application: Source of application and the next metric, source of hire, are becoming increasingly important as recruiting leaders start taking a closer look at their return on investments. Source of application measures the percentage of total number of applications broken down by their original source, such as career site, job board, referral, etc.

Source of Hire: Similar to the previous metric, source of hire can be used to show source performance as well as an ROI on efforts made in specific sources. This metric measures the percentage of the total number of hires broken down by their original source.

Full Funnel Throughput: This metric provides a holistic look at the hiring funnel to show the strength of the hiring process as a whole. Full funnel throughput measures performance of the hiring funnel and individual workflow processes in one place, calculated as a ratio of candidates who move from one step in the hiring funnel/workflow to the next. Often, it consists of multiple ratios listed in succession to show each step.

Candidate Withdrew Reasons: This measures the total number of candidates who withdrew from the recruiting process in a fiscal year broken down by their reasons for leaving.

Requisition Cancellation Rate: This metric is calculated by the total number of positions filled in a fiscal year plus any job orders cancelled, divided by the total number of cancelled requisitions. A high number of cancellations equates to wasted time and inefficiencies.

New vs. Replacement Requisition Type: Totaling up to 100 percent, this metric measures the percent of requisitions or job orders created during the fiscal year for net new growth positions versus the percentage of requisitions created to back-fill an opening. It is a productivity metric for recruiters, along with being an indicator for overall business performance.

Cost Metrics

Recruiting Resource Cost to Acquire:  Also known as cost per hire, this metric measures a recruiting department’s total resource costs divided by the number of candidates hired in a fiscal year.

Cost per Vacancy:  This metric can be calculated in various ways, but the most basic method is to take the company’s revenue per employee and divide by the number of working days in the years. Generally, pivotal and executive roles will have higher costs per vacancy, as will revenue-generating roles such as engineering and sales.

The Different Buckets of Talent Acquisition Metrics

The Different Buckets of Talent Acquisition Metrics

Source: Jibe

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