Top 5 Recruiting Metrics to Track for Better Results

August 13, 2021

You wouldn’t walk into an executive meeting or a board meeting with anecdotal sales information. You bring data!

What gets measured gets managed and with a little effort, you can build an easily repeatable and accurate source of recruiting truth to influence strategy and consult with business leaders.

Sometimes organizations see recruiting as a qualitative pursuit but with improvements in applicant tracking systems (ATS), artificial intelligence tools (AI), and solid fundamentals, companies can collect a lot of data about their recruiting processes and performance.

While you can literally track any part of the recruiting process, here are a few data points that can help you better understand and optimize your recruiting function.


The headcount plan is the foundation of reporting to business leaders, building a case for resources, and planning necessary strategies to meet business goals. Read more about the difference between workforce planning and headcount planning in my article here.

Tracking your headcount can be as simple as a spreadsheet with your current employees and approved positions. You can build or acquire more sophisticated headcount tracking tools but the best tool is the one that you maintain and can be used widely across the organization by stakeholders.

Pro Tip: Work on your headcount plan with key stakeholders. Be sure that all stakeholders have signed off on the number of positions needed, the timeline for when those positions need to be filled, where the positions will be physically located, etc. Once you have buy-in, be sure to track progress and report back regularly with your stakeholders to discuss progress and whether anything needs to change.


This is about understanding your interview funnel or pass through rates.

  • How many applicants does it take to get ONE hiring manager interview?
  • How many hiring manager interviews does it take to get ONE final interview?
  • How many final interviews does it take to get ONE offer extended to a candidate?
  • How many offers extended does it take to get ONE offer accepted?
  • How long does it take to reach each of the above milestones?

If you can answer the above questions, you can predict, optimize, and triage your recruiting efforts more accurately. I recommend conducting this analysis for the different types of hiring your company does because the interview process and candidate funnel will look different for software engineers in Los Angeles, CA versus call center representatives in Orlando, FL. Go one step further, and analyse the diversity of your candidate funnel from the applicant stage through offer accepts.

Pro Tip: Once you know the pass through rate for different types of hiring in your company, pair that data with your recruiter efficiency data (hires per month) and you’ve got a good starting point to more accurately forecast the time and effort it will take to fill however many positions that are needed.


Source is where your candidates come from. Where they first encounter your brand and apply for your job. Sourcing refers to the efforts of your team (or outsourced team) to find talent and have them become candidates.

Whether candidates find you and apply directly via your company careers page or you’ve hired an outsourced team to fill the top of your funnel, you need to understand what channels are working best. Understanding which channels are producing the high quality candidates (hires and near hires) will allow you to invest your team’s resources wisely (time and money).

Pro Tip: Take the time to set up your applicant tracking system (ATS) to track various sources. Start by including sources like career site, employee referral, internal, networking event, recruiter, hiring manager, etc. Make sure if you post jobs online to third party sites that they offer applicant tracking links that automatically attribute applicants to their sites.


The talent landscape is increasingly complex with multiple industries vying for the same people. By tracking which candidates you extend offers to and why they choose to decline your offer, you’ll learn where you stack up.

While total compensation is often a reason for offer declines, you’ll be interested to see what candidates care about. This will give you the opportunity to consider changing your processes, candidate profiles, offer strategies, compensation structures, or more to be competitive.

Pro Tip: Track as much competitor data as possible from the start in a safe/compliant way. Data about competing offers can help you consult with your leaders if you think your company needs to adjust its competitive position.


How much does recruiting one sales person or one engineer cost your company?

The cost associated with hiring is actually a large bucket of expenses including recruiter compensation, subscriptions to tools like your applicant tracking system and video interviewing tool, employer branding initiatives (e.g. LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor), outsourced services, travel, attending events, hosting events, advertising on job boards and social networking sites, and the sometimes hard to calculate bucket of time from other teams in your company (engineering, marketing, brand, etc.).

Pro Tip: It’s important to treat recruiting like any other part of the business. Yes, it’s a cost center, not directly generating revenue, but recruiting needs to be held accountable for the dollars spent. Be flexible enough to try new approaches but be wary of throwing good money after bad strategies.

Would you like help with your recruiting data? I can help you access, analyze, and build reporting that suits your goals.

Reach out to schedule a free discovery session with us today to see how we can help you unlock the insights in your recruiting data.




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© lauren springer consulting 2021


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