Hiring Metrics That Matter in 2021

Business Analytics image

Key performance indicators (KPIs) allow recruiting teams to learn what techniques are working and to make subtle shifts in their approach to improve their effectiveness.

The number of contacts made, resumes reviewed, and time to hire all matter to hiring teams. But are there other metrics we should worry about in 2021 that we perhaps didn’t track last year? Why do KPIs matter so much to your hiring team? Find out which hiring metrics matter this year.

Why do hiring metrics matter?

Recruiting metrics measure the effectiveness of your hiring team. While recruiting is a people-centric pursuit, to a certain extent it’s also a numbers game. You need to measure the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts to track progress toward your organization’s goals, so you can decide where to continue investing and where to make changes to optimize.

While a KPI can track just about anything that matters to your company, these metrics are typically useful in answering hard questions such as:

  • How effective are we at hiring the right candidates?
  • On average, how long does it take us to find the right candidate?
  • How many candidates do we need to screen before we find the right person?
  • How much does the candidate search process cost?
  • Are we becoming more efficient at hiring — or less efficient?
  • How effectively are our recruiting efforts meeting our organization goals (e.g., related to diversity, equity, and inclusion)?

While organizations commonly use the KPI framework to answer these and other questions about their hiring process, are there any “hot” metrics for 2021 that your organization may have not considered yet?

People moving circle graphic

Top recruiting metrics for 2021

Whether you’re an HR or talent acquisition leader hiring for your own organization or a staffing firm recruiting for your clients, you need recruiting metrics to guide your continual improvement. There are old standbys and some new metrics that are critically important for your hiring program this year.

The top five recruiting metrics for 2021 should include the following:

1. Time to fill measures how long it takes to source, screen, and hire a candidate from the time the job was ordered to acceptance of the job. Track this carefully, noting any trends that emerge. For example, does it take longer to hire for particular jobs, departments, or hiring managers? Is the average time to fill different by job, recruiter, or department? Longer fill times don’t just mean a position is vacant for longer; it may signal that you’re losing strong candidates to a slow process. While most organizations will benefit from a thoughtful selection process, no organization benefits from an unnecessarily long hiring process. Isolating where the delays or lags are occurring in your hiring process is the first step to solving the issue.

2. Cost per hire is tricky but not impossible to measure. Some numbers are easy to gather, such as the cost of advertising a position. If you have an applicant tracking system, that cost should be factored in. If you’re using a third-party staffing firm, there are fees for each successful hire. But don’t forget about the human costs associated with interviewing candidates, running background checks, and other costs related to the hiring process.

3. Quality of hires can be measured in a variety of ways. Is a hire successful if they last 90 days? How about 6 months? Should qualitative data be factored in with tenure? Often, quality of hire can’t be measured by a single metric but is actually a set of metrics including retention, productivity, ramp-up time, engagement, or other factors. If your organization doesn’t have established quality or hire metrics, this is a great conversation for leaders to have to determine what success means in their organization.

4. Source of hire is a metric that many people miss, but it can help your hiring team work smarter if you track it. Knowing where most of your good candidates come from will help you determine where to put your advertising dollars. It can also help your recruiting team focus more of their energy on the high-value job boards or social media sites where the best candidates seem to hang out.

5. Candidate experience isn’t technically a metric, but it’s a good thing to keep an eye on. It’s harder to track than all the other metrics we’ve listed, but it probably matters the most. If your goal is to build an employee destination — the kind of company where everyone wants to work — then creating a positive candidate experience should be at the top of your to-do list. Some of the areas you should monitor to improve the candidate experience include:

If you have a lot of “cart abandons” where candidates started applying and then dropped out before finishing, check your website.

  • Does it translate well to mobile? Does it have really slow page loads? Is the user experience frustrating?
  • How long is the time from application to offer? If you’ve ever sent a resume and waited months to complete the hiring process, you already know how unpopular that experience is with candidates.
  • Are your recruiters transparent? Do they explain to candidates every step of the hiring process? Do they thoroughly vet candidates so the majority of your offers are accepted?

Group employee photo

The rule of thumb here is to treat candidates the same way you’d like to be treated.

Another important consideration is diversity, equity, and inclusion. While not a standalone metric, being mindful of these principles is crucial to ensure that your hiring practices are free from bias and discrimination. Adhering to diversity, equity, and inclusion recruiting and hiring standards should further support your business goals and KPIs.

How a staffing agency can help improve your recruiting metrics

Let’s face it; hiring is hard. It’s time-consuming. When you get it wrong, it can be quite costly. The easiest and fastest way to improve your hiring KPIs is to partner with a firm that is committed to your goals and your success. At TERRA Staffing Group, more than 80% of our clients in a recent survey said they would recommend TERRA because they are getting the results they expect and need.

Talk with TERRA Staffing about your hiring goals. We can help improve your KPIs and deliver the talent your business needs — fast.