First off, if you’re looking to sharpen your hiring process, focusing on recruitment metrics is a great step. 

You might be wondering — Where should I start, and which hiring KPIs will really tell me if my recruitment strategies are effective?

Well, you’re in the right place. This recruiting metrics cheat sheet is your starting point. 

It’s here to help you:

  • Explore a list of the top recruitment metrics, all in one place.
  • Understand how to calculate each metric accurately. 
  • Determine which metrics align best with your recruitment efforts. 

And stick with us until the end for a free calculator to help you keep track of your processes!

What are recruitment metrics, and why should recruiters track them?

A recruiter assessing recruitment metrics on an iPad and taking notes.

Recruitment metrics are vital tools that measure the effectiveness of your hiring process.

Think of them as data-driven insights that guide your recruitment strategy, ensuring you’re not just going through the motions but actually making impactful decisions.

With 70% of hiring managers stating recruiting departments need to become more data-driven to improve long-term business impact, the need for hiring metrics has never been greater. 

Let’s look at a few more reasons why it’s important to track key recruitment metrics: 

  • Improves the quality of hire: It’s not just about filling positions but ensuring the right fit. Metrics help you assess how new hires contribute to your company’s success.
  • Creates a more efficient hiring process: Metrics like ‘time to fill’ reveal the speed and efficiency of your hiring process, highlighting areas for improvement.
  • Resource allocation: Understanding where your best candidates come from (e.g., job boards, social media) helps you invest your resources and recruitment budget wisely.
  • Candidate experience: Recruitment KPIs help you understand their experience and satisfaction, which can influence your employer brand and ability to attract high-quality talent. 

Recruitment metrics do more than count numbers; they tell the story of your hiring process.

By tracking these numbers, you’re not shooting in the dark; you’re making informed, strategic decisions that can transform your team and your business. 

Also read: Recruitment data analytics for perfect candidate selection

Top 17 recruitment metrics to track for effective hiring

Under the umbrella of hiring metrics, there’s a diverse range of measures, each offering unique insights into different aspects of the hiring process. 

From understanding where your top candidates come from to gauging the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your recruitment channels, these numbers provide a comprehensive view. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most important recruitment metrics for a more data-driven and objective approach to hiring: 

Types of recruitment metrics recruiters should track.

1. Sourcing metrics

Sourcing metrics provide valuable insights into not only where to find the best candidates but also how to do so cost-effectively and efficiently. 

Remember, effective recruitment is about more than just filling vacancies; it’s about finding the right talent in the smartest way possible.

A. Source of hire

Measuring your source of hire is essential for understanding where your successful candidates originate. 

It helps identify which channels are most effective for your recruitment.

Formula: Source of hire = Number of hires from a source / Total number of hires

Understanding this number guides you in allocating resources efficiently. For example, a LinkedIn report revealed that 48% of businesses find their best quality hires through employee referrals.

B. Sourcing channel effectiveness

This metric evaluates the effectiveness of each recruitment channel in attracting qualified candidates, helping you focus on quality over quantity.

Formula: Sourcing channel effectiveness = (Number of qualified candidates from a source / Total number of candidates from that source) x 100

A high effectiveness score for a channel indicates its relevance and popularity among your target candidate demographic.

C. Sourcing channel cost

Knowing the cost-effectiveness of different recruitment channels is key, especially for businesses managing tight recruitment budgets.

This helps in determining which channels provide the best return on investment.

Formula: Sourcing channel cost = Total cost for a recruitment channel / Number of hires from that channel

2. Time-related recruitment metrics

A. Time to fill

The time to fill metric measures the duration from opening a job requisition to hiring a new candidate. It reflects the efficiency of your recruitment process.

Formula: Time to fill = The day the candidate accepted the offer – The day the vacancy was opened

A shorter time to fill indicates a more streamlined recruitment process. Regularly tracking this metric helps identify bottlenecks in the hiring process and areas for improvement.

B. Time to hire

Time to hire and time to fill are pretty similar, but the latter measures the time from when a candidate applies for a job to when they accept an offer from the company. 

In contrast, time to fill measures how long the entire hiring process takes, from when a job post goes live to when a candidate accepts an offer.

You can say that the time-to-hire metric is a more candidate-centric view that sheds light on the effectiveness of your recruitment funnel and engagement levels. 

Formula: Time to hire = The day the candidate accepted the offer – The day the candidate entered the pipeline

A shorter hiring time can enhance the candidate experience and increase the chances of securing top talent promptly.

3. Candidate experience metrics

A. Candidate net promoter score

The candidate net promoter score (NPS) analysis is a crucial metric for gauging candidates’ overall experience and satisfaction with the recruitment process. 

To measure this metric, you’ll need to implement a candidate experience survey from which you can collect feedback. 

Formula: Candidate NPS = (% of promoters – % of detractors) x 100

Start by asking candidates to rate the likelihood of recommending your organization as a workplace on a scale from 0 to 10. 

Based on their responses, candidates are categorized into three groups:

  • Detractors (score 0-6): These candidates are less likely to recommend your organization. They might have had a negative experience or are just not enthusiastic enough to promote your company.
  • Passives (score 7-8): This group is neutral. They wouldn’t actively recommend your organization but wouldn’t speak against it either.
  • Promoters (score 9-10) are your most enthusiastic supporters who had a positive experience and are very likely to recommend your organization as a great workplace.

Higher scores, particularly above 30, suggest a strong employer brand and positive candidate experience. 

Scores above 70 are exceptional, reflecting an outstanding employer reputation.

Regularly tracking and aiming to improve the NPS can lead to a more engaged talent pool and higher job offer acceptance rates.

Check out: 8 free templates for candidate experience surveys

B. Application completion rate

This metric measures the percentage of candidates who complete their application process after starting it, indicating the user-friendliness of your system.

Formula: Application completion rate = (Number of submitted applications / Total number of candidates who started an application) x 100

A high completion rate suggests a smooth application process, while a low rate may point to obstacles that deter candidates.

If you have a large number of applicants failing to complete the application, possible issues may include:

  • The application process is too long or too complex. 
  • Technical problems (e.g., not optimized for mobiles). 
  • Applicants are asked sensitive or irrelevant information. 

4. Quality of hire metrics

A. Quality of hire

Quality of hire assesses the overall value and performance of new hires within the organization, encompassing various aspects of their contribution.

Formula: Typically evaluated through performance ratings, retention rates, and hiring manager satisfaction over a certain period

High-quality hires indicate that recruitment strategies are effective and that new employees are well-integrated. Enhancing the quality of hire can lead to improved team performance and reduced turnover.

B. First-year attrition

First-year attrition refers to the percentage of new hires leaving the company within their first year, providing insights into early-stage employee retention.

Formula: First-year attrition = (number of employees leaving within one year / Total number of hires in that year) x 100

A high attrition rate may indicate issues in the recruitment process, such as mismatched job expectations.

5. Cost efficiency recruitment metrics

recruitment metrics

A. Cost per hire

Cost per hire calculates the total expense involved in acquiring a new employee. This includes advertising, recruiter fees, and other associated costs.

Formula: Cost per hire = (Total internal recruiting costs + Total external recruiting costs) / Total number of hires

Understanding the cost per hire is essential for budgeting and ensuring the efficient use of recruitment resources.

By analyzing this metric, companies can identify areas where they can reduce costs without compromising the quality of new hires.

6. Performance and effectiveness metrics

A. Recruitment funnel effectiveness

Recruitment funnel metrics are the perfect way to measure the effectiveness of each hiring stage from start to finish. 

It helps identify stages in the recruitment process that are most effective and those that need improvement.

Formula: Recruitment funnel effectiveness is typically measured by analyzing conversion rates at each stage of the funnel.

7. Recruiter performance metrics

These metrics evaluate the effectiveness of individual recruiters or recruitment teams in the hiring process.

Recruiter performance usually consists of a culmination of different metrics and factors like time to fill, quality of hire, and hiring manager satisfaction.

Tracking this metric helps identify recruiter training needs and reward high-performers. 

Further reading: 8 must-have recruitment skills to become an ace recruiter

8. Diversity recruiting metrics

Keeping track of diversity recruiting metrics ensures that hiring practices are inclusive and equitable. 

They help build a diverse candidate pipeline, which numerous studies have shown leads to increased creativity, better decision-making, and improved financial performance for employers. 

A. Selection ratio

The selection ratio metric measures the diversity of the candidate pool and the hires made, ensuring that the recruitment process is fair and unbiased.

Formula: Selection ratio = (Number of final hires / Number of applicants) for each demographic group

A balanced selection ratio across different demographic groups indicates an unbiased and equitable hiring process.

Free recruitment metrics template + calculator!

Now that you’ve understood the top hiring KPIs to track, here’s a quick cheat sheet with all formulas on one page. 

Feel free to print this recruitment metrics template (or bookmark it) and keep it on your desk for quick reference!

A recruitment metrics cheat sheet with all the formulas in one place.

To make your life easier, we’ve even put together an easy-to-use recruitment metrics template with pre-filled formulas for calculating all your key hiring KPIs. 

Simply download a free copy of our calculator below and fill it in with your own numbers.

Found our calculator helpful? Be sure to share it with other recruiters in your circle!

What are the recruitment metrics best practices to follow while hiring?

Assessing recruitment metrics.

Taking stock of your recruitment metrics is more than just number-crunching; it’s about strategically piecing together the puzzle of effective hiring. 

In fact, 68% of organizations now rely on data-driven techniques to enhance their talent acquisition strategies, and the best part is these numbers help companies engage and retain 14% more employees.

Here’s how you can ensure a more objective and data-backed hiring process by following the best practices used in recruitment metrics: 

1. Choose the right metrics for your goals

It’s essential to select metrics that align with your specific recruitment objectives. 

For instance, if your primary goal is to improve the quality of hires, focus on metrics like your first-year attrition rate.

The recruitment KPIs you track should directly support your organization’s broader goals. This alignment ensures that your efforts contribute effectively to the company’s overall success.

2. Regularly review and adapt

The recruitment landscape is constantly changing, making it crucial to reassess and adjust your metrics to remain relevant and practical.

If specific sourcing channels aren’t yielding the desired quality of candidates, it’s time to reevaluate and redirect your efforts.

3. Ensure accurate data collection

The accuracy of your data collection is fundamental. Inaccurate data can lead to misguided strategies and poor decision-making.

To avoid this miscalculation, invest in a high-quality applicant tracking system and recruitment tools to automate metrics tracking, ensuring precision and reliability in your data.

4. Focus on candidate experience

Consistently gather feedback from all candidates, whether they were hired or not. 

Measuring your candidate net promoter score can provide invaluable insights into the effectiveness of your recruitment process.

You can use the feedback to refine your recruitment process continuously. 

It’s also a great way to show your candidates they are valued, increasing the likelihood of them accepting an offer or recommending you as an employer. 

Download our free eBook: Everything recruiters ever needed to know about candidate experience 

5. Train your team

Your recruitment team must understand the importance of these metrics and how to interpret them effectively.

You can do this by encouraging ongoing recruiter training and staying updated on the latest trends in hiring metrics and analysis techniques.

6. Benchmark against industry standards

Knowing the industry benchmarks helps you understand where your recruitment strategies and metrics stand compared to your competitors.

Use these benchmarks to set realistic targets and goals, continually striving to elevate your recruitment practices.


Incorporating recruitment metrics is all about combining data-driven insights with a human-centric approach to hiring. 

Remember, effective recruitment aims to connect the right people with the right opportunities, and these metrics are vital to achieving this goal efficiently. 

Frequently asked questions

1. How does cost per hire impact recruitment strategies?

Cost per hire calculates the total expenses of hiring a new employee, including advertising, recruiter fees, and other associated costs. 

It’s vital for budgeting and ensuring efficient use of resources. Companies can make more cost-effective hiring decisions by understanding and optimizing this recruitment metric.

2. What does the quality of hire indicate in recruitment metrics?

Quality of hire refers to the value a new employee brings to your company, often measured through performance, cultural fit, and retention. 

This metric is crucial as it helps assess the long-term impact of your hiring decisions. Improving the quality of hire leads to better team performance and reduced turnover, ultimately contributing to the organization’s overall success.