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Nine metrics recruiters need to measure

The recruitment technology (RecTech) market has grown rapidly in the last decade, making it easier than ever for recruiters to get actionable insight into the metrics that shift the needle.

However, with so many data points available, recruiters run the risk of tracking too much data and slowing performance through over reporting. Worse still, recruiters could be tracking and measuring metrics that aren’t relevant and will negatively impact the overall goal.

To ensure success, you need to select and measure the metrics that will help you achieve your overall goal. As the Zen master would say, ‘profits happen when you do everything else right.’

Common metrics to measure include:

  • Calls to job pulled
  • Qualified CVs generated per job
  • Interviews booked per job
  • Fill rate
  • Average perm fee
  • Average weekly GP (£) per placement
  • Average temp/contract placement length

For example, if your annual target is to bill £240,000, analyse what you need to do to hit the target based on your current metrics.

  • Calls to job pulled = 10
  • Qualified CVs generated per job = 10
  • Interviews booked per job = 3
  • Fill rate = 50%
  • Average perm fee = £10k
  • Average weekly GP (£) per placement = £500
  • Average temp/contract placement length = 12 weeks

Using the figures above, a perm recruiter working to a £10k average fee and 50% fill rate needs to:
– Make 240 calls (240/10 = 24 jobs pulled)
– Do two deals per month (2 x 12 x £10k = £240k)

Note; this is just a guideline and doesn’t factor in droppers, no shows, dead jobs etc.

Unfortunately, success doesn’t flow in a straight line from calls to jobs to interviews to deals. Each variable will fluctuate.

One strategy is to focus on your strengths to increase one or more metrics to multiply the effect.

For example, Increasing your average fee means you will have to do fewer deals to hit target. But, by increasing your fill rate and your average fee means you will do more deals at a higher fee!

Conversely, focusing on your weaker areas, for example, selling in candidates might be an issue, or you struggle to craft job ads that attract the right response, will boost your overall performance.

Questions to ask and evaluate:

  • What if you increase your margin %, how many deals would you need to do to hit your target?
  • How can you increase the amount of interviews you book?
  • How can you increase the quality of CVs you receive and find rare candidates?
  • How can you make your calls more successful? (i.e. pull jobs quicker)

Listed in order of the recruitment process, we’ve listed nine metrics you need to measure for success and the actions you need to take to ensure success.

1: Calls made to jobs pulled

This metric is simply about how many calls you make to pull a job.

There are numerous things you need to consider before making a call:

  • Is it the right time to call? The adage “time kills deals” rings true throughout the recruitment process – getting it wrong from the start is a killer. Make sure you’ve covered all angles and have done your homework. Does the client contact have budget and authority? Is the timing right? What’s the need?
  • Are you first on the job?
  • Do you have exclusivity?
  • Can you fill the role on the agreed budget?
  • Can you fill it?

2: Qualified CVs generated per job

Once you’ve pulled the job, you need to generate qualified CVs to pitch to your client.

Key actions to review:

  • Have you taken a detailed job spec?
  • Have you confirmed the spec with the client?
  • Have you crafted a job ad that will attract the right candidates?
  • Have you advertised to candidates on your CRM?
  • Is your job ad generating the right candidates? If no, what are your actions?
  • Do you have a referral process for candidates?
  • Can you all candidates in your network for recommendations?
  • Have you sold the clients mission, benefits, role and culture?
  • What’s the qualification process with your candidates?
  • How do you maintain control throughout the process?

3: Interviews booked per job

The next stage is to sell in the candidates and book interviews. The more interviews you secure, the more you increase the chance of filling the role.

In any market, clients want quality not volume. Therefore, a high interview booked to CVs submitted ratio is your aim. If your CVs sent to interviews ratio is low, look at the following:

  • Are you taking a detailed enough job specification?
  • Are you thoroughly qualifying your candidates?
  • Are you selling in the candidates strengths against the job spec correctly?
  • Is there a budget issue? I.e. does the client expect too much for the salary on offer?

4: Offer to placement

This stage of the process is all about control. If you don’t exert control, it will end up being the most difficult stage.

Trial closing is one strategy that can be used. The objective is to gain commitment that the candidate will accept the role.

Get the candidates commitment to accept on every aspect before you officially present it to them. That means salary, bonuses, flexitime, hours, holiday time, team – everything.

It’s also critical to pre-empt any objections before the trial close.

Questions like “What could prevent you accepting an offer?” help you better understand the candidate’s decision-making process.

Check out this article which lists 10 tips to maintaining direction during a candidate’s journey.

Maintain control of the process – get to know the candidate inside out and reaffirm/evaluate their needs and expectations:

  • How likely is the candidate going to accept the offer?
  • Are they interviewing elsewhere?
  • Is their current contract going to extend?
  • Are they holding out on accepting the offer as a tool to renegotiate their current contract and increase their pay?

5: Fill rate

Fill rate measures how many jobs you have ‘on’ to how many are filled. If your fill rate percentage is low, you need to check:

  • Specs taken – are you correctly interpreting the clients needs and wants?
  • Client salary expectations v current market valuation
  • Time to fill – what’s the average length from spec to offer for deals that don’t close. Is this a factor?
  • Process – how many interview stages are there? What’s the gap between interview stages
  • Do you know what the interview process is? Have you communicated it to the client?
  • Objection handling?
  • Are you trial closing?
  • Do you have the candidates commitment?
  • Are you generating enough candidate response?
  • How many other agencies are working the role?
  • Is the role in your true specialism or are you overextending?
  • Is the client notoriously difficult to work with?
  • Does the spec keep changing?
  • Does the client give you a definitive pay scale?

6: Revenue

Average fee / weekly GP and deal length all need precise measurement. The recruitment process is notoriously fraught – you do not want to be underselling your value.

Be the expert in:

  • Market rates
  • Supply and demand. If you’re working with candidates who possess a very rare and coveted skill set then you’re not going to supply that person cheaply
  • Timeframes – can you supply what they need, when they need and others can’t? If so, you’re instantly more valuable.
  • Justifying your value
  • Managing rate rises
  • Objection handling (active listening is key)

7: Time to hire

Time to hire (or otherwise known as time to fill) is the amount of time it takes to hire a candidate for a role. Time to hire gives the recruiting team and company insight into whether they are spending too much time in recruiting which can equate to higher cost per hire figures.

  • When an offer is made
  • When an offer is accepted
  • The first day the new employee starts the job

8: Sourcing channel effectiveness

Sourcing channel effectiveness helps to measure conversions per channel. By measuring channel, you can see the channels that are producing candidates and hires (quantity and/or quality) vs. those that aren’t.

  • Job boards
  • Job ads
  • Sourcing tools
  • Social media channels

9: Employee referrals

Employee referrals are when your employees refer candidates to be considered for open roles at the company. It is often a cheaper and faster way to hire, generally produces a better hire, and lowers the turnover rate at your company.

Any combination of the above is always a good benchmark, although for refined results consider the following:

  • Response rates to mailshots
  • How many clients engage with you when you send a mailshot (you can see if your mailshots are directed to the right market)
  • Number of relevant candidates that respond to a job alert (via email) you put out (have you coded your database well enough to reach the right candidates for the role)

Ten recruitment KPIs you need to know

Do you know why you’re successful?

These ten metrics will give you all the insight you need to unlock further growth.

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