Reimagining KPIs – Why Recruitment Innovation Is Needed

Discussions about KPIs in Recruitment have long been (and still are!) a hot topic in human resources. Because, how do you really measure success for your recruitment department? How do you define success? When does your recruitment department have a winning year? When they hire a lot of people? But what if, for example, your employee turnover is very high and that´s why they need to hire a lot of people, is that still success then? Probably not.

Since you can´t manage what you don´t measure, you obviously need some measures or KPIs to work towards. But are the KPIs we are mainly using in the recruitment areas the right ones?

  • Time to fill
  • Qualified candidates per hire
  • Interviews per hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Turnover
  • Interview to offer rate
  • Offer to acceptance rate
  • And the list can go on and on

recruitment KPIsThe question is, do these KPIs really say something about the success of recruiters? If we review these KPIs, do they really say something about whether your hires are going to be a great addition to your business?

  • Time to fill à is the time it takes to fill a position related to the quality of the candidate? Probably not, if your KPI is to be fast, are you going for the best candidate (which as we all know, can take its time!) or for the easiest candidate to fill the position quickly?
  • Qualified candidates per hire à candidates can be qualified, but are they a good fit for your company? Does the number of candidates that fulfill some requirements in a job description really say something about whether the recruited candidate is successful?
  • Interviews per hire à this metric is probably for efficiency reasons, fewer interviews means fewer costs involved. But does it really add value? For some candidates, you might need more interviews to find out they are the perfect fit for your business, however, for others it might be clear after just one or two meetings.
  • Cost per hire à again, probably this metric is there for cost reasons but especially for business critical positions, the cost might not be the most important factor for determining success.
  • Turnover à this might be a good measure to see if the people you hire stick along long enough, but on the other hand, with new generations entering the workforce the concept of turnover is also changing. Millennials are much more likely to switch jobs relatively often than the generations before them might have done.
  • Interview to offer rate à your interview process might be efficient, but does that tell you something about the success of your recruitment strategy?
  • Offer to acceptance rate à with this KPI one should wonder if it´s a KPI for your Recruitment team or for your Reward team? Because the offers being made by the recruitment area are most probably based on your reward policy. So this doesn´t tell you much about how successful your recruitment area is.

Again, it´s good to measure but you need to have very clear what you measure it for and how success is defined in your business.

In addition, the market is changing but we are still using the same KPIs as always. A very important factor to this is the digital revolution we are currently living in and this digitalization also means that looking for jobs (and therefore looking for candidates) has completely changed. Old-school sourcing techniques are not really relevant anymore and simply posting a job on job boards and waiting for the candidates to come is probably not going to cut it anymore.

The current landscape we are in is much more about building a community and an audience which requires excellent digital relationship building. Engagement is key here and it´s all about keeping in touch via social media and platforms with future candidates. Hence, maybe our recruitment KPIs should be more about social media following, engagement activity and conversion of your communities. Won´t that tell us much more about recruitment success in this new context?

What other new KPIs can you think of for recruitment?


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