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Modern recruiting organizations bear little resemblance to the bureaucratic HR departments and rolodex-peddling recruitment agencies that used to dominate corporate talent acquisition.

The new vision of HR treats talent acquisition as an internal service with multiple stakeholders. As this transformation unfolds, many organizations struggle to identify recruiting metrics to define and measure success.

In our experience partnering with leading organizations that maintain high-performing talent acquisition programs, we have learned about the recruiting metrics they track, as well as the processes and technology they deploy to ensure constant program optimization.

The Evolution of the Recruiting Function

Twenty years ago, companies relied heavily on talent agencies to fill their openings. Although the costs vary between markets, research shows that agency fees can reach between 20 and 33 percent of the position’s annual compensation in the USA and between 20 and 30 percent in the UK.

Given the steep costs of external talent agencies and the growing competition for talent, companies are increasingly looking for alternatives that grant them more control over talent acquisition while enabling them to break away from the pack.

Online job boards and the emergence of CRM technology have allowed organizations to achieve precisely that. By honing their recruitment marketing skills, being able to develop and maintain strong employer brands and building meaningful relationships with candidates proactively, companies can bypass agencies in their search for qualified talent.

Thanks to advanced recruiting technology, many companies are developing their own internal recruiting programs to reduce their reliance on agencies. To measure the success of this move, recruiting teams have typically reported cost per hire and time to fill as their core recruiting metrics.

Today’s recruiters, however, need to do more than just prove that they are hiring faster and cheaper than a talent agency. Let’s analyze this in detail.

Recruiting as Service Delivery

Any organization within your company is providing a service to the overall organization. And for HR, it’s no different. In this sense, you have to look at the function and ask: What is the service they’re providing for the business? Even more importantly, you need to demonstrate the impact the recruiting function is driving.

Above all, the recruiting function needs to deliver the right talent at the right time to the business units that it serves. The ultimate measure of its success is the satisfaction of internal clients—the hiring managers who will eventually manage and work with new employees.

In order to do this as efficiently as possible, recruiters need to ensure that they are focusing on high-quality leads and moving them through each step of the recruiting process as quickly as possible.

Particularly in large organizations, requirements may vary across departments and regions. Because of this, it is important to have internal processes and flexible technology that can accommodate these needs as well as promote learning across divisions. To gather first-hand insights from our CEO, Dimitri Boylan, about how to select recruiting technology that enhances service delivery, download our guide.

Banner of Avature's ATS buyer's guide and a link to the landing page to download it.

Meaningful metrics serve as conversation starters. They allow recruiters and hiring managers to ask themselves what is working and what they can do better. We highlight two types of recruiting metrics that can help organizations understand and improve their recruiting processes: hiring manager satisfaction and conversion rates.

Hiring Manager Satisfaction

Hiring manager satisfaction can sound like a black box. Still, it ultimately boils down to two questions: How happy is the hiring manager with the overall hiring process, and how happy is the hiring manager with the new employee?

Take the time to ask very specific questions, since the smallest details can help or hurt the hiring process. The relationship between hiring managers and recruiters is the number one predictor of talent acquisition performance, so try to understand the dynamics of the recruiter-hiring manager collaboration by learning:

  • Were the recruiter and hiring manager fully aligned regarding the qualifications and requirements the candidates needed to meet?
  • What other skills should recruiters have screened before sending the candidate to interview with the hiring manager?
  • Were there any logistical complications?
  • Was communication fluent throughout the hiring process?

A best practice many of our customers share in this regard is providing hiring managers with a dedicated user experience, such as the one supported by Avature’s Hiring Manager Portal, to streamline handoffs and automate communications.

The next step in the assessment of hiring manager satisfaction involves finding out about the quality of hire:

  • How is the new hire performing?
  • Did they have a clear understanding of what would be expected of them in the position?
  • Did the onboarding process help bridge any of these gaps and provide resources to accelerate time to productivity?

Conversion Rate

Measuring conversion rates can help your organization understand where energy is well spent and where time is lost throughout the recruiting process. It can also shed light on technology deficiencies or processes that hinder the experience you deliver to candidates.

By tracking days per step, you can see how much time a candidate spends in each stage of the hiring process, from phone screenings to interviews and feedback steps. Are recruiters taking too long to screen candidates? Do hiring managers need to provide interview feedback in a more timely manner?

Measure conversion rate by source to uncover which outreach efforts yield better results. Do candidates from a particular event often turn into successful hires? Are candidates from a certain company rarely successful? Focusing efforts on promising sources of talent helps you make the most of your time and resources.

In a market where 77 percent of employers report difficulty filling roles, are you providing a career site experience that engages job visitors and gets them to convert? How long do your candidates spend on your career site? Is there a section where they often leave the site? What devices are they using to navigate, and is your site optimized to support them? What percentage of candidates leave their applications unfinished?

Recruiting Metrics as Catalysts for Change

At the end of the day, recruiting metrics are not useful unless you leverage them to identify improvement opportunities. To tackle metrics-based optimization in an organized way, these are a series of best practices we recommend applying:

  • Set clear objectives to ensure recruiters know what is expected of them and can measure their progress.
  • When possible, collect feedback from your stakeholders, from recruiters to hiring managers and even candidates.
  • Make the feedback process easy by delivering surveys promptly after interviews.
  • Send periodic notifications reminding hiring managers and recruiters that their feedback will help improve the process going forward.
  • Share regular updates regarding changes made and keep an eye out for additional improvement opportunities that may arise.
  • Create recruiting metrics dashboards to organize your statistics in one easily accessible location.
  • Share the metrics affecting different stakeholders to promote internal collaboration and foster alignment.
  • Adopt recruiting technology that enables a comprehensive metrics-driven approach.

A successful program focuses on first understanding and then optimizing the recruiting function. By pairing recruiting metrics with a constant improvement mindset, organizations can gain insights to drive changes that benefit all stakeholders in the hiring process and ultimately enhance talent acquisition performance.

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