Similar to most functions of a business, every step of the recruiting process can be tracked and measured. Data driven recruitment is one of the most useful strategies that a recruiter can use, because it gives us insights that we won’t find elsewhere.

Data is helping to take the guess work out of recruitment – we no longer have to try and figure out what it is that’s not working about our process, or what we can improve. Using data driven recruitment can allow us to have that information readily available, meaning we can act on it much quicker.

Of course, there’s such thing as too much data. Especially if we don’t have a clear and efficient way to use it. But thanks to new technologies, it’s never been easier to collect and analyse data about our recruitment process and our candidates.

So, what type of data should we be analysing? Different metrics will be more useful to some organisations than others, meaning there’s no ‘one size fits all approach’ to data driven recruitment. We’ve outlined 8 of the key metrics that should be measured, and the usefulness of each one:

 1. Cost-per-hire

Cost per hire helps ensure that recruiting efforts are feasible for the business, as well as the industry, size, and location. One important thing to remember with this metric is to measure the cost against another metric, such as quality of hire or retention rates, for a more comprehensive picture. Aka, “you get what you pay for”.

 2. Time-to-hire

Hiring can take anywhere from days to months. Your time to hire is the number of days between opening a position to either offer acceptance or onboarding. Each industry has an average time to hire, and if yours is longer than your average then it’s important to see where the lag is in your process. A shorter time to hire means you’re more likely to engage and retain top talent before they accept offers elsewhere, so it’s something you should be working to improve.

Smart recruitment software, like video interviewing, can help you drastically reduce time spent in early screening stages without compromising the quality of your candidates.

 3. Source of hire

Tracking your source of hire will allow you to put more focus into the most effective platforms for finding candidates. For example, if many of your high performing employees came from referrals, it would be sensible to set up a more in-depth referral programme. Or, if they come from careers fairs, you can put more focus into this as a strategy.

Ideally, tracking source of hire means you can direct more resources to valuable channels, and adjust lagging sources.

 4. Candidate experience

Measuring candidate experience can seem like a tricky one, but extremely useful when you get it right. The easiest way to do so is to turn to candidates directly, by reaching out with candidate experience surveys to help you gather feedback. Questions should be specific into the areas you want to find out more about and will be more useful structured as multiple-choice questions (rather open ended ones).

Things to consider include things such as the length of application form, the job description, or even asking if they’d be willing to apply for another position again in the future.

 5. Conversion rate

A question always useful to answer is how many candidates did I have to contact, to make a hire? What percentage of candidates are making it to the interview process? How many of those were made an employment offer? What percentage of candidates are accepting offers?

There are lots of different conversions which can be tracked, each providing extremely useful insights. For example, if your offer acceptance rates are lower than average, something in your recruitment process may have been misleading to a candidate, such as inaccurate information in the job description. Or if very few candidates are making it to the interview process, your job description may not be specific enough about your candidate requirements.

 6. Excess cost of vacant roles

While it might not seem like the first thing to measure, the excess cost of vacant roles can have a bigger impact than most think. The longer a role is left empty during the recruitment process, the lower productivity will be and less tasks relating to that role will be completed.

Effectively using the other metrics that we’ve discussed will help you to discover factors that might be leaving your position vacant. If not, try looking at the cost of leaving the role vacant and you might have the motivation to try and find that suitable candidate quicker!

 7. Employee turnover

Employee turnover can be an indicator of a few things. It’s a useful metric to understand whether we’re hiring the right people. Turnover is a part of every organisation and while it’s not always a bad thing, if turnover rates are high then it’s clear that something needs attention.

Sure, there are unwanted vs wanted departures from your organisation. But how long are top performers staying at your organisation? What is motivating them to leave? These factors are a starting point for implement a better employee retention strategy.

 8. Application completion rates

Is there a certain point in the application process where you’re losing candidates? The abandonment rate of your applications will help to identify weaknesses in the process, so you can see if your candidates are deterred by certain questions or tasks.

While it’s normal for not everyone to make it to the end of an application process, if this percentage is high then there is an issue that needs to be addressed.



It’s likely that the technology you’re using for your recruitment process comes with reporting functions. Our platform here at Shine gives you instant access to insights such as completion rates, conversion rates, and response rates – all on a per role basis so you can see exactly where something may not be performing as well as others,