12 Agency Recruiting Metrics to Track for Success

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There is saying, “What gets measured gets done.” I’d have to agree, and without metrics continuous improvement is near impossible. Recruiting metrics and KPIs alone are not only helpful, but critical to the health of your organization. We suggest that the best track and find ways to continuously improve their baseline numbers.  With any luck, your systems will allow you to track and report the data (with a little more luck, your recruiters will actually enter the data).  Below are a few recruiting metrics we believe are worth tracking.

Total Candidate Volume

Total candidate volume simply measures the total applicant pool for a specific job or position. This includes both passive and active job seekers being considered for the position. While volume alone is not an indicator of a great recruiter, you can bet that the quality is somewhere in the quantity. That said, you’ll want to see a healthy blend of passive candidates in your total applicant pool.

Active to Passive Candidate Ratio

This ratio is an indicator of how good your recruiter is at finding passive candidates. Passive talent are qualified candidates who aren’t actively applying to a job posting. Sadly, the “Post and Pray” approach to recruiting is often the primary (if not sole methodology) for many HR teams. When posting & praying isn’t enough, then it’s time to hire a recruiter, right? If you need on-demand sourcing support and want to avoid costly recruiting fees, let us know. We can help with that!

Don’t be fooled by this metric alone, though! If your recruiter doesn’t know how to engage the passive job seeker in a way that promotes a dialogue, then it won’t matter how many passive candidates they have in their hopper.

Candidate Screen Ratio

This is a recruiting metric that helps identify the percentage of total candidates for a job that were screened by your recruiter. Hopefully, your recruiters are doing detailed screens and not just a 15-minute ‘meet and greet’ to see if they can get the mirror to fog. There isn’t a one-size fits all ratio for this metric. Some searches have high percentages, while others low. Some recruiters are better at candidate engagement, or have more experience and deeper networks. That said, some candidates are just very conservative and don’t want to leave the comfort of the known for the unknown. Tax Accountants & Civil Engineers are among the most conservative.

Screen to Submission Ratio

If the recruiter is good, then they should be able to avoid scheduling candidate screens with anyone and everyone. A discerning recruiter will have done a great job at sourcing qualified talent and writing a job ad that ensures a quality (not just quantity) candidate pipeline. If the ratio is low, then your recruiter may be wasting a lot of time talking to unqualified candidates. It may also be that the requirements are challenging. Geographic location, low compensation, and/or weak employer brand have a negative impact on this metric.

Time to Submit

Most corporate recruiting & HR teams, assuming they are tracking recruiting metrics, look at time-to-fill and/or time- to-hire. Agency recruiters don’t have control over the full process. So, we believe an effective mark of good recruiting is one with a speedy time-to-submit. We’ve seen many a candidate die on the vine after a client decides to incubate our resumes in their inbox. The reality is, recruiting and hiring is a team sport. If one person isn’t pulling their load, then the entire process will suffer. Lastly, while speed is important, it cannot come at the expense of quality candidates.

Submit to Interview Ratio

The ratio between the total number of candidates submitted and the number of those selected to interview. This is a simple quality metric. If your recruiter is pummeling you with resumes, but the quality doesn’t warrant an interview then your time is being wasted. It is likely your client and/or candidate experience is in jeopardy. Good intake notes and recruiter diligence are key to a good submit-to-interview ratio.

Time to Interview

This measures the time between when a candidate is submitted and their initial interview. Similar recruiting metrics can be tracked for follow up interviews. The shelf life for top talent is short. So, if you “shuffle your feet, you lose your seat.” The best way to combat a slow time to interview is to dedicate time for interviews on a weekly or daily basis (depends on volume). Empower other team members to pick up the initial interview so things don’t stall. This will keep the candidate engaged and ensure a good candidate experience, as well as help reduce your cost per hire.

Interview to Offer Ratio

Similar to other ratios, this is a quality metric that helps determine (in most cases) whether your recruiter (or you) really know what you want. If it takes a bunch of interviews to get to an offer, then you are likely wasting valuable time and money. More interviews means more time spent, and the more time spent hiring means your costs increase. A “cost of vacancy” calculation can help determine the impact on your cost per hire. The lower the ratio, the better. Don’t get hasty, though! A bad hire will cost you a lot more than good diligence!

Time to Offer

Similar to “incubating” resumes, icing your offer-worthy candidate is a cardinal offense in the recruiting game. It reeks of inefficiency, poor communication, and indecision. Some offers can be tricky to negotiate. But, as long as the ball is rolling you can mitigate common issues with lengthy offer negotiations.

Offer to Acceptance Ratio

Candidate management is critical, especially in times of low unemployment. During a “buyer’s market”, counter-offers and competing offers can derail your run at a desirable candidate. A good recruiter will know before you get to the offer stage what competing opportunities and counter-offers could spoil your deal. They should also know how your opportunity compares to the other jobs your candidate is considering. Good intel makes a huge impact on successful offer negotiations.

Candidate Experience

Of all the recruiting metrics, this is one of the most important. Recruiters are often considered the “front desk” of an organization. Disorganization, inefficient processes, poorly configured/feature deficient technology, and poor follow up/through are the kiss of death when it comes to candidate experience.


A good candidate experience requires your recruiter to be prompt, honest and considerate. That said, it is not uncommon for an overburdened recruiter or HR representative to struggle with providing a positive candidate experience. If your employment brand is something you cherish, then we advise implementing a candidate feedback loop into your recruiting process.

Customer Experience

A simple Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is an easy way to measure customer satisfaction. For us, we also use Google Reviews and LinkedIn Recommendations to get customer feedback. We also have a rating system integrated with our applicant tracking system that is live on our website for real-time client and candidate feedback. Rating systems take subjective feelings and make them more objective by measuring feedback with ratings and/or reviews. If you can’t consistently satisfy the customer then “Houston, you have a problem!”