How to measure your organization's recruiting efforts

by Amanda Hurley

There are many articles and research today on measuring the return on investment (ROI) for your organization’s recruiting efforts. It is very important for many reasons, but how closely do we pay attention to it? Being informed of your ROI can help you see where your weaknesses are today and where you thrive. Below are the areas that I like to concentrate on when reviewing my organizations’ recruiting ROI.  

I think the best place to start is to understand how your organization measures success. This is driven by your overall business needs when it comes to human capital. For example, a call center may not need to measure retention of their employees due to the expected high turnover rate of their employees. Their focus may need to be on how quickly positions are filled and the pipeline of candidates that they have waiting in the wings. It varies by company and by roles within your company. Once you have a clear understanding of your baseline, then your recruiters’ performance should be measured in a similar way. Below are a few areas of where you can start developing a true understanding of your ROI: 

  • Quality of source: Where are your best hires coming from? I would never recommend moving all of your eggs to one basket. Especially since today’s candidates use on average 16 different sources for their search. However, you can weight your basket in a certain direction when you see a significant trend. You really need to dig into the ROI you are getting from each of your recruiting tools, but that is a different conversation (see Return on Investment Part II: Tools).
  • Candidate satisfaction: This is reviewing the satisfaction of your candidates in regards to your recruiting process. That’s right! Your 35-page application may not be as loved externally as it is loved internally. You can also look at how quickly you move a candidate through the recruiting process (time of first conversation to time of offer). With the competitive landscape today, if your recruiting process is leaving quality candidates dangling for those other companies to scoop up, then that’s a problem.
  • Turnover rate: This is one you are probably most familiar with and one that you already measure. Are you retaining your hires? Turnover is one of the biggest contributors to costs for an organization. Just think of how much the wrong placement can cost you in time and money. If you are constantly churning, ask yourself why and what you can do to slow down that pace.
  • Cost per hire: I’m always surprised when organizations do not have a firm grasp on their cost to hire. It is a simple calculation…you add up all the costs of your recruitment efforts (advertising fees, recruiter pay and benefits, Applicant Tracking System maintenance costs, relocation costs, recruiting agency, social recruiting, etc.). However, many HR professionals and recruiters do not have a good understanding of this cost.
  • Interviews per hire: How many candidates do your recruiters/hiring managers’ interview before a decision is made? This is a good metric that shows how well your recruiters understand your organization’s needs.
  • Performance of new hires: Now, this one is tough! How do you measure if an employee is a “good employee?” This can show you the strength of your recruiters, head hunter or hiring agency.  

So, dig in! Look at your overall recruiting efforts and discover where you are excelling today and where you can improve tomorrow.

About the Author
Amanda Hurley is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Previously, she worked for, where she recruited top talent, managed various projects and developed retention strategies for companies across the United States. Hurley has a background in recruitment, marketing, sales and organizational communication. As an ORISE project manager, she recruits for and manages the relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Research and Development Office. She is the subject matter expert for recruiting trends and technology. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.