Recruiting Measures for the 21st Century: A Very Short Survey

Every few weeks I try to get you involved in my column and solicit your opinions and experiences. I have probably made half a dozen presentations over the past few weeks all over the world. Each time, I present a few metrics that I think we all should track. I would like to know if you track any of these and, if you do, what your results have been this year. I will share with everyone a summary of the metrics, but will obviously not release any individual results. I would also ask you to add more metrics or suggest metrics that you think are the metrics of the future for recruiters. My primary point is to underline that traditional measures of number of resumes or time to hire or cost per hire are the measures of the 20th century. A few of these may have momentary importance to some people as we evolve. But I contend that the issues we face are around speed, candidate pools, and internal perceptions of customer service. Recruiters have been forced to focus on time and speed. These are both characteristics of the e-age, with managers expecting that candidates are located and presented to them quickly and with candidates expecting the entire process of screening, interviewing, and decision-making to be rapid and efficient. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> Here are a few of the key metrics I think all recruiters should be tracking:

  1. Time from requisition to presenting a candidate to a manager. This is a metric that should be averaged over all positions.
  2. Time from first candidate interview by the manager to final decision.
  3. Time to respond to a candidate who submits data via your web site or in some other way.
  4. Time spent per candidate on handling administrative tasks: data input, scheduling, coordinating, greeting and touring, processing paper, filing, etc.

These are not traditional measures but they will tell you how efficient and speedy your services are. Tracking these provide the baseline information you will need to make the improvements that are critical to build a world class 21st recruiting function. The second set of figures has to do with building a talent pool ? a community of candidates or potential candidates that may eventually be recruited into your firm. As the talent shortage becomes more acute ? which it is guaranteed to do given the demographics and the growing economy ? you will need to have more than some neat advertisements and a good web site to get people interested in your organization.

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  1. How many people are in your community of potential candidates. These are people with whom you correspond by email on a regular basis, to whom you send newsletters or to whom you have a chat room conversation or other form of regular communication that is identified as coming from you and your organization.
  2. The number of links you have to your web site from other places: e.g. job boards, your normal corporate product advertising, job fairs, and so on.
  3. The number of candidates that are referred to your web site or to you personally from other employees or from outside contacts.

We need to spend almost all our time focused on understanding the marketplace, on branding and selling our organization to potential candidates and on building dynamic talent pools. We can?t do that if we are burdened with administrivia. The third and final set of measures are measures of efficiency.

  1. How much of your process is automated (%)?
  2. How many fewer people do you have doing the administrative recruiting work than twelve months ago?
  3. How many steps are there in your recruiting process and how many have you removed in the past year?

These are just some ideas. I would really like your thoughts and suggestions and, if you do track any of these, please end them to me so I can share them with all the readers.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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