The ABCs of Staffing Metrics

As the recruiting profession continues to evolve, metrics have likewise grown in popularity. But although there seems to be a lot of talk about measuring, the truth of the matter is few people are actually measuring?? and even fewer are doing it well. Do you know how to implement a metrics-driven staffing program that elevates professionalism by establishing shared accountability, evaluating risk, managing cost, and analyzing productivity? Metrics are a critical tool that can help staffing attain the level of business partner within an organization. They enable you to speak the language of business by tying the staffing function to business objectives. According to Watson Wyatt’s Human Capital Index Study, recruiting and retention can impact a company’s market value by as much as 7.9%. That should underscore how critical it is for you to measure the performance of your recruiting function. Following is a simple formula for establishing a solid metrics program?? the ABCs of staffing metrics. Assess Take a close look at your current situation and determine whether or not you’re capturing the right data. Answer the questions:

  • Where are the opportunities with the existing process?
  • Where are the greatest pains today?

Consider accountability, risk management, cost management, and recruiter effectiveness and productivity. Be prepared to address the most common challenges. Metrics that fail to align with overall business objectives will hinder your progress. For example, one organization was measuring the percentage of open positions at any given time. The lower the percentage, the more successful the recruiting team deemed themselves. But upon closer examination, it was determined that turnover was excessive, even in comparison to the specific industry. Calculation determined that just filling seats was costing the company millions of dollars each year in training new hires and backfilling positions. The lesson learned: make sure the measurements you use to determine your success also consider impact to the bottom line. Take a close look to determine whether or not the metrics you’re using monitor accountability of the parties involved in the hiring process. If your goal is to elevate the role of staffing in your organization, then accountability of all parties facilitates a consultative, professional relationship. For example, a common complaint I hear is that dozens of candidates have been submitted and lost due to slow response by managers, or a candidate was hired from a third-party recruiter when the internal recruiters had identified the same candidate. This indicates potential accountability issues with the hiring manager. Quantifying this data objectifies it, making it easier to overcome. Blueprint Once you’ve determined what the goals are, you can build a metrics blueprint that aligns with the corporate objectives. As you develop your program, answer the questions:

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  • How can this lead to better decisions and actions?
  • How does this show impact to the bottom line?

Chances are your data analysis will establish four critical criteria:

  1. cost
  2. quality
  3. time
  4. satisfaction

The strongest programs combine these criteria to address both performance and contribution to the bottom line. Capturing and analyzing cost can aid in the analysis of vendor and source performance. Combining this with quality data for retained and highly rated performers, you have a new dimension for how to approach sourcing strategy. In other words, the front-end lower cost may actually cost more in the long run due to low performance or turnover. Tie cost data to time-to-fill metrics and you may alter your strategy altogether. The hardest data to capture is satisfaction. The best advice I can give you is to start small and build from there. Remember the constituents for satisfaction are not only hiring managers and new hires, they are also candidates in the process and candidates that declined offers. While the latter two categories are the most difficult to capture, the responses can be revealing. Dr John Sullivan provides a solid blueprint for capturing satisfaction information in his article, “Are Managers Satisfied with Your Recruiting?” As you develop your metrics blueprint, keep in mind that the metrics should take into account information that’s important to your organization. There is such a thing as over-measuring. It’s more important to capture the right data than to measure everything. Continuously Evolve Once you’ve designed your metrics blueprint, start capturing the information and leveraging it for continuous evolution. Engage your staff in the design, implementation and analysis of data. Getting their input will impact the overall success of your program. Focus on the business objectives outlined in your blueprint, and use the information you’ve gathered to identify areas of weakness. Set periodic reviews to modify your course. Metrics are not a one-time-a year event; they’re a tool to be used as a compass point for steering success. Finally, start with one or two metrics and gradually increase as you and your team become more comfortable. Following this simple formula, you can create a metrics program that helps quantify recruitment for management, and fulfills today’s needs while planning for tomorrow. For additional information on the staffing metrics topic, be sure to visit, which has been a pioneer in the field of staffing metrics for several years now.

Kimberly Bedore ( is a consultant and public speaker who develops and implements staffing solutions for clients, resulting in increased efficiencies and significant cost savings. She uses her wide range of recruiting experience to provide companies with a wealth of information related to sourcing and sourcing strategies, recruitment training, and the implementation of solutions and metrics that enable a higher degree of staffing effectiveness.


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