The Top Strategic Recruiting Metrics

Metrics are becoming more and more essential for successful recruiting managers. Unfortunately, most metrics that are regularly used in recruiting cover administrative rather than strategic areas. These are my top recommended strategic ó as opposed to administrative ó recruiting metrics:

  1. Performance of hire: On-the-job performance ratings (or performance appraisals) after 6 or 12 months in the job.
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  3. New hire failure rate: The percentage of new hires in key jobs that were terminated or asked to leave.
  4. Turnover of new hires: The percentage of hires that voluntarily quit within their first year, or average tenure compared to a standard.
  5. Start dates met: The percentage of key positions filled by the manager’s designated need date.
  6. Manager satisfaction: The percentage of key managers who are satisfied with the hiring process and the candidates.
  7. New hire satisfaction: The percentage of new hires in key jobs and applicants for key jobs who are satisfied with the hiring process.
  8. Giveaway/takeaway ratio: The number of employees in key jobs that you “poach” from a direct competitor firm, compared to the number they poach from you.
  9. Project delays: The number of projects that are delayed because of talent shortages.
  10. New hire time to productivity: The time it takes for new hires to meet the minimum output standard.
  11. Source quality: The percentage of the hires in key jobs, by source, with the highest on-the-job performance and tenure rates.
  12. Referral rate: The percentage of hires from employee referrals (indicating your employees believe you have a good-place-to-work brand).
  13. Diversity hires: The percentage of hires in key jobs that are diverse.
  14. Training success: Scores by new hires on mandatory initial training.
  15. Boomerangs: The percentage of top performers who left the firm but who have been re-hired (as a result of recruiter contacts).

Other evidence that your recruiting efforts are having a strategic impact:

  • Your results are mentioned in the annual report.
  • Recruiting does not appear on any executive committee agenda (indicating that there are no major recruiting problems).
  • Managers cite you in a survey as a prime contributor to business success and productivity.
  • Other major firms benchmark against your results and practices.

Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.

He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the "Michael Jordan of Hiring," called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry's most respected strategists." He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website and on He lives in Pacifica, California.



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