America’s New Hiring Metrics


In honor of The 4th of July, apple pie, barbecue, fireworks and all the other fun things that you enjoyed over the weekend, we thought we’d talk about everyone’s favorite subject: hiring metrics.

Hiring metrics, like an un-lit firework, may not look like much, but when properly prepared and aimed in the right direction, both can have dazzling results.

Or, they can fizzle.

Whether you’re hiring for an entry-level position or a leadership position in your company, you aren’t going to attract the attention of star-level talent with a few measly POPs and a BANG.

Great candidates want to be wowed and measuring your hiring metrics (the right metrics) is the only way to ensure that your display goes off without a hitch.

Quality of Hire: Getting the BANG for your Buck

Have you ever seen a fireworks display that was less “Ooh” and “Ahh” and more “Boo” and “Awwww?” Whether you were at a rinky-dink fair or there were some technical difficulties, it probably didn’t make much of an impression on you.

Similarly, if the experience of applying to your company is lackluster (time consuming, frustrating, unprofessional, annoying, etc.) then it won’t make much of an impression on your best candidates.

We say it a lot on this blog, but we’ll say it again: great candidates want a dazzling candidate experience and they won’t settle for a cut-rate display. High quality candidates only respond to high quality application experiences, and companies who want to improve this metric will invest in providing this experience.

According to LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends Survey, quality of hire continues to be on the minds of hiring decision makers everywhere and the most important metric for business leaders.

“Talent leaders continue to value quality of hire as the most important metric to track performance, and most organizations are measuring it with employee turnover. This could be why employee retention has emerged as a top priority over the next year.”

No matter how you measure “quality of hire,” moving this metric in the right direction is as easy as improving the quality of your hiring.

If you want to make high quality hires, you need to track the metrics that show you the quality of your candidate experience and use these metrics to ensure this experience wows your top choice for the job. If you don’t track these metrics and use the information that they give you, then you will continue to lose out on high quality hires.

Hiring Metrics: The Powder in Your Keg

If you are trying to increase your quality of hire this year, you need to improve the experience that your applicants are having. This being the case, these are the metrics that will tell you how dazzling or dreadful it is to apply to your company:

  • Time to Fill
  • Cost to Hire
  • Applicant Satisfaction
  • Quality of Hire
Time to Fill

Time to Fill is an important metric for measuring the quality of your hiring, but a low-time to fill metric does not necessarily mean that you are dazzling your applicants. Though it is important to screen and interview applicants on a tight timeline, the quality of the candidate experience should never be traded for speed.

That being said, reducing your time to fill is essential if you want to improve your quality of hire. High profile, high quality candidates are hired within their first 10 days of job seeking, which is kind of scary when you consider that it takes most companies 3-6 weeks to extend a job offer.

If your top choice for the job is always dropping out before their final interview, it means that you need to increase the speed of your hiring.

Technology tools like video interviewing and online skill tests can help to increase the speed with which you can screen out under-qualified candidates, but you’ll need to do more than Skype to make a real impact on this metric.

Too often, inefficient communication and interview practices hold up the hiring process for days or even weeks at a time. Whether it’s delays in the approval process, bad communication practices or one seriously over-worked hiring manager, you need to identify the delays and periods of down time in your interviewing schedule.

Once you know where all your time is going, you can streamline your screening/interviewing schedule to create a realistic timeline on which top talent can be hired. Just be sure that you never sacrifice quality for speed. It’s one thing to extend an offer quickly, but, if this offer isn’t coming at the end of a dazzling interview experience, you still may not be able to hire your top choice for the job.


Cost-per-hire is a metric that everyone wants to be as low as possible, but we want you to take a new approach to this cost-measuring figure.

Instead of calculating the average cost-per-hire across your organization (compensation of new hires / number of new hires), we want you to pay attention to cost-per-hire as it relates to quality of hire. They say that you get what you pay for, and “Not offering competitive compensation,” is one of the major obstacles to hiring identified in MRI’s 2016 Recruiter Sentiment Study.

In order to improve the quality of the hires that you make, you need to make sure that your job offers aren’t low-balling the best candidates in your industry. Compensation databases like Payscale can show you the median salary for professionals in your area and you should use this information to extend competitive offers to top talent.

If your company has a low cost-per-hire, but also has a low quality of hire, this a sign that your compensation packages are failing to attract top talent. In order to increase your quality of hire, you will need to take the hit and invest in compensation packages that are on par with your competition. If you continue to make low-ball offers, your quality of hire will not improve.

Applicant Satisfaction

Because great hires need to have a great application experience, employers need to start paying attention to candidate experience metrics. Now, these metrics aren’t typically collected, but this feedback can be incredibly helpful for improving the quality of your company’s hiring.

All applicants should be followed up with when they are eliminated from consideration and this “Thanks for applying,” closer message should include a link to an applicant satisfaction survey, social media profile or email address where they can leave comments and suggestions.

While you may receive some salty messages from candidates who were upset about not getting the job, the feedback you should focus on has to do with the structure of your interviewing and the experience your applicants are having with your company.

For instance, when you see a trend of complaints related to long wait times in the interview process, then you know you need to tighten up your interviewing timeline. The key is to listen to what your applicants are saying and using this information to improve the experience of applicants to your company.

Not many companies are collecting this sort of candidate data and just asking for the opinion of your applicants is great for your employer brand. Building this metric into your hiring process allows you to adapt your hiring to the desires of candidates. This will allow you to emphasize the things that your candidates love and drop the things that drive your candidates crazy.

Quality of Hire

Time to fill and the compensation you offer to candidates will play a role in how good your hires can be, but these metrics don’t tell you a thing about how good someone ends up being at their job.

In order to measure the quality of the hires you make, you need to observe these hires over an extended period of time and measure their performance against the objectives of the role that are laid out in the job description.

Further than measuring the first few months of performance, quality of hire should reflect how well a hire works over the course of their tenure at your company. In the months or years after you’ve made a hire, answering these questions will help you to generate a great deal of “Quality of Hire” data.

  1. Why was this candidate selected? What made them stand out?
  2. How fast did the candidate start on the job? What was their compensation?
  3. How much training/orientation did the hire end up needing?
  4. Did the hire perform all necessary tasks to a degree of excellence? Where were their biggest challenges?
  5. How much did they improve in their first 6 months? Their first year?
  6. What has been their biggest impact to their department? To your company?
  7. How long did the hire work for your company?

Quality of hire can be a tough metric to measure because every job will require something different of the person who does it. As long as you consistently measure a new employee’s performance against these questions and the requirements in your job description, you can build a qualitative data set for your company’s quality of hire.

Again, the only way to increase your quality of hire, is to improve the quality of your hiring. Top candidates will only be interested in companies that provide a quick, painless application process and competitive offers. Optimizing the way you hire and listening to candidate feedback is the best way to ensure that your quality of hire improves and remains on an upward trend.


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