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8 Recruiting KPIs and How to Measure Them For Hiring Success

Measure recruitment success with key performance indicators (KPIs). Enhance hiring strategies and track performance metrics.


There's a hidden factor sabotaging your hiring success.  Most recruiters overlook it, but you shouldn't. Let's talk about recruitment Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Without recruitment KPIs, you are bound to make poor decisions since you may rely solely on intuition and, more alarmingly, on inaccurate data. Moreover, you could be unknowingly putting your resources to waste.

Tracking KPIs for recruitment enhances the hiring process, reduces overspending, and helps you adopt a data-driven approach to attracting top talent quickly. You can also build a rich talent pool, and reach out to them whenever needed, often before your competitors do.

Let us walk you through the process of tracking KPIs for recruitment and the best practices you should follow.

What is KPI in recruitment? 

Recruitment KPIs provide the granular data to achieve your broader talent acquisition goals.  Turning objectives like "reduce time-to-hire" or "improve candidate experience" into quantifiable metrics gives you the insights to make informed, strategic decisions.

KPIs drive data-driven optimization of your hiring process. Tracking them lets you pinpoint budget inefficiencies, identify bottlenecks (like lengthy interview stages), and prioritize the channels yielding the highest quality candidates.

While core KPIs (time-to-fill, offer acceptance rate) are essential, consider niche metrics like "candidate pipeline velocity" or an "employee Net Promoter Score."  Further, you should explore industry-specific KPIs. For example, healthcare may focus on retention rates, while tech might track the success of coding challenges.

What is the difference between recruiting KPIs and metrics? 

Although KPIs for recruiters and metrics are used in similar contexts in recruitment strategy, they are different. KPIs are directly tied to your business objectives and show progress toward a defined goal. 

Recruiting metrics, on the other hand, focus on results achieved while focusing on the reasons for such performance. They are often lower-level indicators. 

For instance, if your company is trying to increase candidate experience by 40%. Knowing the number of candidates is only a recruitment metric that is insufficient for measuring the KPI.  

In summary, all KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. 

What are the 8 top recruiting KPIs, and how do you track them? 

Now, let’s elaborate on the top recruiting KPIs you should know and start tracking:

1. Candidate experience 

Candidate experience starts from when job seekers find a job offer till the point of securing the job or getting a rejection mail. 

Willem Wijnans, Community and Talent Advisory Lead at Ashby, says, “A great candidate experience is one where a rejected candidate still recommends your company to others.” 

However, only a few companies fall under this category since 49% of job seekers have declined roles because of poor experiences. 

Here are a few tips to improve candidate experience: 

  • Automate responses and rejection emails using an all-in-one, AI-driven applicant tracking system, such as Kula ATS, to prevent candidate ghosting
  • It is better to overestimate the number of people who would apply for a specific role and arrange resources accordingly
  • Ensure transparency about company benefits and compensation right from the start
  • Inform the number of steps and types of interviews candidates will encounter
  • Create a pseudo-identity like Chris Bakke to test your hiring process or use your friend's credentials

One complementary metric that affects customer experience is the application abandonment rate. This metric requires you to calculate the percentage of people who abandoned your application forms halfway. 

2. Time to fill & time to hire 

The longer a role remains open, the harder it is to get the perfect candidate since 62% of job seekers lose interest if they don’t hear back in 2 weeks. 

Time to fill is a KPI that measures when the hiring process begins until it gets filled. Although it is used interchangeably with a time to hire, they differ. 

On the other hand, the time to hire starts counting when your best candidate applies. While time to fill measures the speed of your hiring process, time to hire accounts for how long it takes to reach your best candidate. 

Time to Hire = Day Candidate Accepted Offer - Day Candidate Applied 

Below are some proven tips for reducing time to fill: 

  • Build a talent pipeline of pre-screened candidates and reach out to them by leveraging ATS benefits
  • Plan for your recruitment season by drafting a structured process while creating your strategy
  • Enumerate the stages needed to fill a new role, especially the application and interview phases
  • Leverage the existing network of your colleagues to gain referrals of quality candidates
  • Use the in-depth hiring analytics capabilities of Kula to gain precise results on the time spent on every crucial stage. Kula is an ATS tool designed to help you access quick reporting features. 

3. Quality of hire 

Eric Knudsen, Principal Manager of People Science Analytics at Microsoft, defines quality of hire as “a reflection of your hiring decision.” 

This recruiting KPI points out that job selection goes beyond just hiring. It is needed for talent acquisition because it requires you to measure the performance of the candidates.

Quality of hire is one of the most complex KPIs to calculate because organizations have different measurement indicators. Some popular indicators include: 

  • Job performance metrics
  • Retention rate
  • Hiring manager satisfaction
  • Peer reviews

Use these best practices to improve the quality of hire: 

  • Create a seamless onboarding process
  • Build a training program for managers to educate new hires and keep them motivated
  • Clearly define the performance requirements of every role right from the job description 
  • Define the indicators you'll need to measure to streamline your process
  • Improve pre-hire quality by enhancing referrals and using Kula to enrich your data about each candidate beyond their resumes


Meet Max. Here are his scores for all the key indicators: performance metrics- 80%, retention rate-90%, manager satisfaction-70%, peer reviews- 60%. 

His quality of hire equation will be (80+90+70+60/4), which is 75. Hence, his quality of hire score is 75/100. 

4. Cost per hire 

If you’re calculating the general recruiting costs involved in filling an open position, that’s the cost per hire (CPH). You have to measure this metric to identify if all your recruiting costs are a priority to know what to slash and what to keep. 

The Society of Human Resource Management pegged the average CPH at almost $4,700. However, employers have suggested that hiring a new employee often costs them three to four times the position's salary. 

There are two types of costs used to calculate CPH, which include: internal and external costs. Internal costs account for capital, organizational, and staffing costs. Some examples are: 

  • Cost of hiring staff
  • Cost of labor staff
  • Recruiting, learning, and development costs

Conversely, external costs cover expenses from individuals and vendors outside the company. They include: 

  • Third-party recruiters
  • Marketing expenses
  • Background checks
  • Drug tests

Another metric used in calculating CPH is the total number of hires. Generally, it is best to include external and internal hires who went through the hiring process and are on the company’s payroll. 

5. Source of hire 

Source of hire tracks the percentage of total hires that entered your candidate pipeline from different channels. It could include referrals, job boards, social media, direct sourcing, etc. 

The aim behind measuring the source of hire is to identify the most effective channels to allocate the recruiting budget more effectively. 

For example, if LinkedIn has the highest percentage, using Kula for passive candidate sourcing to reach candidates faster might be a worthy investment. 

Tracking the source of hire also helps recruiters know the underperforming channels. Tracking this recruiting KPI, along with quality of hire, enables you to focus on candidates with both strong resumes and proven performance.

Here are tips to help you measure the source of hire: 

  • Create surveys asking relevant questions about how applicants found your job offer
  • Use Kula’s built-in analytics to generate a performance comparison among all the source channels
  • Gather data from members of your recruiting team who have candidate records
  • Analyze the web analytics of the marketing platforms you use 
  • Streamline your recruiting efforts with Kula to automate candidate passive engagement

6. Offer acceptance rate 

Too many interviews. Delayed recruiting process. Poor follow-up and communication. Lack of transparency. All these factors contribute to why your best candidates reject your company's offer. 

Offer acceptance rate involves measuring the percentage of candidates who accept your job offer so you understand why candidates turn you down. Since the best candidates recognize their value, recruiters must be respectful throughout the hiring process to avoid hurting your brand reputation. 

Here are some hacks to help you boost your offer acceptance rate: 

  • Avoid long application processes that discourage potential candidates
  • Respect people’s time and reduce interview rounds by using Kula’s interview intelligence features to analyze recordings and transcripts
  • Give job seekers constructive feedback after interviews and encourage them to apply for open roles in the future
  • Follow up on your candidates in different application stages to remain top of mind
  • Enhance the employer brand by showcasing unique company culture, benefits packages, and value systems

7. Retention rate

Employee retention rate measures an organization’s ability to keep employees in the company. Since the cost of replacing one employee is one-half to 2 times the employee’s annual salary, retention rate has become more important. 

This KPI can help recruiters reduce the number of exits since 52% of employees who leave believe the organization or manager could have done better to keep them. 

Even several researches show that the factors influencing retention are purpose, pride, and fun. 

Here are ways to influence these factors that affect retention rate:

  • Ensure new hires feel appreciated right from the first contact
  • Create an open atmosphere that allows employees to share honest feedback about their experience in the workplace
  • Promote a structure that helps people grow and feel inspired professionally and personally
  • Train managers to become mentors who can have a significant impact on the lives of employees
  • Allow employees to have a say in choosing where they work either onsite, hybrid, or remote

8. Diversity, equity, and inclusion 

Proactively tracking diversity metrics empowers you to create a more equitable workplace and maximize your team's potential. Your business should reach different groups across genders, races, ages, ethnicities, and religions. 

Tracking DEI in your organization helps you find gaps and areas of improvement to fix right from the hiring process. This way, you can show fairness in the workplace and show potential candidates that there’s room for them. 

Here are tips to help you build a more diverse workplace: 

  • Ensure the interview team is well-rounded
  • Promote details about your company’s inclusive culture in the job description to attract more candidates
  • Review the career growth of individuals who fall under underrepresented categories
  • Build a talent pipeline and network with the right recruitment software to cut across different groups

Instead of calculating this KPI from scratch, book a demo with Kula to determine the accurate percentage of each group within your organization. 

Use Kula to track recruitment KPIs and smash your goals 

With Kula, you can automatically generate the results for each KPI with its reporting feature that covers every recruitment stage. 

The tool also integrates easily with your existing tech stack and all the other recruitment solutions you use and helps you manage all your activities on a single platform. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive, multifunctional -great solution, Kula is what you need. 

To learn more about Kula, start a free trial today

Sandra Rachel Oommen

Content Marketer

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