Talent Acquisition

Which KPIs Should 3rd Party Recruiters Track?

Regardless of who you are and what you do, there is always room for improvement. It’s safe to assume that all top-performing recruiters must continually strive for best practice and find ways to make their operations better, slicker, more efficient and strategic. However, honing good habits only works when there is synonymous attention on breaking bad tendancies, too.

With the new year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start reflecting and taking action. To give you some pointers on where to start with your critical self-analysis, we called in our expert panel. Here’s what 13 recruitment leaders say recruiters simply MUST stop doing next year:

Billy Smith


Recruitment Agencies need to start measuring conversations not dials. Recruitment going forwards is all about building relationships and spending time getting to know candidates is far more important than getting numbers up. Client retention is another important KPI with repeat business from existing clients being far easier to obtain than new business. Clients will only return if the service has been good and the people they saw are of good calibre leading onto my next point about CV’s sent. This is only relevant if you are sending high quality candidates each time. It’s far more important to send one or two good quality CV’s who you know fit the job description perfectly over sending five CV’s just because a recruiter is measured on that basis.

Billy Smith is Managing Director at FGS Recruitment

Iain Hamilton


“Many agencies say they are not KPI driven – they are. Using market intel to build a talent funnel and taking a total addressable market view to talent attraction, will allow agencies to measure how many they have in their funnel. This as a KPI would drive some recruitment businesses to seriously expand their talent pool. Then, measure how often the people in the funnel are engaged with and what stage they are in the funnel (awareness, educating, considering, decision). By nurturing people at awareness and educating stage, recruiters can focus on recruiting from the consideration and decision stage.”

Iain Hamilton is Founder of People Traction

Adam Glassman


Track and use your performance data. What does it say about you? Are you better at driving a volume of applicants? Are you fantastic at finding C-suite placements? What do your time to fill, offer to hire ratios and quality of hire metrics look like? Track all of these elements and use them as your differentiators.

Adam Glassman is Recruitment Strategies Manager at Alorica

Lysha Holmes


“Revenue and profit for experienced recruiters, not activity. If you are experienced you KNOW what you have to do to achieve the result. If it is a business with more junior staff, then activity should be measured and I would suggest this is on new clients achieved and interviews gained rather than calls. QUALITY every time. As you become more experienced, allow the consultant to contribute to their own KPI and very often there are variations in how desks run so it should not be one size fits all across a whole business.”

Lysha Holmes is Founder of Qui Recruitment

Gill Buchanan


KPIs should focus on quality and outcomes, not just quantity. Successful fill rates to roles should be monitored, but effective recruitment isn’t just a numbers game. Measuring the overall candidate and client experience is key to being able to develop long term business relationships. Look for feedback on social media, make regular follow up calls and send out online questionnaires to measure the quality of service provided. In addition, monitor the recruitment process from start to finish by looking at the time to hire, efficiency of the job application process, and at the communication channels in place.

Gill Buchanan is Director at Pure Resourcing Solutions

Chad MacRae


“You need some kind of candidate experience metric – forward-thinking internal recruiting teams who are doing this (HubSpot and Capital One, for example) use a Net Promoter Score, based on a candidate feedback survey. Agencies should be doing this too. Because it isn’t about “bums in seats,” it’s about finding people who will really thrive on the job. To get those people, you’ve got to treat your candidates like customers – with respect, courtesy, empathy. And yes, there are ways to measure and make sure you’re doing that.”

Chad MacRae is Founder of Recruiting Social

David Morel


Business flow – the amount of new business that comes in and whether this is repeat business or from “new clients”. Where have “new clients” come from? Candidate flow – self explanatory. Conversion rates – amount of business each consultant places from the number of jobs they have worked on. Billings versus targets – individual and team.

David Morel is CEO & Founder of Tiger Recruitment

Lisa Jones


“Along with the usual “CV Sends” and interviews, I feel that we need to get some digital KPIs added to the list. Every recruitment leader wants to drive more viable talent into their CRM, to create a legacy – an asset – which is worth something to their clients, hence a great recruiter KPI is the cleanliness of data on the CRM.”

Lisa Jones is Director at Barclay Jones


Bronwen Hann

bronwen-hannThere are a lot of fancy new KPIs that larger agencies are measuring, but they don’t always translate into results. We’re focusing on some back-to-basic measurements: how many interviews to hire, number of sendouts, time from job order to sendouts, days from job order to close. In our opinion, you shouldn’t be looking at the size of a recruiter’s candidate database as a measurement of their effectiveness. It’s more important to look at their relationships. Agencies should also measure how long a client has had a job on the market to help determine how best to package that job for their candidates, and whether that job is worth working on in the first place.

Bronwen Hann is President & Senior Partner at Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting

James Nathan


“Of all the KPIs available, I think it is important to focus on actual contacts made and the quality of those contacts. Only when you analyse the quality of those can you improve. We all understand that client development work is based on numbers, and that the more calls you make the more people you will speak to, but what you say and what you achieve from that contact is all important. Quality first.”

James Nathan is Founder of The James Nathan Experience

Dualta Doherty


The market is changing to be more and more product focused so I’d go for:

  • CVs outs
  • Interviews
  • Fill Ratio
  • Application per job posts
  • Social/Email Analytics – i.e how many views your posts are getting, email send out engagement etc.”

Dualta Doherty is Founder of Pro Recruitment Solutions

Caroline Stokes


” I’d like agency recruiter KPI’s to be about 2 things:

1)  timeliness of service and feedback to candidates and clients in a ‘meaningful’ way
2) demonstration of how a recruiter has evolved quarterly based on candidate and client feedback
All of those impact upon service productivity, which includes: attraction, engagement, retention and placement of talent for their clients.”

Caroline Stokes is Founder of FORWARD

By Phoebe Spinks

Account Executive at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.