Have you ever heard the legend about boiling frogs alive?

Supposedly, if you put a frog in a pot of water, and then begin to boil the water, the frog doesn’t have the sensory mechanisms to detect the rising temperature. It boils alive before it even knows something is wrong.

Although the legend completely lacks scientific validity, the underlying moral behind the story is important for recruiting — you’d better have a good grasp on how well you’re really doing if you want to survive.

If the only recruiting metrics your firm has handy are number of calls, emails, placements made, and bookings, all you know is the volume of work that you are doing. This is a problem because these daily activity metrics on their own are virtually useless — recruiters can hit their daily activity goals without ever improving their results.
That means if bookings dip, there’s no way for recruiting managers to really dig in and find out how to improve their team’s performance. Their only option is to adopt a “do more, but better” attitude, and then turn into this guy:

coffee is for closers

It’s the same as the frog thinking it’s safe because it’s in water, when in reality it misses the warning signs until it’s too late to save itself. Recruiters, whether through lack of effort or lack of direction, can end up spinning their wheels until they dig a hole so deep that they get the axe.

So what performance metrics give you the full story and help you detect danger before the water boils? These three are a good place to start.


1. Activity Ratios

staffing activity ratio

Activity ratios are a very effective way to see at a glance how efficient recruiters are being with their activity. This metric is the best way to understand what volume of work will move the needle on job orders. The two most impactful use cases for activity ratios are:


  • Coaching-By comparing the ratios of your top-performing recruiters with the rest of the team, it’s possible for each recruiter to zero in on areas for individual improvement. Managers can use team-wide ratios to assess recruiting performance more holistically and implement very targeted training or tools to quickly improve performance as well.


  • Structuring the Recruiting Process-Ratios allow you to model your recruiting process around the approach of your recruiters who have had the most success historically. This helps ensure that every team member follows the steps that will have the most impact on your firm’s bottom line.


Simply understanding the relationship between one recruiting metric and the next moves the focus from “how much more should we be doing?” to “what can we be doing better?”

There’s a limit to how much more work you can do, but there’s no ceiling for how far you can improve.


2. Candidate Source Analysis

candidate source analysis

Understanding where your candidates come from is an essential complement to your activity metrics. The information you gain from candidate source analysis provides another lens that helps establish where problems arise within your recruiting process.

By looking at the number of candidates you get from each source, you can pinpoint which ones are worth maintaining, and which ones you can stop using.

If you take it a step further and look at what percentage of candidates from each source gets placed with your clients, you can hone your recruiting efficiency even more by focusing time on sources that yield better quality candidates.

The last thing you want to do is sink time and effort into a list of candidates that aren’t likely to end up being placed with clients. Keeping an eye on the quality of candidates your team gets from each of the sources you use as well as the volume helps your team to work more efficiently and get real results from the time they spend working.


3. Win Factors

Win factors

This metric is calculated by dividing the total number of placements your firm has made by the total number of job orders you’ve worked, and segmenting by a third factor, such as job order value. This provides a high level view of what types of job orders your recruiting team is most likely to make placements on.

Win factors enable you to determine whether your recruiters are pursuing the job opportunities that they have the highest likelihood of closing. This type of analysis yields a lot of actionable information if you segment job orders by a third variable, such as industry or job type.

Knowing which types of job orders you’ve won most consistently in the past helps your recruiting team to organize its time to focus on job orders that they have the highest probability of winning, and avoid investing too much of its time securing job orders that aren’t likely to result in placements.

This information can make a world of difference for recruiters who are crunched on time and juggling several job orders at once. Instead of having to treat each one the same way, they can use their time more efficiently by zeroing in on the job orders that fall in their sweet spot.


Recruiting metrics only have value if they allow you to track both the volume and the quality of your team’s recruiting activity. John Wooden put it most simply: “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

These three performance metrics help you get beyond “activity” and ensure that your recruiting efforts always have a measurable impact on the bottom line.

[contentblock id=47 img=gcb.png]
Recent Posts