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In Recruitment: You Get What You Measure For

Is your recruitment style stopping you from finding top talent?

In our recent articles we have explored hidden opportunities and barriers in the early talent market. We have looked at the desirable skills that organisations need to future-proof their businesses, the opportunities that young people bring to the working environment, and the perceived barriers to adopting a more inclusive recruitment policy.

Now we will complete the series by looking at the measurements for recruitment success, how they could be limiting your search for top talent, and how you can consider amending some of the recruitment metrics within your organisation for more successful outcomes.


First, what are top 5 traditional measurements for recruitment success?

Typically businesses and recruiters, both within a company and in the form of external agencies are under pressure to fill job roles quickly and efficiently. Companies want vacancies filled so that they can get on with the running of the business, and that’s entirely understandable. Typical measurements for recruitment success include: 


Filling the job vacancy in a timely manner

This is a fairly obvious one. The longer the vacancy remains unfulfilled, the worse it is for the business. Did you know that for the first time since official records began, the UK has more vacancies than unemployed? Filling the job role is a very basic requirement of the recruitment process, but in the current market conditions won't be the easiest metric to track success against. You need other ways to track progress.


Matching candidates to the job spec 

Matching candidates to the job spec is important, but when you start considering a different approach to recruitment you may need to reconsider things like whether someone can grow within the company as opposed to having every single requirement today. People who already have every requirement might join you for the income, but most people need to feel that they have something to learn in their job roles as well.


Fill the vacancy as cost-effectively as possible 

It’s natural and good business to want to fill a job role cost-effectively, but it is only cost-effective in the long run if the individual is a good fit and envisages a reasonable career duration at the organisation. Did you know that it costs an average UK business £12,000 to replace an employee? It is possible to avoid churn through a better employment approach, like the one offered by Sort Your Future - which combines training and recruitment into one platform to find higher quality talent.


Interview to hire ratio

This is about how many people you had to interview to fill the job. In theory it should be used to understand if your advertised job spec is doing what you want it to do. In reality, it can place hiring managers under pressure to rush.


Offer acceptance rate 

While not every candidate who’s offered a job will accept it (they might have been offered another job or they may not have felt the chemistry was right at interview), the offer acceptance rate is another benchmark for whether your recruitment process is doing what you want it to do. However, it can be subject to manipulation if it turns into an exercise in trying to tell desirable candidates what they want to hear. It’s important that you and your new employee are excited at the prospect of working together.


What does success look like for the decision maker vs the hiring manager?

One of the areas where recruitment processes can come unstuck is when there’s a discrepancy between the overall company decision maker (a.k.a the boss), and the hiring manager. When we refer to hiring managers, we also include recruitment agencies in this. 

The hiring manager is under pressure to meet certain traditional metrics of success when it comes to hiring a candidate (recruit quickly, recruit cost-effectively). However, their investment in the process is also short-term and fairly transactional (i.e. fill the job). If their metrics of success aren't tied to the candidates wider contribution to the organisation or the business’s overall success, that's when issues crop up.

These limitations are generally not because of a wilful desire to take a restricted view of recruitment on anyone’s part. It stems from the fact that it’s hard to measure recruitment success over extended periods of time, and if you’re recruiting young people who you hope will matriculate over a number of years, success can be hard to qualify in tangible ways. Invariably, measurements of success are two dimensional, binary and don’t take a holistic view of that person’s individual success as well as their ongoing contribution to the organisation.

So, you need different and more longer term measurements of success.


Interview_confidenceChanging your recruitment mindset for better outcomes

It’s important that your hiring manager is supported in the outcomes of recruitment processes, as well as supporting the candidate as they enter the company and seek to develop their skills and confidence in the workplace. 

Things to consider during the recruitment process might include:

  • How could this person grow within the company?
  • How can their success be tracked rather than simply measured to ensure they get the support they need?
  • How can this person benefit/learn from working with us?
  • Can we see a long-term future for this person or can we give them the skills to move onto their next job?
  • Will they be happy working alongside other members of the team?

It’s not that traditional metrics are not valid, it’s just that they are not particularly human and they don’t take a very long-term view into consideration. However, if they are contextualised with other measurements that take a holistic view of the individual and their contribution to the organisation, then you can create processes and an environment that allow you to identify excellent employees that others might not see.

For example, metrics that you may find helpful include:


Learning-to-Opportunity Score

During the interview process, ask the candidate which areas of their skillset they would look to increase during the time they spend with you. Then, tie that directly to the learning opportunities you provide within the organisation. Is there a match - give that a score.

Positive Contributor Score

Candidates can only be as good as the environment and team they are in. Find out what impact the candidate has had to the previous jobs or projects that they've worked on. How have they helped in the success of others? How do they spend their time in the community they are in? Give this a score.

Growth-in-Role Score

How ready is this candidate for the level above they are applying for? While it may seem attractive to get someone who is a perfect fit, are they more likely to leave due to a lack of challenge? Therefore, it is good to evaluate the candidate against a more senior role and map out a possible career trajectory for them. Score their fit to the current role and for the next role within the organisation.

Candidate net promoter score 

This is an interesting one as it reflects back on your processes, which can be helpful. It’s a measure of how candidates view your hiring process, your employer brand, and what they might tell others about you.

Candidate satisfaction 

Sometimes used by companies to get feedback about their recruitment process, candidate satisfaction is often measured through things like surveys. While they can be helpful, they can be a bit two-dimensional or perceived as box-checking exercises.

First-year turnover rate 

This is an important metric for organisations that are truly invested in the long-term success of their recruitment. In essence, how many people stay with you for more than a year? You could also ask why they have stayed and how happy and successful they have been in their role in that time.


Crucially, we want metrics to account for young people who need to grow into their jobs and allow hiring managers the space to identify individuals who can contribute to, as well as benefit from, working with your organisation. Metrics need to focus on the employee as a whole and not just their professional skill set - that’s especially prevalent when recruiting young people who are still developing individually and professionally.


At Sort we help businesses find candidates who will bring value to their organisation in the short-, medium- and long-term. That means matching organisations and individuals who can grow together. 

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