Are You Forecasting Recruiting? Start With These 2 Metrics


In order to improve something, you must begin by measuring it. In any organization, sales and marketing teams have metrics in place that help with both forecasting and optimization. Taking a data-driven approach allows these departments to iterate on their processes to generate high-quality leads that convert faster. Talent Acquisition has similar objectives, and has recently begun to lean on these best practices by using data to drive decisions and improve its hiring practices. The robust data available to today’s recruiters, coupled with a paradigm shift at today’s forward-thinking organizations, has companies rethinking the metrics used to measure recruiting performance.

Time to Hire has long been a KPI of recruiting. The goal has been to fill the position as quickly as possible after a job requisition is submitted. However, at companies with an integrated talent function, there’s no longer a definitive “start and end” to hiring. These companies empower their recruiters to hire the best talent rather than fill seats. Time to Hire becomes a forecasting tool, and recruiters leverage data to measure Source to Close – or, the amount of time elapsed once a candidate enters your hiring process.

Time to Hire

At progressive organizations, recruiting is embedded in company culture, and recruiters are focused on building relationships to acquire top talent. Sourcing, interviewing, and hiring are ongoing activities to find the best fit for the organization, rather than to fill a position quickly.

Companies leverage metrics that are leading indicators of performance. Adam Ward, Recruiting Lead at Pinterest, says that at Pinterest they focus on leading indicators, versus laggard indicators. “This helps us become more predictive of the outcome, versus the laggard of looking at the acceptance rate or offers out, which makes you more backward-looking rather than forward-looking.”

At these organizations, Talent is tied into business objectives. ERE blogger Rob McIntosh points out that recruiting functions are progressively becoming more proactive, which means that it can begin identifying, attracting, and pre-screening candidates prior to the demands of future fiscal quarters.

“Historically time to fill would have meant that a recruiter opened up a requisition in Q1 and the clock started ticking; when the business could actually hire that person based off business demand in Q4, the clock would stop. This meant that the time to hire would be nearly a year long.”

Measuring an organization’s average Time to Hire helps the recruiting function understand and project how long it will take to fill a position with a desirable candidate. This helps create alignment among hiring managers, recruiters, and executives, and keeps everyone planning ahead.

In isolation, however, a short Time to Hire does not indicate the performance of a recruiting function.

Source to Close

How quickly do you close candidates once you find them? A talent operation measures hiring speed to ensure interviews are effective, candidates are moving quickly through the pipeline, and a positive candidate experience is guaranteed. Taking sourcing out of the equation, recruiters can focus on creating a seamless, effective, and efficient hiring process.

With a structured interview process in place, powerful data is available that helps recruiters optimize their interview pipeline. It becomes easy to identify roadblocks or bottlenecks.

A Source to Close Metric Indicates:

  • The total amount of time it takes for a candidate to complete your interview process
  • The amount of time a candidate spends in each recruiting stage
  • Interview quality. Did you get the information you need to move the candidate to the next stage?
  • Interviewer discrepancies. Is there an interviewer who fails at collecting the necessary information, therefore slowing down your process?

Tip: Make sure that you have an interview process with structured stages that will allow your team to identify any blockages at each stage and examine contributing factors.

At a company committed to securing top performers, this is information that your executive team will care about.

Does your recruiting team report on Time to Hire? How about Source to Close? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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Recruiting Metrics