Top 6 Recruiting Metrics to Improve Your Recruitment Strategies

Updated: Feb 7

To win today’s talent war, recruiting teams must make the right adjustments to their recruitment strategies at the right time. This is why it’s more important than ever for recruiting teams to have clear visibility into the talent pipeline and recruitment process. Getting the necessary data and metrics in place is the most critical step to make this vision a reality.


However, while there is no shortage of measurements, not all recruiting metrics are equally important and helpful. That is why we handpicked these top 6 recruiting metrics from our library of over 620 HR metrics to help HR executives better use data to improve their recruitment strategies:

  1. Internal Hire Rate

  2. Time to Fill

  3. Time to Start

  4. Net Hire Ratio

  5. Cost per Hire

  6. Internal vs External Hire Ratio


Using Analytics to Improve Recruiting and Onboarding


1. Internal Hire Rate

Internal Hire Rate refers to the number of positions filled internally via promotion, transfer, or other moves as a percentage of the total number of all new hires. A new hire is counted as an internal hire when the organization fills the open position with an existing employee. This can be both lateral and vertical movements of employees across the organization. Learn more at HCMI’s Beginner Guide to Internal Hire Rate.


Internal Hire Rate = Total Internal Hires / Average Employee Headcount in the Period

Internal Hire Ratio Formula

Example: If the Internal Hire Rate is 40%, it means that 40% of all new hires are filled internally.


2. Time to Fill

Time to Fill measures the average total number of calendar days from the date a job requisition is posted to the date a new hire accepts the position. Recruiting executives can use this metric to quickly gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of their recruitment process. This metric can also be used as a reliable estimate on long it would take to fill an empty position. Learn more at HCMI’s Beginner Guide to Time to Fill.


Time to Fill = (Sum of (Offer Acceptance Date - Position Vacancy Date)) / Total New Hires

Time to Fill Formula

Example: If the Time to Fill is 14, it means that, on average, it takes the recruiting team 14 days to find, interview, and get a new hire to accept a position.


3. Time to Start

Time to Start captures the average total number of calendar days from the date a job becomes vacant to the date a new hire starts work in the new position. Like Time to Fill, this metric can serve both as a KPI and an internal benchmark for the recruiting team. Learn more at HCMI’s Beginner Guide to Time to Start.


Time to Start = (Sum of (Position Hire Date - Position Vacancy Date)) / Total New Hires

Time to Start Formula

Example: If the Time to Start is 35, it means that, on average, it takes the recruiting team 35 days to find, interview and get a new hire to start a new position.


4. Net Hire Ratio

Net Hire Ratio compares the number of new hires and the number of terminations within the same period. The recruiting team can use this metric to measure the net headcount growth for a given period. Learn more at HCMI’s Beginner Guide to Net Hire Ratio.


Net Hire Ratio = Total New Hires / Total Number of Terminations

Net Hire Ratio Formula

Example: If the Net Hire Ratio is 1.4, it means that the organization hired 1.4 new employees for every 1 turnover during the last period.


5. Cost per Hire

Cost per Hire measures the total amount of dollars spent on recruiting new hires. They include the internal expenses of running a recruiting department and external expenses associated with hiring activities such as travel reimbursement, testing fees, external agency fees, etc. The majority of recruiting costs typically relate only to external hires, but some costs may be allocated to internal hires, depending upon recruiting activity analysis. For more details on what input should be included in Cost per Hire, check out HCMI’s Beginner Guide to Cost per Hire.


Cost per Hire = Total Hiring Costs / Total New Hires

Cost per Hire Formula

Example: If the Cost per Hire is $3,500, it means that, on average, it costs the organization $3,500 to recruit a new hire.


6. Internal vs. External Hire Ratio

Internal vs. External Hire Ratio compares the total number of internal hires versus the total number of external hires within a time period. Recruiting managers can use this metric to quickly gauge how many percentages of their new hires are from internal and external sources. Since internal hires are more likely to be high performers, highly engaged, and less likely to leave, it’s important that hiring managers keep a close eye on this metric.


Internal vs. External Hire Ratio = Total Internal Hires / Total External Hires

Internal vs. External Hire Ratio Formula

Example: if Internal vs. External Hire Ratio is 0.4, it means that there are 0.4 internal hires for every external hire.


Benchmark Your Recruiting Metrics

Without accurate benchmarks, it is difficult to know if a particular metric result is good or bad. Benchmarking recruiting metrics provides context and strategic insight, allowing for a better interpretation of your recruitment reports and performance.


We compiled a comprehensive list of 60 recruitment benchmarks every HR team needs to know. These are benchmark data handpicked from around the web.


60 Recruitment Benchmarks Every HR Professional Needs to Know

If you’re looking for additional recruiting benchmarks, HCMI’s database contains benchmarks for over 500 HR metrics and covers all stages of the talent management lifecycle. This database can be filtered by various factors such as organization type, workforce size, industry, and diversity and inclusion factors.


Why Many HR Analytics Initiatives Failed

The inability to provide evidence-based answers to compelling workforce questions facing business leaders is often quoted as the main reason why many HR Analytics initiatives have failed in the past. Recruiting Analytics is no exception. Having worked with many HR teams on their analytics journeys, we found that for recruiting teams to be successful at making data-driven decisions, they need to be able to do the following:

  • Link recruiting strategies to organizational performance KPIs

  • Measure, track, and benchmark key recruiting metrics

  • Show how recruiting decisions impact workforce performance

  • Provide stakeholders with timely and easy-to-digest insights along with their potential impact/ROI

Watch how our SOLVE™️ Workforce intelligence Software helped other HR teams achieve these and build a workforce decision hub.


To Learn More

Want to know more about our Recruiting Analytics framework and benchmarks? Contact us and we will get back to you shortly.


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