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hiring team success metrics

Hiring Metrics That Matter

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One of the coolest parts about being a recruiter at SmartRecruiters is that not only am I personally pretty much on brand, all the time – I am, after all, a ‘smart recruiter,’ but more importantly, recruiting here is so much more than a cost center.

It’s at the core of everything we do as a business. We believe that Hiring Success and business success are inexorably intertwined. But at a company like SmartRecruiters, connecting people with jobs at scale is more than just our business model. It’s our bottom line.

Our mantra here at SmartRecruiters is “you are who you hire.” It’s probably a bit of a cliche to say that a company is only as good as the people working there, but all I know is, for recruiters, the ability to attract and develop the best talent possible makes our jobs a whole lot easier. 

At SmartRecruiters, I’ve been lucky enough to partner with our amazing Hiring Success team as we build our brand – and bandwidth – all over the world. That means scaling up our internal Hiring Success teams so that our people can scale at the same rate as our platform, and that we have the right talent in the right roles at the right time, all the time. At no time is that easy, but thanks to Hiring Success, we’ve proven the age old adage that recruiting is not, in fact, rocket science. 

Hiring Success, however, takes a much different approach than traditional recruiting, and I’d likely be doing my team and I a great disservice if I defaulted to using the “expected” metrics for the sake of expediency. Because while I’ve been recruiting my whole career, at SmartRecruiters, versus my previous roles, how we hire – and how we think about hiring – is fundamentally different. 

Let me give you an example. 

In traditional recruiting, there’s often an overemphasis on more traditional metrics – things like time to fill, cost per hire, and, of course, the ever elusive quality of hire (how can a subjective and abstract construct be benchmarked?). 

None of these measurements actually tell you anything about whether or not the hiring process was as efficient and effective as possible; simply, they tell us how much we’ve spent to find talent and how long it took us to do so. 

At SmartRecruiters we have embraced a completely different set of analytics that takes a much more holistic and integrated look at the recruitment process and optimizing TA outcomes. 

Internally, our use of the Hiring Success metrics have allowed us to move from order takers to strategic business partners – a shift that’s pervasive among the employers who have adopted the Hiring Success methodology in their talent organizations. 

The Three Metrics of Hiring Success

Hiring BudgetThe Hiring Budget is the sum total of recruiting costs associated with hiring new candidates, as a percentage of the total salary of the new employees or new hire payroll. 
Hiring VelocityHiring Velocity measures one simple thing: the percentage of jobs filled on time. 
Net Hiring ScoreSimilar to the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures customer experience, the NHS measures the fit between new hires and jobs.

That’s not to say that my days are spent in meetings or business updates. Like most recruiters, my calendar is usually packed with candidate interviews. I talk to as many candidates as possible so that I can find the talent my hiring managers need to fill their roles.

As my stakeholders, my primary focus when dealing with hiring managers is building relationships and adding business value – so, I’ll admit, it’s not often that metrics are the very first item on my agenda during every meeting. 

But no matter how good a partnership a hiring manager and I might have, no matter how many jobs I fill, I know that if the recruitment analytics don’t provide empirical evidence of Hiring Success, then I know I haven’t done my job as a recruiter – and likely, let down the hiring managers who rely on me to help them transform human capital into a competitive advantage.

Candidate Pipeline

When I want to identify bottlenecks anywhere in my hiring process, or if I want to streamline and simplify those processes for greater efficiency and efficacy, the Candidate Pipeline dashboard is my go-to resource. This is one of my standby visuals that’s available within SmartRecruiters’ Source to Hire analytics. 

That dashboard effectively represents a central destination for tracking candidate progress across requisitions within a defined period of time, and also allows me to provide my Hiring Managers with the information and insights they’re looking for from a true talent advisor during the hiring process.

So, what exactly do I personally use the Candidate Pipeline dashboard for? Here are a couple of use cases that come to mind:

  • I can understand the average time the recruiting process takes, from “hi to hire”, for both individual jobs and across teams and regions. Once I know how long the process takes (at each step and overall),  I’ll have an idea of where our team can optimize the process.
  • I can track my progress over time by viewing Candidate Pipeline data during different time periods. This can help you see how you’re improving over a specific period of time, or help you redirect your efforts. 
  • As a talent team leader, I can instantly identify which jobs require the most resources or support, and which team members might need some help to make Hiring Success happen; this information is accessible in one dashboard that makes recruitment analytics easy.

Hiring Plan Dashboard

Recruiting is a marathon, not a sprint – it can at times be an intense and competitive race to the finish line for TA, candidates and hiring managers alike. 

It’s easy to get lost in your daily grind, but sometimes it’s important to take a step back and take a look at how far you’ve come in that race, how far you have to go, and what it’s going to take to actually cross the finish line.

That’s where the Hiring Plan Dashboard comes in. It’s a great way to track hiring progress at a high level, and immediately know the status of all my positions over a select period of time – I  often default to quarterly views within the Hiring Plan Dashboard, since, well, that’s how we currently plan our growth headcount.

I can also drill down to see weekly progress, quarterly, or annual reports,  making it an ideal way to see which hiring managers or business partners might need more support (or where I might need to intervene in terms of hiring strategy or resource allocation).

Pro tip: look for the Hiring Plan Dashboard in SmartRecruiters within the Source-To-Hire analytics section. Don’t forget-  you can also share access to your Analytics with other hiring stakeholders, like fellow recruiters, HR Business Partners or hiring managers, providing self-service functionality for real time reporting and requisition management.

Some of the ways I leverage the Hiring Plan Dashboard throughout the entire recruitment process include: 

  • Tracking our hiring plan progress against goals through benchmark data, meaningful metrics and actionable analytics that show me how I’m performing in real time, all the time
  • Identifying which requisitions, regions or departments could use a helping hand
  • Utilizing historical hiring data to inform future hiring plans and forecast how well those plans are likely to inform based on the jobs I’ve already filled
  • Understanding exactly how open positions or jobs are distributed across the organization, and ensuring the correct alignment of recruiting resources required to produce optimal Hiring Success outcomes

Report Builder

If you’re in recruiting, chances are the questions you get from hiring managers and talent acquisition stakeholders sound like variations on the same recurring themes. These should sound pretty familiar.

“Where exactly do our candidates come from?”

“How long does the application process take for <whatever position I’m currently hiring for> and how long will it take to actually fill that role?”

“Where are we losing applicants? Why are candidates dropping out of the process? What can we do to fix it?”

You get the point. These sound like the answers should be fairly simple and straightforward, but obviously, generating empirical evidence and actual analytics around these complex and complicated questions is anything but. That’s where Report Builder comes in.

Almost everyone on our Hiring Success teams gets a high volume of questions from Hiring Managers, and that’s to be expected. Our team relies on Report Builder to filter down this data into digestible dashboards, so that we can access the analytics required to answer these questions with as much detail as possible. 

Using Report Builder, I can not only get custom reports based on required ranges like job field, applicant source or date – and these reports are easy to export directly into the data visualization tool we use to make this foundational talent data easier to interpret, analyze and present to relevant recruiting stakeholders or hiring managers as needed.

Quarterly & Yearly Hiring Metrics

I often wonder how I performed over the last quarter, how my individual recruiter productivity and hiring outcomes varied year over year, or how my Hiring Success outcomes stacked up against the other recruiters on our Hiring Success team.

I also pride myself on hitting my hiring plans, but you know what they say about the best laid plans (assuming, of course, they exist in the first place, which isn’t always a given in TA today). 

By regularly accessing our Hiring Success analytics, when there’s some sort of variance between hiring plan and recruiting outcomes, I’m able to meaningfully measure what issues are temporary/ one-offs specific to small groups, and what issues need more strategic solutions. 

For example, if we planned to hire 100 people, but only filled 85 jobs, that isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes, they’re actually proof that those hiring plans are working when it comes to short term hiring, and are also driving longer term Hiring Success results.

Whenever a year or quarter comes to an end, I turn to the Hiring Success Analytics dashboard to see how my team is doing collectively when it comes to our Hiring Success Analytics. 

Obviously, everything we do in terms of both operation and strategy is dedicated to driving continuous Hiring Success throughout the entire hiring lifecycle, but for periodic reporting, I’ve discovered that hiring velocity, in particular, can be the most accurate indicator of how well we’re doing at delivering real recruiting results and real business value. 

It’s a metric that’s easy to overlook, but one that I’d encourage every SmartRecruiters user to pay closer attention to.  Ultimately, how efficiently we can attract, select and onboard the talent our business needs to succeed at scale is really the most important Hiring Success outcome out there. 

The only way our business can survive – and thrive – is if our hiring velocity can keep up with our business growth. When it comes to supporting a high growth business like ours on a global scale, there’s no way to understate just how much velocity counts. Bottom line: if you aren’t getting the right people into critical roles when you need them, it can have huge ramifications across your company.

There are a ton of different ways to leverage the Hiring Success dashboard within SmartRecruiters, but a few of the ones I think me and my team generally utilize the most include:

  • Tracking changes in our talent acquisition team and recruiting related outcomes over time, and performing any related associated variance analysis that might be required
  • Conducting monthly, quarterly or annual reviews with both my direct supervisor and our company leadership team, and showing how I’m performing against my own goals
  • Tracking our Net Hiring Score to ensure that we’re constantly improving both the hiring manager and new hire experience throughout your process.


If you’re in recruiting (particularly at a high growth company), you know that having the data and insights associated with Hiring Success makes it easier to be a true business partner and talent advisor to hiring managers and leadership alike. When you come to the table with meaningful data that describes your team’s successes and hiring results, instead of leaning on anecdotal evidence and obligatory metrics, then you become more than a recruiter.

Metrics and data help make Hiring Success a reality, and achieving Hiring Success is much more critical to your business than just getting “butts in seats.” The analytics resources  in SmartRecruiters provide a powerful tool for tracking our hiring progress, while also allowing us to optimize our entire recruitment process. 

Aside from driving business outcomes, It’s also nice to be able to access your own numbers. That way I can demonstrate that not only am I doing my job and hitting my goals, but I also have the data to prove it available at my fingertips. That peace of mind lets me focus on what really matters: connecting the right people to the right jobs at scale, on time and under budget. 

Of course, this is the literal definition of Hiring Success. If you’re not familiar with the Hiring Success framework, its foundational pillars and how to use the methodology as a competitive advantage in today’s increasingly complex and cutthroat talent market, we’ve got you covered.

Click here to check out The Definitive Guide to Hiring Success. It’s got all the information recruiters need to get started on what’s been the most important journey of my career: moving from being just another recruiter in a cost center to becoming a trusted talent advisor who’s directly responsible for supporting our business – and our bottom line. Which is about all that a recruiter can hope for, really. The road to Hiring Success starts here. Download The Guide Today.

Maggie Hennessey

Maggie is SmartRecruiters' lead go-to-market Recruiter, supporting all non-technical recruiting in the US, UK, and EMEA.