Whether you work for a recruitment agency or a talent acquisition team, you might sometimes find yourself drowning in metrics. From cost-per-hire to cNPS, there is no end to the measures that nowadays companies can take to better their performance.

But are those efforts sufficient? Are they efficient?
Is there no better-organized system to promote positive change for your agency or business unit?

A good recruiter is one with positive financial metrics, happy candidates and happy hiring managers. So these are the areas we will have to investigate when measuring recruiter performance.

Let’s start by trying to answer the first question: is your recruitment-performance measuring system sufficient?

Mostly, recruitment agencies and stakeholders depend on financial measures to track recruiter performance. Unfortunately, these can’t account for how the candidates or hiring managers feel about their experience with the recruiter. What are the consequences?

Bad Candidate Experience with recruiters damages your brand and costs you valuable customers

As you might know, Candidate Experience (or CX) is more and more of a hot subject nowadays. But why is it so important?
Poor Candidate Experience has first- and second-hand consequences.
The first-hand consequences only impact the unhappy candidate, who, most probably, will ghost you.

The second-hand consequences imply that the candidate has spread the word about his poor experience with you through negative reviews. The consequences can be that you will get lower quality candidates, more time will be needed to fill your vacancies and, finally, you can suffer financial loss due to their boycotting.

If you’re curious about how much money your business might be losing because of poor Candidate Experience, you can use our Candidate Experience cost estimator.

In this paragraph, we will focus on the second-hand consequences of a poor CX, which usually have a way bigger impact on your business.

In times when word of mouth is facilitated by social media, it’s time for the recruitment industry to lend an ear to the job applicants’ opinions, in order to avoid the dire consequences we briefly mentioned above.

As mentioned in Social Talent’s article Candidate Experience & The Application Process: 4 Things You’re Doing Wrong, 22% of the unhappy candidates actively tell others not to work for the company that disappointed them.
You might think that it’s just another drop in the ocean, but a Glassdoor report states that around 70% of the candidates are using job search websites to read reviews of a company before submitting an application.

Poor reviews drive away high-quality candidates and lengthen the time needed to successfully fill a position, thus increasing recruiting costs. Finally, some candidates will stop buying a company’s products if their application experience was negative. This is especially true of commodities, which are consumed often and can be easily replaced.

If you’re curious, you can read of how Bad Candidate Experience Cost Virgin Media $5M Annually – Here Is How They Turned That Around. In their case, 18% of rejected candidates were also Virgin Media customers, and 2 out of 3 candidates were likely not to recommend Virgin Media to others.

Social Talent’s previously mentioned article also shows us that after a negative experience, 42% of the candidates said they would never seek employment at that company again.
As mentioned in SmartRecruiters’ eBook How to Create Hiring Success, 50% of the candidates said they would not purchase products and services from that company!

Now we understand it’s important not just to focus on financial metrics. Candidate experience is important – but what defines it as bad?

The article Candidate Experience: All the Stats, Facts and Data You’ll Ever Need to Know reads: “76% of people say that not hearing back from an employer after a job interview is more frustrating than not hearing from someone after a first date”.

Other issues could appear if, for example, you provided the candidates with vague or redundant information about the job, the application process was too long or complex or your communication was not transparent.

Poor experiences shape the applicant’s attitude towards a company and are hard to measure until they reveal themselves on social media platforms in the form of negative reviews. If it is indeed subjective and difficult to quantify, then how do we measure it?

You should measure your performance through Candidate NPS, or cNPS. Why? Recruiters are usually the first point of human interaction with an applicant during the candidate journey. This means that they become the face of the company for that particular job-seeker.

It is important for recruiters to maintain an attitude that represents the company and its values, just as it is important for the candidates to have a clear image of the business whose vacancy they’re applying for.
Bad candidate experience can start with the recruiter and lead to an increase in the number of detractors and to negative reviews online.

For a deeper dive into the subject of cNPS, you can read the article How to Apply NPS to Candidate Experience.
For now, it suffices for you to know that candidate NPS is like a thermometer: it lets you understand how satisfied your candidates are with your performance so that you can ask yourself why and improve.

In the next paragraph, we will discuss the first-hand consequences of Candidate Experience. If the application process is too long, the communication faulty or the job poorly described, most probably your candidates will ghost you.

Ghosting is a real problem, and it reflects on your cNPS

Recruiters used to disappear and never get in touch with candidates, but now the tables are turning.
There is nothing fun about filling out a complex application for one of your vacancies, only to wonder if the application actually went through. Chances are, your candidates will eventually give up on their dreams of working for you and move on to a better opportunity.
But this is not all – beware, ghosts can re-emerge on review sites.

This converts your biggest supporters into detractors, worsening your cNPS score.

Candidate ghosting increases the time it takes to successfully fill a position. It also reduces the number of high-quality candidate referrals.
Terrible, isn’t it? It feels even worse if the ghosting is due to an out-sourced recruiter you hired…

Now that we’ve mentioned the widespread use of financial metrics and added the element of candidate experience, it is time to focus on your hiring managers.

But what about your hiring managers?

We learned that a happy candidate means a happy advocate, but your hiring manager’s satisfaction is crucial too. As we previously mentioned, a good recruiter is one with good financial metrics, happy candidates that buy your products and speak kind words, and happy hiring managers that keep their collaboration with you alive.

Bad hires cost the company lots of time and money. This is especially true for extremely technical or high-level positions. Job applicants should be well-suited for the company and adequately prepared for the application process.

One way to ensure the recruiter isn’t just pushing as many candidates through the system as possible is to check if the hiring manager is happy with the provided selection of candidates. If feedback from your hiring manager comes back as generally negative, then you know your problem is generated before the hiring manager.

The metrics that your hiring managers will calculate to see if they’re happy are the ones concerning the quality of hire. Around this subject, Harver has written a very exhaustive article: “Measuring Quality of Hire – All You Need to Know”.

In the section regarding how to gather data to improve your performance, 4 options are mentioned:

  • Hiring Manager Satisfaction Surveys
  • Employee Engagement Surveys
  • Feedback on the Hiring Process
  • New Hire Performance Metrics

Measuring recruiter performance is more than just tracking financial KPIs during the process. The human element is very important to capture, as it is an integral part of the journey. Numbers are not the only thing you should be worrying about. Recruiters remain one of the first points of human contact for a company.

With all these elements to consider, no KPI by itself is sufficient to tell you how your recruiters are performing. Is your measuring system efficient?

There is no cure-all KPI

Candidates generally don’t care about how long it takes to fill a slot in a different department, or how much that costs the company per quarter. Instead, they want respectful interactions with a recruiter and their candidate journey to be handled properly.

Questions asked to candidates about these interactions, paired with hard-line measures about the recruiting process, help you establish realistic benchmarks that can help you optimize your CX process.

You also need to listen to your hiring managers’ opinions – if they are negative, you need to find fast ways to provide them with better candidates that are a more suitable fit for their vacancies.

It is necessary to keep on measuring financial metrics, too. Some examples can be acquisition cost or sourcing-channel cost.

You will need to consider multiple KPIs at the same time, in order to improve. What to prioritize, then? A chaotic system is an inefficient one.
Having an organized view would help you be more efficient.
The next paragraph will showcase our recommendations.

What do we recommend?

At the beginning of this article, we asked ourselves if your recruitment-performance measuring method was sufficient, efficient and organized.
One by one, we answered those questions. Your system cannot be sufficient unless you consider the 3 elements needed to make a good recruiter: positive financial metrics, happy candidates and happy hiring managers.

We then saw how inefficient and disorganized it can become, once you have to consider several KPIs at the same time, with no clear prioritization system. Dashboarding would help you visualize all relevant information at the glimpse of an eye. But that would not help your recruiters improve, per se.

We have found a way to help your recruiters improve: you can fuel positive competition amongst them while giving the hard workers the recognition they deserve.

Our Recruitment Matrix will allow you to compare your recruiters’ performance based on a set of metrics that are relevant to your business.
This will provide you with a ranking of your best-performing employees and will let them understand what to improve on, to increase their positioning.

It allows you to identify the issues within your team or agency in a quick and easy way, therefore simplifying your managerial tasks, therefore proving to be sufficient, efficient, organized and convenient, too.


Do you want to know more about this?
Do not hesitate to reach out, we will be happy to assist you in your decision.

Phil Brown
phil@starred.com