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15 key talent acquisition KPIs to track

July 9, 2024
6 min read
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Talent acquisition metrics and analytics should tell a story about the candidate and employee experience. Does your data provide a complete picture, like watching a movie? Or do you only get snippets of info, like watching a series of TikTok videos?

The best recruiting organizations use data to see a complete picture of the hiring process. They know exactly how job seekers move through each step and use recruiting metrics to set goals and measure performance.


Importance of tracking KPIs in recruitment

Key performance indicators (KPIs) indicate progress toward an intended result and are a critical part of a successful talent acquisition operation. Generally speaking, you should measure KPIs throughout each of these stages:

  • Attract and engage – How much time and money does it take to source a qualified candidate?
  • Hire – How long does it take to move a candidate through the process, from their initial interest to a signed offer letter?
  • Advance – How well do you retain employees?

Measuring your hiring process from end-to-end takes people with the right knowledge, process and technology to get right. To help you get started, here are 15 key talent acquisition metrics you can track.

Need an easy way to share these metrics with your boss? Learn how to create configurable analytics dashboards. 


15 essential talent acquisition KPIs

1. Career site visit-to-application rate

Track this metric to determine if roadblocks on your career site deter candidates from getting their foot in the door. If you get a lot of visits but few conversions, you could add a mobile-friendly browsing experience, AI-powered job recommendations, and chatbots that allow candidates to ask questions.

Total # of applications with source as career site / total # of site visits

2. Time to complete application

The actual job application is another common point of friction in the candidate experience. Job seekers want consumer-like experiences. If it takes too long to complete your application, candidates will find an easier option. For more insight, break down this KPI by device type or location.

Time started – time finished / # of complete applications

3. Candidate source

Using analytics dashboards in your ATS, calculate which recruitment marketing channels bring in the most candidates to focus your effort and budget on the channels with the most significant impact.

You can also measure your channels by total volume, break them down by talent pools, or filter them by hired candidates to tell a richer story using your talent data.

4. Cost per quality applicant

CPQA determines the total spend required to attract one quality applicant, so you can focus your strategy on the channels that attract the most quality candidates at the lowest average cost.

To measure, you’ll need to define what makes a “quality applicant.” Is it all candidates that make it past the phone screen or only those that receive a particular score in your ATS?  Once you’ve created that definition, you can use this formula:

Measure: total $ spent / total # of quality applicants 

5. Sourcing channel efficiency

This KPI helps you identify the channels that bring in the highest number of qualified applicants. For example, a third party job board may bring in the highest number of candidates overall, but LinkedIn may generate a higher percentage of qualified candidates.

Measure: # of qualified applicants from a specific source / total # of qualified applicants from all sources

6. Text-to-apply rate

How well do your text campaigns work to engage talent? Use this metric to evaluate your performance against a benchmark. If you receive a lot of initial texts but few applications, you may need to edit the language or flow of your text conversations.

Measure: total # of texts received / total # of applications from text promotions 

7. Chatbot conversion rate

Chatbots act as a 24/7 virtual recruiter. But it’s time to act if your chatbot isn’t turning conversations into quality applicants (and generating an ROI). Consider adding employee testimonial videos to your chatbot to showcase your culture and the skills required for relevant jobs.

Measure: total # of applicants per chatbot source / total # of candidates per chatbot source

8. Email click-to-apply rate

Another critical channel, targeted emails to candidates in your talent pool should push job seekers to take action. Always include a link that candidates can click on, so you can track engagement rates.

Measure: total # of emails sent / the # of people who clicked 

9. Candidate satisfaction score

Measure candidate satisfaction with a standardized survey about your recruitment process. Determine your net promotor score with a satisfaction survey with a ranking of 1-10.

Make survey answers searchable and reportable in your applicant tracking system for more actionable data.

Need an easy way to share these metrics with your boss? Learn how to create configurable analytics dashboards.  

10. Time to hire

This metric helps identify how quickly your organization can move a candidate through the hiring process. Without an understanding of this KPI, it can be challenging to forecast against your hiring goals and set expectations with candidates in your pipeline.

Measure from the day the candidate’s profile is created to the day the candidate is hired for a job 

11. Time to fill

Time to fill takes a look at your whole recruitment process by measuring the time between when a job is posted and a candidate is hired. Identify time to fill slowdowns to help your organization’s talent acquisition team become more cost-efficient and turn the HR department into a value generator.

Measure from the day the job is created until the day a candidate is hired for the job.

12. Offer acceptance rate

How likely is a candidate to accept an offer? With this recruiting KPI, you can find out. If your offer acceptance rate is below your benchmark, consider re-examining your compensation packages, time to hire, or offer letter management software.

Measure: the # of accepted job offers / the total # of job offers given within a period of time

13. Time to decision

Once you extend an offer, how long does it take for candidates to accept? Too much time spent negotiating can indicate that benefits or working conditions weren’t clear throughout the hiring process. An average of this measure by position can also help leaders better allocate TA team resources for hiring specialized roles.

Measure: total # of days between offer made and offer accepted / total # of hires 

14. Unwanted turnover

Employee turnover is not necessarily a negative. Sometimes team members don’t meet expectations, and it’s better that they exit the business. Use this metric to identify whether turnover is happening among your top performers, which could indicate a greater need for internal advancement opportunities.

Measure: top performer turnover / total turnover 

15. Career path ratio

A career path ratio highlights the ratio of vertical promotions compared to lateral moves.  If your ratio is too high compared to your benchmark, that could indicate that your company is handing out too many promotions.

If your ratio is low, and the only internal mobility is due to transfers, that could indicate “talent hoarding”. This happens when managers discourage promotions because they want to keep top talent on their teams.

Measure: total promotions / (total promotions + total transfers)


Harness the power of talent acquisition KPIs

Data-driven decisions are the future of talent acquisition. The best organizations already use sophisticated technology with robust analytics and AI-powered insights.

To fine-tune your hiring process, check out iCIMS Talent Cloud platform. Experience the advantage of a comprehensive talent recruitment platform that gives you oversight across the entire talent journey.

Explore iCIMS Talent Cloud here.


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About the author

Anna Ruby

Anna is passionate about empowering businesses to grow profits through purpose. She enjoys using her creative and marketing backgrounds to tell compelling stories and hopes to inspire business leaders to choose solutions that deliver tangible results.

Bitten by the creative bug at a young age, Anna graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a BA in theatre. In addition to acting and directing, she enjoys DIY projects, gardening and obstacle course racing.

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