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How to use recruiting KPIs to boost business and totally impress your boss

Alex Oliver
July 12, 2021

There’s a lot companies can measure throughout the hiring process. With the right tools, measuring is the easy part. Knowing what to measure and how to communicate and act on it is another.  

Today we’ll look at three examples of companies using metrics to inform how they attract and engage candidates, source from a more diverse pool of candidates, and save money every year by helping to improve their hiring efficiency.  

Three very different companies with very different challenges and approaches.  

In each, you’ll notice an underlying theme: The ability to measure performance generally improves performance. The ability to communicate proof of concept to business leaders – and not just those in HR – frees up additional resources and improves performance further.

Ready to learn more about KPIs, metrics, and more? Check out our guide, Actionable analytics: Your path to a strong recruitment marketing ROI.

Cedar Fair’s rollercoasters don’t run themselves 

Ride attendant at Cedar Fair, one of iCIMS customers

Each year Cedar Fair hires 47,000 seasonal employees. They start hiring them months in advance and keep very close tabs on their progress. That’s because opening their parks requires having enough trained staff to operate safely. The rollercoasters stand idle if their high-volume hiring falls short (and their revenue along with it). 

Here are the four key metrics Cedar Fair monitors daily during hiring season: 

  1. Number of hires per park. This is Cedar Fair’s most important metric. Their parks, or at least parts of parks, can’t open if they don’t have appropriate staffing levels. While hiring starts months out, a lot of it takes place in the lead-up to opening day. The team keeps close tabs on hires per park as a percentage of staff 30 and 60 days from opening. Knowing where each park stands allows their team to be nimble, deploying resources and time in places that need it most.
  2. Time to hire. The majority of Cedar Fair’s employees have other commitments. They’re students, teachers, and police officers. Their recruiters also can’t afford to spend too much time on any one candidate. The whole thing only works if they keep the hiring process short and give candidates quick answers. That’s why the team aims to make decisions within seven business days. Having this ticker in the background helps Cedar Fair’s recruiters effectively manage their time and make offers faster.

  3. Total onboarded staff. Cedar Fair faces a serious ‘ghosting’ issue, in large part because so many of their seasonal employees are young and relatively inexperienced. Their team aims to have 90% of new hires show up for their first day. Recruiters monitor how often new hires open emails from them; if engagement is low, they follow up with text messages.
  4. Boomerang hires. Sourcing, hiring, and training all go easier when hiring from the same pool of candidates. Cedar Fair’s team aims to rehire a minimum of 35% of their previous year’s workforce, though they try to get that number closer to 50%. Using a candidate relationship management system (CRM) helps Cedar Fair’s team keep track of engaged employees and encourages them to return for the following season. 

Cedar Fair’s recruiters get in the weeds with these numbers, keeping close eyes on their personalized analytics dashboards. But they aren’t the only ones interested. Their success is the company’s success. Higher-level reports, including the numbers above, get sent to executives daily in the run-up to park openings.

Read more of Cedar Fair’s story here. 

Recruiting metrics help Celanese attract diverse candidates 

Celanese manufacturing plant employee on walkie talkie

A Fortune 500 company, Celanese manufactures chemicals and other materials used worldwide by the paint and coating industry.  

Before the iCIMS Talent Cloud, Celanese’s recruiting process was completely manual. This made hiring between 750 and 950 positions per year across 42 countries more complicated than it needed to be. But the company was facing a growing challenge that surpassed the need to hire quickly: a lack of interested candidates. 

For many, working in the manufacturing industry isn’t the most glamorous of jobs. Some candidates never consider it because they may hold outdated perceptions of loud, noisy plants and working long hours for little pay. This isn’t modern manufacturing, and it isn’t Celanese.  

Many manufacturing jobs are highly specialized. They’re niche positions that require very specific credentials. The resulting pool of qualified candidates is far smaller than many manufacturers would like. 

For Celanese, the answer is growing their workforce responsibly and intentionally. This includes a commitment to sourcing diverse candidates and bringing historically underrepresented groups (including women and ethnic minorities) into quality, stable manufacturing careers. 

Robust metrics and reporting give Celanese’s team a 360-degree view into its diversity hiring efforts – a major priority for its executive team. 

Recruiters monitor diversity metrics throughout the hiring process and see if there are areas where candidates drop out. Knowing when, where, and why diverse candidates fall off has helped them up their game, including showcasing diverse employees throughout the company in short, snackable videos.  

“Pulling that data when you’re all in one system is essential,” says Jim D’Amico, Global Talent Acquisition Leader at Celanese. “We can put together comparative data, and not just on the basic talent metrics.” 

Today, 93% of Celanese’s hiring slates include diverse candidates, up from 77% just a couple of years ago.  

Read more of Celanese’s story here. 

AmTrust Financial killed their ‘dinosaur’ ATS 

employer contacting AmTrust Financial to report a workers comp claim

Imagine you’ve been asked to prepare dinner for some guests. There’s just one catch: you don’t know how many there will be or when they will arrive. They could come today or next week. There might be ten or only two. Perhaps one has a food allergy; another doesn’t eat fish.  

What’s worse, there’s no one you can ask. Making dinner, once usually such an achievable task, has becomes nearly impossible.  

AmTrust Financial’s recruiting team once found themselves in a similar predicament. Their recruiting suffered because they didn’t have insight into what was working and what wasn’t. 

“We had a very old applicant tracking system – I call it the dinosaur of applicant tracking systems,” says Kimberly Bowen, AmTrust’s former VP of Talent Acquisition.  

“It didn’t have any automation and didn’t give us good data. It was really difficult to evaluate how we were doing moving candidates through the workflow.” 

The lack of automation meant Bowen’s team spent a lot of extra time logging in and out of systems and doing redundant tasks. That could be addressed, given the proper tools. The real challenge was that her team didn’t know where to spend their time and effort sourcing candidates. This led to tension in the business.  

“We were in the stone age. Our business leaders thought recruiting wasn’t working, that the recruiting team wasn’t doing everything to get them good talent.” 

Bowen’s team was leaning heavily on outside agencies to fill the roles they needed. It wasn’t a great look. 

The solution? AmTrust desperately needed a new ATS that could integrate with their existing Workday system. Bowen’s team evaluated six vendors before going with the iCIMS Talent Cloud to rebuild AmTrust’s recruiting. 

Clear, precise data keeps AmTrust’s executives happy – as does saving $13,000,000 per year in recruiting agency fees. That’s thanks to Bowen’s team, who now have insight into what’s working and what’s not, allowing them to make data-driven decisions.  

Read more of AmTrust Financial’s story here. 

Using hiring metrics to meet business goals 

We don’t track recruiting KPIs because it’s good for our health. We do it to see what’s working and what isn’t. Just as important is doing so in such a way that it’s easy to communicate success and ongoing challenges to business leadership. Then, and only then, do we get the buy-in and resources we need to address those challenges head-on.  

Ready to learn more about KPIs, metrics, and more? Check out our guide, Actionable analytics: Your path to a strong recruitment marketing ROI.

Get guide: the key to recruitment marketing that drives strong results

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