Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Recruiting metrics

One of my readers asked me to address some recruiting metrics, which I think is a good topic to visit.

Although there are some strong feelings out there about the usefulness of metrics, the fact is that traditional measures of recruiting activity are still out there being used, both as measures of success and for planning purposes.

The two benchmarks that were specifically asked about were:

- Number of fills per recruiter
- Number of hours per recruitment

Unfortunately a lot of the benchmark recruiting metrics out there are not free. Several organizations offer detailed benchmarking data, but ya gotta pay for it. Examples include:

-'s Recruiting Metrics and Performance Benchmark Report ($425)

- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)'s Human Capital Benchmarking Service ($425 for non-members)

- The Saratoga Institute publishes a Human Capital Effectiveness Report

Even so, I've gathered what data I could get my hands on, so let's take them one at a time.

Fills per recruiter

How many fills, or placements, does a typical recruiter make? Of course it depends on the time frame and what type of placement we're talking about, which makes this statistic challenging to nail down. But here's what I found:

- IPMA-HR's 2006 Recruiting and Selection Benchmarking Report: The median number of recruitments per HR staffer was in the 4-6 category, closely bordering on the 7-10 category, so six is probably a good overall estimate given this data.

The other sources I found were more anecdotal. For example:

- JBN Consulting notes a typical recruiter makes .75 placements per month

- Cluff & Associates state: "A dedicated recruiter in a corporate environment can average 8 fills per month if activity levels warrant. Agency recruiters, however, are likely to generate 2 or 3 placements per month."

A Google search on the topic brings up quite a few recruiter job advertisements, which gives us some idea of the expected workload. In general, 1-3 fills per month seems a standard expectation.

Conclusion? The typical number of fills per recruiter seems to vary quite a bit depending upon the type of job, job market, etc. For example, Dave Lefkow noted a few years back that 100 fills a month for customer service jobs was considered successful, while 5-10 analyst/developer fills a month might be acceptable. If I had to pick an "average" number, I'd go with the IPMA-HR figure of six (although consider that's public sector organizations).

Hours per recruitment

Fortunately there's a lot more information about benchmarks for how long it takes to conduct a recruitment (here used synonymously with "time to fill"), although here too the figure varies with the type of recruitment:

- Surveys conducted by the Employment Management Association (affiliated with SHRM) consistently show an average time to fill of 42-45 days. Source

- 2004 Workforce Diagnostic System Benchmark by the Saratoga Institute indicated 48 days.

- 2006 SHRM metric for same-industry hires of 37 days (from opening of requisition to offer acceptance) Source SHRM also offers customized reports (for a fee), available here. Samples indicate median time to fill of 35 and 40 days, depending on industry.

- 2006 Corporate Executive Board survey indicated 51 days Source: The Economist

- 2006 IPMA-HR benchmark report: average of 49 days between vacancy announcement and first day on the job, with a low of 44 for labor/maintenance and a high of 57 for public safety

- and HR Metrics Consortium's 2003 Recruiting Metrics and Performance Benchmark: 70 days (this includes time between offer acceptance and showing up to work). Source

Conclusion? Again, depends on the job (and how you define the metric), but we can estimate around 40 days between vacancy announcement and offer acceptance, with another 10-20 days between offer acceptance and first day on the job.

If you have additional data, please share! Inquiring minds want to know...

1 comment:

fred said...

Benchmarking against your own performance is the most valuable. Run your own race. Make sure you measure time, efficiency, quality, and satisfaction in recruiting. The rest of the measures are activity indicators, help you run the day-to-day business and are less meaningful. Try out my website for more info.

Remember, benchmark reports typically don't tell you exactly how a company achieved a number and moreover how it impacted their organization. No company is set up with the same infrastructure, value proposition, and customer base.

I hope this helps.