The Difference Between Recruitment KPIs Versus Recruitment Metrics – And Why It Matters


As in many industries, one of the most critical parts of recruiting involves a robust understanding of performance by numbers. Businesses want to make the recruitment process as cost-effective as possible while ensuring that their roles are seen and applied to by the best talent to ensure a good quality of hire and fit with company culture. Many companies are constantly looking to use recruitment solutions that decrease their cost per hire and the time to fill while increasing hiring manager satisfaction.

Virtually everything involved in successful talent acquisition can be broken down into data, and most recruiting operations can benefit from both recruitment KPIs and recruitment metrics for the best possible overview.

It is vital to understand the differences and where each is best deployed to give you the best possible overview of your hiring process production in critical areas.

Recruitment KPIs

Recruitment key performance indicators,(KPIs), measure progress towards specific, defined goals. They’re essentially numbers that may have targets in mind, enabling recruiters to measure themselves against those specific targets and broader benchmarks. Furthermore, it’s possible to find areas of the recruitment process in which they’re underperforming, along with those they can consider an unqualified success!

Typical recruiting KPIs may include the volume of messages sent connected to a specific role, the total number of applications received, how many interviews were conducted before a successful hire, sourcing channel efficiency, time to hire, time to fill, turnover rate, employee retention, net promoter score (NPS), and statistics surrounding qualification calls.

Recruiting Metrics


A recruitment team’s metrics also work with facts and figures, but they involve the more tactical side of the process. While KPIs are all about showcasing results, metrics indicate how well the employees achieve them across various areas when hiring.

As a result, these metrics can delve deeper into the job performance itself and measure the reasons for it. They help the hiring managers and recruiters understand specific obstacles in the recruiting efforts and whether some elements of finding new employees for the company are causing issues.

These metrics might include:

Candidate Acquisition Costs

Generally speaking, the less you spend on acquiring new hires, the better it is for your organization. Therefore, it’s always worth having a solid understanding of those costs, specifically the expenditure associated with each new hire.

Done correctly, this data value will consider everything spent on a quality hire, from time spent on paperwork, interviews, and onboarding to the price paid for posting to job boards and social media.

Application Success Rates

Some roles require nothing more than submitting a resume and an initial screening. However, senior and technical positions often involve a lengthier application process, usually starting with the initial online communication. A candidate may embark on the candidate experience with the application but never make it through to completion.

It’s vital to understand metrics like this, as it may suggest that the process is too involved or time-consuming, especially for a speculative application. If this results in quality candidates never getting as far as expressing official interest in the role, it may be worth revisiting and refining the process to generate the best candidates and reach your hiring goals of a job offer.

Online Conversion Rates

As recruiters are well aware, the amount of prospects in the “any job will do” category is relatively small. Therefore, to attract possible candidates, a position specification must stand out, and that’s where recruiting metrics come in.

How to Use Conversion Rate Metrics

The conversion rate metric can be used throughout the process, such as comparing the amount of job post views against the number of qualified candidates received. If the average number fluctuates or disappoints, it may be worth revising the post itself to attract more qualified candidates. Common conversion rates include retention rate, offer acceptance rate and turnover rate.

The Importance of KPIs and Metrics for Quality of Hire

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Not all recruiters love dealing with numbers, but they represent the best way to understand performance factually. Recruiting KPIs differ from metrics in that the former is primarily goal-orientated, while the latter provides insight into how those statistics were reached.

Both are essential to an optimized recruiting process that produces qualified candidates, as they are a great way to understand how recruiters perform at various stages of the hiring process. They also provide unparalleled insight into areas for improvement while highlighting what’s going well.

Used correctly, the data can improve your recruiting by providing anything from incremental benefits to a complete overhaul of processes and procedures. When using KPIs and metrics, your channel efficiency and overall understanding of the recruitment funnel will rise and produce more qualified candidates for your organization. Ultimately, they’re the best way to get better, and while data can be daunting, it’s a cornerstone of the best-recruiting strategy.

Your Ideal Project-Based RPO Company

JCSI’s talent acquisition specialists help you find the top talent at 60-80% lower cost savings per hire, allowing you a great return on investment.

Our unique recruiting process will result in an increased number of applicants and a number of candidates, ultimately reducing your time to hire, cost per hire, and turnover rates.

For over 20 years, JCSI Recruitment has provided the top recruiting services for your hiring needs with particular success in attracting passive candidates to our clients’ opportunities.

As a seamless extension to your human resources team, JCSI provides you with a creative strategy that contains all the reporting, analytics, and candidate data you need to see the progress being made on your search at any given time in the project.

Contact the JCSI team today to discover how our RPO recruitment services can take the headache out of making the perfect hire for your organization!