7 Benchmark Metrics to Help You Master Your Recruiting Funnel

Deconstructing the Recruiting Funnel

Data is always a hot topic. Every year we learn a new data-related buzzword, from “big data” – to “data analytics” – and these days “predictive analytics” is the supposed key to the future.

So it’s expected that any relevant, credible recruiting technology would provide data, big data or analytics – but, now what? What do you actually do with all this data, reports and “data visualization” dashboards?

If you read my previous post, “6 Recruiting Metrics to Help Improve ROI,” you know my position: you don’t need to be data geek or math major to be able to use all this data as a competitive advantage in your recruiting efforts.

Today, I am excited to share recruiting industry benchmarks from Jobvite’s internal data. After analyzing Jobvite’s massive database of more than 50 million jobseekers and 10 million applications, we were able to aggregate the most common metrics that recruiters around the world use to assess their performance.

In this post, you’ll not only see the metrics, but also benchmark numbers and conversion rates – so you can compare and track your recruiting funnel health, efficiency, and performance.

Illustration of the Recruiting Funnel

Recruiting Benchmarks

Website visitor to applicants: 11%

  • If your conversion rate is more than 11%, you are doing great; you probably have an awesome brand and a killer career website.
  • If your conversion rate is less than 11%, you are below the industry benchmark, so you should prioritize improving your employer brand and optimizing your career website.

Average number of applications per open requisition: 59

  • In the last 5 years this number increased from an average of 34 applications per open requisition in 2011 to around 59 in 2014. My theory is that there is a positive correlation between this metric and the health of the economy.
  • If your number is above 59 and you get good quality candidates, you are in good shape.
  • If your number is below 59 it doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong. It could just mean that you represent a smaller size company or the specific requisition requires a unique skills set.

Application to Interview: 12%

  • The conversion rate from applicants to scheduled interview has increased in the last 5 years from an average of 6% in 2009 to 12% in 2014, for every 8 applicants companies on average choose to interview only 1 candidate.
  • My theory here is simple: the economy is doing well, unemployment is down, interviewing technology is improving, there is a war for talent and companies are simply being more selective.

Interview to offer conversion: 17%

  • In the last 3 years, Jobvite customers have seen this number consistently jumping in between 19% to 16%. Today the average number of applicants per job is around 59 – only 17% reach the interview stage, while only 1 person typically gets an offer.

Offers accepted conversion: 89% (steady over the years)

  • There is no significant change in this number over the last 8 years.

Top-to-bottom: 0.2%

  • This number measures top-to-bottom funnel efficiency. You need have around 500 job description impressions to make 1 hire.
  • If your top-to-bottom funnel conversion is above 0.2%, it means that your funnel is extremely efficient across all different stages.
  • If you’re top-to-bottom funnel conversion is below 0.2%, you need to identify your funnel leakages and improve it.

Time-to-hire: 43 Days

  • The time to hire overall trend is decreasing especially in large metropolitan areas. This is most likely due to the health of our economy and improvements in recruiting technology.

Table of funnel metrics by company size

  • Source of applications: Job boards (43%) and career sites (34.18%); these two combined accounts for 77% of all applicants. However, when you look at source of actual hires, the data tells a different story.
  • Source of hires: Referral (37%), career sites (21.85%) and job boards (17%); the hires from career sites and job boards are lower than the percentage they represent for all applicants, indicating that they are less effective.
  • Most effective source: Internal Hiring (18X more effective), Referral (5X more effective); Internal hires and referrals have a much higher percentage in hires when compared to the average percentage hired across all sources, indicating they are the most effective sources leading to hires.

Table of hiring statistics by source name

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Data: how you capture your company data – and therefore its usefulness – depends on you, not on the recruiting software that you purchase. As a company you need to have processes in-place to ensure that data is consistently entered into the system, otherwise you can’t report on it.
  2. Garbage in, garbage out – no one wants to see bad data, so make sure you track the right data, from the right place at the right time according to your organization’s needs.
  3. Must have vs. nice-to-have – There is a difference between the two. It is essential to identify which data will help you to be better at your job, make better decisions, cut necessary costs, make more money, and be efficient. If you have all of that, then you can start focusing on how to “get fancy” with your data!

So what now?

  1. Determine the conversion rates for each stage of your recruiting funnel: lay out the conversion rates for your company, if you’ve already done so, compare your organizations’ numbers to the benchmarks based on companies of similar size.
  2. Diagnose issues with regards to the health of your recruiting funnel: are you doing better or worse than benchmark numbers? Identify the strong areas and the areas that need attention.
  3. Work backwards to quantify candidate pipeline requirements: look at how many hires you need to make this quarter or this year, then calculate based on the conversion rates, how many applicants you need, how many site visitors, and even how many resources and what budget you need to achieve these goals.

How do these metrics compare with yours? How will you use this new source of benchmark data? What advice would you give to those that are significantly behind? What advice would you want to hear from those are significantly ahead? I’d love to know your answers to these questions and get your feedback. Comment here or share your comment on Twitter @jobvite #recruitingfunnel.