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HR tech | 5 min read

5 hiring metrics you should be tracking

You can’t improve your hiring processes—and keep your business staffed—if you don’t have a clear view of how your hiring efforts are performing. And if you’re managing hiring across multiple locations, you may have an even hazier picture of how things are going across the board. 

That’s where data comes to the rescue. With the right hiring technology and data at your disposal, you can discover which sourcing strategies are working and which ones aren’t, which of your locations are struggling and why, where bottlenecks are, and one of our favorite metrics: how long it takes you to hire, or as we call it, your time-to-hire (TTH)

No matter what applicant tracking system (ATS) or human capital management (HCM) system you’re using, here are the metrics you should be tracking to ensure your hiring process is working. 

Hiring performance by source 

There are lots of ways to source applicants, from posting on job boards and sponsoring local events to running employee referral programs and hanging up hiring posters. And while you can do it all (and in some cases, you should), you can fine-tune your sourcing strategy by looking at what’s working across different positions and even locations. 

From there, you can use the data to optimize. Maybe one job board performs better for a certain position than others. You might consider sponsoring your job posting on this board. Or maybe you find that applicants engage with hiring posters on your front door more than anywhere else within your business. This might be a good opportunity to cut the other hiring signs and invest the savings in an even more attractive door poster.

Hiring data: Performance by source
Hiring performance by position 

Some positions are harder to hire for than others. Similarly, some locations might have a harder time hiring a position because of the skills and interests of the local population. The best way to see where your gaps are across your business is to view hiring performance by position. 

This data is also especially helpful when anticipating future hiring needs. If you know certain positions take longer to hire for, you can bake that into your hiring timeline and set realistic goals. For example, if you see that cashiers take an average of eight days to hire, don’t build your timeline around the unrealistic expectation that you can hire in four. With high turnover and busy seasons often putting pressure on hiring managers to fill positions fast, having real data on hiring performance by position can help you prepare. 

Hiring data: Performance by position

Time spent in stages 

We all know that when it comes to hiring hourly workers, speed is everything. Employers want to hire faster, and workers want to get hired faster. When reviewing your overall hiring performance, a great place to dive in deeper is the time spent in the hiring stages. You’re looking for no more than a couple of days in each stage.

This is not only a good indicator of how fast you’re moving people through the hiring process, but it’s also a look into your applicant experience. In the deskless economy, making applicants wait days is like a death sentence. These workers are applying to six jobs at a time on average, and spoiler alert, they’re most likely to go with the one that bites first. If you’re leaving applicants in a hiring stage for too long, you risk them finding another job first, or worse, getting a negative opinion of your brand altogether. 

Time spent in hiring stages

Interacted with or not 

The stage that’s arguably the most important is the first one: Time in application stage. Another way to dissect performance at the beginning of your hiring process is to look at applicant interaction (we call it the Interacted with metric). This will tell you whether your hiring managers have responded to an application or not and how fast they respond to applications. 

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the hiring process is often just as frustrating (if not more) for applicants as it is for employers. Never is this more apparent than when a business suggests its hiring needs are urgent, yet it takes them days or weeks to respond to applications.

We’ve found that employers who contact candidates within an hour of receiving their application have a 25% higher chance of hiring. That’s a big opportunity to improve your hiring performance. Not only does a quick response keep applicants focused on your opportunity, but it helps move your hiring process forward to the screening and interview scheduling stages.


If you only have time to review one metric, review your time-to-hire. This one metric gives you a bird's eye view of your hiring performance as a whole. The lower the number of days, the better because, as we’ve said before, speed is critical to hiring hourly workers. If this number is trending on the high side, it’s time to review the other metrics above and see where your process is breaking down. 

Leave no doubt you’re hitting your hiring goals

Without a data-informed hiring strategy in place, businesses are practically operating in the dark and unaware of the big picture—making it difficult to optimize the hiring process and get results.

We’ve recently updated our custom reporting features to give you all the data above, plus the ability to customize reports and schedule recurring reports delivered directly to your inbox. Learn more about custom reports and how you can begin optimizing your hiring process with the right data. 

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HR tech


Workstream is a hiring platform that helps employers get 4x the number of qualified applicants. The world's most trusted brands use Workstream to optimize job board postings, automate screening and interview scheduling, communicate via text message, and streamline the onboarding/training process. See what all the buzz is about by scheduling a demo or email us info@workstream.is!

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