KPI in recruiting / key figures in recruitment

KPIs allow you to measure the success of your recruitment processes. Optimize your recruiting process with analysis of key recruitment metrics. This article summarizes the most important recruitment KPIs and lists ideas for improvement.

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Recruiting KPI
Recruiting KPI

What are recruitment metrics: Definition

Recruitment KPIs (also called KPI = Key Performance Indicator) allow you to analyze your recruiting process from different angles. The measured key figures enable you to uncover potential for improvement.

Why are KPIs important in recruiting?

Key figures are an important tool in all areas to become aware of strengths and weaknesses and to initiate optimizations if necessary. Recruitment controlling is no exception.

On the one hand, recruitment KPIs enable you to improve the candidate experience. Because with a fast and high-quality recruiting process, applicants will get a good impression of your company. In the current “war for talents” and “shortage of skilled workers”, this is becoming increasingly important.

On the other hand, these key figures give you a deeper insight into your internal processes. This enables you to provide sound justification for improvement measures and any budget requests.

The most important recruitment key figures at a glance

Time to Hire

How long does it take from job posting to filling?

Date of vacancy – Date of advertisement

In practice, different calculation bases are used.

  • Instead of the tender date, the demand notification can also be taken as the starting point. In this case, the job application process is also included in the evaluations.
  • The job filling date is also defined differently in practice. This may be the date on which the acception was madeverbally or, alternatively, the date on which the contract was signed.

It is important that you are aware of the calculation basis on which you define the time to hire. Depending on this, other parts of the process (job application or contract dispatch) are taken into account.

  • Appealing career site and job advertisements
  • Align advertisement channels with target group – if necessary, check new channels (e.g. job platforms, Google for Jobs or social media)
  • Simplify application (e.g. with an application form)
  • Automate administrative tasks (e.g. with automatic confirmations of receipt or mail templates)
  • Build talent pool
  • See also ideas for the “Time to interview” and “Time to internal response” indicators.

Time to Interview

How long does it take to get to the first interview after application receipt?

Date of 1st interview – application receipt

With Time to Interview, you can check the speed of your application process. A quick invitation to the interview has a positive effect on the candidate experience.

This key figure is also influenced by the time to internal response. Because only if you receive quick feedback internally can the next step in the recruitment process be planned quickly.

  • Speed up the recruitment process (e.g. with mail templates)
  • Minimize time to internal response (see input below).

Time to internal response

How long do employees (superiors, recruiter, etc.) need on average to provide feedback?

Receipt of internal feedback – Request for internal feedback

Various decision-makers are involved in the recruiting process. The sooner they give you feedback, the sooner you can approach the candidate again.

Especially for line managers, who are heavily absorbed with their day-to-day business, it is important to make feedback as quick and easy as possible. Prefabricated evaluation forms, e.g. in an applicant management software, help with this.

  • Provide simple and standardized feedback option (e.g. evaluation forms) for recruiter and line managers
  • Trigger regular and if possible automatic reminder emails
  • Line managers sensitize: quick feedback on their part leads to quick contact with the top candidates and thus increases the chance of filling a vacancy in the best possible way.

Costs per hire & Cost per application

How much does it cost to fill a position or each application received?

Sum of all external and internal costs incurred in connection with filling a vacancy (e.g. advertising costs of job application portals, in the case of a detailed evaluation also wage costs of internal recruiter) divided by the number of vacancies or the number of applications.

  • Select tender channels based on target group
  • Check new (and possibly free) channels (e.g. Google for Jobs, LinkedIn Feed)
  • Optimize and streamline application process (minimize internal costs)

Application Funnel & Channel Effectiveness

How many candidates make it to the second, third and each subsequent round? Through which advertisement channel have dossiers been received?

Number of candidates in the respective process steps

The application funnel shows you the number of candidates, broken down into the individual steps in your application process. In combination with the information about which dossier was received via which channel, you can evaluate channel effectiveness. So how many high quality applications did I receive per channel. It does you no good if the channel generates a lot of applications, but they are of low quality.

  • Select tender channels based on target group
  • Check and test new channels
  • Carry out budget allocation based on channel effectiveness
  • Check process steps: Do we need a telephone or video interview for preliminary clarifications? Could a trial workday provide further insight?

Other key figures

The above list is not complete. Two other metrics that are often mentioned are as follows:

  • Offer acceptance rate: How many applicants accept when you offer them the job?
  • Cost-of-Vacancy: How much does an unfilled position cost you?

Evaluation & analysis of recruitment key figures

The collected key figures can now be analyzed from different angles.

What do the key figures look like at your competitors?

How do your key figures develop over the months or years?

How do the key figures change after the implementation of a measure (e.g. introduction of video interviews or advertising on a new platform)?

Rising costs do not necessarily have to be negative. If, for example, the satisfaction of the candidates increases or the hired employees fit better into the company and thus stay longer, the additional effort has been worthwhile.

Analyse Recruiting Kennzahlen


Recruitment metrics give you deeper insight into your recruiting process. In addition, the KPIs enable you to evaluate potential for improvement and measure the success of implemented measures.

In this article, we have primarily focused on quantitative key performance indicators – i.e. KPIs based on clearly measurable numbers. However, also keep an eye on the qualitative or soft factors (satisfaction, etc.).

In order to be able to calculate all these key figures, a good database is necessary. Whether you keep an Excel list or rely on E-Recruiting software – only if this data is created cleanly and completely can high-quality evaluations be entered.

Download KPI Excel Template

For an easier calculation of the recruiting metrics, we have created an Excel template for you as a download, which contains all the above metrics.

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The following companies have an overview of their recruitment KPI with Dualoo: