April 11, 2024

Recruiter KPIs: How to Track and Measure Recruitment Agency Performance

Table of Contents

As you look to optimize your recruitment agency's performance, setting the right key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial. With detailed metrics and benchmarking, you can gain visibility into what’s working and what needs improvement. This guide will walk you through how to set up and track KPIs tailored to your recruitment agency’s needs. You’ll learn how to measure recruiter productivity, time to hire, candidate quality, hiring manager satisfaction, and more. Implementing the strategies here will help you boost recruiter accountability, identify areas for growth, and demonstrate the value your agency brings to clients. The result will be a more data-driven approach to improving your internal processes and hitting your growth targets.

What is a Recruitment Funnel

The best way to think about your recruitment process is visualizing it as a funnel. Steps in the funnel are stages of the hiring process your candidates go through. Measure the conversion for each step - what percentage of candidates made it to the next stage - as well as time spent in each. This alone will give you a good idea about the performance of your recruiting process.

Sample Recruitment Funnel

To get the most out of your recruitment funnel, make sure you can segment it. Segmenting means splitting by job role or candidate source. If you these data points will be able to answer questions like "Where do my best candidates come from?" with ease.

The easiest way to setup a funnel for your recruitment process is to use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Most ATS application support this out of the box.

Business development funnel

You can setup similar funnel for your business development as well. The stages will be different but the concept stays the same. All CRMs have support for such funnels to track the performance of your sales.

Why Tracking Recruiter KPIs Is Vital for Any Recruitment Agency

Improved productivity and performance

Tracking KPIs for recruiters is essential for improving productivity and performance. They track how well they perform compared to their peers. It's also important they develop an intuition on what actions lead to successful placement.

Having a baseline for recruiter metrics across your organisation will help you identify underperforming individuals. These might need to be put on a performance improvement plan. You can also spot outliers in the other direction. See what your best recruiters do differently and implement those learnings through out the organisation.

Defining and monitoring recruiter KPIs also provides increased accountability. Recruiters need clear objectives and metrics in place to be held accountable. To maximize the effect on personal accountability, make sure the metrics are easily accessible. You can achieve this by setting up a live recruitment dashboard. If not possible, just sharing a weekly/monthly report on the team performance will do.

Optimized recruitment processes

Analyzing recruiter KPIs can help identify opportunities to optimize internal recruitment processes. For example some industries, job roles or clients may have longer time-to-hire. You may need to re-evaluate the sourcing and screening methods for these roles. Other example would tracking the source of your candidates at each step in the recruitment process. This will help you identify where to spend most of your budget for a job ads.

To be able to analyze your recruitment process will require implementing best practices for your data. Especially in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We will discuss more about what tools to use to ensure proper data capture later in this article.

Better insights for strategic planning

Finally, recruiter KPI data provides valuable insights to inform an agency's strategic planning. Metrics around key areas like time-to-hire help determine what works. This helps recruitment agencies make data-driven decisions around their service offerings. It can even help deciding on new target markets to enter.

Seeing conversion between each step of the funnel also helps when forcasting your performance. You should be able to notice any problems well in advance.

In summary, monitoring KPIs is essential for running an efficient recruitment agency. With the right metrics in place you will achieve a more predictable results.

The Top Recruiter KPIs to Measure

Candidate sourcing

Number of qualified candidates

Number of qualified candidates per job is a great metric for measuring the performance of your sourcing. Track the source (job boards, social media, etc.) to identify where the right candidates come from.

Qualified candidate to interview booked

Track what percentage of qualified candidate proceed to the interview stage. An efficient recruiter should aim to screen at least 10-15 candidates per role, with 50-70% progressing to interviews. These numbers are based on the assumption that these are active candidates. For passive candidates, the number proceeding to interview will be a lot lower. This is due to the required activation step in-between.

Hiring process

Placement rate

The percentage of roles you successfully placed is one of the most important metrics to look at. The baseline here will differ greatly based on whether you work on a contingency or not. The type of the roles you are filling also impacts it.

Placement rate can help you easily identify poorly performing clients as well. You might be spending a lot of resources on some and without any successful hires. This might indicate that the client is using many competitng agencies. In some cases the might even engage in back-door hiring. In these cases it might be better to drop the client and focus your efforts elsewhere.

Try segmenting your placement rate data by candidate source. This will help you determine which job ads are performing the best. The results might surprise you. Often you get the best candidates from places where you don't spend nearly enough.


An important KPI is the time taken to fill a role from the date of approval. The industry average is around 45 days. The most effective recruiters aim for under 30 days to avoid losing top talent to competitors. Regularly review the hiring process to identify any inefficiencies.

If your average time to hire seems too long, review your application and interview process. There might be obvious bottlenecks you are not avare of.

An interesting sub-metric to measure here is a time to candidate short list. Putting together a list of screened candidates the client can interview fast is crucial. Otherwise you can loose the placement to a competing agency. At BuildStream we can help you to put this shortlist together within 48 hours from receiving the job description.

Candidate and hiring manager satisfaction

You might only look at high level metrics like placement rate and fare reasonably well. However as you scale your recruitment business it is important to track other health metrics. Things like candidate and hiring manager satisfaction make sure your reputation stays intact. Unprofessional behaviour can cost you dearly if left unchecked.

Candidate satisfaction

Collect candidate feedback with an automated survey once they finish the hiring process. Tip: Don't focus only on successfully placed candidates. It will result in artificially positive outlook on the candidate experience. Send the survey to candidates that dropped out as well.

Hiring manager satisfaction

Setup an automated check-in every couple of months for all your clients. A call after each placement would probably be an overkill. When you have only a handful of clients, collect this feedback personally. Use it as an opportunity to build a great relationships.

It's important to collect this data independently as a manager or agency owner. If you leave this up to the individual recruiters, they will be likely to skew the results. They will do that by not reporting negative feedback for example.

Retention rates

Candidate retention

Evaluating retention rates for candidates placed into jobs is crucial. While sometimes beyond a recruiter’s control, aim for at >80% of candidates retaining for 12 months. High turnover may indicate issues with the recruitment process. Review job fit and candidate satisfaction for each unsuccessful role.

Low retention will also negatively impact your profit. You either get clawbacks on your fees or have to find replacements.

Pro tip: Focus on sourcing passive candidates for your roles as they tend to have higher retention. BuilStream can help you source and activate passive candidates with our proven process!

Client retention

It's important to look at the retention rates on the client side as well. This will ensure your business will continue to grow in the future. To measure retention, keep track of which clients placed a job opening in a given month/quarter. Calculate what percentage of clients place another one a month after this. Now repeat the process for second, third... month. This will give you a good overview of your client retention. For more information on this methodology, look up retention cohort analysis.

Tracking which clients didn't place a new job this month will help you identify dying accounts. It's a great opportunity to quickly see what went wrong and recover the business.

Cost per hire

Tracking the cost per hire is increasing important for determining recruiter efficiency and ROI. Comparing cost per hire across roles or candidate sources can highlight opportunities for cost reduction.

The average cost per hire continues to go up. Nearly all agencies spend significantly more on job boards and LinkedIn licences over time. It's important to know where you are getting the best candidates from. It will also show you the true cost per hire for each sourcing channel. The source quality can differ drastically. Looking purely at a cost per job post is not enough to determine whether your spend is correct.


We can't forget about the most obvious metric to track per recruiter. How much do they bill each month? You probably have this metric in place in order to pay the correct commissions. An important suggestion here is to track billings only when the revenue comes in. This will ensure you are not overpaying recruiters for placements that don't materialize.

It's also important to note that this metric has a long ramp up for new hires. The recruitment process and payment terms make it hard to measure it quickly. For new hires it's better to focus on more short term metrics like calls made.

Reach out

Recruiter activity

Tracking all recruiter calls and emails including their outcomes might seem like micromanagement. In reality it's the only way to see whether the recruiter spends enough time on filling their funnel. If their new business dries up and they only made 5 calls a week it's easy to see the issue.

Email marketing campaigns

Email marketing is a great way to land new business if done correctly. You want to track bounce rates, reply rates and number of new opportunities which come in from each campaign. At BuildStream we can run all your outbound email campaigns on your behalf. We will ensure you are getting the best results in the industry. We also protect you from getting your emails marked as SPAM.

With the right KPIs in place, recruiters have a roadmap to optimize their performance. Monitoring these key metrics is the best way to ensure consistent quality and profit for your business. If set correctly, these metrics will deliver real value to both clients and candidates. Spending time on setting up your KPIs when starting your recruitment business will pay off.

Setting Targets and Benchmarks

Realistic benchmarks

It's hard to propose benchmarks for each of the metrics. They will greatly differ based on your location, industry and types of roles you are filling. The best approach is to set your benchmarks based on the current performance. Specifically take the numbers of the top 20% of your team. This will set the benchmark to high but achievable level.

Now identify what people are underperforming your top recruiters to bring them to the same level. You can use coaching or knowledge sharing to achieve this. After that set targets on improving the metrics further. Choose those with a lot of low hanging fruit and the highest impact on your business.

Quarterly targets

Here is an approach you can borrow from the best technology companies. Choose a 1-2 KPIs each quarter and set an ambitious targets on improving them. Bring your entire team together when brainstorming potential projects to do so. That way they will understand this isn't just a responsibility of the management team. During the quarter share your numbers weekly. This will remind everyone of the main goals and your current progress.

Tips for Monitoring and Reporting on Recruiter KPIs

Clearly Define Each Metric

To effectively monitor recruiter performance, you must establish clear definitions for each KPI. Explain how each metric will be calculated and tracked to avoid confusion or manipulation. For example, specify how “time to hire” is measured. Eg. from the date a job role is opened until an offer is accepted by the candidate. Than create a knowledge base document with all the KPI definitions for your team to refer to.

Automate Data Collection

Invest in software tools that automatically gather data for your KPIs. Manual data entry is time-consuming and prone to human error. Automated systems track activities like job postings, applications, interviews, and hires. They provide reports that give you an accurate, unbiased view of performance.

Review Reports Regularly

Meet with your recruiting team regularly to review reports on their KPIs. Discuss any metrics that are below target and determine strategies to improve. Also, recognize and reward recruiters who are consistently meeting or exceeding their goals. Frequent monitoring and feedback help keep the entire team focused on continuous performance improvement.

Make Adjustments as Needed

Be prepared to revisit your KPIs and make changes to goals or metrics as needed. For example, a tight labor market or changes in hiring priorities may require adjusting targets. Some metrics may prove difficult to track or not provide meaningful data, indicating they should be replaced. Regular reviews will help ensure your KPIs remain relevant and useful.

Share Results with Key Stakeholders

Communicate recruiting metrics with executives and hiring managers in your organization. This demonstrates the value that the recruiting function provides. It also gives everyone an opportunity to provide input on goals and priorities. Such feedback and collaboration strengthen the partnership between recruiting and the broader organization.

Recruiter KPIs FAQs: Your Most Pressing Questions Answered

What are the most important KPIs to track for recruitment agencies?

The key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most critical for recruitment agencies to monitor are:

  • Time to hire: The number of days it takes to fill a position from the date of job posting. This measures the efficiency and speed of your recruitment process.
  • Cost per hire: The total expenditure involved in attracting and hiring a new employee. This includes costs like job posting fees, background check expenses, and recruiter compensation. Tracking this KPI helps determine if your recruitment methods are cost-effective.
  • Placement rate: The percentage of roles you successfully placed. This measures your recruitment team efficiency. High placement rate ensures your clients will be happy with your services.
  • Quality of hire: The performance and retention of new hires. This is measured through  retention rates after the first year. High quality hires lead to improved productivity and client satisfaction.

How often should we review and analyze our KPIs?

It is recommended that recruitment agencies review and analyze their KPIs on a monthly basis. Most KPIs should be tracked for both current and previous months to identify trends. Do this at least for the most important metrics like placement rate etc. KPIs that show unfavorable trends over 2-3 months require corrective action.

If you set a target to improve your KPIs, do it once a quarter. This will give your recruitment team enough time to implement process improvements and see their impact.

What tools can we use to track recruitment KPIs?

There are several tools that can help streamline KPI tracking for recruitment agencies:

  • Applicant Tracking Systems: Most ATS have built-in analytics and reporting functions to track metrics like time to hire, cost per hire, and quality of hire.
  • Spreadsheets: For smaller agencies, spreadsheets are a simple option to manually log and analyze KPI data on a regular basis.
  • Business Intelligence Software: Tools like Domo, Power BI, and Google Data Studio provide an easy way to visualize KPI data, spot trends, and generate up-to-date recruitment dashboards.
  • Online Survey Tools: Use tools such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform to create new hire surveys and get feedback for quality of hire metrics.
  • Email Marketing Tools: For outbound email campaigns use specialized tools that can bounce rates, open rates, reply rates and number of new opportunities.

When implementing new tool make sure you store all crucial data. If your agency is over 20 people, consider hiring an expert. This can also be your in-house IT support.


In closing, by focusing on the right KPIs for your recruitment agency, you can gain valuable insights. Use it to refine your processes and boost overall performance. Carefully consider which metrics align with your business goals. Remember that quality is more important than quantity. Track recruitment cycle times, candidate quality and cost per hire to start.

With the right data guiding your decisions, you’ll be equipped to improve your agency’s recruitment efforts. By monitoring actionable KPIs, you can achieve sustainable growth and success.

Spending even moderate effort on setting up KPIs and metrics for your recruitment business can pay off. Most of your competition is not doing so today.

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