In today’s fast-moving business world, there is no shortage of data to help organizations identify and improve gaps, performance, efficiencies and profitability on both macro and micro fronts. But according to Gartner, data and analytics also “unearth[s] new questions and innovative solutions to questions – and opportunities – that business leaders had not even considered.”

But how does HR fit into this? For decades, HR departments, large and small, have been criticized for not understanding the bigger business picture. In other words, many people believe that HR can’t “speak the numbers,” which, let’s face it, are the true language of business globally.

It doesn’t help that most HR data analytics reporting falls on the low end of the data analytics maturity scale – giving us some information but with insufficient reporting capabilities.

So, how can HR speak the language of business? Keep reading to learn more about talent acquisition data and analytics, giving insight into the company’s people – arguably the most important business asset of any organization.

What Are Talent Acquisition Analytics?

Talent acquisition analytics are used to analyze job candidates and other recruitment data, discovering insights into talent acquisition, onboarding and even retention.

Understanding this data helps talent acquisition leaders understand their decision-making processes during recruitment, improving hiring decisions that directly impact the company.

After all, good hires directly impact turnover rates, productivity and efficiency levels, company culture, innovation and profitability. Need we say more?

Top Talent Acquisition Metrics for 2023 and Beyond

Here are six examples of metrics talent acquisition leaders should understand – not only for their department but for the company as a whole.

1.    Time to Fill

Time to fill is the length of time it takes a talent acquisition team to fill a vacant position, spanning from the initial approval of the budget for the hire through the hire itself. There is no magic number here, as different industries will often see varying times to fill. However, the oft-cited Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report by SHRM states that – on average – time to fill is approximately 36 days.

This metric isn’t typically used to encourage talent acquisition managers to hire quickly while sacrificing the quality of the hire. Instead, it can identify inefficient processes or duplicative efforts, potentially creating a longer time to hire the right candidate.

2.    Time to Hire

Time to hire overlaps with the time to fill metric. However, this talent acquisition analytic specifically measures the time the job candidate spends interviewing for a position at your company. For example, time to hire measures from the first look of the candidate’s resume to when they are officially extended an offer of employment.

Time to hire gives talent acquisition leaders, as well as the company itself, insight into the candidate’s experience when interviewing at your organization. Bad candidate experiences don’t bode well for your company.  For example, 80% of job candidates who have a bad recruiting experience “openly tell” others about it, with one-third of them doing so proactively.

However, when an organization invests in its candidates’ experiences, they improve the quality of its hires by 70%.

3.    Time in Process (aka Days in Stage)

Time in process (or “days in stage”) measures how long job candidates remain in each stage of the hiring process, such as resume review or on-site/remote interviews. Through this metric, talent acquisition leaders can spot lags and inefficiencies that may be holding up the process.

4.    Acceptance Rate

This talent acquisition analytic is measured by comparing the number of job candidates offered jobs versus the number who have accepted job offers. If the acceptance rate is low, then that puts up a red flag that the company should review its recruitment process (including your job descriptions), its compensation packages, its job flexibility and remote/hybrid work policies, its company culture and other factors identifying the attractiveness of a job offer.

This metric gives talent acquisition managers insight into how successful they are at leading qualified candidates through the recruitment process and ultimately accepting the job offer.

5.    Quality of Hire

Quality of hire measures new talent’s contributions to the company over a period of time. This is a critical measurement, as it gives direct insight into the new hire’s performance, the manager’s ability to support the employee and career progression during the new employee’s tenure.

Staying on top of this metric allowed companies to measure the quality of their employees, allowing the company to achieve its goals faster and more efficiently. And that’s just a win-win for everyone.

6.     Cost Per Hire

Arguably the belle of the ball, cost per hire gets quite the attention as a talent acquisition metric. Cost per hire takes into account all expenses associated with hiring an employee – from sourcing costs to agency fees (and everything in between).

However, cost per hire must be viewed in light of the previous metrics. For example, cost per hire and time to fill are closely related. The longer it takes your recruiting team to hire someone, the higher the cost per hire.

These talent acquisition metrics don’t live in a world by themselves. They each impact the company as a whole – and this is why it’s critical for talent acquisition specialists to not only understand these metrics but bring them to the larger corporate table.

Jenny Kiesewetter

Jenny Kiesewetter is a prolific Nashville-based freelance writer, teacher, and coach, specializing in human resources issues, employee benefits, employee training and development, and legal compliance issues. Jenny has a knack for making complicated topics understandable, digestible, and valuable. In her free time, Jenny enjoys spending time with her friends and family, traveling, live music, and dining out.