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December 2, 2022
The Swarm

Measure and Optimize Your Recruiting Funnel

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Follow these steps to measure and optimize your recruiting funnel.

1. Know the metrics you want to measure

As much as mentors, colleagues, and even guides like these can provide you with sound advice, your startup’s best source of information will always be itself. That’s why it’s important to measure every aspect of your recruiting funnel, review it periodically, and use any takeaways to improve your next round of recruiting and tune up your entire talent acquisition strategy.

Some recruiting technologies like Applicant Tracking Systems will measure your recruiting metrics for you, but if you’re not working with an ATS, you’ll want to find another way to track:

  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Inbound and outbound channel success rates
  • Sources of candidate churn

2.Track your offer acceptance rate

This conversion rate is important since it gives you valuable insights into a few important factors, including:

  • The competitiveness of your salaries, equity, and benefits
  • How well you’re selling your company’s mission and values
  • Your company culture

According to Holloway, hiring managers generally aim for offer acceptance rates of at least 70%. If your rate is lower, make sure you’re gathering feedback from candidates on their reasons for declining the offer, then use that to improve your recruiting and hiring processes.

3. Analyze your inbound and outbound channels’ success rates

While you should be tracking the source of each of your candidates and hires, this is one area where quality matters over quantity. Look at your existing team and take note of how they came to join the company.

Tracking your most successful sourcing channels will allow you to double down on the methods that work and stop spending time, energy, and money on those that don’t.

4. Monitor for steps that produce candidate churn

Where are candidates dropping out of the application, interviewing, or hiring process? Any step in the process where you see an unusual number of candidates churn will indicate an area for improvement — whether that means faster communication, a more comprehensive Careers page, or simpler application forms.

To discover areas of improvement, look at your conversion rates for every step in the recruiting process. Not sure what your baseline metrics look like? Compare your conversion rates across the recruiting process with data from Jobvite, who include recruiting benchmarks pulled from over 10 million applications on their platform.

5. Make changes as needed, measure, and repeat

Make sure you’re regularly taking time to analyze your metrics and optimize as needed. Don’t change too many variables in your recruiting process or you may not be able to tease apart the impact of each variable. The more scientific you can get with your changes, the better.

Additional resources:

  • While the metrics above are probably the most important in your early days, there are many different recruiting metrics you can measure. To get maximum visibility, set up your ATS or internal tracking system to measure as many of these recruiting metrics from Lever as you can.
  • An ATS like Gem can allow you to see recruiting metrics at a glance or interpret data as needed (such as by team, geography, or role). Their benchmarking function also lets you compare your progress compared to others in your industry.