Chris Bogh |

Over the years we’ve noticed a marked shift within many companies now managing the majority of their recruitment ‘in-house’. It’s the rise of the ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ – we’re seeing more and more agency consultants moving client-side. I’ve often heard it said from the agency side that ‘recruitment is a numbers game’ - you make enough calls to generate enough new business leads, you call enough candidates to get enough CVs, you get enough candidates through to interviews, you make enough placements. Job done.

This misses the point. Numbers are just numbers, in and of themselves they are largely meaningless. However, if they are collated and analysed overtime they can provide valuable insights to help future decision making. Let’s go back ‘agency-side’, if we take the ‘numbers’ approach we’ll probably start setting targets for recruitment consultants: number of calls made; appointments set; candidates met; CVs sent out etc. So, being able to get at the data that can calculate the targets needed for each step in the recruitment process becomes increasingly important.

Ultimately, many recruiters want to get into the ‘plus one’ at the offer stage - an ‘heir and a spare’ perhaps. To get there they are likely to know how many candidates they need, and the numbers needed with the right skills, experience and qualifications that can provide enough interviewees, and so on.

Set targets for activities and outcomes

So, is it time for the in-house recruitment team to start measuring and monitoring recruiter performance in a similar fashion? To start setting targets for proactive recruitment activities and outcomes?

We’re starting to see more evidence of this. Increasingly in-house teams want the ability to set targets and objectives for themselves, based on accurate analysis of previous jobs for example. Whereas the agency recruiter has targets and KPIs based on activity that drives business development – the acquisition of fee-earning jobs, the motivations for an in-house recruiter are entirely different.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t things we can learn from the agency-side. For example, if you want to track how well your team is engaging passive candidates and your wider talent pool, you’re going to need a way of unifying all those different conversational routes – email, SMS, social as well as the agency recruiter’s best friend….the telephone!

Unfortunately the legacy Applicant Tracking System falls way short in this regards. That’s because ATS’s were originally designed to provide a way to track applicants through the recruiting process (the clue is in the name!). The modern in-house recruiter is becoming far more adept at pro-active recruitment and wants to measure performance metrics like:


Tell us how YOU measure recruitment

So, how are you measuring your pro-active recruitment? What does success look like to you? We’d really like to find out, so we’ve set up a simple survey where you can tell us all about the ways you measure your recruiting function. We’ll send a copy of the research to everyone who completes it.

Take the survey here:

  • No. of passive candidates engaged – how many conversations with passive candidates resulted in an application?
  • Email conversions – how many emails to passive candidates resulted in a conversation?


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