Setting goals is an important aspect of any position. When it comes to Human Resources, your goals often are a numbers game. As a hiring manager, you need to know the metrics of your company. This helps you lead a more effective search for the best candidates, and also improve your recruitment methods.

What numbers matter most when navigating the hiring process? This guide will break them down so you can keep track of your own personal success. Here are the numbers and averages you need to know as a HR manager.


This is the number that usually matters most to companies. The time-to-fill metric measures how long it takes to fill a position. The time starts on the day the seat becomes open, and it ends as soon as your new hire accepts the job.

Having a smaller time-to-fill not only prevents gaps in workload, but it means a lower cost of hire. More specialized fields generally have a longer time-to-fill, while low-level service industries are faster to fill. For example, according to SHRM, a government position takes on average 51 days to fill while a retail position takes an average of 29 days. Learning your own company’s time-to-fill will show you how your current strategy measures up against others in your industry.

Cost of Hire

Hiring new candidates takes both time and money. Time-to-fill is a metric that quantifies the time, while the cost of hire calculates the total money spent on hiring a new employee. Making the hiring process simpler will help cut costs, but it’s important to recruit quality candidates.

There are different things that contribute to the total cost of hire. The most important things to include in your calculation are the costs associated with posting on job boards, cost of reviewing applicants, pre-screening candidates, preparing for the interview, conducting interviews, and finalizing the hiring process.

Unemployment rates for top talent are at an all-time low. That means competition is high, and businesses are pulling out all the stops to bring in the best candidates. While you want to reduce the total cost of hire, you don’t want to accidentally overlook things that would lead you to bring in a bad hire that will either be let go or leave voluntarily within a few months. While there is a lot of pressure to get empty seats filled quickly, you shouldn’t compromise when it comes to hiring the right candidate. The cost of a bad hire always outweighs the cost of a good hire.

A human capital management (HCM) solution that includes talent acquisition can help reduce both the time and cost to hire. Talent acquisition solutions that include background screening and pre-assessment capabilities save time and help to weed out candidates that don’t meet the job requirements or possess the characteristics you identify as important to your company culture. This can help prevent you from making a bad hire that has to be replaced down the road.

Source Tracking

Finding the right candidates is only one side of the story. You also need to know how they found you. Source tracking is when you keep an accurate account of where your applicants are coming from. If you’re using several job boards, this can become increasingly confusing.

Knowing that you received the best candidates from LinkedIn rather than Indeed can affect your hiring strategy in the future. Your application can easily include a question about where applicants learned about the job opportunity. There’s truly a job board for every industry, and these can get downright overwhelming.There are hospital boards as you can see here and there are tech boards like this one, and it’s easy to lose track of where your best candidates are coming from. As a hiring manager, it’s your job to learn from these sources to see which ones are worth your company’s time.

Numbers Are Important Too

Human resources is about building strong company relationships and sourcing the best candidates, but it’s also about numbers. By knowing the metrics above, you can strengthen your hiring strategy to find more good hires and stop wasting time on poor candidates.

Do you have a system for calculating your time and money spent during the hiring process? If no, it’s not too late to build one of your own. As you can see from the stats and info above, knowing your employee metrics is important for maintaining a strong team and attracting the best candidates. Every company will need to work extra hard today to attract the best candidates quickly. Are you up for the challenge?

Contributed by Wendy Dressler, Outreach Manager for The Blog Frog