Recruiting Strategies #7: Metrics in Recruiting

When it comes to recruiting, Cost per Hire, Time to Fill, Cost per Applicant, Cost per Click, and conversion ratios are all critical metrics to track.

Tracking data when recruiting is essential to being successful. When deciding what metrics to follow it is helpful to look at your market and decide what data seems most important, where you are struggling, and how much you are spending.

Across the board, it is always helpful information to track Time to Fill. Most of our clients are constantly recruiting and have jobs for their technicians open at all times. Therefore, it can be a complex metric to track accurately; it helps to have an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) because the system sometimes will track candidates for you. Nationwide, the overall Time to Fill any job is 42 days. At Work With Your Handz we find average Time to Fill times are heavily dependent on your geographic area and position available. Our average Time to Fill—for all jobs, in all geographic areas—is 24 days. It varies drastically depending on position and region, however. Filling a Controller position in Dallas took 23 days, but an HVAC Trainer in Raleigh took 63, so it depends heavily on those variables. It might seem counterintuitive that a Customer Service Representative would be harder to find than a Plumber, but that is sometimes the case depending on the market. Tracking this information can help you be successful and set expectations for what you might want to spend and when you should open the job. For instance, if you are looking for HVAC Installers and Service Technicians you probably (don’t kid yourself, you definitely need to) need to start looking for those people many months before the season. If your ATS doesn’t track Time to Fill, or if you do not use an ATS, you can calculate Time to Fill “by adding all Time to Fill measurements for each position you filled in a given period (e.g. a year) and then divide by the number of roles. For example, if you hired for three roles with 20, 30, and 40 days’ Time to Fill respectively, then your average Time to Fill is 20+30+40/3 = 30 days. This calculation should refer to the same time period. If you have positions that are always open (e.g. for junior salespeople), don’t include them in your Time to Fill calculations. This is because these positions would greatly inflate your average Time to Fill without reflecting the efficiency of your hiring process.

Cost per Hire is also an essential metric to monitor. Like Time to Fill, Cost per Hire is heavily dependent upon the position and the geographic area. If you use a job board like Indeed, they will sometimes track it for you. Other recruiting marketing strategies such as social media, commercials, radio spots, referrals, job fairs, or a hiring banner on your building or trucks are harder to measure. Overall, it can be much harder to measure this statistic accurately. However, it takes all these efforts to get qualified applicants in today’s market for the right price. While it is hard to measure Time to Fill, it is not impossible. To track Time to Fill you’ll need to put in some effort and ask a candidate where they heard about the job and put it in a database or spreadsheet. Like any marketing efforts you want to track this, so you don’t spend money where it is not working.

At Work With Your Handz we find that we need to be everywhere all the time. We do not see one solution working for everything; we have all the above mentioned methods working continuously. In addition, we run Facebook campaigns; we rely on SEO optimization and banner ads on streaming services. A recent study found that the average Cost per Hire is $4,425 (see below for reference). We find this statistic to be somewhat useful but the true costs for finding qualified skilled trades talent is much higher in certain areas of the country.

The Cost per Applicant and Cost per Click metrics are fascinating when monitoring your overall budget. How many applicants do you pay for that are not qualified or do not live in your area? If you are spending a tremendous amount and not getting the qualified applicants you need, it is time to reassess if the juice is worth the squeeze, i.e., are your dollars spent worth the applicants you are getting. As we have been monitoring this over the years, we have seen that the cost for a qualified applicant has gone up tremendously. But, again, it depends heavily on location and position. For example, what we pay in the northwest part of the country is 2x at minimum (sometimes closer to 4x) what we would pay in the northeast region for a qualified applicant. This is predominantly due to the lack of skilled trades talent in the northwest as well as licensing requirements.

Conversation Ratios can tell you if your job ad is too long or too short; perhaps your application process is convoluted? If you use a job board they will sometimes share this information. Along with time to apply, it can tell you if there is a hiccup in the process that is causing candidates to drop off.

Some interesting statistics from a Jan 5, 2022 article from Zippia:

  • The average Cost per Hire is $4,425 (non Executives).
  • It takes 36 to 42 days to fill an average position in the United States.
  • 15% of Human Resources expenses are allocated towards recruitment efforts.
  • It costs up to 40% of an employee’s base salary to hire a new employee with benefits.
  • 63% of hiring managers and talent acquisition specialists report that AI has positively changed how recruiting is handled at their company.
  • It takes, on average, 12 weeks for a new hire to become fully productive at work.

Keep in mind that those numbers are based on nationwide hiring across all industries and levels of positions and that the data might be much different for your company and geographic region.

These are just a few of the metrics to track when recruiting. The team at Work With Your Handz loves data, and we are a data driven company in everything we do. We couldn’t do our job well if we didn’t keep up with these metrics. It takes constant monitoring and in-depth analysis to make sure our recruitment efforts are strategic and successful.

Recruiting Strategies #7: Metrics in Recruiting


Kelly Rowlett Presgrave


Skilled Recruitment for Skilled Trades

We get to know your business, culture and needs. Work With Your Handz can help your team free up their time by providing interviews with only the most qualified candidates.