Measuring recruiting success: KPI #1

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2 mins, 24 secs read time

Lauren Ryan is the Director of Talent Acquisition at Greenhouse. She leads recruiting strategy, tracks the company’s recruiting KPIs, and oversees process improvements. She’s thrilled that she’s found a company that’s as passionate about the intersection of people and data as she is!

Note: This is the second post in a series about the 5 key performance indicators (KPIs) we use at Greenhouse to measure our recruiting team’s success. Did you miss the first post last week? You can find it here.

Our friends in sales and marketing think about the journey from a prospect to a customer as a funnel, and we’ve found it useful to consider the candidate’s journey in a similar way. We know that our ultimate goal is making great hires, so we simply need to work backwards and understand what needs to happen at each stage of the funnel to achieve this end goal.

If you’re not familiar with this type of funnel, it starts widely at the top and narrows down as people move through each stage. We included a few images in last week’s post, which may help you visual learners out there!

In this post, we’ll look at the KPI we feel best represents the top of the recruiting funnel.

Read on to learn about our first key performance indicator and how you can calculate it at your organization.

KPI #1: Qualified candidates per opening

Recruiting’s version of marketing’s Marketing Qualified Lead or sales’ Qualified Lead is a “Qualified Candidate (QC).” This means that during the application review these candidates have reached the first milestone of your interview process. Using Greenhouse, this means that candidates have reached your first interview (likely a recruiter phone screen). It is a leading indicator that the interview funnel is filling up with potential hires. We measure this by counting the number of candidates who make it out of application review and to the second milestone in our interview process: a phone call with a recruiter.

For more detail, slice this by source to understand which sources are providing the most qualified candidates. We would recommend doing some basic analysis on how many QCs are typically required per hire so that you can set QC goals for your team. How you track towards your QC goals then acts as a leading indicator for whether a role is on track for timely hiring, or if you should reallocate resources to actively source candidates.


At Greenhouse, we look for 15-20 QCs per open role, depending on how unique the candidate profile is.

Move on to our 2nd recruiting KPI

You can get all five of them in one handy format when you download our new ebook, "The 5 Recruiting Key Performance Indicators."