For almost any business these days, data is king. And the same is true for recruitment agencies. Every agency, large or small, has a treasure trove of valuable information that can help you improve performance and beat the competition – you just need to know what to look for. 

Recruitment agencies are about recruitment, not data. That’s true. But while ours has always been a ‘people business’, it’s also true that there’s a lot of data available that many agencies just don’t harness. And it could not only make all the difference to their performance, but also help attract new clients.

Many agencies simply look at gross margin and client satisfaction as indicators of business performance – but there are many other metrics that can tell you so much more about your business. Here are the top five you should be monitoring.

Candidate Satisfaction

There’s been a great deal of focus within the industry in recent years on the ‘candidate experience’. But how many agencies are actually measuring it? The majority of recruiters will tell you the candidate experience they provide is good or excellent, yet a recent CareerBuilders study found only 47% of candidates felt communication was consistent throughout their hiring process. The latest CRM systems make it easier than ever to track candidate engagement and satisfaction, and even let you proactively make changes to your process to improve it.


The number of days a job remains available and unfilled is a good measure of any recruiter’s speed and efficiency, and poor rates may indicate operational inefficiencies that are costing your agency money. Measuring time-to-fill can also be very useful in setting accurate expectations about the timeframe for a placement with clients – who often cite poor communication with agencies as a bugbear r– and so help them see you as more open, transparent and reliable. Plus it’s information that can help you with budget planning and resource allocation.

Source of hire

Monitoring your most common sources of hire is one of the best insights to help you work more efficiently. Once you know where candidates are coming from, you can focus your efforts, such as your marketing and advertising spend, more accurately to reduce costs. It also helps you make more informed decisions on which recruitment programs and tools you should invest in.

Quality of hire

It may seem obvious, but quality of hire – placing the right candidate in the right position – is the key to true recruitment success. That’s why it’s one of the most important metrics for hiring managers, and why monitoring it can give you a real advantage when talking to clients. Measuring quality of hire revolves around three elements: retention (the length of time new hires stay with a company); time-to-fill (how long it took to fill the post); and hiring satisfaction (how satisfied the hiring manager is).

Cost per hire

Measuring this is as important to your business as it is to your client’s. By totalling up the amount you spend on every placement, you can measure the cost effectiveness and efficiency of your recruitment process. It’s not just the total figure that’s important though; as it brings together many of your basic metrics, ratios can be equally important – such as the number of interviews to the number of placements – that can help you use the data to identify areas where you can improve and increase your productivity.

As you can see, making the most of your data can give you a valuable insight into how well your agency is working. And if you’re not using your data, you really are missing an opportunity to get ahead of your competition.

Need help?

At Back Office we’re specialists in recruitment agency support. And while that might not seem to have much to do with looking at your metrics, what we do is take care of things like payroll, invoicing and admin, giving you the time to analyse your data and use it to help your business grow.

We also have wide-ranging experience in working with recruitment agencies of all sizes, so can advise and help you find the best way to measure whatever data you need.

If you’d like to talk to our team about any aspect of metrics and data measurement – or how we can help your agency run more efficiently – just call us on 01260 280 290 or email.