6 Essential Tech Recruitment Metrics and How to Use Them

We’ve selected 6 essential tech recruiting metrics. For each metric we’ll answer these questions:

  1. How can I calculate this metric?
  2. Why is it important to track this metric?
  3. How can I improve my results in this area?

Top 6 recruitment reporting metrics to monitor

  1. Application completion rate
    How successful is your application process?
  2. Source of hire
    Which of your hiring sources are most effective?
  3. Interviews per hire
    How many candidates, on average, do you need to interview before hiring “the one”?
  4. Time to fill
    How long does it take you to fill a vacant position?
  5. Quality of hire
    What value do hires bring to your company?
  6. Cost per hire
    How much does it cost you, on average, to find one employee?

Application completion rate

How to use it?

Your Application Completion Rate measures how successful your application system is. It’s simple. You need to know how many candidates complete your entire application process, and how many give up part way through. If 200 developers show interest in your job offering, and you only get 6 applications, something is seriously wrong!

The formula

100 x number of applications completed / Number of applications started

Why is it important?

Close to 75% of professional developers are under the age of 35 (according to Stack Overflow) and are part of the “Impatient Generation”. If they don’t like something about your application process or if it takes too long to access or fill out, they’ll leave, and you’ll miss out.

They may also tell their friends (developers are a tight network!) that your application process is poor, affecting your image as an employer and as a company (developers won’t take kindly to technical problems especially!).

Tips to improve your application completion rate

  • Review your application process for length. A CareerBuilder survey revealed that 1 in 5 candidates are unwilling to complete an application if it takes more than 20 minutes, and 60% of candidates say they’ve already left a recruitment process because it was too slow.
  • Make sure your pages load quickly. If a page doesn’t load in a few seconds, most applicants will just move on to a site that works more efficiently.
  • Limit the number of repetitious or irrelevant data fields. Many applicants get annoyed and leave if they are required to fill in information that is already on their submitted resume.

Source of hire

How to use it?

Measuring the effectiveness of each recruiting source will provide you with a good deal of information. You can determine where the greatest quantity and/or highest quality of candidates are coming from using your ATS, CRM, and Google Analytics (you can also make the most of the CodinGame Assessment “tags” feature).

The formula

For quantity:

  1. Determine how many candidates were generated from a particular sourcing channel
    during a given time.
  2. Compare the numbers from all sourcing channels to determine which source produces the most candidates.

For quality:

Determine the percentage of hires each source generates and compare over a selected time frame.

(100 x Number of hires from a particular source) / Number of candidates from a particular source

Why is it important?

Tracking the different sources your developers are coming from will help you use your hiring resources more effectively. You can focus on channels that produce the most (or best quality) candidates and spend more of your budget there.

Tips to develop your recruiting sources

  • Improve your web presence; put video on your company’s social media and career pages, showing an attractive company culture. You can be sure candidates will take a look at your company before they go to your application page.
  • Organize a coding game or contest with a company such as CodinGame and use a customized coding challenge to discover talent matched to your needs.
  • Offer employee referral bonuses. Statistics prove that more hires come from referrals than any other source, with these hires producing better quality work as well.

Interviews per hire

How to use it?

Put your recruitment methods and screening process to the test. This metric is based on how many candidates you need to interview before hiring. 

By calculating an average per position (for a front-end developer, for example), per team (the user experience team, the DevOps team, the Data Science team), and/or per department (the technical department), you give yourself a reference to work from. 

Say your average is 14 interviews per position over a set period (6 months, 12 months, depending on your recruitment pace); you know that your aim is to lower that average.

The formula

Number of candidates interviewed over set time frame / # of job positions that resulted in a hire over set time frame

Why is it important?

Interviewing takes a lot of time and staff resources.

Many companies conduct panel interviews – taking a whole group of people off task for hours. If you’re having to interview a whole bunch of candidates before finding the one, a number of things could be wrong.

Take a good look at your screening actions: are you losing time interviewing developers that you could have filtered out with a better process?
Take a look at your recruitment marketing actions: are you losing time and money by attracting the wrong candidate persona? What about your job descriptions?
Is there a mismatch between your job posting and your interview talk, leaving candidates frustrated after an interview?
What about your interview skills?

Tips to improve your interviews per hire rate

  • Be very clear on your advertised job description and expectations – be specific about the education required (or not required – lots of coders are self-taught!), the job responsibilities, the benefits and perks, the technologies and frameworks needed, etc. 
  • Consider including salary range along with benefits in your job posting. According to Stack Overflow the top priority for most developers seeking a job is salary and benefits. Why bring them in for an interview only to have them say “I’m not working for that! (amount of money)”?
  • Update your careers page so potential candidates have a clear idea of your working climate and conditions (and are excited about the possibility of working for you!).
  • Prepare your interviews with your tech team. According to our recent tech hiring survey, “Irrelevant interview questions and exercises” and “HR professionals who don’t understand tech” are what developers say annoy them most about the recruitment process – so much so that they’d give up and choose another company.

Time to hire or time to fill

How to use it?

Time to Hire (also called Time to Fill) is considered one of the most important recruiting metrics to follow. Measuring the amount of time from job posting (or devising the job description) to new hire provides a snapshot of the efficiency of your recruiting program. Calculate an average to track your progression.

The formula

Number of days from the time the job position was approved until the day your new developer was hired

Why is it important?

You snooze, you lose! Extended Time to Hire can cost you money in lost productivity, overtime for those covering for the empty position, and – probably the worst case scenario – the most qualified candidates. CEB (formerly Corporate Executive Board) estimates the average cost of a tech position vacancy at $500 per day – you can’t afford to dawdle. 

Tips to improve your time to hire average

  • Lean on technology to streamline your recruiting process with, for example, an ATS, or a tech-specific platform like CodinGame. 
  • Candidate rediscovery. Pull earlier applications “out of the drawer” (ok, your computer files!); nurture your talent pool.
  • According to the TRC, referrals are the fastest way to fill a position (Average Time to Hire for referrals: 29 days, job boards: 39 days; career sites: 55 days).
  • Lean on live remote coding interviews to accelerate your process.

Quality of hire

How to use it?

Assess how much value an employee brings to your enterprise.

We all know that some developers work harder, faster, or are easier to get along with than others. Also, some are rude and arrogant but are absolute geniuses at what they do. Quality of Hire is a way to evaluate employee performance on the job, based on specific categories determined by management. You can cross this information with your Source of Hire metrics to see where the best-performing developers came to you from. 

The formula

Category A score* + Category B score + Category C score + Category D score / Number of categories*

*Score out of 100, for example
*You may have any number of categories: coding problem-solving efficiency, Number of tickets completed, cultural fit, job performance, communication skills, learning skills, etc.

Why is it important?

Improving your Quality of Hire means more productivity for your company. According to ERE, top-performing employees can do 4x the work of average employees. Some believe in the 10x developer – although many debate whether it’s just a myth! Besides, a poor hire means doing it all over again sooner than later, costing you time and money.

Tips to improve your Quality of hire score

  • Install an efficient and reliable screening process. You can lean on online technical tests to evaluate developers’ skills. Favor real-life, practical exercises that will give you a clear idea of a candidate’s thought process and tech know-how. CodinGame helps you shortlist the most talented programmers at a glance. 
  • Provide opportunities for professional and personal development. Show your team you care by offering training opportunities and organizing tech-friendly activities (an internal game-based hackathon would go down a treat!).
  • Offer perks such as working remotely one or more days a week (not only a strong draw to the under-35 job-seeker, but it also does wonders for company morale and work climate).

Cost per hire

How to use it?

The Cost per Hire metric helps you determine how much money, on average, is being spent to find one employee. It takes all recruiting costs into account: advertising, interview, job fair expenditures, software, etc. 

The formula

Total internal costs + total external costs / total # of hires

Why is it important?

You may be surprised by how much you’re spending. If you break it down further, by Source of Hire, for example, you can learn which sources are most cost-effective and streamline your recruiting budget to get the most bang for your buck.

Tips to improve your cost per hire

Many tips from the earlier metrics discussed apply here as well:

  • Up your efficiency with recruiting technology. Tech recruitment tools such as CodinGame’s platform for technical assessment allow you to only take candidates who meet your technical requirements forward to the interview stage. Time spent on candidates who will not ultimately cross the finish line is minimized. 
  • Tech events are a gold mine for businesses looking for their next tech hire. Make sure a good spattering of your executives and employees attend so they can network and organically meet potential candidates.
  • Spread the interview load. Employees feel valued being asked to be a part of the recruitment process, and the prospective new team member will get a much more authentic feel for their new tech team.
  • Reach out to clubs and organizations. Get involved in groups your target hires might be a part of. For example, 24% of programmers love board games, according to Ray Wenderlich’s survey. Simply sending out a questionnaire to your current tech team asking about what outside-of-work organizations they’re a part of could return a lead.
  • Look into how you can make the most of social media. Especially as, in our CodinGame tech hiring survey, 74% of respondents said they turn to LinkedIn to look for job opportunities and 41.2% said LinkedIn is the best way for recruiters to contact them.

Following these 6 tech recruiting metrics is essential for an effective recruiting process. Hopefully, your analysis will give you some ideas on how you can improve your candidate search to find higher-quality candidates at a lower cost. Never stop learning!


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Nathalie Figuière

Nathalie is Content Manager at CodinGame. When she's not busy creating quality #techrecruitment content, chances are she’s watching Friends or snuggling her little grey cat, Moon.