In the Fight for Top Talent, Data Matters: Data Considerations to Make Before Hiring

Written by Dan Davenport  •  Recruitment  •  23 February 2023

Everyone is talking about data these days. Whether trying to distill data into easily digestible charts and graphs or leveraging it to make data-informed decisions, every organization is investigating how to make the most of their seemingly vast data. While we often think of data to prove marketing return on investment (ROI) or to help us understand impact in other areas of the business, data can be a game changer in the recruiting department, too.

Are you using data to inform your recruiting and hiring decisions or making a best guess on which candidates will best suit your needs? If it’s the latter, you might miss opportunities to improve your overall recruiting efforts, including:

  • Increased cost savings
  • A more diverse team
  • Higher-quality talent

And so much more. You already know data matters, but let’s explore why, how it can help you make better recruiting decisions, and how you can use Resource Solutions’ RSIntelligence platform to view, analyze, and put that data to good use.

What are recruiting metrics?

Nearly every job uses metrics to help define successes and provide insights into where we can improve. The same goes for recruiting metrics. Often called hiring or staffing metrics, recruiting metrics are simply a set of data points recruiters use to track, manage, and optimize their recruiting processes. Most recruiters use the below metrics to evaluate their hiring processes:

  • Applicants per opening/role
  • Attrition rate
  • Cost per hire
  • Diversity metrics
  • Job offer acceptance rate
  • Quality of hire
  • Rate of new hire turnover
  • Sourcing channel effectiveness

Using recruiting metrics helps your team evaluate and iterate on your existing processes and strategies to optimize them based on your goals. But you can take it a step further and use all your metrics together to ensure you have a hiring process that is fair, inclusive, and diverse.

Why do recruiting metrics matter?

You have specific targets, including driving ROI and making the right hiring decisions. Are half of all your new hires quitting within three months from their start dates? Are your hiring decisions leading to improved ROI? 

Without data—and metrics—answering these questions is next to impossible. But your recruiting metrics tell that story and give you the insights you need to make intelligent decisions. They can also give you a clear picture of the lifetime value of each candidate you hire, proving ROI.

There are dozens of reasons to leverage your recruiting metrics, but below are a few of the most common.

Allocate your budget

Once you use data to inform your hiring decisions and consistently review your recruiting metrics, you can better allocate your budget.

You can look at the source of hire (RPO, a third-party job site, LinkedIn, to name a few) to understand which channels bring in the most qualified candidates compared to where you spend the most money advertising jobs. If LinkedIn receives the most applications, but only 2% are qualified, you can use that data to shift your budget to an RPO that brings in a higher rate of qualified candidates.

Ensure diversity

Are you unknowingly discriminating against protected groups of people or making it harder for them to apply for your roles? Metrics allow you to dive into the data and explore candidate demographics and backgrounds, which gives a clear picture of whether you’re hiring diverse talent. 

If you’re not happy with your metrics, you can use them as a basis for auditing your site or processes. Your audit will reveal if you’re encouraging all qualified candidates to apply and if your site, applications, and recruiting efforts reflect that.

Improve your processes

The whole point of recruiting metrics is to improve and optimize your process. The insights you glean can be the jumping-off point for making changes. If your metrics reveal your time to hire is three times slower than it should be, you can research why and better optimize your strategy to hire faster (without sacrificing the quality of candidates).

Hire more qualified candidates

Did you know that reviewing your data can help improve the quality of your next hire? By analyzing the similarities between your top employees, you can understand what to consider for future hires. Did you source them through an RPO? Do they come from a specific educational background? There are many variables to consider. But if you take the time to dive into the data, it could pay off in the long run with better candidates.

Forecast hiring needs

Identifying patterns and trends can help you forecast future hiring needs. If employees typically leave your company during a specific quarter; the company has hiring freezes every season; or you see a spike in open roles throughout the year, you can make informed predictions about hiring needs and the costs associated with filling openings.

Forecasting can help you plan a budget and prepare your teams for a busy season or a lull. If you expect a hiring surge in Q3, you can use data to ask for more budget from the C-suite to ensure you meet all the organization’s hiring needs.

Recruiting metrics to track

With data available for every part of the recruiting process, the candidates, and the impact of your efforts, many recruiters get overwhelmed trying to identify metrics to track. While each organization is different and values some metrics over others, we suggest looking at:

  • Applicants per opening/role
  • Attrition rate
  • Cost per hire
  • Diversity metrics
  • Job offer acceptance rate
  • Quality of hire
  • Rate of new hire turnover
  • Sourcing channel effectiveness

Applicants per opening

Recruiters use this metric to understand the demand for the role. But you need to go beyond the surface-level numbers because a high number of applicants isn't indicative of qualified applicants. And what about people who abandoned the application process?

The applicants per role metric could let you know many people are interested in the role, but it could also show that your requirements lack specificity. If hundreds of candidates apply, but only a few are qualified, consider reworking the job requirements to be specific, clear, and highly relevant.

Not getting enough applications? Look back at where you sourced your top hires and the channels that bring in high numbers of qualified candidates—consistently.

Attrition rate

Your attrition rate shows you the rate you lose employees over a specified period. This matters for several reasons, but mostly because replacing talent is expensive. Recruiting and hiring costs, time, and resources required for onboarding all add up—especially when you have to replace employees frequently.

The insights from your attrition rate can also reveal issues with your job descriptions or how you communicate expectations. Are hiring managers being fully transparent? Does the job posting reflect realistic day-to-day duties? If there's a misalignment between candidate expectations and the reality of the job, your attrition rate will probably spike.

Cost per hire

Simply put, cost per hire is what you spend on recruiting divided by the number of hires you've made. Typically, we measure this annually. When analyzing cost per hire, you want to understand cost beyond just salaries. They could include:

  • Background checks
  • Administrative costs
  • Sourcing costs
  • Onboarding or training and development
  • Travel expenses
  • Marketing and advertising costs

Once you know your cost per hire, you can work on ways to lower it and look into why it's as high (or low) as it is.

Diversity metrics

There's no one metric to determine if you're hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce, but that's no excuse to neglect creating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. 

Once you've set goals and established the metrics to reflect success or failure in this area, monitor your data to ensure you're not only compliant with diversity laws, but doing your best to hire diverse talent.

Job offer acceptance rate

Your job offer acceptance rate reflects the number of candidates who receive offers that accept their offers. If your percentage is low, it could signal issues in your strategy or process. It could also lead to vacancies taking longer to fill, increasing costs. 

To increase your offer acceptance rate, you can do a few things:

  1. Match expectations from the job description or interviews to the offer letter. If you discuss the role as remote but the offer letter prescribes a hybrid schedule, candidates may walk.

  2. Design more competitive offers by researching industry salaries and benefits. If you pay 20% less than the industry standard or your benefits are lackluster compared to competitors, candidates may not be interested anymore.

  3. Create an exceptional candidate experience. Candidates want to know what it's like to work with you, and if you or the hiring manager make them feel uneasy or create a bad experience, you risk losing the candidate.

  4. Gauge interest early to ensure you understand their reservations and see if they're looking for any job or if they want this job. Addressing concerns early on can reignite their excitement, but, if unchecked, it could cost you a new hire come offer time.

Quality of hire

You want to hire top-tier talent, but how do you measure the quality of your hires? Your quality of hire metric attempts to do so by quantifying the value a new hire brings to your organization. You can do this by:

  1. Looking at hiring manager satisfaction
  2. Analyzing retention rates
  3. Reviewing performance ratings

It may be hard to measure, but the quality of the candidates you hire is paramount, so don't ignore these metrics. The above is just a starting point—if you have other ways to measure the quality of your new hires, review those metrics, too!

Rate of new hire turnover

Hiring top talent is only half the battle. Keeping them is the other half. The new hire turnover rate explores the number of employees who leave your organization shortly after hire. Using this data, you can understand if a specific hiring manager is the issue, whether you're communicating responsibilities, and more. 

If you have a high turnover rate, you can do a few things to remedy it. Make sure the new hire understands what's expected of them at the individual and team level, salaries, how promotions work, and any other vital information upfront. Minimize misalignment after hiring them (potentially lowering the turnover rate).

You should also create a culture that fosters connection and ensures your new hires feel set up for success. Welcome emails, mentor pairing, training, and team introductions are a good start.

Sourcing channel effectiveness

Do you know which channels bring in the most qualified candidates? Sourcing channel effectiveness can answer that question by measuring the number of candidates each recruitment channel brings in (plus the conversion rate). 

This metric can help you decide where to allocate budget and explore why one channel performs better than another. And if you discover that LinkedIn, for example, doesn't perform as well as other channels, you can decide whether you want to keep investing in that platform down the road.

Meet RSIntelligence

You know you need to leverage data to make informed decisions that can optimize your recruiting efforts, strategy, and processes. But how do you go about gathering that data, let alone distilling it? Resource Solutions can help.

Our on-demand, cloud-based talent intelligence solution—RSIntelligence—helps recruiting teams like yours make data-informed hiring decisions. Market intelligence reports provide information that aids decision-making and improves market understanding by delivering intelligence through:

  1. Heatmaps
  2. Location intelligence and trends
  3. Market development analysis reports
  4. Salary benchmarking
  5. Early career data

Why RSIntelligence?

RSIntelligence gives you all the data and insights you need to make smarter hiring decisions, from benchmarking to artificial intelligence (AI) analysis and everything in between.

Expert analysis

With RSIntelligence, you have access to our MI team of expert analysts to consult with and help you interpret data and trends you see within the platform.


We present data in an easily understandable format, so you can see what's above and below the average salary and determine if your metrics are positive or negative compared to the market.

Centralized data

Instead of navigating multiple platforms or trying to bring together siloed data, RSIntelligence lets you access centralized market intelligence in a single platform.

Artificial intelligence

RSIntelligence generates AI-generated analyses for each role, analyzing every heatmap to transform raw data into actionable recommendations.


Our platform is fully self-service, so you can access your data wherever and whenever you need it (across all devices). It runs 24/7, so you can rest easy knowing you're getting the most up-to-date data.

Cost savings

Remember the cost-per-hire metric we referenced earlier? With RSIntelligence, you can get accurate salary data and location analysis, including market averages, to reduce the cost per hire.

Data-led decisions

Data and data visualization provide a clear picture of the market so you can get clarity for your workforce planning.

Increased diversity

Our gender and racial diversity data points and benchmarks allow you to source more diverse talent.

Get access to powerful data

RSIntelligence gives you the insights you need by collecting data and offering a comprehensive view of the market, which includes information from:

  • RSheatmaps 
  • RSmarketview 
  • RSreports 
  • RSpaypulse 
  • RSgradview 


RSheatmaps provide a visual of talent supply and demand for specific roles, skill sets, and locations. We source data from over 700 million candidate profiles and benchmark it against national averages to determine how to approach sourcing. 

Dashboards contain key data sets, including candidate supply, employer demand, location hot spots, average rates/salaries, attrition rates, growth rates, emerging skills, gender ratios, and average tenure. RSIntelligence presents it in a simple format to gauge what the market looks like and to provide clients with the best possible tool to comprehend the market when sourcing candidates.


RSmarketview provides location intelligence and macro trends, including an overview of particular locations’ labor market and recruitment culture. These high-level reports cover hiring trends, considerations, and candidate motivations/perspectives that can vary from location and culture. 

It includes cultural nuances and figures to contextualize each market, including:

  • Unemployment rates
  • LinkedIn penetration rates
  • Diversity ratios
  • Sector sizes
  • Demographic information 

This information helps guide recruiters and hiring managers when hiring into new or existing locations by providing clear demographic benchmarks.


RSreports offer a written analysis of market developments, spanning sector trends, diversity, competitors, legislation, early careers, demographics, employee motives, and the future of work forecasting. 

They help clients understand and contextualize the market while reducing the risks involved with sourcing talent and gaining a competitive edge via trend analysis.


RSpaypulse enables salary benchmarking by providing on-demand access to pay and salary benchmarks from some of the largest financial services RPO. It aggregates over 40,000 rows of internal group and external market data to provide accurate data that your hiring community can trust. 

It maps data to job taxonomy (built to ISCO standards) and is searchable by job and skill class. It analyzes your population and identifies outliers and trends to make actionable recommendations.


RSgradview provides early career data by analyzing historic graduate hiring and intake trends (looking at universities as sources of talent). Metrics such as quality and cost of hire, alignment, market ROI, and offer renege all provide actionable insights for early career recruitment. 

RSIntelligence analyzes outliers and trends to make specific recommendations based on the data available to optimize your graduate hiring strategy. They also plug in and analyze external data with client data, including department ranking, student satisfaction, performance, and graduate prospects.

Ready to put your data to use?

Whether you’ve been trying to put the data puzzle pieces together for years, or you’re just starting to use data to inform your hiring decisions, Resource Solutions’ on-demand, cloud-based talent intelligence solution can supercharge your efforts.

RSIntelligence analyzes data to offer insights into everything from location-specific salaries and diversity metrics to market developments and early career trends. We bring everything together in a single platform to make recruiting and hiring more informed than ever before.

Are you ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more about RSIntelligence and how you can leverage the power of data to make data-led decisions and meet your organization’s unique hiring needs.

Ready to build, re-shape and optimise your workforce for better talent acquisition?

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