by Bill Radin
Table of Contents
News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin
Hitting the Magic Numbers
Metrics are used by top-flight recruiting firms to measure performance,
make projections, identify and correct mistakes, and help achieve
production goals. Raw numbers such as daily phone calls, weekly sendouts
and job orders can paint a fairly accurate snapshot of effort and
But to drill deeper into the qualitative nature of recruiting, I've
found ratios to be the most valuable tool. Here are some of the ratios I
use to help identify the efficiencies, strengths and weaknesses in my
1. Sendout-to-placement. On average, how many interviews do you need to
arrange before a placement is made? The industry average is somewhere
between five and ten. My personal average is three. If it takes you only
one or two interviews to make a placement, you've got psychic
powers, and should move to Las Vegas immediately.
2. Pitch-to-sendout. On average, how many times do you need to pitch a
job to your candidates before a person agrees to go on an interview? Very
few recruiters keep tabs on this ratio, so I have no idea what the
industry standard is. I know that in my case, it takes an average of
seven or eight recruiting calls (direct and indirect) to arrange a sendout.
If your pitch-to-sendout ratio is weak, it means one of
three things is happening. Either your presentation script is dull or
poorly constructed; the job you're pitching is unappealing to your
target market; or the requirements of the job are so tightly woven that
they unreasonably limit the universe of qualified candidates.
3. Presentation-to-sendout. On average, how many candidates do you need
to present to the employer before the company agrees to an interview?
Ideally, the ratio should be one-to-one. If you submit resumes for
approval, the ratio might jump to 2-to-1 or 3-to-1. If it's much
higher than that, you risk being perceived as the type of recruiter who
throws resumes at the employer until something sticks.
4. "Hot sheet" closure. This ratio describes the number of deals you
close after the candidate has gone to a second-level interview. If your
placement ratio is strong (say, 50 to 100 percent), it shows you have
good qualifying and closing skills. On the other hand, if your ratio is
weak, it means you're either failing to qualify your candidates and
employers up front, or you're making a habit of snatching defeat from
the jaws of victory.
5. Misery index. This is the percentage of deals that result in
falloffs, turndowns or accepted counteroffers. Many recruiters can live
with a 10 or 15 percent misery index; for me, a 10 percent misery
index is way too high.
Bear in mind that all things are relative; in the end, the only thing that matters
is whether you're getting good results. For example, if you need to
submit 100 resumes in order to arrange an interview, that's not
necessarily a bad thing -- if you can submit 1,000 resumes a day. What's
important is that you track your ratios, listen to what they're telling
you, and use them as a benchmark for making improvements.