talent December 20, 2019

Six Tech Recruiting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) You Need to Measure

Demand for IT expertise is skyrocketing. For financial institutions, insurance agencies, law firms, healthcare companies, and even retail businesses, technology is no longer a cost center; cloud computing deployments, collaboration tools, and mobile device integration now drive long-term ROI.
Avatar for Medi Madelen Gwosdz
Content Strategist - Former

Demand for IT expertise is skyrocketing. For financial institutions, insurance agencies, law firms, healthcare companies, and even retail businesses, technology is no longer a cost center; cloud computing deployments, collaboration tools, and mobile device integration now drive long-term ROI.

The result? As noted by the Wall Street Journal, more than 900,000 unfilled IT jobs across the U.S. in the past three months alone. Even with companies training up “new collar” talent inside their organizations and IT-focused bootcamps and other programs popping up to fast-track specialist supply, the skills gap continues to widen.

For businesses looking to recruit top tech talent, traditional hiring practices won’t get the job done — you need hard numbers to understand where your ads are working, and where they’re missing the mark. Here are six tech recruiting key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to measure.

Interviews per Hire

You’ve landed the candidate you want — but how many interviews did it take? While it may seem odd to track this measurement after positions have been filled, measuring the number of interviews per hire can help identify potential bottlenecks in your application process.

For example, large interview numbers that didn’t result in candidates advancing to the next stage may suggest a disconnect between the role described in your recruiting advertisement and the job you need to fill. Review your job description for accuracy and clarity.

Finally, if you have large interview numbers and great candidates but keep getting turned down, your compensation may not be in line with industry expectations. Consider: Top roles in the US now command average salaries of more than $100,000. If the time between interviews and offers letters is too long, you might be losing candidates to the competition here. 

Ratio of Views to Applications

The number of applicants viewing your ad isn’t the same as the number who complete the application process. Knowing the depth of this disconnect is critical to understand if your recruitment efforts are hitting the mark or missing the boat.

For example, if you have hundreds of views and only five job applications for a highly technical developer role — but all five meet your expectations — your ad is specific enough to attract the right talent. If both view and applications are down, however, you may need to re-evaluate current listings. Start with in-house talent; ask for honest feedback about the length and clarity of job postings and then adjust applications accordingly.

Required Seniority Levels

Seniority matters in IT. Professionals with more experience come with advanced certifications, on the job expertise and differing expectations for employment. As a result, it’s critical to separate advertised roles for junior and senior positions, even if job descriptions are virtually identical. 

Doing so increases the accuracy of your KPIs because senior technology pros are often satisfied with current positions and need highly-targeted, engagement-driven ads to pique their interest. Junior IT professionals, meanwhile, are more likely to apply on multiple opportunities. Put simply, separation provides specificity to help tailor your recruiting efforts.

Specific Listing Metrics

Speaking of specifics, it’s also worth measuring job ad KPIs across individual channels. You may find that listings perform better in a specific social media environment or tech forum than others — this could be tied to ad format, the type and number of tech pros who visit the site or the job description itself. It will also surface where you need to intensify sourcing efforts to make up for weaker application numbers.

This “drilling down” can also help identify specific shortfalls in your listings. If applications are underperforming across the board, dig into your ad itself. With developers now prioritizing the larger impact of their work on business operations, make sure your job descriptions clearly communicate the scale and substance of IT roles in your organization.

Number of Referrals Over Time 

Twenty-seven percent of developers found their current position through referrals. It gets better: as noted by Medium, 82 percent of employers said referrals generated greater ROI than candidates for other sources and are 55 percent faster to hire.

This means it’s worth tracking how new applicants found your listing — referrals not only have some knowledge of your current culture and workplace best practices but are predisposed to view your company in a positive light, boosting their overall engagement.

Overall Retention Rate

How many IT staff stay after six months on the job? A year? Two? While some turnover is inevitable, low retention rates suggest a disconnect between your employer brand and lived employee experience. Reduced retention also points to falling staff engagement, which in turn impacts the chance of successful IT referrals. 

If retention rates are falling, even the best job description and benefits package won’t bridge the gap — culture reform and rebranding are your necessary first steps.

KPIs in Context

Demand is up and supply is falling — KPIs can help your organization attract, recruit and retain the next generation of IT staff. The caveat? It’s all about context. While leveraging KPIs in isolation may produce short-term gains, long-term ROI relies on a combination of effective metric measurement, ongoing employer branding and targeted talent acquisition.

How to Measure Your Tech Recruiting Success?
Podcast logo The Stack Overflow Podcast is a weekly conversation about working in software development, learning to code, and the art and culture of computer programming.