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4 Recruiting Benchmarks to Focus on in 2023 and Why They Matter

Recruiting is like any other business operation: without benchmarks, you can’t track progress or identify issues. Recruiting benchmarks can both help improve hiring strategies and elevate Quality of Hire

Wondering why recruiting benchmarks matter? Your competitors are already leveraging these metrics to improve candidate experience and quality of hire. Here’s why recruiting benchmarks need to be at the top of your organization’s priority list in 2023.

Basic Benchmarking Rules

To be useful, a benchmark needs to establish a baseline for a metric that:

  • Is able to be continually updated with new data
  • Can be easily measured and compared over time
  • Is capable of providing insight into specific outcomes
  • Can be acted on to improve those outcomes

No benchmark means you do not have a way to measure incoming data and figure out what is or isn’t working. Choosing and using specific recruiting benchmarks can mean the difference between a scattershot approach to hiring, and a clear, well-thought-out direction for your recruiting team that includes better pipeline management.

Top Recruiting Benchmarks 2023

Many recruiting benchmarks are already well known and being used by companies with a solid recruiting strategy and a functional hiring pipeline. Important metrics include:

1. Time to Hire

How long it takes to hire for a role has been an important recruiting benchmark in 2022 as the hiring landscape fluctuated wildly, and it will continue to do so in 2023. Top talent went from battling it out just to get an interview to disappearing from the market in ten days or less

Candidates became more demanding in regard to their recruitment experience, and less patient when it came to waiting for news on the status of their application. Three out of five recruiters reported routinely losing top talent to competitors because of slow and poorly managed hiring processes.

Hiring managers and recruiters both discovered it was critical to get on the same page to make hiring pipelines run faster and more smoothly, and turned to recruitment technology for help. Tools like Crosschq 360, for example, help to speed up and streamline the reference-checking process, delivering informative results to help assist with data-driven hiring decisions.

Benchmarking time to hire is actually fairly simple: it’s the time period between the date when an applicant enters the hiring pipeline and the date they accept an offer. It’s a more specific metric than time to fill, which is the time period between the date of job requisition and the date of job acceptance. 

Why Benchmarking Time to Hire Is Important:

Benchmarking time to hire is a critical part of understanding:

  • Which empty roles are costing your organization the most money
  • What talent is most in demand and hard to secure
  • Where roadblocks may exist in your hiring pipeline

Time-to-hire benchmarking gives you the opportunity to examine how time to hire differs between role levels and departments, and how changes in your recruitment strategy can improve your speed-to-hire metrics. 

Using a pipeline management tool like TalentWall™ by Crosschq that overlays your ATS makes it easy to visualize and track time to hire in real-time across all open positions and candidates.

2. Pass-Through Rates

Pass-through rates are another crucial metric to benchmark in 2023. They give you specific data about how your hiring funnel is performing. You can break out pass-through rates into various phases of the recruitment pipeline:

  • Candidate application
  • Pre-interview (pre-hire assessments, tests, and reference checking)
  • Initial interview
  • Second interview (if applicable)
  • Offer extended
  • Offer accepted

The pass-through rate isn’t as simple as any set number or percentage at each stage and can vary dramatically by department and role. 

For some positions, multiple applications may be received, but your applicant tracking system (ATS) will weed lots of them out before moving the remaining candidates to the pre-interview phase. Other positions may only yield a few applicants due to specialized skill sets or experience demands, meaning most or all advance quickly to later phases in the recruitment funnel.

On the candidate experience side, benchmarking pass-through rates can reveal where candidates are self-selecting out of the process:

  • Some candidates may opt out of doing a large number of pre -hire assessments and tests and pursue other opportunities instead. 
  • Other candidates may choose not to continue the process because the time-to-interview interval is too lengthy.

On the recruitment side, benchmarking pass-through rates can reveal how unconscious bias is eliminating top talent from the running in two significant ways:

Low pass-through rates can be appropriate in some cases, and high pass-through rates may be a sign that screening processes are not working as desired. For example, a high pass-through rate from pre-interview status followed by a very low pass-through rate from the interview phase can indicate a disconnect between the recruiter and the hiring manager on the profile of a qualified candidate.

Why Benchmarking Pass-Through Rates Is Important:

Benchmarking pass-through rates can give you a clear picture of where in your recruitment pipeline you may be losing candidates unnecessarily, or where unqualified or unsuitable candidates may be getting through and using up valuable time and resources. 

Ideally, the right candidates will be passing through the pipeline quickly and easily, increasing the chances of a successful hire, while unqualified candidates will be swiftly but gently rejected or will self-select out of the process early on.

3. Quality of Hire

Universally recognized as the most critical recruiting benchmark for 2023, Quality of Hire is possibly one of the hardest metrics to benchmark and the most valuable in terms of helping your organization hire top talent.

Quality of Hire, in a nutshell, is a way to quantify the value a new hire brings to the company. Performance and retention are two of the most important factors for this metric, but it can also include culture add, engagement, promotability, and re-hireability.

In an ideal situation, recruiters and hiring managers will be able to use data previously gathered on existing employees to benchmark Quality of Hire and develop a profile that describes a quality hire. This profile can be used to swiftly surface the best candidates in the hiring pipeline and nurture them through the process.

Crosschq’s Quality of Hire Scorecard can be helpful in benchmarking your organization’s Quality of Hire, while more than 80 reports designed to deliver Quality of Hire insights are available through Crosschq Analytics.

Why Benchmarking Quality of Hire Is Important

Benchmarking and tracking Quality of Hire can not only help you accurately identify candidates with high Quality of Hire potential but can help you make better decisions around layoffs by ensuring you keep the best employees in place and let lower quality ones go, instead of depending on outdated “last-in, first-out” traditions. Download our free Quality of Hire report to learn more.

4. Candidate Experience  

Finally, candidate experience cannot be ignored when establishing recruiting benchmarks for 2023. How your candidates experience your organization through the framework of your hiring pipeline can significantly affect public perception of your company.

Candidate experience can be critical to keeping top talent in the pipeline at critical points in the pipeline. An application or assessment process that is time-consuming, complicated, and burdensome will turn off many employees who would be great additions to your workforce. Additionally, many pre-hire assessments aren’t necessarily good predictors of post-hire performance.

Time to interview is another key pain point for candidates; if an interview isn’t forthcoming soon after it was promised, candidates may assume they have been “ghosted” and will abandon the hiring funnel completely. A fast, efficient interview scheduling process is critical when trying to land a high-quality candidate.

Ultimately, candidate experience hinges on an easy-to-complete, intuitive application process and constant communication throughout the hiring period. Nurturing should be a standard part of any recruitment strategy, with a focus on making sure even “also ran” candidates look back on their experience as a positive one. 

Candidate experience doesn’t just serve candidates and enhance your organization’s reputation. Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience report they can improve the quality of their new hires by 70%.

Why Benchmarking Candidate Experience Is Important

Eight out of ten candidates say good communication can turn a mediocre candidate experience into a great one. Candidates who have great experiences will not only be more likely to accept an offer, but will encourage other highly qualified people to apply. Even silver medalist candidates who almost make the cut are rejected, a great candidate experience will make them receptive to applying again in the future.

Recruitment Benchmarks For 2023 With Crosschq

Once you begin benchmarking your recruitment metrics, you’ll be able to surface and leverage insights to enhance your hiring funnel, improve pipeline management, align your recruiters and hiring managers, and give your candidates a superior candidate experience. All of this leads to the ultimate outcome: hiring the best person for the job, every time.

To learn more about how Crosschq can help your organization utilize recruitment benchmarking to achieve core business outcomes in 2023, request a demonstration today.

Elena Arney

by Elena Arney

Director of People & Culture

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