Review a Recruiter

Key Performance Indicator

Top 4 Recruiter Performance KPIs & What They Tell You

Jun 6, 2023

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Without processes to measure and quantify recruiter performance, you won’t know what’s working—and what you need to fix.

But before you set up those processes, you need to first answer the question: which KPIs actually give me insight into recruiter performance? 

So let’s take a look at four key stats & KPIs and what they tell you about recruiter performance.

Why you need to measure recruiter performance in real time

If your sink is leaking, when do you want to find that out? When you’ve got a layer of water across the floor? Or right when the dripping starts—when there’s still time to fix it?

Now ask yourself this: how long are your recruiters waiting for feedback on the experiences they create? The end of the year? Or are you capturing them in real time?

If you want to fix issues before they become problems, you have to capture feedback at the most critical moments. This enables your agency to achieve the following benefits:

  • Rapid issue resolution. By receiving instant feedback, your recruiters can adjust their approach, communication, and process to improve experience quality and individual effectiveness.
  • Continuous improvement. If you’re waiting until year-end to get feedback, you really only have the chance to make improvements once a year. Real-time feedback helps you make consistent, baby-step changes over extended periods.
  • Better candidate & client engagement. When candidates and clients know that you’re willing to listen to their feedback, they’re more likely to stay engaged. Leveraging real-time reviews strengthens relationships, builds trust, and positions you as a reliable and responsive partner. 
  • Data-driven decision making. When you know what’s happening at the desk level, you can build a strategy on reality, not hunches or guesswork. This will empower your agency to stay ahead in a dynamic market.

Top 4 recruiter performance KPIs every agency should measure

So what are the major areas you should be tracking to keep a close eye on recruiter performance? 

Most agencies only focus on surface-level insights like Net Promoter Score (NPS). However, NPS and similar metrics only tell part of the story. If you want to truly understand recruiter performance, you need to go below the surface.

Here are some stats that we recommend agencies start tracking to get a 360-degree view of their team’s performance. 

1. Overall rating (out of 5 stars)

The best place to start is at the beginning, with the simplest stat of all. An overall, 5-star rating can give a useful, 50,000-foot summary of a recruiter’s overall performance. 

For starters, a high rating shows you the general satisfaction that candidates, clients, and placed talent have from their interactions with the recruiter. Generally, this means they’ve consistently met or exceeded expectations in their role. 

Additionally, a high overall rating is a signal that the recruiter listens to the needs of the candidate and focuses on building a deep, meaningful relationship with them. They’re not just about filling placements—they truly want to help their candidates succeed and grow in their careers.

However, overall rating cannot provide much detail beyond those insights. It can’t tell you why candidates love that recruiter, or what behaviors they need to improve. 

But it’s a good litmus test to know whether you’re dealing with a struggling recruiter or one that just needs to make a few tweaks. 

2. Promoters vs. detractors

At the risk of generalizing, people only recommend people and organizations that they genuinely enjoy working with. 

 So when you ask the question—how likely are you to recommend this recruiter to a friend?—it’s a key indicator of the recruiter’s quality of service. 

 While the promoter vs. detractor ratio sits at the heart of the NPS survey, usually NPS only picks up that information once per year. When you capture that data in real time, however, you can start to answer more specific questions:

  • Which recruiter is generating the most promoters?
  • Which recruiter is generating the most detractors?
  • How is our overall promoter-detractor ratio changing week over week, month over month?
  • How is an individual recruiter’s promoter-detractor ratio changing week over week, month over month?

When you can see not only the static score, but also the change over time, you can see small, incremental changes—positive or negative—to either reinforce or fix before they become catastrophic.

3. Response rate

Recruiters can request all the reviews in the world. But if candidates don’t respond to them, then they won’t get the feedback they need.

Response rates can tell you two things about your recruiter: 1) whether the recruiter is eager to capture feedback, and 2) whether the candidates feel strongly enough about the recruiter to give that feedback.

A response rate is the percentage of completed reviews per review requests. That denominator—the review requests—can show you how frequently the recruiter is reaching out to candidates to request reviews.

 A recruiter that’s proactive in capturing reviews generally signals a few things:

  • They’re confident enough in their performance to open themselves up to feedback
  • They want to get better by learning about issues in negative reviews
  • They want the feedback & morale boost that comes from positive reviews

On the other hand, if the recruiter is sending out a lot of reviews and they’re receiving responses, that’s another good sign. 

It means the recruiter evokes strong enough feelings in the candidates that they’re willing to respond. The next step, naturally, is to figure out whether those feelings are positive or negative.

But in any event, willingness on both sides to solicit and provide feedback means that you’re well positioned for continuous improvement and growth. 

4. Referral rate

Probably the highest indication of candidate satisfaction is their referral rate: how many candidates will actually recommend you to a friend or colleague? 

Referrals signal a number of important traits that every agency wants to see from their recruiters: 

  • High candidate satisfaction. When individuals are willing to refer the recruiter to others, it demonstrates that they had a positive experience and were highly satisfied with the service provided. 
  • Trust & confidence. Referring someone to a recruiter requires trust in their abilities, expertise, and professionalism. It signifies that the recruiter has successfully built a strong rapport and demonstrated their value as a trusted advisor throughout the recruitment process.
  • Quality matches & placements. Candidates or clients who refer the recruiter to others are likely satisfied with the outcomes of their engagement. It implies that the recruiter has effectively understood their needs, preferences, and goals, and has successfully aligned them with suitable opportunities or candidates.
  • Reputation & brand. When individuals refer the recruiter to others, it reflects positively on their professionalism, expertise, and the overall service they provide. This positive word-of-mouth can enhance the recruiter’s reputation, increase their visibility, and attract more high-quality candidates or clients.

Final thoughts on recruiter performance KPIs

While tracking recruiter performance KPIs is important, remember to keep these stats in context. 

Use them to dive deeper and ask probing questions. That way, you’ll understand why recruiters are hitting (or not hitting) these KPIs. Then, you can use that knowledge to make necessary changes. 

There’s only one platform on the market that tracks these four recruiter performance KPIs in real time: Great Recruiters. Don’t wait—start measuring today.