The ONLY recruitment metric that matters…

You have a lot of things to do in your job. Am I right?

You are super-busy all the time. Candidates to interview. Resumes to prepare. References to take. Sales calls to make. Visits to go on. Calls to return. Admin to tie up. Your company also has a raft of KPI’s and activities they want you to meet. It never ends.

And it’s all so important

But bring it in tight everyone. There is only one thing you need to measure when it comes to being a perm or search recruiter.

The golden metric.

How many of your candidates are sitting opposite your clients.

That is it.

‘Client Candidate Interviews’, or CCIs as we call them at Firebrand

Yes, our ultimate goal is placements. And the happy clients, happy talent and happy us that will result from lots of placements. But placements are the outcome. We don’t make the job offer. So we can’t control the outcome.

We need to focus on the activity that leads to the outcome

What is the one thing that must happen for a talent to be hired?

They get interviewed!

Everything else you do in this job either leads up to that happy moment, or supports the outcome of that event.

(Of course quality counts too. You have to take qualified job spec and find great talent and make a great match. But that’s a given, right?)

The reality is that if you arrange for one candidate to sit opposite one client in one week, you can by definition make… one placement! And only then if all the recruiting Gods are smiling on you.

But if you get three interviews on different jobs you could get three placements. Or three interviews on the same job, exponentially increases your chances of one placement. And if you get 15 candidates sitting in interviews…

The point is you got to make lots and lots of interviews! So obvious I know. Yet I often hear what a great week a recruiter had, and when I dig a little… busy, busy, busy… but no CCIs!

It’s in the CCI that the magic happens!

So you have had a ‘busy’ week. Go, go, go. You are so tired. So satisfied you have given it your all.

Ask yourself as you open that first beer Friday at 6 pm.

“How many of my candidates are sitting down opposite my clients as a result of what I did this week?”




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Views: 811

Comment by Sean O'Donoghue on February 21, 2012 at 9:59am

Fair points Greg...

But you're tending to lead towards a "numbers game" approach here. One point you are missing, which is far more crucial in my opinion is this: 

How well prepared are your candidates for their interview? 

Sure, you can arrange 15 "CCI's" in one week - but if you aren't coaching your candidates better than your competitors are, then you aren't going to end up with many placements!

You can control nearly everything during the recruiting process, except what goes on in the interview. And you could feel like you've worked extremely hard to get your candidate into that interview, but if you've failed to give them key tips and advice on how to prepare for that SPECIFIC interview (not just generic interview tips!) - then their chances of out performing everyone else are greatly reduced.

I'd rather spend more time preparing three candidates for their interview in one week, instead of trying to get an additional 10 interviews in the bag. Can you seriously manage 15 interviews in one week anyway, in addition to trying to meet more clients and candidates for future business? If I've put more focus and energy into preparing my three candidates, in order to ensure they are going to out perform everyone else in their interviews, then I can be very confident that I'll be making good placements. 

In addition, it doesn't matter how well you prepare those three candidates, you have to be very confident that each candidate you are putting forward for a role fits exactly what the client is looking for. There can be no if's about it... if you're not certain that the candidate you are putting forward is perfect for the role (in the eyes of the client), then what are they paying you for? 

Forget the numbers game... focus on quality over quantity any day... and you'll be making far more money, without trying to juggle too much in the air at one time. 

Oh... and if you want to stop playing the numbers game, but don't know how.... Simply find a niche market, and make that niche as small as possible. Become the best recruiter to go to in that niche... make sure you know all the top performing candidates as well as all of the hiring managers. If your niche is as small as mine, then it won't take you very long to build up your reputation in that niche, and stay on top of the game. 

Just a few tips from me... I've only been doing the job for 12 years now, and I'm far from perfect still! 

Comment by Brian K. Johnston on February 21, 2012 at 10:58am


Comment by Andy Stanczyk on February 21, 2012 at 11:48am

I love this.  Trying to track and measure too much is a drain on time and resources while not tracking anything doesn't allow you to improve.  How many new interviews do you need per week to provide a great service to your clients and reach your goals?  What is your ratio now 7 weeks into the year?  Adjust accordingly.  

Comment by Greg Savage on February 21, 2012 at 5:48pm

Sean, I totally agree with you - quality is a key component (I DO allude to that in the post you will remember)  Except your statement "Forget the numbers game"

The reality is that JUST numbers is not enough. BUT we do need to ensure we hit enough of the right activities or we will not succeed

There are actually THREE parts to the success equation

1) Activity

2) Quality

3) Target market

I go into this magic cocktail in detail here



Comment by Stephen Booth on February 22, 2012 at 7:16am

To a certain extent I think it depends on your desk, what are you recruiting for?  If you're sourcing a call centre full of 'phone monkeys' then it's a numbers game, you need the volume to get a return.  If you're looking further up the corporate hierarchy then you really need to be looking at smaller numbers but really investing in the research with the client as to what the roile actually is and what sort of candidate they are looking for, preparation of the candidate, checking references &c, you need your candidate to totally blow the interviewers away so they can't wait to call you to say they've gone with you candidate.

I'd say the most important metric is: "As a result of the candidates who interviewed this week how much repeat and new business will I get over the next year."  The next time that client needs to recruit you want them to call you and if they're asked for arecommendation by a friend or client who needs to recruit you want it to be your phone number they pass on.


Comment by Sean O'Donoghue on February 24, 2012 at 7:06am

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the response. I've read the article you reference above, and you most certainly do elaborate a lot better there.

I work in a very tight niche market (through my choosing to be a bigger fish in a small pond)... so for me it has to be about quality over quantity. However, I agree that if I were to simply take my foot of the gas, then my placements will most definitely slow down. Whilst I don't need to make a large amount of placements inside a year to survive as an Independent Recruiter, I still need to keep my eye on the ball, and keep up enough BD + Headhunt calls in order to keep the money coming through.

Greg... I'm going to send you a PM on here... there's a few things I'd like to talk to you further about...

And keep up the great blogs, I've been reading them for quite a while now. Well done! 


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