Calculate Nurse Recruiting Metrics That Matter With These Formulas

As a recruiter, you understand the importance of measuring the effectiveness of your recruitment processes.

You know you need to stay informed about how you’re doing compared with past performance and what’s going on in other facilities locally, statewide and around the country. And you need to work on having the right recruiting metrics to do both.

“Recruiting KPIs (key performance indicators or metrics) measure how effective and efficient your recruitment process is,” Nikoletta Bika wrote in an article for “Some metrics are expressed as percentages or ratios (e.g. yield ratios), while others are absolute values you can compare to industry or company standards (e.g. time to hire).”

Why are recruiting metrics important?

Recruitment metrics help you measure everything from how long on average it takes your organization to fill a position to how satisfied your applicants are with your recruitment process, and everything in between.

“Recruiting metrics are key to evaluating the health and effectiveness of your recruiting process,” Jon-Mark Sabel wrote in an article for “The proper mix of recruiting metrics won’t just tell you what’s working and what’s not working, but where you should be allocating time and budget.”

According to Analytics in HR, the top metrics used most frequently by recruiters include:

  • Time to fill
  • Time to hire
  • Source of hire
  • Quality of hire
  • Hiring manager satisfaction
  • Candidate recruitment experience
  • Candidate job satisfaction
  • Cost per hire
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Application completion rate

You’ve most likely already worked with most of these metrics, but the important question is how effectively have you worked with them? Are you measuring and using them to your best advantage? Are the metrics giving you the information you need and helping you improve your recruitment programs and processes? Are you familiar with the some of the best formulas?

Hiring formulas you should know

  1. Qualified candidates are applicants you determined are good fits for the workplace after their phone interviews, which you should compare with offer acceptance rates over time.

FORMULA:  Qualified candidates = Total number of candidates per opening who move past the phone screening stage

  1. Time to fill is the total number of days an open job goes unfilled. It is best to measure days from first contact to signing the offer.

FORMULA:  Average time to fill = Total number of days of open jobs / Total number of jobs open

  1. Offer acceptance rate is the percentage of total offers accepted. This recruiting metric is rarely 100%, but tracking it over time helps demonstrate the effectiveness of your talent acquisition strategies.

FORMULA:  Offer acceptance rate % = Number of acceptances / Number of offers X 100

  1. Hires to goal is the total number of hires you need within a set period to reach your pre-determined hiring goal.

FORMULA: Hires to goal = Total number of new hires / Hiring goal number

  1. Cost per hire includes all expenses involved in hiring a new employee. This metric helps you demonstrate the value of your recruitment methods.

FORMULA: Cost per hire ($) = Total external costs + Total internal costs / Total number of hires

  1. Retention rate is obtained by tracking the total number of employees who remain in the organization over a specific time period versus the total number of employees on board when that time period began.

FORMULA: Retention rate (%) = Total employees still employed at end of time period / Total employees at start of time period x 100

Ready to move beyond these formulas and other recruitment metrics? Learn how to optimize their use by reading more about HR metrics, employee performance metrics and taking this course on strategic HR metrics at

Remember that good recruitment metrics require a team effort

Whether we’re currently in a nursing shortage or hearing reports one is on the way, everyone is vying for “the best,” and you need to know how your competition is doing and how your programs and processes stack up with theirs.

It’s no secret great hires are hard to find, but systematic use of the best recruitment metrics, key performance indicators and applicant tracking systems can help. Using them, however, needs to be a team effort involving nursing management, nurse recruitment, HR and administration.

Here are some questions you and your team can look at to evaluate your current recruitment program and metrics:

  • Are we as successful as we’d like to be at finding the talent we need?
  • Are we getting the qualified candidates we need or just pools of applicants?
  • Are we using the best methods to measure and analyze our recruitment program?
  • Are we tracking our metrics correctly and staying up to date on their effectiveness?
  • Are we looking at each metric individually and measuring its value added?

And one last recruiting metric to consider

The recruitment world can be a busy, sometimes frenetic one — but also one in which personal touch is crucial. It’s the recruiter who nurse applicants generally meet first.

Everything you do, from the initial greeting to the final handshake matters. Never forget great applicants have options and a bad interview experience is a sure way to send them running off to the competition.

The hiring process and how it is seen by applicants could be one of your most important metrics. Make sure yours is great.