Data Part 2 – Measurement and mistakes made?

29 Aug 2019   |   by Una McGuinness

Ok, so now we are clear on why we need to use data in Recruitment - let's look at what we should be measuring. 

There is the distinct KPIS in Recruitment, Cvs sends, client visits, candidates registered, new jobs on, interviews, placement numbers and revenue, number of credits, non-starters, Contractors out, day rates, margins, % fees, revenue per client etc.



In my experience, not enough business owners pay attention to data such as;


  1. Ratios, for example, Candidate registrations to placement, or Cv out to placement. Improvement in ratios means better results for the same input.
  2. Make a distinction between interim and perm desks and important KPIs
  3. Jobs per head, how much time is spent resourcing/filling a role. A consultant spends too long on a role and doesn't know when to call it a day. it's no longer profitable for you.
  4. Grading of jobs - based on fill ability and factual insights.
  5. Ratios of each of your clients' performance and profitability of each client.
  6. Cross-selling opportunities, does all the revenues for a key client come from one area only?
  7. The expectation of a new starter in your business
  8. Net Fee Income per head, past / rolling 12 months, rolling 3 months, future predictions based on monthly/quarterly activity levels.


When managing operations, everyone has the right intentions. Often I hear, "Well, we are not a KPI driven company;  well if you are not - you need to be.

It's not just our world of Recruitment; whether the business is making high-performance cars, running a production line, or managing an Olympic sports team - everyone needs clear key performance indicators, measurements to drive performance improvables.


Biggest mistakes people use, with data


  • They do not measure it, or with any consistency.
  • The data can't be pulled from the CRM, as there is apathy to usage, no transparent processes on the CRM, inconsistency in usage leads to reliance on individuals and whiteboards, which do not scale.
  • The data is there, yet one doesn't spend enough time analysing and reviewing what reports are available to help drive the business.
  • Lack of training, individuals, often won't ask for help if it's seen as essential competency for a Manager.
  • Lack of buy-in from the teams and individuals as to how the data can help them.
  • Not enough explanation of what's measured and how a team or individual compares - so what does 'good look like.'
  • It's used to manage by email or for leaders only, instead of allowing ownership at all levels.
  • An issue is identified, for example; candidates registered numbers are declining, and rather than engage with the teams as to the problem and possible solutions, it becomes a stick and another 'target' to hit.
  • It takes far too long to confront an issue, the data is telling you a story; however, you are giving then individual 'the benefit of the doubt.'
  • Reviewed only on a 'business planning' or annual basis, often the same possible actions as previously sited yet not taken are apparent.
  • When reviewed and critical issues identified, there is a lack of any tactical plan, with follow up to reach the desired goal.
  • Try to improve or change too many things at once, stick to a clear initiative, that’s driven and accepted as a priority at all levels before moving to the next objective.
  • Try to do it themselves or don't invest - you have to use an analytics and reporting tool if you want to grow your business.


The smallest % improvements can have a monumental impact - imagine improving your first interview ratio from 6-1 to 5-1, if you are arranging as a business 50 first interviews per week, then you go from 8.3 placements to 10 in a given timeframe. 

That's a 14.5% increase in revenue for the same activity in a week. Yes, please. Do that consistently, or better and you will see the improvement on your bottom line. Turnover is vanity; profit is sanity.

If you could value an external perspective on how or what you are doing with your data, then get in touch!

Una McGuinness

Una has a huge passion for the industry, substantiated by over 20 years’ experience as a leader. Currently working with an array of clients across various sectors and projects, Una can offer you objectivity, smart thinking, with a constant eye on what and how companies are adapting to the world of recruitment plus inspiration to make the changes you require to take your business to the next level.

More About Una
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