The three recruitment metrics that Australian NFPs say it’s most important to track

More than one quarter of Australian not-for-profit organisations aren’t tracking even basic data about their recruitment processes, according to the latest Not-For-Profit People survey.

That’s despite staff costs being the largest single expense for most organisations, and recruitment and retention of staff being the amongst the biggest organisational challenges for many organisations.

The survey of large and small NFPs across Australia conducted in early February found that the smaller the organisation, the less likely they are to track recruitment metrics, with 23 percent of all respondents reporting that their organisation doesn’t track any recruitment metrics, but 36 percent of respondents from organisations with fewer than 50 staff saying they don’t track data from their recruitment over time.

For the other three quarters of organisations, here are the top metrics that are tracked, according to the survey:

Turnover/Retention Rate

The most widely tracked recruitment metric among survey respondents was Turnover/retention rate, with about two thirds flagging it as something their organisation records.

Many organisations also reported this metric as the most useful metric that they track. Respondents mentioned reasons for this like “turnover and retention rates [help us] to determine what is going wrong in the [employment] process and how long the staff stay with us”.

However, the rate at which turnover is tracked varies quite significantly between organisations of different sizes. Only 27 percent of organisations with 50 or fewer staff track turnover and staff retention, while more than three-quarters of medium and large organisations do the same.

Number of Applicants

Meanwhile, 61 percent of respondents said their organisations track the number of applicants for their vacancies, with that figure jumping to almost 71 percent among organisations with more than 100 staff.

That’s despite no organisations mentioning this as a particularly useful metric. It is however, probably the easiest number to track, which may explain the high level of tracking for this metric.

Source of Applicants and Source of Hires

Source of applicants was the third-most popular metric that respondents reported tracking – at 49 percent – followed closely by source of hired candidates at 44 percent.

Source of applicants was however flagged by the most respondents as the most useful metric to track. By and large, the main reason cited for this was that it allows an NFP to focus their job advertising dollars on the most effective channels.

With recruitment budgets stretching into 6-figure annual sums for some larger organisations, knowing where applicants – especially the top candidates who make it to interview or who are offered jobs – find out about an organisation’s vacancies is particularly important.

Respondents said that knowing the source of applicants or hires was so valuable because it “indicates where applicants are hearing about our positions and which area of advertising is most effective”, “gives us good feedback on the how best to target future job ads”, and “helps to cut cost and increase quality in the long-term”.

Asking candidates where they first saw/heard about the job during interviews or post-offer are recommended by as the most effective and most accurate ways to track source of shortlisted applicants. This data would then be collated and fed back into decisions about an organisation’s recruitment advertising process.

What’s not being tracked

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, only 17 percent of respondents said their organisations track cost per hire.

Small organisations (those with fewer than 50 staff) are however over-represented here, with 27 percent reporting that they track this metric, versus only 6 percent of larger NFPs. This is potentially due to the greater complexity of calculating this figure – which typically includes 1) All the staff hours spent doing recruiting; 2) The costs of any external recruiters; 3) Job ad costs; and 4) Any recruitment technology costs – in larger organisations.

On average, 29 percent of organisations formally note the time to hire – but that goes up to 41 percent for large organisations, while only 18 percent of small NFPs track it.

And only 5 percent of organisations track quality of hire, despite multiple respondents mentioning it as a highly useful metric.

Forty-three NFP organisations from around Australian participated in the survey.

Image: Peat Bakke/Flickr.

If you didn’t get a chance to respond to the survey, it’s not too late to share your opinions – tell us which metrics your organisation tracks and why in the comments below!

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