Recruitment Reflections: Data-Driven Hiring in a Candidate-Driven Market

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February 24, 2020

Recruitment Reflections: Data-Driven Hiring in a Candidate-Driven Market

By Danielle Bailey

HR & Talent Acquisition Officer Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

It’s hard to believe two months have already come and gone in 2020, but 2019 is not completely behind us yet. Now is the perfect time to measure your recruitment efforts and impact from the year prior, while thinking about how to strengthen recruitment efficiencies in the year ahead. In 2019, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) saw a US employment market that was candidate-driven, which provided some challenges and kept us on our toes. HR and hiring managers alike no longer have the luxury of taking their time, and a sense of urgency is required in order to secure top talent. The longer the interview process stretched out, the less likely our preferred candidate was still around.

EGPAF is a data-driven organization, and recruiting metrics are a must for data-driven hiring. While it is nearly impossible to track all hiring metrics that exist, we narrowed down the top to track domestically in 2019:

Time to Fill measures how long it takes to fill a position. This is the length of time between a requisition opening and a candidate accepting an offer. This measurement provides insight on how much time HR and hiring managers are consuming per position, and allows the opportunity to reflect on the why. We tracked our time to fill average overall, by business unit, by department, and by position classification (exempt vs. non-exempt). We found our time to fill decreased by two days in 2019 when compared to 2018. We celebrate those two days as a success, but there is still room to continue improving. 

Time to Hire measures how long it takes to move the top candidate through the hiring process. It is the length of time between the selected candidate applying for a position and that candidate accepting an offer. Time to hire shows us how long it took the hiring to realize we have the right candidate, how fast we move when we find the candidate, and what the process inefficiencies may be. Our process inefficiencies are typically coming from lack of urgency or competing priorities at the Foundation, and we plan to more closely monitor our time to hire in the year ahead. Our goal is to only open positions in 2020 when they are a priority and an immediate need.

Source of Hire measures what recruiting channel our new employees are coming from. This can be done by asking candidates during the screening process or via application where they heard about our opportunity. Source of hire shows us where to put resources from our recruiting budget for advertisements. We saw results from a few paid job boards in particular. We also discovered that 26% of our domestic hires were referrals. We continue to be proud of the number of current and former employees who recommend our organization as a great place to work to their network. 

Offer Acceptance Rate measures the percentage of candidates who accept a job offer. This is as simple as dividing the number of offers accepted by the number of offers. This shows us when and why candidates are turning us down. Our offer acceptance rate declined from 2018 to 2019, which we largely attribute to the candidate-driven market. We found it important to not only track the number of candidates who turned us down, but why they turned us down. Some candidates leveraged a negotiation at their current organization, while others accepted another role based on position responsibilities or salary. We found it important to acknowledge which of these were within our control, and which of these were not.

Additionally, we also track applicants per opening, the number of interviews per position, and former organizations or industries. As we look ahead in 2020, there are a few additional metrics we plan to track. The top of those metrics include quality of hire, which can be used by pulling data from performance reviews, retention rates, and hiring manager satisfaction. We also hope to be able to measure the above metrics internationally as we continue our efforts to roll out our applicant tracking system Foundation-wide, but that’s for another blog post.

There is a story and a person behind each number, but the numbers give us the opportunity to track trends, evaluate strategies, and identify our challenges and successes. Our employees are our greatest resource, and understanding our hiring is key to bringing in top talent and continuing carrying out our mission.


Danielle is the HR & Talent Acquisition Officer at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. She has been with EGPAF for almost 4 years and loves working with such a mission-driven group of colleagues. Experienced in all things talent acquisition, Danielle has built her domestic and international human resources expertise with nonprofits, for profits, and startups. Understanding and defining hiring needs by establishing strong relationships with hiring managers is her specialty, along with building credibility with candidates through transparent and continuous communication. Processes, strategy, talent sourcing, negotiation, and communication are all puzzle pieces in talent acquisition – putting those pieces together to connect a great candidate with a meaningful mission is one of the things Danielle loves most about her job. 

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