What Metrics Matter Most in Service Sector Recruiting

Recruiting talent in the service sector is not for the faint of heart. Businesses in retail, hospitality, food service and logistics are plagued by high turnover rates, a shrinking talent pool, and dwindling resources to find quality candidates. Talent acquisition teams must work fast to keep up with business demands, all while understanding how they can continually improve. How do the best teams achieve this balance? By embracing a data-driven approach to recruiting.

Talent acquisition has always been about people. There is no greater feeling than connecting talent with a role that fits them well and brings value to the organization. So it might feel counterintuitive to some recruiting professionals to embrace data in their daily lives. However, both the human and data elements of talent acquisition can exist together and indeed can affect positive change that ultimately proves the mission-critical nature of a sound recruiting strategy.

So if you’ve decided to take the data plunge, you might be wondering where you should start. In a sea full of data, how can I prevent myself from drowning in metrics? When building your data measurement strategies, it’s important to consider which metrics are going to showcase value, and which are going to help provide indicators for improvement. In this post, we will explore some of the most common metrics that matter in service-sector recruiting, and how you can begin measuring them in your organization.


This metric measures the amount of time it takes to fill a job opening. It is an essential measure for service sector recruiting because turnover rates can be very high. This means that recruiting must optimize strategies that keep the talent funnel full of active and passive candidates so that there isn’t much downtime between someone leaving a job and finding a suitable backfill. Teams with high time-to-fill measurements across their roles are often correlated with decreased productivity in stores, leading to lower topline revenue for the organization as a whole. So it’s critical that you understand what your average time-to-fill is, and prioritize it as a key metric for keeping up with turnover.

To measure tine-to-fill, it’s important that you define the key milestones associated with your recruiting process. Typically, organizations track time-to-fill from the time a new role is opened to when an offer is accepted, but it can vary from one company to the next. Be sure to align with leadership on how to measure time-to-fill, and use it as a way to understand where there might be inefficiencies in your recruiting process.

Quality of Hire

This metric measures the effectiveness of the recruiting process by evaluating the performance and retention rates of new hires. In the service sector, quality of hire is a key indicator in driving down turnover rates. Higher quality hires will stay longer, develop their skills, and ultimately be more productive, all of which are benefits to the organization. At first glance, it might seem like this metric sits outside the scope of recruiting. However, it’s important that you lean into quality of hire to understand how you can improve your talent acquisition strategies. Think of it as a lagging indicator. Recruiting should be focused not just on sourcing high volumes and moving them through the funnel as quickly as possible, but they should also be concerned with how the talent they hire is impacting the organization.

To measure quality of hire, you must define what the key KPIs are to determine what makes someone successful at your organization. More often than not this includes retention rate, but can also incorporate productivity metrics such as sales quota attainment, customer satisfaction scores, performance reviews, and more. Choose a few metrics that are critical across the organization, and keep track of them as part of a holistic quality of hire score.


This metric measures the cost of hiring a new employee. In the service sector, where high-volume hiring is common, cost-per-hire can quickly add up. Additionally, due to the diversity of roles across the service sector portfolio, cost-per-hire can also be difficult to track. However, this metric is critical in giving valuable insights into the efficiency of your recruiting strategy. It can reveal where there might be blockers in your sourcing channels, interview processes, and more, especially if you can segment cost-per-hire metrics based on relevant variables (such as role type and geography).

To measure this metric, calculate the total cost of the recruitment process, and divide it by the number of hires. Don’t forget that there are both hard and soft costs to consider when calculating the true cost per hire. Hard costs are typically easier to report, such as advertising, job fairs, and others. If you’re starting from scratch, start with those numbers. As you mature, you can fold in soft costs, such as time invested during sourcing and interview processes.

TIP: Learn more about cost-per-hire in our recent blog post


Related to quality of hire, this metric measures how quickly new hires become productive in their new role. Many service roles often require specific skills and customer service training. Therefore, time-to-productivity is crucial for maintaining efficient operations. Understanding this downstream measure can help recruiters identify what skills are needed to succeed in a certain role, and optimize their efforts to look for talent that fits those criteria.

To measure time-to-productivity, track the time it takes for new hires to reach a predetermined level of success. This requires a clear definition and alignment across the business on what high productivity looks like in each role, and what skills are required to achieve it. From there, it’s important to track these indicators with each employee so as to continually measure how those traits are impacting performance, and apply that rubric to the talent pool in order to help prioritize candidates that could be a good fit.


Talent acquisition is all about people. But in order to understand how to better target and attract talent that will succeed and drive positive outcomes for the business, it’s important that you tap into the data that is available to you. Using the above metrics as a starting point can help your team operate more effectively, and more importantly, show the value of your efforts to an executive audience.

Measuring any of these metrics can be done manually, but is most effectively done with the help of software. Many ATS and HRIS solutions offer reporting capabilities that can track key performance indicators. No matter your approach, it’s important to continually refine your measurement with insights and feedback from business partners (such as hiring managers, employees, and others). This ensures that you are incorporating the human element into your metrics tracking, and have a complete view of areas for improvement.

Levee’s solution is built with reporting in mind. Our customizable dashboards make it easy to visualize your entire talent acquisition funnel in terms of key metrics that show the effectiveness of your efforts. From one view, you can see which channels are performing best, as well as cost reporting across various filters such as role, location, and more. To see our reporting in action, contact our team to receive a customized demo.

Alissa Lydon