Every penny spent on recruitment counts. In today’s business environment, organizations look to optimize every aspect of operations, especially those affecting their bottom line. One crucial metric that aids in understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment process is Cost-Per-Hire (CPH).

By delving into the significance of CPH, we’re not just talking about the fiscal aspects of hiring. This potent number can often reveal the hidden intricacies behind talent acquisition strategies, including employer branding, sourcing methods, and their alignment with the overall business objectives.

What Is Cost-Per-Hire?

Cost-Per-Hire is a critical HR metric that calculates the total expenses incurred in the recruitment process divided by the number of hires over a certain period. It includes expenses ranging from advertising fees and recruiter salaries to new hire training costs.

This KPI (Key Performance Indicator) allows organizations to assess how effectively they are using their resources and make informed decisions regarding their recruitment strategies. A simple formula represents the calculation:

Cost-Per-Hire = (Total Internal Recruiting Costs + Total External Recruiting Costs) / Total Number of Hires

However, understanding CPH goes beyond crunching numbers—it’s about translating this data into actionable insights.

Key Components of Cost-Per-Hire

  • Internal Recruiting Costs: These include salaries of the HR staff, recruitment technology subscriptions, referral bonuses, and internal recruitment events costs.
  • External Recruiting Costs: These encompass job posting fees, agency fees, candidate travel and accommodation expenses for interviews, background checking services, and more.
  • Total Number of Hires: Simply put, this is the number of individuals successfully brought onboard during a specific timeframe.

What It Means for Employers

For employers, the significance of Cost-Per-Hire lies in its role as a barometer of recruitment efficiency. By minimizing CPH, companies can maximize their allocation of resources towards other vital avenues for business growth. Some takeaways for employers include:

  • Strategic Insight: Understanding CPH in the context of different roles and departments can guide strategy optimization. For example, higher CPH for certain positions may suggest a need to build more robust talent pipelines or reconsider the effectiveness of recruitment channels for those roles.
  • Benchmarking: Employers can use CPH to gauge how they fare against competitors and industry standards. This could highlight competitive advantages or gaps in their recruitment approach.
  • Budget Management: Knowing the average cost to hire helps in setting realistic recruitment budgets and forecasts future expenses, aiding in financial planning.
  • Process Improvement: A high CPH can trigger a review of the current recruitment process to identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies such as prolonged vacancy periods, sourcing methods, or assessment tools.

What It Means for Employees

From an employee’s perspective, the implications of Cost-Per-Hire may not be as direct, but they are significant nonetheless:

  • Candidate Experience: A streamlined recruitment process that results from a lower CPH often translates to a better candidate experience. This includes faster response times, effective communication, and a more engaging hiring process.
  • Better Onboarding: Part of the costs associated with hiring includes onboarding. A rationalized CPH can ensure that adequate resources are allocated to onboarding, which is crucial for new employee engagement and retention.
  • Employer Brand Repositioning: Reduced CPH can signal an employer’s maturity in leveraging its employer brand. This maturity can attract prospective employees looking for stable and reputable organizations.
  • Job Security: Efficient spending on recruitment may reflect financial prudence on the part of employers, often correlating with robust business practices and potentially greater job security for employees.

Balancing Cost-Per-Hire with Quality of Hire

While optimizing CPH is a smart move, it is essential to balance it with the quality of the hires. Low CPH does not necessarily mean success if the quality of new employees does not meet the necessary standards. Employers must find a harmonious balance between the two metrics to ensure a sustainable and successful hiring process.

Conclusion

Cost-Per-Hire is more than a simple mathematical calculation. It’s a reflection of the health and efficiency of your recruitment process. A well-calculated CPH, balanced with qualitative measures of hire quality, arms hiring managers, executives, and business owners with the knowledge needed to adjust recruitment strategies for maximum effectiveness. From strategic planning to budget control and improving the candidate’s journey, the ripple effects of this HR metric are comprehensive. As organizations strive to get the most out of every recruit, understanding and optimizing Cost-Per-Hire becomes not just beneficial but essential for thriving in a competitive talent market.

About the Author:

Picture of Kyle Bolt
Kyle Bolt, the founder of Crew HR - Simple HR Software, brings a wealth of expertise with over 15 years in Human Resources. Kyle has dedicated his career to building high-performing teams and fostering workplace cultures that drive business success. His hands-on experience has made CrewHR a trusted partner for businesses looking to simplify and streamline their HR processes.
Picture of Kyle Bolt
Kyle Bolt, the founder of Crew HR - Simple HR Software, brings a wealth of expertise with over 15 years in Human Resources. Kyle has dedicated his career to building high-performing teams and fostering workplace cultures that drive business success. His hands-on experience has made CrewHR a trusted partner for businesses looking to simplify and streamline their HR processes.

Simple HR Software 

CrewHR brings staff scheduling, time & attendance, and your HR processes together in one easy-to-use platform.