4 Revealing Metrics That Will Tell You if a Client's Worth Your Time

As an agency recruiter, if you don’t fill a job – you never get paid. So realistically, you could spend hours (or even days!) working a job for clients that you might never make a single penny from.

To get the best return on your hard work, you need to figure out which clients are worth your time and which ones aren’t. Here are some metrics that will give you the answers you need to know.

1. Job-fill rate (FR%)

metrics for clientsDo you have any clients who are keen to give you jobs, but you can never seem to fill them?

It could be that they’re giving you roles that are unrealistic or that haven’t even been signed off – and yes, this really does happen!

Calculating the client’s job-fill rate will tell you just how likely you are to fill jobs you take on from them based on the agency’s placement history with them.

To calculate your fill rate, simply do the following:

(Number of jobs on / Number of placements) x 100 = job fill rate (%)

You’re looking for a rate of at least 25% (or about one in four jobs) to make it worth your while. If you’re not hitting this with a client, it’s time to consider how serious they are about working with you.

Ending a relationship with a client can feel like step backwards, but you’re much better off spending time canvassing for new business and working jobs you can actually fill.

2. Average time-to-fill Rate

To manage your pipeline effectively, you need have an idea of how long it’s going to take to land each placement.

Time kills deals, so the slower a client’s processes are, the less chance you have of making the placement. And if you’re spending days (or even weeks) working a job, it might not be worth the fee you’re earning from it.

Find out if you’re clients are taking too long to hire by calculating the average time-to-fill rate.

Use your CRM to pull the last five placements you’ve made with a client and add up the number of days between taking on the job and getting an offer. Then, do the following to calculate your average time-to-fill rate:

Total number of days / Number of placements = average number of days to fill a job

If your client won’t speed up their process, focus your efforts on other clients you can place with quickly. This will give you a better return on your time and keep your pipeline running smoothly.

3. CV send-to-interview rate

Recruitment Metrics you should care about - feature-minIf you’re sending loads of CVs to a client and not getting any interviews – there might be something fishy going on behind the scenes.

Some clients try to take advantage of agency recruiters by asking for CVs and then rejecting them just so they can store your candidates in their database for later.

To spot these clients, pull the following figures from your CRM:


Number of CVs sent : Number interviews

To simplify these numbers into an easy-to-read ratio, divide them by the same number until they cannot be divided any more.

For example, if the number of CVs sent is 12 and the number of interviews is 6. Divide these number by 2 to get 6:3 and then divided by 3 to get a simplified ratio of 2:1.

You want a ratio of at least 5:1 otherwise you’re wasting time shortlisting candidates that won’t even get an interview.

Sending CVs to a client that won’t give you any interviews is a waste of time for you and your candidates. And if your client is keeping them for later there could be some backdoor hiring happening – you could lose a great candidate!

4. Placement-refund rate

Making a good number of placements with a client isn’t worth anything if you’re regularly handing back your fee.

Recruitment fee refunds happen for a number of reasons: maybe your candidates aren’t passing probation or they’re quitting after a few months because the work environment is bad.

This metric is particularly important in industries like Sales where your candidates need to hit certain targets to pass probation.

To calculate placement-refund rate, simply do the following:

(Number of placements / Number of refunds given) x 100 = placement-refund rate (%)

A high refund rate could be a sign that your client’s probation targets are too high or they’re just looking to fill some short-term gaps in their team and avoid paying a full fee.

If you’re continually paying back your fee, you’re better off sending your candidates to other clients who won’t let them go after six months and that actually make you money!

Download the eBook below to find out how to build personal KPI targets that are tailored to your own unique way of recruiting – your secret to becoming a top biller!

Recruitment KPIs

Paul Briman

Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.

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