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  • Calculating and Using an Applicant-to-Hire Ratio

    November 30, 2022 | By Kevin Gray

    Recruiters discuss how to calculate an applicant-to-hire ratio.

    TAGS: benchmarks, applicant_to_hire ratio

    The applicant-to-hire ratio (AHR) is the average number of applicants for each college hire. AHR can be used to determine the relative interest for various jobs. In general, a higher AHR reflects the general interest in an organization’s opportunities; however, a low AHR may indicate a better efficiency for applicant conversion.

    • Formula: AHR = # of applicants/# of applicants accepting an offer

    A variation of AHR that focuses on evaluating campus recruiting efforts is computing a campus interview-to-hire ratio (CIHR). CIHR can be used to measure overall campus recruitment success. 

    • Formula: CIHR = # of campus interviews/# of campus interviewed accepting an offer

    CIHR is ratio of all students interviewed on a campus to the number of hires from that school (e.g. 50 total campus interviews from 5 schedules resulting in 5 hires; CIHR=10; 10 campus interviews resulting in 5 hires CIHR=2).

    Using Your Ratio

    Variations for AHR may be used to monitor the diversity characteristics of overall incoming hires and applicants or to compare such characteristics at the university level.

    One of the best ways to use AHR is to sort by hire source (e.g., campus recruitment, referral, social networking, non-solicited/website, job board) to demonstrate where channels are attracting applicants and being successful in converting to hires.

    University relations and recruiting (URR) functions should identify commonalities (schools, type of degree, other demographics) among applicants who accepted an offer as compared to those who didn’t accept an offer.

    URR should also consider the timing when applications were received, by college/program/degree of the applicants and determine if the application period was consistent with the recruiting expectations of the students in that college/program/degree.

    When benchmarking the AHR, URR should consider such doing so with organizations with comparable factors, such as brand strength, industry, position, and location. 

    Additional formulas

    There are a host of metrics that can help you strengthen efforts, build on success, and demonstrate the value of your recruiting program. For a detailed list of formulas, including more-sophisticated takes on the interview, offer, acceptance metrics, e.g., application interview rate and applicant to hire rate, see the Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting, Chapter III.

    Current benchmarks for recruiting, internship/co-op programs

    NACE regulary collects benchmarks for recruiting programs and, through a separate survey, for internship and co-op programs; survey participants and members at their organizations receive a complimentary copy of the report and its related dashboard. For information about taking part in NACE surveys, contact Anna Longenberger, research assistant.

    Current benchmarks for recruiting programs overall are available through the 2022 Recruiting Benchmarks Report; the latest benchmarks for internship programs are available through the 2023 Internship & Co-op Report. If you or someone at your organization took part in one or both of the surveys, you will find the reports in MyNACE.

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