Jamie_Woods_JCW_.png “Gut instinct is not reliable in terms of scalability. When you’ve got a 10 person business, the owner can know, in specific detail, what’s going on at everyone’s individual desk. Now, we’ve got a business of 60. There’s no one person in the business that has an in depth understanding of everything that’s going on. Working off data allows us to establish what true north is in any given situation and then act accordingly, in real time.”

– Jamie Woods, Founder and Director of JCW Search


This is the first post in a blog series exploring the most important metrics used by recruitment agencies to run their daily operations and scale the business. We’ll cover definitions, benchmarking, forecasting, and more. This should be considered an intermediate-level series, where someone with a strong knowledge of the space will find a summary of their current understanding, plus a few tips and ideas to spark your journey into recruitment business intelligence.

MDs, owners, and senior management – or those aspiring to join that echelon will benefit most from this series.



Ask a recruiter, manager, sales director, CEO, or Board Member what the most important metric for measuring and increasing the effectiveness of a recruitment company is, and you’ll get a mixed bag of answers.

One reason for this, is that each individual understands the company from a different perspective. A recruitment consultant will look to their daily activities as drivers of success. A CEO or MD will seek to identify and predict drivers of revenue growth and profit.

In Bullhorn’s 2015 UK Recruitment Trends Report, they listed 2 key metrics recruiters rely on:

“Respondents chose fill rate (53-57%) as the most important recruiting delivery processmetric and total number of placements (52-59%) as the most important revenue-driving performance metric.”

See how they divided metrics into delivery process and revenue-driving performancecategories? This makes a lot of sense. You want to separate process metrics from those that track end goals, and we’d suggest that you go a step further




  • Revenue/Revenue Growth – Bookings, cash flow, forecasting, and growth.
  • Business Development Metrics – The number of activities performed while getting new clients and adding jobs.
  • Business Development Efficiency Metrics – The measurement of how efficient each consultant or team is at delivering on those BD activities.
  • Recruitment Performance Metrics – The number of activities performed by a recruitment consultant or team.
  • Recruitment Performance Efficiency Metrics – The measurement of how efficient each consultant or team is at performing those activities.

This makes sense, whether you have separated or unified your business development and recruitment roles, as even the 360 desk unified role performs both sets of activities → and deserves the credit for doing them both well.

Think about it like this:

Your Business Development metrics and Recruitment Performance metrics measure the activities of your organisation. These metrics drive revenue.

Each of these categories also have an associated category that measures the Efficiency with which your team performs those activities. These metrics impact profit.

As a group, each of these metric categories have a direct impact on profit, the penultimate KPI. Profit by account, profit per billing employee, and profit per team are the core of this business. Focus on them – and ensure that your whole team understands the relationship between what they do and how the firm grows. To do this, visibility is key.