Decoding Success: Top KPIs in the Staffing Industry – Part I

Key Performance Indicator

Part One of a Two-Part Series

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are objective measurements of progress toward a goal. Successful organizations incorporate KPIs as a key management tool, regularly studying the KPIs to determine whether their initiatives are achieving the desired results.

KPIs can show that an initiative is working well, that it needs adjustment, or even that it should be abandoned. Like any data point, a KPI must be properly interpreted, either alone or with other KPIs, to influence a course of action.

In the staffing industry, relevant KPIs can vary based on the firm’s vertical—but the following KPIs are important to all staffing companies.

  • Fill Rate: Measures the percentage of job orders that a staffing company successfully fills with qualified candidates. A high fill rate shows efficiency in matching candidates with job openings.
  • Time-to-Fill: Shows the average amount of time to fill a job order with a suitable candidate. A shorter time-to-fill suggests efficiency and responsiveness in providing clients with the right candidates.
  • Candidate Quality: These crucial KPIs can include retention rate, performance feedback from clients, and candidate fit within the client’s organization.
  • Client Satisfaction: Surveys, feedback, and reviews can all gauge how well the staffing company is meeting client needs and expectations.
  • Candidate Satisfaction: Provides insights into the effectiveness of the staffing process and the candidate experience.
  • Revenue per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): Calculates the revenue generated by each full-time equivalent employee, helping assess the efficiency of the company’s operations.
  • Gross Margin: This crucial indicator of profitability is the difference between the revenue generated from placing a candidate and the cost of recruiting and employing that candidate.
  • Billable Hours: The total hours billed to clients for temporary or contract placements. It reflects the company’s utilization of its workforce.
  • Conversion Rate: Tracks the percentage of candidates submitted to clients who are subsequently hired. A higher conversion rate indicates better matching of candidates to job roles.
  • Client Retention Rate: This key indicator of customer loyalty and satisfaction shows how many clients continue to use the staffing company’s services over time.
  • Time-to-Submit: Shows how quickly a staffing company submits candidates for client job openings after receiving the request. A shorter time-to-submit can increase client satisfaction.
  • Time-to-Hire: The average amount of time it takes to move a candidate from application to hire. This metric reflects staffing process efficiency.
  • Time-to-Start: The time between a candidate’s acceptance of an offer to their start date. Shorter times indicate smoother onboarding processes.
  • Cost per Hire: The total cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training a candidate. Lowering the cost per hire can improve profitability.
  • Pipeline Metrics: Tracking metrics related to the candidate and client pipelines—such as the number of candidates in the pipeline and the number of open job orders—can help in managing workflow and planning.

In our next blog post, we’ll cover the KPIs to track from the moment a job opening is posted to when a candidate is successfully placed. Monitoring these KPIs can help ensure an efficient and effective recruitment process.

Does your staffing firm focus on light industrial, healthcare, locum, professional, or permanent placements? Reach out and let us know your focus; we will send you a comprehensive list of KPIs that are unique to your agency’s specialty!


Erin MacKenzie is Newbury Partners Vice President of Client Services. She oversees both the Customer Success and Managed Services divisions. Her team works with all of Newbury Partners current clients to ensure that we are meeting our brand promise commitments with the realization of the investment in our services, every client has a voice and to create a partnership that continues to grow with every engagement.

Email us at to learn more about how we can help you with setting up the right KPI’s for your staffing firm.

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