HR Metrics

July 18, 2022

5 Simple Steps To Forecasting Recruiter Needs

Yes, you can forecast recruiter needs!

No, it won't be perfect, but it can be close. 

Here are five simple steps to creating a close-to-perfect recruiting forecast.

But first, why is it important to forecast your recruiting needs?

It's simple, really. Like any other labor planning exercise, if you don't have an accurate headcount forecast, you won't have the right people in place to meet the business's needs.

Whether you are trying to figure out how many recruiters you need for a new division or whether a recruiter leaving spells trouble, you need to accurately forecast your recruiting needs and identify what type of talent you will need.

Steps to Forecast Recruiter Needs

Getting the number of recruiters right is vital. Too few, and you'll be overwhelmed with work. Too many, and you'll have a lot of overhead costs and probably some unhappy recruiters.

But forecasting recruiter needs isn't as simple as dividing your total open requisitions by the number of recruiters on your team.

Some jobs take longer to fill than others, and some recruiters are better than others at finding candidates.

You need to take into account all of these factors to get an accurate picture of how many recruiters you need at any given time:

Step 1: Know your current headcount

Know that you can't forecast recruiter needs accurately if you don't know how many recruiters you have right now.

As a result, the first step in your headcount planning should be an accurate review of your current recruiting staff.

The easiest way to do this is to run a report of all employees currently in any kind of recruiting role.

If you use applicant tracking software, run an employee report showing everyone with a recruiting title. If not, talk to HR or the person who does payroll so you can get the information yourself.

Step 2- Current Headcount vs Open Reqs

The second step in planning for recruiter needs is to determine the current headcount of your team. This includes full-time employees (FTEs), contractors, and agency recruiters.

Once you've determined the current headcount, take a look at any open requisitions you might have as well as any other anticipated hiring needs (e.g., upcoming layoffs).

Step 3: Identify the Key Positions to Fill

In a new organization, you'll likely have to fill every position. In an established company, you may be filling only a handful of positions or just one.

Every role is important to your company's success. A wrong hire can cost you time and money, and cause you to lose customers.

Don't leave filling any position to chance—plan for it before you need it.

The first step is to identify all critical positions in your company that require recruiting support and determine the frequency with which they need to be filled. This becomes the basis for your hiring forecast.

Step 4: Define your recruiting strategy

When you develop a strong recruiting strategy, it’s easier to understand what types of candidates you need to hire to grow your business.

Before hiring new recruiters, consider what roles are critical for achieving your business goals and which roles are less important. This will help you determine if hiring full-time employees or contract recruiters makes more sense.

For example, If one of your main objectives is to hire entry-level sales representatives, then hiring internal recruiters with experience in this area may be beneficial since they can guide candidates through the entire hiring process.

However, contract recruiters may be a better option if your company is growing rapidly and needs temporary support during peak seasons.

Step 5: Look ahead at turnover and hiring plans

Next, look at turnover rates for all of your departments for the last year or two (you can average them), then multiply those rates by the number of people in each department. That will give you a rough estimate of how many recruits you will need over the next 12 months.

Bonus step: Determine the Number of Interviews Required Per Role

Once you know what roles you'll be hiring for, figure out how many interviews each role will require. To do that, multiply the number of hires you expect to make by the projected number of interviews needed for each one.

For example, if you expect five hires for a specific open role, and each one requires an average of seven interviews, that role alone will require 35 interviews. This is a very simple calculation, but it quickly adds up when you have multiple openings.

Bottom line

As with most things in recruitment, forecasting recruiter needs is both an art and a science. You want to stay on top of the latest recruiting trends, but you also want to make sure your forecast accounts for the preferences of your team and hiring managers. 

With eqtble, you can know how many recruiters you should hire based on factors like the number of open positions, the growth rate over a period, and the average time between opening to filling an opening for candidates.

PS: Our HR Metrics Catalog is always growing, providing you with hundreds of metrics that our expert community has identified as being useful.