Benchmarking Talent Acquisition: Increasing Spend, Cost Per Hire, and Time to Fill


I’m excited to announce that the highly-anticipated Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015: Benchmarks and Trends in Spending, Staffing, and Key Recruiting Metrics was published today.[1] This research report is particularly timely for contemporary Talent Acquisition (TA) leaders. With the job market continuing its recovery, TA leaders are applying a laser-focus on how they attract and engage the talent they seek.

Why, you might ask, is this different than any another time? It boils down to this—candidates are not simply coming along for the recruiting ride—they’re driving the car now that the Internet has revolutionized candidates’ ability to search for jobs and market their skills. Potential candidates can learn detailed information about an organization just by performing a quick Internet search. Candidates can find open positions located anywhere in the world, and those with critical skills in scarce supply can easily find organizations willing to pay them more money to switch employers. Further, with the advent of social media came the ubiquitous ability to passively look for jobs (even when happily employed) by posting one’s employment experience on a social or professional networking site

Of course, this is not new news. We have spent the past several months researching ways for recruiters to become more effective—from focusing on improving the candidate experience, recruiting the long-term unemployed, to maximizing campus recruiting efforts, implementing veteran hiring initiatives (publishing in May), and developing stronger relationships with hiring managers (publishing in July). So, where does the TA leader begin today?

The Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015 should help TA leaders determine where they need to focus and may help them build a credible business case for further investment. This research helps answer the big questions TA leaders have regarding cost per hire, sources of hire, time to fill, and new hire voluntary turnover, e.g.,

  • In 2014, U.S. companies increased their average talent acquisition costs 7% from 2013, driven in part by an increase to nearly $4,000 cost per hire in 2014.

  • Professional networking sites went from 4% of the recruiting budget in 2011 to 12% on average in 2014. By contrast, agencies and third-party recruiters took a hit, claiming 18 percent of the recruiting budget in 2014, down from 38 percent in 2011.

  • Despite the increased spending on professional networks, the research shows that company websites drive more hires than other sources, followed by job boards, and internal candidates.

  • Overall, companies are finding it takes 52 days on average to fill open positions—up from 48 days in 2011.

  • High-impact TA functions have 40 percent lower new-hire turnover and are able to fill vacancies 20 percent faster than companies with more tactical recruiting functions.

Interested in learning more? Download the complimentary WhatWorks Brief and join Jennifer Krider and me for an online webinar, “Benchmarking Talent Acquisition: The Shift to Candidate-Driven Recruiting,” on June 9th at 2 p.m. EDT/19:00 BST.

As always, feel free to add a comment below, connect with me on Twitter @RAEricksonPhD, or by email at

P.S. Bersin’s annual conference, IMPACT, is being held next week in Miami. The conference is sold out but you can follow the hashtag #IMPACTHR on Wednesday and Thursday, April 29-30, to hear Bersin by Deloitte analysts present new research and in-depth case studies by practicing corporate leaders


[1] For more information, Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015, Bersin by Deloitte / Jennifer Krider, Karen O’Leonard, and Robin Erickson, Ph.D., April 2015. Available to research members at









This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.

Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.


Robin Erickson

Robin Erickson, Ph D , directs Bersin by Deloitte's Talent Acquisition research practice, and writes about various topics in talent acquisition including integrating with talent management, improving quality of hire for critical jobs, leveraging social recruiting to build talent pools and building a global recruiting function Robin brings to her role broad experience in talent strategy, retention improvement, workforce planning, organization design, mass career customization, diversity and inclusion, leadership alignment, change management, workforce transition and project management.

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