The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

The Difference Between Cost Per Applicant and Cost Per Hire


Our industry has been gravitating toward metrics more and more in the last several years, and it’s served us well. They help executives understand what’s going on behind the scenes, allow us see what’s working and what’s not and give us a way to evaluate costs and benefits of our HR and recruiting practices. Cost per hire is one of the most widely accepted metrics, but there’s another measurement that can help us hone our recruiting strategies even further.

Cost per applicant is much more inclusive than its cousin, cost per hire. It evaluates how much our recruiting activities cost per applicant rather than per new hire. Simply put, it’s all the costs of internal and external recruiting divided by the number of total applicants you have for a position or during a certain period of time. While not used by companies as often as cost per hire, I would argue that it actually provides a clearer picture of whether or not your recruiting dollars are being used in the best way.