This is one in a series of posts on “Moneyball for Recruiting”. This post covers hitting, which is the cornerstone of the program for recruiters and sourcer performance.  Other posts on the metrics, methodology, concepts, and definitions can be found on this site by clicking the tag or category “Moneyball” on our blog site.

This post is specifically designed to help understand how each recruiter actually “hits” and measures that accordingly. Hitting is designated by your ability to produce movement on the bases and produce runs, in baseball. This is what the recruiter produces via individual achievement, not exactly what is expected as a position player (that is really fielding).

Is this based on how many reqs or positions you work on? NOPE.

I removed the concept of requisitions or positions – this is a results oriented process that disregards of the type of requisition it is, or how many positions each requisition has (because some requisitions that multiple openings). Hitting stats are about executing against an expected and planned offensive strategy.

These metrics showcase how many opportunities a recruiter has to present multiple candidates to a hiring manager, and what are the requisite skills needed to produce such results.

Games (G)

These are “full days” worked in the year on the core activity. If you take away weekends, training, all day meetings, holidays, time off, sick days etc, and then take about 25% of the working day and throw it out on “not working a req” then you are full time, and are a full time every day player for your team. In baseball, that pretty much means that you are playing 162 games a year, although many players take a few days off, do partial games or get injured. Removing that nuance, if you feel you are a full time recruiter working requisitions, you are playing 162 games a year. If you have a split role, such as running University Relations or managing special programs, and your requisition load is say 75% of your peers, then take 75% of 162. If you think you work more than others, thats fine.
Your number of hits, runs, RBIs, and so on will show that easily acros your 162 games you play.
If you are a recruiting manager / team leader, track your “starters” slightly differently their your “bench players” who candidly may be agencies, contractors, HR business partners or other team members.
This brings us to the concept of a Pinch Hitter. There are bench players that sit on the bench, and occasionally play in the field, but in many cases are used for specific offensive strategy. I like to think of “agencies” as the Pinch Hitters. When we are in a position where we really need runs or advancement, we bring in a Pinch Hitter. They have one job – get a slate of candidates aka make a big hit. In fact, we typically assume a pinch hitter will get an extra base hit. Just like in baseball, as soon as they are activated, they get tracked for a single game (or requisition). If they have multiple positions on a requisition, give them multiple games. Now you can track how you are “buying RBIs”. In fact, the sign of a good agency is a 1 to 1 ratio between games and RBIs.

Plate Appearances (PA)

In this system, we automatically calculate this based on the number of games the person is “active”, and the order the person is in the batting order. This is not based on reqs actually, as we can’t normalize how much a business hires or assigns to recruiters. Instead, we need to start with a manager assessment or self assessment on the sourcer or recruiter being evaluated.
A person who is full time (162 games) and bats in the number 1 lead off spot (meaning they are a very good hitter who is consistent), has 760 plate appearances automatically assigned to them. Plate Appearances decline 18 per spot picked. 760 plate appearances are calculated for a team member that you would place into the lineup as the lead off hitter, 742 for the #2 player, 724 for #3 and so on.
Be advised that this produces several impacts downstream in other stats such as OPS, SLG. If a recruiter is marked as a not full time player, say instead at 75% time, they will be marked with 570 plate appearances (a prorated amount) if they were a “lead off” hitter. This is a pretty important metric, so be careful with how you assign PA. 

At Bats (AB)

This is automatically calculated based by where a recruiter, or the leader, or the data shows that a plate appearance resulted in a HIT, BB, HBP, or SAC as noted below AND where a leader (or self) places the player in the “lineup”.
First, a team manager (usually of 9 people or less) has to have parity in the placement of the lineup (thus why they are a manager). If a manager says the batter is a #3 batter, then will automatically be given 760-(2*18) PA * (x% contribution). If you self assess, be aware that your number of games, hit types and AB will naturally regular to reveal if you are the type of hitter you say you are.
Then, based on either data or self assessment, the number of walks (BB), sacrifices (SAC), and Hit By Pitches (HBP) will be subtracted from PA (plate appearances) to produce the number of At Bats (AB) for the recruiter. Top batters typically exceed 575 AB per season.

Hits (H)

This is when 2 or more candidates are submitted by the sourcer or recruiter to a hiring manager, and are accepted for interview – and those 2 candidates are from simply from inbound or familiar sources. In many cases, this is leaning upon the brand’s power in the market, and their natural ability to attract talent. If another candidate is submitted from direct sourcing or ATS mining or CRM conversion, its still classified as a hit. If the slate of candidates has certain characteristics, it may qualify for an extra base hit.

Base on Balls / Walk (BB)

When only internal candidates, contractor conversions, or employee referrals are executed on the slate and hiring manager agrees to move forward without any additional candidates (no outbound or inbound are interviewed in person at all)

Doubles (2B)

Extra base hits are harder in baseball, and require certain requisite skills. There are more than one way to get to second, and as such, there is more than one way to get a double. Either a) 4 candidates are submitted and accepted for interview with the hiring team, regardless of source or b) 3 or more candidates that are submitted and accepted for interview with the hiring manager as choices, but at least 2 interviewed candidates were outbound oriented. A sourced candidate or outbound candidate is a NON-applicant that is converted by the recruiter / sourcer to become an applicant using manual influence, NOT automated activity that management overseas and has more enterprise wide control over. Example, training members of a team to use tools and techniques that would drive traffic to a website / career site to produce more applicants is NOT considered sourcing, but rather considered advancing the conditions and strategy of the team. This also means campaigns that are automated to a CRM database that would drive traffic to an open requisition are not considered sourcing.

Home Runs (HR)

Like doubles, there are multiple ways of getting a home run.
Either a) 4 candidates have been submitted and accepted for interview and all four candidates were marked in the system as approved for interview within 21 days of the job being open, or b) 3 candidates have been submitted and accepted for interview and ALL candidates the recruiter found themselves – either from CRM conversion, found on the fly via searching (including in ATS but not applied), but NO familiars or outbound are on the slate.
Additionally, all three candidates were marked in the system as approved for interview within 21 days of the job being open.

Triples (3B)

Ahh the Triple – the most exciting hit in baseball (at least to this author). It is the only play in baseball typically where every single defensive player on the field is engaged. It is actually the hardest hit in baseball to execute. In fact, for every triple that is hit in the Major Leagues there are 6 home runs hit. It happens half as often as it did 50 years ago actually, so its a dying hit type.
For a triple, we really need to raise the bar and show how a sourcer or recruiter has really worked to get the hiring manager choices.
First, we need to meet the requirements of a Home Run, but with four candidates being submitted. Second, a balanced slate of candidates that meet needs related to diversity and/or disability. To be specific, the slate of 4 candidates has to have at least a 2 non-white candidates and 2 female candidates to be counted as a triple. Third, the speed has to be tremendous. The slate of candidates need to be accepted  for interviewing within 14 days of the requisition opening.

Runs (R)

In this case, we need tally runs using a sabremetric formula known as “Runs Created” or commonly known RC. Although runs are an indicator of base running as a skill, and also an indication of contribution to the team.
In my original sketch of Moneyball, I aligned with great hesitancy equating RUNS to HIRES…but unfortunately I can’t normalize runs (or hires) across the various industries with low volume or high volume hiring cleanly. As an example, in baseball you can have a game with lots of hits, but few runs. You can also have lots of runs and few hits. Since run production is not directly correlated with success (winning a game or a winning season), neither can hires as the performance for a recruiter.
Baseball already has a sabremetric that solve this problem, and by mapping our Hits, 2B, 3B and other hitting types to a data driven definition, we will be able to use RC in substitute for Runs.

Runs Batted In (RBI)

This is a key measure in baseball, as it helps management understand how a player contributes to the offense without necessarily cross the plate themselves.
Not long ago, I was at the Philadelphia Phillies spring training facility, and as part of their coaching hung the sign you see as the image on this post. As you look at that image, you will notice that all are about offensive plays that are specific. All of these are actually major drivers of bringing runs in, as each in theory have the ability to move a runner from one base to another. In fact, all of these likely produce an out for the hitter, potentially lowering their batting or slugging percentage. However all advance runner and likely produce runs batted in (RBI).
A RBI in Recruiting Moneyball is produced if a) a home run is hit, b) a sourced candidate of gets hired on a non-assigned requisition or c) when 3 interviews occur with your candidates that DO NOT produce a hire. Note that there is not a direct stat transferable from baseball here but we are linking the fact that three interviews produces a result that a hiring manager will find valuable and advancing.

Stolen Bases (SB) and Caught Stealing (CS)

Stolen Bases (SB).
This is a offensive strategy when a player who has speed is entrusted to attempt advancement between bases when not at the plate but when already on first or second base. Its rare to see a 2nd to 3rd stolen base, but 1st to 2nd is common.

Typically, players are successful in stealing a base about two-thirds of the time. The behavior is still based on a trust that has developed between player and the coach, where that risk to the team has been acknowledged. For recruiters who have that trust, they have the ability to send in only 2 interviewed candidates for an opening, versus 3. This is a sign of trust and agility. Stolen bases are easy to see on a req by req basis, and if a pattern emerges, you can likely claim that the recruiter should be considered to see more plate appearances annually (in theory more requisitions).

Caught Stealing (CS). For our purposes, we are going to mark Offer Declines against this measure. I recognize that its not conversely related to Stolen Bases, but it also does not happen that often as its a calculated move.

Hit By Pitch (HBP)

These are where the external hire happens and its a push through / paper process. It should not happen often, and its really an error of the defense (hiring manager). Occasionally, they do throw a pitch at you and do it deliberately though to shake you up, but if you notice in baseball, we don’t count those as “At Bats” specifically. Its just part of the game.
We collect it as a percentage of the number of requisitions that are worked on where one believes this occurs, or we can see it in the data when one or two people are pushed through the process as applicants, and only one or two.


This is when the recruiter does NOT individually perform when at the plate. There is no hit, he/she does not get on base, or are either called out after not making the right attempts, or after too many poorly executed attempts. This is tricky, and the data mechanics can be complicated here. Now outs occur, they are part of the game. It is assumed that recruiters will submit a candidate and they will not be approved by the hiring manager. In fact in baseball, some of the best hitters also have the most strikeouts. It is possible the that highest paid person on your payroll may lead the team in certain type of out, known as a strikeout. Typically, this player also has a decent batting average, and has RBIs, RUNS, and HRs. In all ways, outs as a percentage of plate appearances is the inverse of on base percentage. If a player is on base .650, they are out .350. Its common to track K or Strike Outs, but in our model it just does not translate well, as it would mean we would also need to track the several other types of outs. As such, I will work on a upgrade for 2019. So in the meantime, we are just tracking “Outs”.


Conversely measured to Hit By Pitch are sacrifice flies or sacrifice bunts – which is the equivalent of crashing the candidate flow to the manager. This is where you need to overload the manager with submissions in order to get them to say yes to interviews. This is where 5, 6, or even 10 candidates are submitted to the manager in order to execute the work and get enough interviews to happen in order to advance. This is arguably offense ready, as it does tend to advance the initiatives, and under some conditions its actually strategic, but I am equating it to still producing an out. We sacrifice the out for the sake of advancement for a larger play. As such, these activities are not seen as a HIT, and also would be eliminated from the AT- BAT percentage. It is just part of the game, but should not be held against the recruiter for their performance. Sacrifices are part of the situation when the batter makes their plate appearance, and in certain scenarios, the stakeholders are expecting the sacrifice to be executed, so much so that in baseball the defensive players actually move around prior to the plate appearance to ready themselves for the sacrifice.