Let’s start off by all agreeing that it doesn’t matter when you start measuring. It doesn’t have to be in January. It doesn’t have to be on a Monday. It doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the month. Just start thinking about recruiting metrics.
The most important thing, regardless of when you start, is that you have a benchmark. If you don’t have a benchmark, just start anyway and make your benchmark. We were “X” in the last 30 days, so let’s see how we do in the next 30 days. Too often we get hung up on when to start, and if we don’t start on that date we should wait. Most people like clean starts and stops, but it’s really only a self-imposed prison.
It’s one of the biggest pitfalls I see in recruiting department metrics. “Well, we don’t know how many requisitions a recruiter should have, so let’s not measure that.” OK, but if you just started measuring that, you would know eventually. Not knowing what data you should have is never an excuse for not beginning to measure.
Recruiting departments (and HR departments) are classic in building CYA recruiting metrics – or the things that we measure to show we are doing the job we were hired to do so they don’t outsource our function. Every other part of your organization actually gathers data and measures things that will help the organization get better, not justify why you hired them.
Here’s a list of great CYA recruitment metrics – that actually don’t mean much:
- Time to Fill – You know this is the single most used recruitment metric on the planet, and for about 98 percent of organizations it’s totally a worthless metric! Time-to-fill is meaningless as a metric on its own. Who cares that you filled a software engineer job in 59 days instead of 61 days? No one! Now, if you show me that the decrease of two days saved the organization $X dollars, or made us $X dollars, now I’m listening. Or, if you show me that to reach our growth goals, based on the days it will take us to fill the positions, we will need to hire “X” number of additional recruiters or we will never meet those goals, I’m listening. But you don’t do that.
- Quality of Hire – This is a recruiting metric that really isn’t a recruiting metric. It’s a hiring manager metric, and it’s a metric that you can’t really measure until the individual that the hiring manager selected is fully productive, or determined that they’ll never be fully productive. What you should really do is rename this metric, “Quality of our hiring process,” because that’s what most organizations are actually measuring. “OK, the candidate that was selected 30 days ago was a crappy performer, so something went wrong with our process.” Could have been the pre-hire assessment, the awful ability of the hiring manager to select great talent, etc. What it is not is a measure of the quality of the hire. See the subjectiveness of this? That makes it a great CYA metric!
- Hiring Manager Satisfaction – Hiring manager satisfaction might be the single least effective metric on the planet. Hiring managers love the recruiting department when they find them great people to hire, and they think the recruiting department is trash when it takes more than 48 hours for them to find candidates. The hiring manager sits on a resume for three weeks, then decides she wants to interview and is pissed at you when you tell them the candidate is no longer available. Does this metric really help your recruiting department get better? But, it’s another very subjective metric that’s easily manipulated when needed. I’ve seen satisfaction surveys written in a way that hiring managers could only give the recruiting department good grades, even when they were getting almost nothing from them!
So, I know what you are going to ask. What recruiting metrics should you be using? I think there are three levels of recruiting metrics, and next month, in this exact spot, I’ll give you the recruitment metrics you should be using right now to improve recruiting in your organization!
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Tim Sackett, SPHR is the President of HRU Technical Resources a leading IT and Engineering Staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of combined Executive HR and Talent Acquisition experience, working for Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, retail, dining and technology. Tim is a highly sought after national speaker on leadership, talent acquisition and HR execution. He also is a prolific writer in the HR and Talent space, writing for Fistful of Talent and his blog The Tim Sackett Project. Tim is married to a hall of fame wife. They have three sons and one dog. He is a lifelong workplace advocate for Diet Mt. Dew fountain machines and hugs.