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Metrics For the Modern Recruiting Function

Written By
Nicholas Phillips
Associate Editor

Modern recruiting organizations bear little resemblance to the bureaucratic HR departments and rolodex-peddling recruitment agencies that used to dominate corporate talent acquisition. The new vision of HR treats talent acquisition as an internal service with multiple stakeholders. As recruiting continues to evolve, organizations struggle to identify metrics to define and measure success. David Pumpelly, Avature VP of Enterprise Talent Solutions, shared strategies for measuring metrics that matter to today’s recruiters.

The evolution of the recruiting function

Twenty years ago, companies relied heavily on talent agencies to fill specialized roles. For executives and senior employees, agency fees can still reach 50% of annual salary for the position. Given the steep costs of external talent agencies, companies were eager to try more cost-effective options. Online job boards and the emergence of CRM technology allowed organizations to bypass agencies in their search for specialized talent.

Many companies developed internal recruiting programs to reduce their reliance on agencies. In order to measure the success of this move, recruiting teams typically reported cost-per-hire and time-to-fill as their core metrics. Today’s recruiters, however, need to do more than just prove that they are hiring faster and cheaper than a talent agency.

Recruiting as service delivery

“Any organization within your company is providing a service to the overall organization,” said Pumpelly. “It’s no different for HR if they’re providing recruitment services or performance management services. You have to look at the function and ask: what is the service they’re providing for the business?”

Above all, the recruiting function needs to deliver the right talent at the right time to the business units that it serves. The ultimate measure of its success is the satisfaction of internal clients—the hiring managers who will eventually manage and work with new employees. In order to do this as efficiently as possible, recruiters need to ensure that they are focusing on high-quality leads and moving them through each step in the recruiting process as quickly as possible. Particularly in large organizations, requirements vary across departments and regions. It is important to have internal processes and technology that can accommodate these needs as well as promote learning across divisions.

Meaningful metrics serve as conversation starters. They allow recruiters and hiring managers to ask themselves what is working and what they can do better. Pumpelly highlighted two types of metrics that can help organizations understand and improve their recruiting processes: measures of hiring manager satisfaction and conversion rates.

Hiring manager satisfaction

Hiring manager satisfaction can sound like a black box, but ultimately it boils down to two questions: How happy is the hiring manager with the new employee, and how happy is the hiring manager with the hiring process?

Ask specific questions. Small details can help or hurt the hiring process.

  • How is the new hire performing?
  • Did he or she understand what would be expected of them in the position?
  • Were there any logistical complications or miscommunications in the hiring process?
  • What other skills should recruiters have screened for before sending the candidate to interview with the hiring manager?

Conversion rates

Measuring conversion rates can help your organization understand where energy is well spent and where time is lost throughout the recruiting process.

By tracking days per step you can see how much time a candidate spends in each stage of the hiring process, from phone screenings to interviews and feedback steps. Are recruiters taking too long to screen candidates? Do hiring managers need to provide interview feedback in a more timely manner?

Measure conversion rate by source to uncover which outreach efforts are yielding real results. Do candidates from a particular event often turn into successful hires? Are candidates from a certain company rarely successful? Focusing efforts on promising sources of talent helps you make the most of your time and resources.

Metrics for change

At the end of the day, statistics are not useful if they do not help your organization identify room for improvement and changes to implement.

  • Set targets to ensure that recruiters know what is expected of them and can measure their progress.
  • Make the feedback process easy for HMs by delivering surveys promptly after interviews and sending periodic notifications reminding them that their feedback will help improve the process going forward.
  • Create metrics dashboards to organize your statistics in one easily-accessible location.

A successful metrics program focuses on first understanding and then improving the recruiting function. By measuring recruiting success with a service delivery mindset, organizations can gain insights to drive changes that benefit all stakeholders in the hiring process.

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