21st Century Measures: Part II

Last week we discussed measures of speed, which is one of the defining traits of the 21st century. However, speed alone is not an adequate measure of your success as a recruiter. Many other factors should be considered, including the quality of your hires and whether or not you are fulfilling the corporate mission or goals. One of the respondents to last week?s column spoke of context as an important consideration in looking at metrics. Some organizations can present candidates to managers very quickly, but the candidates may not be the kind needed. Both recruiters and managers should have clearly established the quality criteria, and there should be a way to verify that quality. Some measures of quality might include:

  1. How quickly is the new hire productive? This will require that you and the hiring managers decide how you will define productive, but once you do, this measure can be used to identify the traits of candidates who have turned out to be the most productive employees.
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  3. What performance rating does the new hire get after 6 and 12 months on the job? If the performance rating is not high, then the recruiter should analyze why and try to see if there is any way that fact could have been determined during the screening process. Making mistakes and learning from them almost always characterizes good recruiters. Collecting opinions and matching performance to the things you saw during screening is important.
  4. What are the voluntary and involuntary turnover rates? Recruiters should know whenever the organization is forced to let a number of people go within a year because of performance. Could the lack of performance have been picked up during interviews or in a screening process? Why did the need to let the person go arise? If the turnover is voluntary, the recruiters have to be well aware of what the issue were (or are) and move to educate management to take steps to prevent it.

<*SPONSORMESSAGE*> Without a framework, metrics are also meaningless. If a company is focused on increasing its diversity, for example, metrics that show how diversity is increasing or decreasing will give meaning and provide an indication that things are improving or not. Data over time?trend data?is also far more important than point data, which usually consists of a single metric for a specific time period. What most managers want to know is whether or not things are growing or shrinking, getting better or worse. The more a recruiter can present data that is tied to strategic goals and that shows the direction the measure is going will be rewarded and successful. As the recruiting website rises to center stage in the recruiting process, and, in world-class companies, becomes the source of most candidates’ primary information about your organization, it is vital to have a strong and strategic person leading and measuring the success of the website. There are a number of organizations that help to assess the effectiveness of a website. These include Wetfeet.com, for example, which provides weekly analysis of selected websites, but which also offers extensive information and feedback to individual job seekers as well as to subscribing organizations. Other tools are available to track how many people “hit” or visited particular pages of your recruiting website and how long they stayed on that page. Returning visitors, visitors from competing organizations, and first-time visitors can be identified and tracked over time. These people collectively create a talent pool that the enterprising recruiter can nurture and harvest for many years. Knowing these website-related statistics and tracking them over time will provide the quantitative information you need to drive more change and get the tools you will need. Some issues that arose from readers included the need to have more government data. Others of you wanted to go back to the 20th century and expressed a strong desire to get out of this crazy job market. In some ways I sympathize, but on the other hand, I am excited and challenged by the issues and dilemmas being posed. How do we do more with less? How DO we get smarter? I think that at least to some degree, our ability to accept new schools and ideas, to hone and refine what we have, and to be flexible in accepting alternative lifestyles are critical factors that will more and more over time lead to success. Once again, an internal “what?s in it for me right now” attitude will be destructive and set us on a retrograde path. We need candor, honesty and fairness to all. The measures in these area are waiting to be developed and experimented with. If you are doing anything here or know someone who is, please let me know. Measures of these things could include personality tests or aptitude tests that are conducted by such firms as Epredix.com, PDI-org.com, and BrainBench. The trend is to use Internet-based tools to screen and develop candidates and employees. Competency models work two ways ? for and against those of us who have used them. They can help to identify skillful people for particular positions but they are biased toward those who have already done whatever it is we are screening them to do. They are not particularly good at identifying potential and future talent. So what we have is a series of measures?a kind of scorecard?that gives us a sense, at least, of where we are going. Time, speed and quality are at the core. If we think about metrics as a pyramid, we might put the basic measures of numbers and costs at the bottom. As we move up the pyramid we begin to categorize other things as more or less strategic and value-added. At the apex we should have speed of hire and performance. This focus on numbers defined within a specific context will define the next successful recruiting function and company.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.

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