Competency Metrics for Recruiters

Recently, our team conducted a nationwide recruitment-skills competency study and discovered an interesting pattern. It became evident that while recruiters of all types strongly agree as to the soft skills that contribute to a recruiter’s success, there was far less agreement on the “hard” skills – the measurable skills that are used on a daily basis. In this article, we will look at some of these skills and how to leverage this information for recruitment team credibility and success. Some of the interesting outcomes from the data include:

  • There was a large discrepancy on whether or not the knowledge of implementing an employee referral program is a skill that a recruiter must have. However, the number one source of candidates for a company has historically been employee referrals.
  • When addressing the skill “project planning,” most recruiters ranked it as “low importance.” Yet many corporations across the U.S. have significant hiring goals that require sufficient execution and project management.
  • Most recruiters ranked “employment law” as a skill trait that is of low importance. Yet in today’s organization, employment discrimination and EEO/affirmative action related issues cost companies millions of dollars each year.
  • Budgeting was another concrete skill where an inconsistent pattern emerged as to the frequency of use and its importance in the current job function. The lack of budgeting knowledge creates cause for concern, since many recruiters utilize agencies, advertising firms, career boards, and job fairs with little understanding of how those costs impact their bottom line.
  • Integrity, listening, work ethic, time management, closing ability, assertiveness, self confidence, results oriented, assessment, tolerance for pressure were rated the highest importance in a recruiter’s job.

So what does all of this mean? Interestingly, each of these items can directly impact the recruitment team’s success. In order to address these items, our team uses an approach called Management by Metrics (MBM). MBM is an approach that:

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  1. Drives the recruitment process though metrics and results
  2. Continuously reviews risk by addressing fair-hiring practices, EEO and affirmative action compliance through data
  3. Monitors accountability throughout the recruitment process for both the hiring manager and the recruiter
  4. Monitors recruitment effectiveness for continuous improvement
  5. Takes an emotionally driven process and supports it through metrics, empowering recruiters to become business partners to the organization.

Where a traditional recruitment process involves loose monitoring of costs, accountability primarily on the recruiter, loose fair-hiring practices, and doing whatever it takes to get the positions filled, MBM takes is a step further. In MBM, data is reviewed to analyze historical sources of hire, candidate flow through hiring processes, and fair-hiring practices. Once collected, this information is then used to develop a recruitment strategy that focuses on past successes and is open to continuous improvement. The benefits here include taking a project approach to recruitment, developing sourcing plans and strategies that can significantly reduce hiring costs, ensuring shared accountability between recruiters and hiring managers, and monitoring of data to ensure fair hiring practices. Once implemented, MBM can have significant results. The first step is to determine how you can collect the data. If you have an applicant tracking system that provides strong reporting, the rest is a snap. Once you have the data consider such things as high cost areas, where your candidates are coming from, where are your speed bumps in your hiring process. Surround this with metrics and continuously evaluate and fine tune.

Kimberly Bedore ( is a consultant and public speaker who develops and implements staffing solutions for clients, resulting in increased efficiencies and significant cost savings. She uses her wide range of recruiting experience to provide companies with a wealth of information related to sourcing and sourcing strategies, recruitment training, and the implementation of solutions and metrics that enable a higher degree of staffing effectiveness.


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