I’ve been seeing the topic of quality of hire appear in articles more and more lately. In fact, the ERE Conference later this month is mainly focused on it.
Much of this conversation is centered on how to measure hire quality and even the role talent acquisition plays in impacting it. Some TA teams feel it doesn’t seem appropriate to hold them responsible post hire for people they do not manage. For teams that do have a measurement, a common approach appears to be tying quality to turnover rates, particularly year-one turnover. The problem with this approach is that it does not capture bad hires who are still employed — perhaps the worst kind of bad hire!
MedAssets approaches this differently. We believe TA absolutely should be responsible for quality of hire, as the role of a TA organization is not just to recruit candidates, but rather to ensure that the hiring teams are positioned to do a good job of hiring through our coaching and influence. And we’re taking a proactive approach to doing just that.
Our goal was to develop a measurement that enabled us to continuously improve our recruiting process and the results we are getting. That is where our measurement comes in. The old adage “if you want to improve something, first you must measure it,” is very applicable here. This measurement helps us recognize where we have opportunity to improve our hiring practices. This is not about raw numbers, although you will see there are plenty to analyze, but rather about continuous improvement. Here is how we are approaching it.
First, we implemented an interview and evaluation approach that starts with identifying the critical skills and competencies needed in each open position. Prior to interviews, the hiring manager is asked to define five to eight critical skills and competencies that are needed to be successful in the role. This serves as the foundation for a structured interview, in which each skill or competency is then rated on a defined scale of one to four. To support this process, we’ve rolled out interview training that shows our hiring teams how to conduct and evaluate the interviews and ultimately rate the candidates in each area. These ratings provide a snapshot of what we think we are getting in our new hire.
After a hire has been with us for 90-120 days, and the hiring manager has had an opportunity to see the new hire in action, we go to the manager and ask him or her to rate the new hire again, using the same rating scale and on the same skills and competencies we determined initially. This gives us a quality-of-hire rating, and also provides a comparison to what we thought we were getting. In other words, how well did we make our evaluation? Did we get what we thought we were getting?
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In all, we capture the skills and competencies of each new hire, who on the hiring team interviewed and evaluated each person, and the one-to-four rating for each skill or competency.
We also tie the data back to a variety of typical hiring data such as who the hiring manager is, the department, business unit, source of hire, time to hire, and the recruiter. This enables us to analyze the data in a variety of ways and helps us identify areas of opportunity. What groups need additional coaching? Are there skills or competencies that we are consistently hiring below or above compared to what we think during the interview process? Is there a particular interview participant who needs coaching? Do we get our best hires from internal candidates, employee referrals, search, or job boards?
I’ll be the first to say that this is not a perfect measurement and certainly has limitations. The measurement only works well if we identify the correct skills and competencies on which to focus. The rating system, no matter how well defined, is still a subjective rating. Taking the measurement in the 90-120 day period is debatable, because ideally you would take a longer term view of a new hire, but you want to get feedback fast enough to take action on it.
That said, this measurement does provide great feedback, gives us actionable data, reinforces a planned and structured interview which in turn improves the candidate experience, and overall it provides a platform for us to continuously improve our hiring practices.