Well, we finally come to the end of our list of the seven things an organization must have to be considered world-class. The first questions that must be asked are simple ones: What is important to your customer? And, who IS your customer? Although these are simple, they are not easy to answer. Is your candidate the customer? The hiring manager? The executive team? Or is it all of these? What do each of these hold as important? What are the criteria they are judging you by? Do you know? This week we look at who the customer is and how you can measure the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts. All seven of these steps, put together into a system and properly managed, will provide your organization with a clear advantage over the competition, and with a giant leap toward being a leader in the 21st century. To start, here’s the list of seven things you must have if you want a world-class staffing organization. 1. PAPER IS NON-EXISTENT (Discussed on Wednesday October 7th) 2. MANGERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RECRUITING PROCESS (Discussed on Wednesday, October 14th) 3. THE ORGANIZATION USES THE RIGHT TYPE OF EMPLOYEE IN THE RIGHT POSITION (October 21st) 4. DEVELOPMENT OF TALENT IS PART OF THE RECRUITING MINDSET (October 28th) 5. THE ONLY CONSTRAINTS ON FILLING POSITIONS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY ARE CAUSED BY SCHEDULING DELAYS (November 4th) 6. STAFFING IS PART OF THE IMAGE DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING EFFORTS OF THE ORGANIZATION (November 11th) 7. THE ORGANIZATION MEASURES RECRUITING SUCCESS (November 18th) No one would deny that the candidate is probably the foremost customer – judging us on the quality of our interaction with him or her. If we make a good impression it will remain with the candidate and passed along to everyone they talk to. If not, it can damage our reputation for a long time. But, the hiring manager is also very important for two reasons: (1) she hired you, the recruiter, to do a job, i.e. find a qualified employee and (2) she will pass judgement on how good your candidates are. If it took weeks or months to find the right candidate, she will want to know why. Or, she may have already decided that the reason is YOUR inability to source and attract the best. Before accepting any recruiting assignment, you should clearly establish the criteria by which you will be judged. In almost every case, speed will be followed by quality. Cost is almost always last — and often not even a consideration at all. Yet, when I scan the literature on recruiting, I see a focus on cost per hire, on advertising budgets, and on dollars in general. I always wonder why? If you were able to produce two or three highly-qualified candidate in a few hours after receiving a bona fide requisition or job request, and if one of these candidates were hired, wouldn’t you be a hero? Wouldn’t cost be irrelevant? I think these are the critical parameters, in order of importance: 1. TIME TO HIRE: Speed has become the competitive differentiator. All else being equal, this is what makes a difference to candidate and manager. Just think what response you would get from a manager if one or two days after your received a job requisition you provided one or two very qualified, well-screened candidates? Is this possible? Yes. Given new Internet-based tools for screening, tracking, and background screening candidates, it is possible to have very short turn-around times. 2. QUALITY OF THE HIRE: Did your new hire actually show up the first day? Do you know that a very high percentage of new employees never show up on their start date and that another significant number don’t come back after the first or second day? What is your 1-, 2- and 3-month retention rate? As a recruiter, there are many things you can do to improve the chances that the person hired will stay and perform. You can test candidates for skills and abilities, you can do background checks and reference checks, and you can use the speed with which you extend an offer and set the start date to ensure that the quality of your candidate increases. All of these techniques add to your percentages. Hiring can, to a large extent, be a scientific process with many more procedures and safeguards than we generally believe. But, with the cost of turnover exceeding 33% of annual salary, whatever you do will pay off. Good hires mean employees who show up, work hard, and achieve their goals. By understanding the skills and personalities of currently successful employees, you can develop profiles of success to use in your interviewing and screening. 3. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Do you survey your customers and find out what they really think about you and the staffing function? Inside large corporations, given today’s supply constrained marketplace, recruiting functions are on the front line. Everyone scapegoats and complains about their staffing organizations. Unfortunately, they are often right! It is seldom that a recruiting function markets itself well and effectively. Do you have an active marketing campaign? Do you publicize success? Are you active or passive in creating your image? Are you surveying your customers to see what they want? What do candidates think about you? Is your advertising agency guiding you both internally AND externally? 4. CANDIDATE DIVERSITY: Are you hiring a good mix of people? So you have targets and goals for hiring Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics? What is your strategy to attract and retain great people of diverse backgrounds? Everyone is seeking out diversity. Schools are swamped with recruiters looking for topnotch Asian, Hispanic, and African-American MBAs, engineers, and programmers. But, are you helping to build future talent through supporting high school and college intern programs. Are you providing scholarships? It is critical to have an active program with goals and a clear strategy. 5. COST PER HIRE: What does it cost you to bring in the talent? While this is far from critical in today’s market, it is always wise to watch costs and have a program of continuous improvement. Make sure you are spending money on the things that make sense and pay off. Measure what works and doesn’t work as rigorously as you can. Never spend more than you have to, but always weigh costs against potential benefit. And remember that you have to pay for top talent just like sports teams do. Good people know they are good and demand appropriate salaries and benefits. Next week we will tackle some new issues. There are lots of things to cover as we start a new year, including personality testing, background screening, outsourcing the recruiting function, and outsourcing all the administrative side of staffing. There are many new Internet tools and services that we will start sorting through. It should be an exciting new year! See you next week.
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 email@example.com.