Perhaps Talent Acquisition Departments Are Wishing for Something They Already Have

track recruiting performanceCome on, admit it. If you are like the rest of us, you have, at some point in time, indulged in wishful thinking about what to ask for if a genie appeared to grant three wishes with no limitations. So, what if Aladdin did actually appear from out of his bottle promising to fulfill three recruitment-related wishes, unencumbered by the dreary realities of limited resources or an ever-shrinking budget? What would you wish for?

That’s the answer we were seeking when we recently had some fun with our 2014 Recruiting Innovations and Best Practices Survey (conducted with technical assistance from the Center for Research and Service at Illinois Institute of Technology, email me for the report).

We asked respondents “If you had unlimited resources and dollars to invest, what would you invest in over the next 12 months?” (BTW: Susan Collins from Talbots is going to talk about something similar at the San Diego ERE event; Talbots has a $25,000 pot of experimental money.) We encouraged survey takers to answer the question in the context of their:

  • Recruitment strategies
  • Technology/tools
  • Processes
  • And, finally, the people within their recruitment organization.

For each of the above topical areas, respondents had free rein to write in their answers. On the topic of strategy, the wishes ranged widely, from campus recruitment programs to retention efforts, and from training for hiring managers to major overhauls of existing technology.

In a couple of instances, the technology/tools asked for don’t even (to the best of our knowledge) yet exist — witness the person who wished for “a tool that will provide better business intelligence on how we can recruit and hire employees that will partner well with our clients. Something better than a CRM or Salesforce.”

And another who would, unimpeded by budget or resources, invest in “the ultimate system/technology/tool that does it ALL (a HRMS that identifies, assess competence level , compares, tracks & reports) including effort reporting; it would communicate with other HRIS, ATS, CRM, SEO & SEM systems.”

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Despite these generally varied responses, the one major common thread within this “wish list” of responses is measurement, particularly in terms of capturing, analyzing, and using data to drive informed decisions to improve. Here are some excerpts from the write-in comments:

  • “Use same tools being used to recruit top talent to ensure development of existing human capital as a valued asset [from which to recruit to fill open jobs] in the company”
  • “Conducting “post hire” interviews with new hires after 60 days to determine how well things are going and see if there is anything that we can do to make their onboarding experience better (and intervene if there are issues beginning to surface).  Also get their input on the recruiting and new hire orientation processes and remind them about our employee referral program.”
  • “I am very interested in what motivates people; why do they come to work.  I would like to work with a researcher in this area and design and implement a large-scale survey among the demographic we recruit for our jobs.”

It makes sense that recruitment and HR leaders want more metrics and measurement. After all, that’s how we chart our progress on how well we add value to our organizations and how we ultimately gain and keep our seats at the strategy table. So, the themes of metrics and measurement aren’t a surprise. What is somewhat disheartening, however, is that so many organizations still have metrics on their wish lists as opposed to having implemented them; nearly a quarter (24 percent) of the survey respondents in a separate question said that they don’t track any formal recruiting metrics. (See the chart above, click to enlarge).

Measurement shouldn’t be a pipedream. It’s time to make it a reality, if you haven’t already done so. A final word of caution however. Making decisions on the basis of pure data gleaned from metrics you do track, without context, can lead you down a path of bad business decisions.   

Carl has spent the last 20 years helping employers from startups to global organizations optimize their talent practices, processes, technologies and strategies. A pioneer in encouraging employers to embrace online recruiting, Carl helps employers gain competitive business advantage by enabling them to compete more effectively in attracting, recruiting and retaining the best talent. He transforms outdated and inefficient systems, strategies and processes into leading-edge recruiting practices that fully support the ever-changing talent needs of their businesses.    

Carl founded and successfully ran Tiburon Group Inc, a talent consulting and recruiting company. After a decade, he sold the company to Capital H Group LLC. He joined TalentRISE in 2009 to grow the business revenues and manage key client relationships.

His passion for helping employers and job seekers connect effectively extends beyond work hours. He is an active volunteer and past board member of the Staffing Management Association of Chicago and serves on the Chicago Leadership Advisory Board for UpwardlyGlobal.org, helping immigrant professionals successfully navigate their U.S. job search. In 2010, the Chicago Area Minority Recruiters Association honored him with the prestigious “Staffing Management Consultant of the Year Award.”

Carl frequently speaks at industry events, trade shows and private corporate annual meetings on topics relevant to talent risk mitigation, recruiting and leading social media practices and trends. Carl is a graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, with a B.S. in Psychology.

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5 Comments on “Perhaps Talent Acquisition Departments Are Wishing for Something They Already Have

  1. I’d like to add my wish to the list: actual studies with some attempts at controls to determine just what the hell is going on with recruiting myths and lore pushed over the years. Issues that would be addressed are: credit checks, criminal checks, interviews themselves, compensation’s place in actual motivation of employees. That way, instead of peddling BS our profession might have some actual data to explain to people why things are the way they are.

  2. Appcast.io. is already a year old tool, winning the HR Executive “Top Product of 2014.” It has a new strategy of ‘Paying per Completed Application.’ Real-time metrics for individual jobs or job groups, the ability to set the ‘Cost per Applicant’, and programmatically turn on and off traffic once certain criteria is met. Worth checking out, I think they are still offering a free trial.

  3. You can have as many fancy software as you want. However, there are certain things that are best analyzed by an intelligent, creative, emotional human being. My wish list would be someome in our company that could do that and make better decisions on what to spend money on.
    P.S. Aladdin didn’t come out of the bottle, The genie’s name is Genie #knowyourdisney

  4. At College Recruiter, we’ve seen an incredible increase in the number of our mostly Fortune 1,000 and federal government clients who (a) know what recruitment metrics are and (b) are able to implement them. It has become unusual when we set up an employer for an “all you can eat” job posting package, targeted email, targeted mobile banner ad, etc. campaign that they aren’t able to provide from their ATS a source tracking code so that they’ll be able to measure the source of hire.

    The source tracking codes do nothing to help employers understand how to allocate credit given that there are almost always multiple sources or influencers of hire but some leading organizations such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car are already tackling that next hurdle. See https://www.collegerecruiter.com/blog/2013/12/27/jeanette-maisters-trucollegerecruiter-discussion-track-data-driven-hiring-decisions/.

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