The 5 Most Effective Talent-acquisition Metrics to Influence the C-Suite

As we spend insurmountable seconds, minutes, hours, and nights interacting as influencers and navigators to our C-level partners on the front lines of talent attraction, engagement, and optimization, you’d think asking an operator eloquently, “what is most important to our enterprise as it relates to talent?” would be the clincher, right? Well, as it turns out, not exactly the case. That’s the opening of a Pandora’s Box.

As we negotiate and fight the war on talent, what key metrics make a difference? I’m not going to spend a lot of time on production and time (because let’s be honest, if that’s the response to the above question, let’s chat one on one … there’s a fire brewing!) But seriously, I’d like to share key differentiators I’ve seen, regardless of a company’s size or scope, that when executed against correctly not only influence senior leadership but impact the bottom line in short order.

  • Labor Correlations: Metrics that show an immediate impact to labor dollars are gold. Whether it be overtime dollars, agency dollars, temp labor, etc., being able to show an executive partner your correlation to decreasing labor costs … now you’re a revenue driver. 
  • Service Excellence/Quality: Create a clear line to the immediate feedback and connectivity value of your customer base, whether that be your candidate, your hiring manager team, or your vendor partners.
  • Time: I did say I wouldn’t talk time. But I lied … pieces of time are very important. I’m a huge fan of “time to find,” measuring your success in sourcing talent. “Time to decide (a hiring manager metric),” and further “time to onboard” join the list for me. As you look at these metrics, you’re more measuring the success and efficiency of a team owning a piece of the hiring process than the time itself. Note: Market demographics can impact some of these numbers.
  • Conversion: I love to hear a recruiter say, “What’s your batting average?” It means to me they are tightening up the talent profile. Looking at the overall funnel including interview-to-hire ratios assists in further understanding where the gaps are. Good executive teams will ask these questions.
  • Brand/Retention: We know “brand” has many sides — customer, employee, employer, etc. While all are important, I speak to brand here in a connection to retaining top talent. Developing metrics that track the lifecycle of an employee from attraction, to employment, through the annual review process, and ultimately through their exit, will tell you a story … taking a deeper dive there is an entirely different blog.

While the above speaks to the “what,” the “how” is just as important. You can have the best human capital metrics roadmap in the world, but if you don’t use that arsenal wisely, it becomes just an expensive toy sitting on your desktop. Core competencies will drive the bus.

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So, what do you think? What metrics are at the top of the list for you as a talent leader? Your insights and feedback are valued and welcomed.

And as we continue to dialogue as a community around these such topics re: the “how” and “what” I’d love for you to join Tony Blake and I as we explore this same connection in San Diego this year on April 18, in our interactive workshop.


3 Comments on “The 5 Most Effective Talent-acquisition Metrics to Influence the C-Suite

  1. The metrics I produced that my C-Suite clients liked most came from something I called The COOL Report. This report, Cost of Opportunity Lost was tailored for a large sales organization and defined how much revenue was not being achieved by leaving jobs unfilled.

    The report took monthly sales rep quota, broke it into a daily number and mashed it against req aging. This yielded eye-opening numbers that not only informed and motivated the sales leadership, it also helped me, as the recruiting leader, make a case for the resources I needed to effectively support the business.

  2. How about direct correlations to sales or revenue, as is possible with “moneyball hires”? Those are hires whose performance links directly to sales or P&L outcomes. We did this before for 7-11 convenience store managers tied to a P&L they watched like a hawk. We recently conducted consortium research in 13 companies looking to find a sales prediction suite that maximized new hire sales. That led to a form of Extreme Analytics (to accompany the Extreme Vetting) so that we can now guarantee to deliver revenue—- not tests or interviews or short lists— but a specific boost in revenue. If the forecasted revenue increase comes in below the guarantee, we adjust our fees proportionately. Same if we beat the forecast. Everyone wins. More details can be found at the end of this link –>

  3. Jesse, a thought provoking piece. I would have to put a measure for the quality/performance of a hire at the top. My experience is that all other measures (time, cost, brand..) fade into insignificance if the new employees being bought on board are not top performers. Correlating this data with the 5 areas you have mentioned is then interesting for recruiters to understand where they need to focus operationally. Maybe worth looking at who are doing this with their new hiring quality platform.

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