The Manager’s Role in Measuring Recruiting Success Guidelines for Hiring Managers

How do you measure the success of your recruiters’ efforts? In a quick survey of the companies I work with, the shocking fact is that most of you don’t measure whether your recruiters are doing their job or not. Some of you measure the number of people hired, or the time it took. Others focus more on cost. And a few of you measure retention over some time period. While tracking the number of people hired is a nice administrative activity, it adds no value. Time to hire is a useful measure of efficiency and satisfaction, but only if those hired turn out to be good employees after some time. There is only one real measure of the success of your recruiting: how well the people recruited perform. The problem with this measure is that it takes time to see if the people are good performers or not. And, both the recruiters and those of you who mange recruiters want to get some idea of success as quickly as possible. And, measuring performance also means that a company has to have a process for defining performance and a way to assess each employee. Only a handful of companies that I have worked with have a robust system. So, given this, how DO you measure the success of a recruiter? Here are a few ways:

  • Does your recruiter spend time with you defining your needs? A good recruiter will take as much time as needed to clearly define the job the person will have to perform. However, you have to be a major participant in this process and ensure that you are focusing on the few critical skills you need and not the many “nice” ones you’d like to have. Most of us treat recruiting sort of like Christmas. We make a wish list of impossible or unlikely things we would like, knowing we will get less. Far better to rigorously analyze what skills and traits your best performers have and then try to find others with the same skills and traits.
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  • Is your recruiter responsive and do they have prospective candidates to you within a day or two. Especially effective recruiters will have candidates in the pipeline, prescreened, and interested in your company as a possible employer. This requires that your recruiters develop a competitive intelligence capability where they get to know all the really good people in a profession or job at a variety of companies. To do this, they need your help. When you go to meetings or conventions, you can start to identify people who might be good candidates at your company. You can keep your eyes open and recommend people to the recruiters. The recruiters can then develop a profile of these people, even call them and assess their interest. If you do this as an on-going activity, even when you aren’t hiring anyone, you will always have a pool to draw from.
  • Do you agree to interview candidates in a timely way? If not, you are hurting your own ability to recruit good people. In this highly competitive talent market, most candidates have accepted an offer within 7 days of starting their hunt! Every day you delay an interview you send two messages: one is to the candidate saying that she isn’t all that important or necessary, and one is to the recruiter saying that his efforts and expertise are not that important either. Time is the key to successful recruiting today.
  • Are you empowering your recruiters with the tools and budgets they need to be successful? Candidates today require customized and personalized offers. While most good candidates are motivated by the work they will be doing, it is still very important to craft an offer that meets their needs as exactly as possible. With many offers to choose from, the days of standard offers are almost gone. But, when an empowered recruiter can work with a candidate to put together an offer than combines the right pay and benefits, you are all winners. Use you influence and power to ensure that your recruiters have what they need from human resources and from your department to make the best offer possible.

While there are many other things you can do as a manager to make sure you have only the very best candidates and employees, these four will get you started on the right road. Your recruiters will appreciate your cooperation and understanding, and your candidates will find the recruiting process inviting and quick.

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, 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


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