A Metric Other Than Time
Companies are looking at factors other than time-to-fill when measuring recruitment's effectiveness.
By Andrew R. McIlvaine
So your latest new hire (the one your hiring manager was frantic to get) has signed all the required paperwork, completed his onboarding and is now happily working alongside his new colleagues. The entire process was relatively quick and hassle-free and you, the recruiter, can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Or can you?
A recent global survey of 1,100 hiring professionals by Korn Ferry's Futurestep division finds that talent-acquisition professionals are increasingly focused on the long-term success of new hires rather than just the traditional metrics such as time-to-hire.
"Traditionally, the job of a talent acquisition professional ended when a position was filled," says George Vollmer, Korn Ferry Futurestep's vice president for global accounts and strategic development. In today's competitive hiring marketplace, he says, the focus has shifted to finding, hiring and retaining workers who can "not only succeed today, but who can also be the leaders of tomorrow."
Quality of hire and the competition for talent were cited by talent acquisition professionals as the top two issues that keep them up at night, the survey finds. They chose "lack of candidates with the skills to move up the leadership pipeline" as the No. 1 reason they're experiencing a shortfall in talent. For many TA leaders, these are exciting yet uncertain times, says Vollmer, with companies competing with each other to fill positions that didn't even exist several years ago (such as "market research data miner").
Although the practice of measuring recruiters via the long-term success of new hires isn't commonplace yet, says Vollmer, he's seeing a growing number of companies express interest in it.
"Discussions are happening today, whereas years ago it wasn't on anyone's radar," he says. "I'm seeing more clients who are interested in this and who are starting to do some correlation studies in job categories for which it's easier to unambiguously define performance, such as sales, tie an employee's performance back to their recruiter and then reward that recruiter with bonuses for finding high-performing employees."
One environment in particular -- call centers -- lends itself particularly well to this sort of measurement, says Vollmer.
"Consider the homogenous nature of call centers, in which large number of people are doing essentially the same task and for which there are many ways to track the performance of individual call-center agents," he says. "You have really excellent performance data in those centers. We're seeing a lot of call-center companies start to do this, especially in the area of business-to-business sales."
Of course, time-to-hire as a recruiting metric is hardly going away and, in most cases, probably won't, says Vollmer. In many organizations, the nature of the open position and the sheer need for warm bodies means recruiters and HR will continue to be judged by how quickly they can fill empty seats. For certain business-critical roles, however, companies are willing to wait for the right person who will be most likely to succeed in the position, he says.
In that vein, more companies are turning to predictive analytics to determine "best fits" for a position based on others who've successfully filled the role, says Vollmer. He's also seeing a "dramatic shift" among companies to use pre-hire assessment data to create short- and long-term development plans for new hires, rather than letting that information remain siloed.
"What's typically happened is that the output from an assessment tool isn't utilized post-hire to help the person succeed in their new role," says Vollmer. "But now, some companies are using those assessments to identify skills gaps and provide that information to the new hire during onboarding, and give them recommendations as to how to close those gaps. I've seen this be wildly successful at the organizations that do it, and it really improves time to productivity and sets them up for long-term success. We've been doing it at Korn Ferry for a couple of years now and it's really helped new hires become more productive, more quickly."