A current animated conversation on Jeremy Shapiro's Measuring Human Capital group on Linkedin sparked some thoughts about what is worth measuring short and long-term in recruiting.
I've always been a fan of measuring a short-term hiring process on time, cost and quality but then aligning accountability to the business on only two of the three as a practical measure.
For me, that still leaves a critical need to measure the long-term impact of recruiting i.e 6 months and beyond.
One obvious example of this is college recruiting, assuming the firm has interns and converts some of them to F/T. Is an effective and productive college recruiting program that does not sustain its goal of feeding an internal pipe of leaders 5 and 10 years away worth the investment?
Another aspect however is a little trickier
Imagine a manufacturing supply chain in which you invest all your measures of success- time, cost and quality around the 'finished' product but, since the cost of material has been going down dramatically, you haven't paid attention to how the supply is brought to the 'plant' and how the workers treat the material that isn't 'finished'.
Eventually you look more closely and you discover that :
-the 'cost' of finding new sources is escalating exponentially while you've been taking advantage of the lowered cost of mining the existing but dwindling supplies.
-the material not included in finished products (which are wonderful) isn't 're-worked' but instead is simply dumped out back and is fast becoming a toxic problem.
- In addition there are stores of similar product already in the plant that could be re-purposed with a little rework but no one is measuring the advantage of internal versus external sourcing or what the best balance might be (and, anyway, policy requires we NOT consider internal sourcing until the existing configured product has been used for at least two years in its current state..or it just no longer functions...or it disappears with 'no regret'.)
-The emphasis on cost AND speed AND quality especially in the last 3-4 years has created dissonance among the workers who have managed to master any two but not three dimensions and the pile of (unmeasured) broken product out back that never reaches a quality audit has been getting bigger and bigger.
The typical 'large' firm (if there were such a thing) acquires from numerous sources about 125,000 applications per year which yields around 20,000 finalists and 5,000 hires (I'm in the midst of examining these numbers from 100 companies right now and this is very conservative). Almost nothing is done in any firm with 80% of these applications despite protestations to the contrary by advocates of talent communities etc.etc.
Lots of assumptions however:
- One assumption is that 50% or more of the applications are totally inadequate for any position. How did they get into the system in the first place?
- Few Finalists (qualified, considered, screened and interviewed but not selected) for one job are, in fact, almost never hired for any other position (but then I can't find anyone who has ever measured this).
- Fewer than 5% of firms have ever audited their recruiting process...from the beginning.
- Fewer than 1 in 4 recruiters has EVER applied to a job in their own firm (let alone the ones they are handling).
- Only 40% of staffing leaders have EVER (i.e. once in their lifetime) sat in on one of their team members to audit the crucial interview we assume is a disciplined behavioral based event. And no one dares to audit the hiring managers skill in the selection interviews they conduct. They may be trained but no one asks them to prove they use the training. Good thing we don't apply recruiting protocols to airplane pilots.
Our Cost, Time and Quality measures can be good...for now but the unmeasured broken pipeline will be the death of firms in the future.
What might be the effect on a retail firm's sales to a poorly managed pipeline of candidates that produces 1000 high quality hires in record time and under budget?
For the sake of this hypothetical argument, assume 80% of those 10,000 candidates (who each spent 45 minutes applying) are also customers. What if 20% of the unqualified applicants who never hear back and aren't even thanked for their effort (because the firm forgot to configure the automated ATS response letter and wasn't even sending out its normally rude acknowledgment) stop buying the firm's product? What if 50% of the 5000 finalists who didn't get a job (but who couldn't reach either the hiring manager or the recruiter because they refused to take their calls) not only stopped buying product but each told ALL their friends (120 on average) about their experience and their resolution?
So my contention is that in the 21st century we will need standards for measuring a quality hiring process at every stage not just time, cost and quality against an arbitrary start and stopping point.