It sounds good in theory. Measure every movement of every person involved in recruiting. Log every call. Log every result. Surely it will yield great results.

NOT.

I don't know you, but I suspect you do not like to be micromanaged. You would prefer to be respected and trusted to do a good job on a daily basis.

Your staff feels the same.

If I know that I can get better results by following my gut instinct, I will do so. Perhaps I will make fewer calls than my cubicle-mate. Should I skew the results by following a prototype of the ideal search? Or should I do what is right?

You decide.

Research and candidate development are very intuitive. You know where to look. You know what to say to your prospect.

Enter metrics....

You are rewarded for certain behaviors. You are penalized for others - even if they are what you should be doing. What shall you do?

Do what is wrong and be rewarded. Do what is right and be penalized.

Is this what you want your staff to be facing?

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Metrics have a place, but they are not one size fits all (hence the decline in Morgan Method agencies). If you know your personal metrics, you may be able plan and communicate an effective and realistic search strategy to customers in a way that is superior to your competitors. They are a personal choice, whether you want to be the gut recruiter or not, however, I've never lost business to anyone that couldn't show metrics.
Jim, my rant was somewhat tongue in cheek. My basic point is that people get so involved in the process that they forget the goal.

I'd be interested in how well metrics have worked for companies, if anyone wants to share that with us.

Diana Luger

Jim Damico said:
Metrics have a place, but they are not one size fits all (hence the decline in Morgan Method agencies). If you know your personal metrics, you may be able plan and communicate an effective and realistic search strategy to customers in a way that is superior to your competitors. They are a personal choice, whether you want to be the gut recruiter or not, however, I've never lost business to anyone that couldn't show metrics.
Diana, that which is measured can be improved; the challenge is knowing what is truly important to measure. My take is that before you can break all the rules, you have to know what they are - and until you consistently produce results beyond your peers, if I'm your manager I say you haven't earned the right to just "follow your gut."

There's an art and a science to recruiting, and one without the other is less than your best effort.
Claudia - you are very articulate and expressed your point well. I have to admit, you make a good argument, and it is hard to disagree with what you said. I get your point.

I still think that metrics can be demoralizing and can effect a person's way of doing things, sometimes making them less effective. Perhaps there is a balanced way of measuring without micromanaging, while still allowing employees to be creative. After all, original thinking is what gets people excited.

I wouldn't know half of what I know, if I hadn't had a boss who allowed me the freedom to explore and play with things a little.

Diana Luger
President
CIS

Claudia Faust said:
Diana, that which is measured can be improved; the challenge is knowing what is truly important to measure. My take is that before you can break all the rules, you have to know what they are - and until you consistently produce results beyond your peers, if I'm your manager I say you haven't earned the right to just "follow your gut."

There's an art and a science to recruiting, and one without the other is less than your best effort.
The big issue here is that there are significant number of vestigial metrics on both sides of the recruiting pond that continue to perpetuate in the minds of recruiting "leaders" or even CFOs and heads of HR. Tongue in cheek or not, it's time to eradicate these appendices of recruiting...

Diana Luger said:
Claudia - you are very articulate and expressed your point well. I have to admit, you make a good argument, and it is hard to disagree with what you said. I get your point.

I still think that metrics can be demoralizing and can effect a person's way of doing things, sometimes making them less effective. Perhaps there is a balanced way of measuring without micromanaging, while still allowing employees to be creative. After all, original thinking is what gets people excited.

I wouldn't know half of what I know, if I hadn't had a boss who allowed me the freedom to explore and play with things a little.

Diana Luger
President
CIS

Claudia Faust said:
Diana, that which is measured can be improved; the challenge is knowing what is truly important to measure. My take is that before you can break all the rules, you have to know what they are - and until you consistently produce results beyond your peers, if I'm your manager I say you haven't earned the right to just "follow your gut."

There's an art and a science to recruiting, and one without the other is less than your best effort.
Diane, based on my experience there has been a direct correlation between analyzing and acting on causal metrics and performance. From a third party view, my earnings increased significantly when I began analyzing and acting on specific metrics within my agency (my teams earnings increased as well). Before measure, analysis, and action on the analysis (whether I agreed in my gut or not), I earned good money, but after, I began to earn great money, and sold the business successfully. From a in house perspective, by bringing in the same focus and attention I've turned two very large companies recruitng effectiveness and quality of hire around.

That being said, I'm not a statisticion, nor do I play one on TV. I have one on staff (a very valuable fellow), who crunches the data and does analysis against correlation and cause. I trust him implicitly, with the analysis and I own the action.

Diana Luger said:
Jim, my rant was somewhat tongue in cheek. My basic point is that people get so involved in the process that they forget the goal.

I'd be interested in how well metrics have worked for companies, if anyone wants to share that with us.

Diana Luger

Jim Damico said:
Metrics have a place, but they are not one size fits all (hence the decline in Morgan Method agencies). If you know your personal metrics, you may be able plan and communicate an effective and realistic search strategy to customers in a way that is superior to your competitors. They are a personal choice, whether you want to be the gut recruiter or not, however, I've never lost business to anyone that couldn't show metrics.
Interesting experience I'm sure. Metrics are not a one sized fits all and not for everyone, but they have been used to make good recruiters great and great recruiters amazing. With the software out there to aggregate data, and an a good economist (my choice as my data guy), it's amazing what you can learn and act on. It's not all Morgan Method crap ("if you make 10 more calls a week, you'll make x amount more a week), it's pretty amazing. We look at macro and micro trends, outside of just recruiting actions or tactics. The current team I'm assisting was good, but with some focus shifts, (when, where, who), they are maximizing results and their production has increased multifold, and keeps us way ahead of our competition.

Sandra McCartt said:
And what is the purpose of the data? It is to give some "data hog" lots of numbers to play with? If people are producing the metrics mean nothing. If people are not producing the metrics mean nothing. If metrics are a way of supervising people then they need to be in the accounting department. As a training tool for new recruiters, maybe, but only for an initial time period until they either hit their stride and develop their style or they give it up. A lot perhaps depends on the nature of what you are doing. Staffing large numbers of temps may require more metrics than perm recruiting.

In our popcorn stand the only metrics that mean anything are the placements on the board with a start date and the amount of the fee.

Individuals work differently, some need to keep detail and review their own work to self motivate. Others go crazy if they have to waste productive time logging data for someone else.

We tried all that in the foggy past. One of the highest producers we ever had would dutifully bring me a completed sheet at the end of the week. Her numbers were just weird to sum it up. I finally asked her how she could produce with the kind of metrics she was showing me. Her comment, " (Big Grin), Oh, i make those up a few minutes before i bring that stuff to you, i don't have time to fool with that stuff, i am too busy making you money." END of METRICS. We got out of the data business and back into what we do for a living.

Thus the theory evolved, if someone is producing leave them alone, if they are not producing watch, look and listen, you may not have a recruiter.
Sandra, as we often do, it is easy to forget that one recruiters meat is another recruiters poison. There may little use for metrics in an operation like yours [where you eat what you kill] but trust me, when your herding cattle metrics can be the difference between making and losing a boatload of money.

Two asides...

One: Any recruiter who justified their "you poor sap" antics with "I am making you money" bull crap might benefit from measuring the full force of my serious displeasure. However much money they think they're making me, if it's not at 100% of what they could be producing I don't care.

But how could we measure "100% of what they could be producing" anyway? And even if we could, who wants to work in an environment where the only measures are how much money you're making and how much of an oppressive dick your boss is? I guess under those circumstances, I'd have to agree -- better have no metrics at all.

Two: I'm not sure if it matters whether you have a popcorn stand or a chain of fast-food restaurants, measuring actual productivity over potential for growth and profitability, or holding recruiters to an "at least" standard, is a short-sighted way to leverage your people, operation, opportunities and future.

Sandra McCartt said:
END of METRICS. We got out of the data business and back into what we do for a living.
Thus the theory evolved, if someone is producing leave them alone, if they are not producing watch, look and listen, you may not have a recruiter.
Sandra, I'll preface this by reminding you that on other discussions and blog posts where people pull out a few data points and say "Look!!! Here! Here! Here! It's stagnant just as I wrote!" Pull back a bit a really look at the data with the knowledge of a statistician and you see something very different. You might as well be extrapolating GDP trends from the results of a Cosmo or Glamour survey about what men want in bed...

The biggest problem with metrics are the strategy behind measurement (why we're measuring and what it will be used for); the definition of the variables being measured) and how the data is collected and analyzed. The amateur statisticians in the world - and there are many - recoil when told that their strategy, variables, data collection process, data analyses, and presentation vehicles are flawed, and lash out when told that the validity and reliability of their "project" are dubious at best.

If you've read this far without becoming catatonic then remember what Claudia wrote... IF YOU CAN'T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN'T IMPROVE IT.

Diana, you'd be surprised how much statistics there is in intuition. But the more quant data we have - and smart people really have a hard time with this - the more a statistical model and solution separates itself from
humans in identifying trends.

Did you notice that I said "quant"?

Because recruiting is generally and historically so poor at collection and measurement when old farts (FYI, I'm getting my AARP membership card next month) talk about metrics, it's usually accompanied with the same face as when one has a case of hemmaroids or acid reflux.

I say fight it the urge to medicate!

Let the data set you free!

Lookat Crispin's and Mehler's Sources of Hire surveys and tell us if you have this data for your operation. Wouldn't this make a difference?

[FYI, in my doctoral program, one of my foci was in quantitative psychology - three solid years of univariate and multivariate statistics and two years of research design. I'm by no means a card carrying member of the ASA but I can say for certain I'm more advanced than the average recruiter]

Sandra McCartt said:
Trends would seem to make a lot more sense than the tactics and drill. Bottom line is if it works do it.
Sandra, rather than nitpicking on each point that I could have issue with let me agree with the underlying premise of your argument which I understand and relate to.

I will say this...

As you know, the purse for a race horse who comes in first is often double that of the first runner-up. It is not uncommon for a photo-finish to decide who the winner was because to the human eye it would appear they crossed the line at the exact same time.

The camera doesn't lie. Sometimes what needs to be measured is indiscernible until it becomes an issue. If you are taking a subjective snapshot of your recruiters' activity at that critical moment of decision-making are you going to trust your perception or the facts? I guess that's rhetorical given your model.

So as not flog a dead one, why do horses race over a measured distance? Why not have the winner be the last horse running. Hmmm....if we prize speed over endurance are we measuring the total fitness of the horse or just its ability to perform in those areas that excite us?
Ami, and how are prized thoroughbreds trained?

Amitai Givertz said:
Sandra, rather than nitpicking on each point that I could have issue with let me agree with the underlying premise of your argument which I understand and relate to.

I will say this...

As you know, the purse for a race horse who comes in first is often double that of the first runner-up. It is not uncommon for a photo-finish to decide who the winner was because to the human eye it would appear they crossed the line at the exact same time.

The camera doesn't lie. Sometimes what needs to be measured is indiscernible until it becomes an issue. If you are taking a subjective snapshot of your recruiters' activity at that critical moment of decision-making are you going to trust your perception or the facts?

So as not flog a dead one, why do horses race over a measured distance? Why not have the winner be the last horse running. Hmmm....if we prize speed over endurance we are measuring the total fitness of the horse or just its ability to perform in those areas that excite us?

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