Is The Director of Recruiting Screaming For Metrics? Be prepared to holler SO WHAT ?

Upon awakening I check my twitter feed for interesting blogposts. This is how I love to start my day.

Punk Rock HR, also known as Laurie Ruettimann wrote a compelling post. Social Recruiting Metrics & Measurements

I have a love-hate relationship with this topic and here’s why. There are many consulting firms that do an excellent job providing back end analysis. There are metrics tools that include impressive pie charts, bar graphs, standard deviation analytics. But really, the question boils down to this: what and how are you going to use this information? Will you make a serious change in your recruiting strategies with the information you glean? Are you willing to invest in statistically valid instruments that measure real action, not conjecture? Or are you going to spend thousands of dollars on a data study, show it to the CEO and simply say, "Here’s the metrics report your requested."

My pet-peeves include organizations who make major investments in studies, and then decide it’s either too expensive to act on the recommendations the data makes, or worse, thank you for the colorful charts and graphs, pat you on the butt and say, back to your cubicle. Smart HR Pros convince their CEOs of the efficacy and veracity of the studies and partner the reports with a compelling report that justifies why the take action on the findings. Of course your post answers the question why should we do a metrics study and what questions should we ask?

Laurie addresses cogent questions as to how the organization defines itself, and what goals and information the company should attempt to measure. Please read Laurie’s post to see the list of her carefully crafted questions. I’m taking the case a step further and asking the age-old question: So what? So what do we want to learn? So what do we want to find? So what will we do once we uncover what we find, and so what will we do once we find it. HR Metrics studies are expensive, depending on what outside consulting firm you choose to use. If you are doing an in house study, it still requires hours and hours of time and internal resources to complete. So before you enter into the playing field of HR Metrics, arm your budget to answer the question, So what? If all your HR and Recruiting Departments are studying are “head counts" and superficial return on investment quotes, you’re not only missing the boat, you might just miss the journey that will set your organization sailing into success.

Your Twitter & Recruiting Blogs Pal,


Views: 105

Comment by Sean Gaudun on January 29, 2010 at 8:45pm
Great Post Margo.

I provide Vendor Management Systems to some of these very same companies that are seemingly hungry for metrics. Often times because a management consultancy was whispered in their ear the old adage, "you can't manage what you don't measure."
I liked your points involving, what does it matter if they don't do anything with this new found information? The answer of course is that those efforts would be for naught; useless, lifeless data just laying there. It takes someone who cares enough and with enough reason and initiative to make that information make sense. Capturing metrics is one thing, but the two other ingredients and equally as important
1) Analyzing the metrics so the numbers turn into an understandable picture. After all, the data is a mathematical snap shot of real life happenings. So someone needs to breathe that life back into it so the powers-that-be understand it as a meaningful business case and not simply numerals.
2) Lastly, and to your something about it! Data capture, metric analysis and finally...action.
What we've done successfully as a company is not only offer the product (VMS) to capture these metrics but the managed services (MSP) around them as well. It's a solid blend of math and English. Our MSP's are HR/recruiting experts that have a clear understanding of the companies goals as well as the ability to make sense of the metrics flooding in on a quarterly basis. Out of all this comes intelligent recommendations coupled with proposed action plans to make these recommendations a reality. Magic!
What I'm saying is that, in my experience, sometimes companies need a little consistent care and not just high priced recommendations. This better ensures that those numbers aren't just left on the page, but spring to life and take shape in the form of positive change for the business. The math AND the English or "metrics with legs" if you will.

Thanks again Margo for the interesting post.

Sean Gaudun
Comment by Margo Rose on January 29, 2010 at 11:15pm
This is the most educated, erudite response I've ever received on a post. Finally someone gets me. Finally I've found a reader that not only knows how to do "pretty math," but someone who understands the value of interpretation, action and more action. Sean in my experience, an external consultant must find an internal metrics evangelist who will wave the "we gotta do something about this," flag. Consistent care is critical. Consistent persistence is how I approach most matters, particularly when a lot of money is at stake. More importantly, if client's don't listen to our advice, a lot of jobs could be at stake. Sean-needless to say, you made my day.


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