Metrics Schmetrics... How do I really know if my search is on track?

I had a client ask today about metrics.  How do we know if our search efforts are successful and if we’re effective?

There could have been a complex answer about call and interview stats, but for me it boils down to how many people we introduce to a client before an offer is made, and how long it takes to find the ideal hire.  

Our goal is to keep that ratio low and the timeline short, so that everyone’s time is respected … so that we are like snipers hitting the right target on the first shot (or at least the second or third).

As a general rule, a successful search means that we introduced 4 or fewer candidates within 3-4 weeks and someone great was hired.  When this to happens all of the following were probably true:

1) We knew exactly who we were looking for and found them

2) The hiring manager trusted our pre-qualification and didn’t need to date a dozen people before he/she knew what a great looks like

3) Expectations were realistic (the ideal candidate really exists and would take this job)

4) The company and hiring manager had real motivation to fill the job

If we send more than 7-8 resumes or we are at week 4 of a search without being close to an offer, one of these things is missing.

Whether you are a hiring manager or running a recruiting firm, you need to know whether you are on track with every search.  Make sure that the answer is YES to all of the above points before investing resources and spending time chasing your tail.

Happy hunting.

Views: 280

Comment by Candace Nault on February 2, 2012 at 12:52pm

Great post!  The toughest one to get under control with some clients is # 2, they think they have to meet a ton of people, which translates into working with multiple recruiters who then make it feel more like a race than a recruitment process that is about the quality and not the quantity. 

Any suggestions, i.e. verbiage, you would use to get a client to understand that it actually benefits THEM to work with one recruiter exclusively or a minimal amount of recruiters without making it sound or seem like you don't want the competition? 

I know alot of this is creating a paradigm shift in how hiring managers view the value a recruiter brings and such.    

Thoughts?  Thanks again!

Comment by Kristina McDougall on February 2, 2012 at 1:09pm

Thanks Candace.

The conversation about exclusivity is a tricky one, especially with a new client who thinks that more feet on the street is ALWAYS better.  Being seen as a partner in their process, rather than just a source of resumes is a mindshift that doesn't always work.

We often walk away from clients who insist on using multiple recruiters in a race to fill jobs.  Our argument is that we are professionals and that we dedicate time and resources to every search, and expect that we'll be given the attention and information we need to be successful quickly.  We give them a level of commitment and effort and we demand at least a window of exclusivity in return.  Often they'll let us walk away and call us in desperation a few weeks later.  But saying no is really hard for many people.

We explain that there are 'agencies' out there who will spread themselves over multiple clients, working on many similar searches so that they can work the odds, by sending out quantity.  As a result they will often miss the mark, and will not have the time to really dig in to find the exact perfect fit.  They often get 'lucky', but we don't like to rely on luck.

We often succeed at first in getting one key role, if even for a window of just a couple of weeks as an exclusive at first.  Then we work our asses off to prove that we really understand the company and the role, and that we'll get it right in the first couple of hits. 

At the end of the day, once you have a relationship and have proven that you can save the hiring manager time by getting it right, right away, everyone wins.


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