The Only Recruiting Metric that Matters

How do you evaluate your recruiting business? What metrics are important to you? Are there any metrics which enable you to measure your effectiveness? I recently read a recruiting site discussion where the person initiating the discussion asked “which recruiting metric is most important to you?” I read through some of the answers which were predictable; Send Outs to Placements, Calls to Send Outs or Job Orders etc. I am convinced that the most important metric and the only one I care to follow is; how long did the person I place stay with my client company? Are they still there, or did they leave? Were they promoted? Or were they Fired? This is the only “recruiting metric” that any of our clients really care about and frankly so should we.  I am all for improving metrics to improve outcomes. I just believe that the most important metric IS the outcome.

Queue Typical Recruiter response: “I don’t hire the person or manage them. It’s not my job” Fair enough. It is not your job to “hire” the person that they ultimately chose to hire. But, was it not you who recommended they hire this person? When you presented a candidate, you essentially endorsed them in that role. How can you present someone to your client as a prospective hire and later backtrack from them and blame them for a poor hiring decision? If it ins’t “our job” to vet the people who we bring and do our very best to assess their fit culturally as well as vet their character, what exactly IS our job?

“Win some, lose some?” Sure, no one is infallible or reads minds, but we can and should be doing our absolute best to determine the competency and cultural fit of teach and every candidate prior to presenting them.

The metric we should be interested in improving is that of the success and tenure of our placements. How long do they stay? How well liked are they? How well do they fit in with the rest of the team? Do they get promoted? This is the true test of “Added Value” which is why companies hire recruiters. Companies don’t hire recruiters to “fill open job orders!” They hire us because they hope that we can bring to bear our professional consultative insights,  reach a larger network and attract better people than they can on their own. Otherwise, they would do it themselves. They want tomitigate hiring mistakes and increase net outcomes in the position. Our job is, of course, to increase the success of the companyin as much as the search we conduct has influence to do so. If the search is a VP of Sales, then the measure of success is equal to that of the person we place as VP of Sales. So, how is sales growth?  If it is VP of R&D, the measure of success is the company’s improved product development pipeline and intellectual property position.  How are they performing? and so on. If we only judge ourselves on the number of people we place and the ratio of Send Outs to Placements,etc.,  then we are completely out of touch with our VIP, our client.

If you present someone to a client, that is tantamount to “your professional endorsement” of them for the role you have been hired to fill. If it doesn’t work out, no matter the reason, you never should have presented them in the first place. You simply cannot divorce yourself from the process and explain it away as “someone else’s fault.”  The interview process is a time where you must continue to vet and look for additional issues to raise. (If you’ve ever wondered why HR people try so hard to uncover those “red flags,” its because they don’t think that you are doing a thorough enough job of it. HR is skeptical of recruiters because they feel like you are not adequately vetting the candidates that you present.)

As far as “Metrics” are concerned, if it helps you to manage recruiters’ metrics in order to make sure that they are doing all the right activities for success, great. But don’t lose sight of what is really important to your client. Stay aligned with your clients and you will have all the repeat business you can handle.

www.druedeangelis.wordpress.com

Views: 1170

Comment by Jerry Albright on March 6, 2012 at 11:47am

Sorry Drue.  I think I'm gonna disagree on this one.

"But, was it not you who recommended they hire this person? When you presented a candidate, you essentially endorsed them in that role."

This is a fairly common mistake in recruiting.  That being - thinking that we, the agency recruiter, are recommending our client hire someone. I don't.  I certainly hope others are not either.  There are a variety of reasons why that thinking is absolutely the WRONG thinking for a recruiter.  I'll just list a few off the top of my head:

Unless you work THERE - your knowledge of the company, the "real" story, is limited to a few calls with the manager, what you read on the internet and what HR tells you.  Frankly - your guess is as good as mine on most "personality" fits.

I am not "endorsing" anyone.  I present candidates who:

A. Have heard about (from me)

B. Feel they are qualified for

and

C. Are interested in...........the opportunity with the client.

When I put someone in front of my client I am not saying the should hire them or that I feel they are a personality match for the team.  How in the hell, really, would I know that?  From my 2 calls with the guy before introducing him?  From my few calls with the manager?  Really? 

I am telling my client I think the SHOULD INTERVIEW this person.  That is all I am qualified to assess.

Hiring?  Sorry - not my department......

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 6, 2012 at 1:33pm

If this wonderful theory had any validity at all we would be holding the pastor, priest or judge who married people responsible, and accountable for every failed marriage they ever performed or be giving them credit for every marriage that lasted.  Most marriages  like most jobs last because two parties are working at making the deal work.  It has nothing to do whatsoever with who introduced the couple or married them.

 

We are in the people business.  We don't sell refrigerators that can be warrantied, traded in  or repaired if for any reason they don't run the way they should, somebody decides they bought the wrong color or they want a different model and made a mistake when they bought it.  Al we have the power to control is trying to meet the requirements that we are given with the knowledge we have of both the company and the candidate.  Anybody who thinks they can predict what either will do next year or three years from now is living in fantansy land.  That would be like saying, "I know this marriage will work because i know both people well and they are a perfect fit.

  I have placed plenty of people who have been where i referred them for years, been promoted and been successful.  It had very little to do with me if anything at all.  All i do is  open the door and make an educated introduction.  The rest is up to the parties involved in making it work.

 

This is another demented rambling by someone who seems to have illusions of grandeur and omnipotence.  And it's just plain silly or egotistically twisted in my opinion.

Comment by Ron Webb on March 7, 2012 at 10:03am

I agree with Sandra and Jerry. My clients ask me to find candidates for them to interview, so they can decide whether they want to hire them. Very few of my clients will have me do background checks now, as they want to be in control of that aspect. I don't think they hold me accountable for anything more than making sure they meet the basic requirements spelled out in the job order. Once the candidate starts working there, I have no control over whether the client or candidate is happy with the situation.

Comment by Robert Woo on March 7, 2012 at 11:26am

Agreed. When the only metric that "matters" is one that is essentially beyond the recruiter's direct control (as opposed to sendouts, etc), then that metric isn't a Key Performance Indicator, and doesn't actually matter.

Comment by James Holder on March 7, 2012 at 12:08pm

As a Sociology major in college, the first thing we learned is that human behavior is unpredictable - we can do our best to group information/actions together on a more macro level to analyze statistics, potential outcomes etc.  But on the micro level, it's extremely difficult.  I see myself as a mediator to a degree - I am the medium at which my client receives candidates that match the job description as closely as possible.  In this economy especially, we cannot predict longevity.  In addition, length of employment has changed over the years - you used to work for a company for 30 years - very, very rare now.  Once seen as job hopping is now more common.  I agree, however, that we should set appropriate expectations with clients - even providing a 30 day guarantee.  But, I personally believe if you sale the ability to predict the future/longevity of employment, you risk setting an unrealistic expectation - and risk beating yourself up in this industry based on an unattainable goal (which is done enough on a daily basis as it is!)

Comment by Bill Schultz on March 7, 2012 at 4:23pm

Wow this Dru guy must've really sucked as a recruiter.  

This is the only “recruiting metric” that any of our clients really care about and frankly so should we.

no it's not and no we shouldn't.  they care how well they do the job while they are there.  all positions don't last 20 years.  

How can you present someone to your client as a prospective hire and later backtrack from them and blame them for a poor hiring decision?

Because sometimes clients don't tell the truth, sometimes the hiring manager quits the day of hire (this happens fairly often.  if indeed the person is not right for the position, there is a guarantee that we stand by.  Personally, I go beyond the guarantee period to replace someone I understand to be inadequate.

If you present someone to a client, that is tantamount to “your professional endorsement” of them for the role you have been hired to fill. If it doesn’t work out, no matter the reason, you never should have presented them in the first place

Hog wash.

(If you’ve ever wondered why HR people try so hard to uncover those “red flags,” its because they don’t think that you are doing a thorough enough job of it.


No, that's not the reason.  

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on March 7, 2012 at 5:07pm

Well, let's see. I'm a corporate recruiter so I have a backstage pass to what it's "really" like to work here. When HR comes to me with some problem child that I recruited 6 months ago and asked if I hired that person, my answer is "No, I facilitated the introduction to the hiring manager. HM hired the person." No client of mine would ever call me out of touch.

Comment by Greg Savage on March 8, 2012 at 7:08am

This is an esoteric, fanciful, irrelevant "metric" that is no metric at all. As a recruiter I don’t underwrite the hiring company’s appalling induction, management or career planning. I introduce suitable candidates.  Sure I do my due diligence as best I can and according to my service promise. But the client hires them, the company retains them.

Comment by Paul Alfred on March 8, 2012 at 11:26am

Dru is getting killed on this post ... Dru let's say you find a Killer guy ... You do a reference to back it up and your client does their own killer security references geared around the areas of concern and gets a great confirmation that this candidate will be a great hire ...  Candidate starts and rocks then a new VP comes in month 5  and all hell breaks out on personal management dynamics ...and personality conflicts ego etc ..    candidate resigns...   Let's check where did the recruiter go wrong in that process ... His references ...?  The Client's own references ... ? Do you see how tracking this metric makes absolutely no sense.  

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 8, 2012 at 11:27am
I think the problem we have here is that ole druski has lived too long in the belly of the whale.

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