I get asked all the time what metrics I use — and like — in regard to measuring the effectiveness of talent acquisition.
I usually give some vague answer because it depends on so many factors. No, really, it truly does. And most talent acquisition professionals only want me to affirm what they think is important.
For example, they want me to tell them that “days to fill” is important. That measuring candidate experience is important. That hiring manager satisfaction is important. But I don’t believe any of that is important to great talent acquisition.
talent acquisition is Sales
You see, talent acquisition and recruitment is not marketing. Yes, I know, almost any vendor selling you talent acquisition tools wants you to believe that it is just like marketing. It’s not. Talent acquisition is sales, and talent acquisition leaders really don’t want to hear that.
“Sales! Yuck! I’m not in sales, Tim! I’m in the attracting talent business!”
Talent acquisition leaders need to dial in their metrics to that which matters most: filling positions. There are steps that every single organization must take to fill positions. Those are the metrics that I like!
- How many candidates are you getting to engage in each job?
- Of those, how many are truly qualified?
- How many passed your assessment process?
- Of those qualified, how many did you pass on to the hiring manager after initial screening?
- How many interviews were requested?
- How many of those interviewed did you offer?
- Of those offered, how many accepted the offer and started?
Do you see the sales funnel? You should. You need a lot of resumes at the top of the funnel to get a few good candidates at the bottom.
These metrics give you so much of the data you need to run a great recruiting program, and basic ATS technologies will deliver this information to you. It makes these metrics easy to obtain and track. If you look at primary data, you will know how many candidates you need to fill the number of positions you have now. You can make an educated guess and figure out how many candidates you might need in the future to make good hires, too.
It’s about filling positions
I have worked as a leader of a large talent acquisition team. When we got down to brass tacks, my executive leadership team only cared about sales-related metrics. My team was able to find the talent we needed and get them on board. All the other metrics were for good times and bragging!
If you’re close to 100 percent hired, or have your talent acquisition program on the rails and running smoothly, you can then start to dig into metrics that tell the rest of the story: things like source of hire, cost per hire, cost per hire per source, various satisfaction scores, quality of hire, source ROI, and so on.
These are all meaningless pieces of data if you can’t fill positions.
Most talent acquisition leaders focus on subjective metrics that don’t give the organization the true data it needs to make the required number of hires to be successful. Once you get basic recruitment data in the pipeline, it’s amazing to see how all the other metrics just help you dial in and get better.
Fill your positions — then you can worry about getting pretty.
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