Is Your Recruiting Department Effective?

Whether you sell a product or provide a service, the success of your business ultimately depends on your employees--on their skills, experience, knowledge, and effort. And the success of your employees begins with effective recruiting. Great recruiters make great hires, and great hires form the foundation of a stable, engaged, productive workforce.

From small business owners, who occasionally slip into recruiter roles, to mid-size companies with dedicated recruiting teams, talent acquisition is a critical function of any organization. Do you know how effective your recruiting is right now? I offer the following criteria to help you evaluate your recruiting efforts and improve upon them.

#1: How Well Do Your New Hires Perform?

In a classic article titled “The Recruiter’s Scorecard,” Dr. John Sullivan offers detailed, metric-driven methods for assessing recruiter effectiveness. The first factor he points to is new hire performance, often measured directly via performance appraisal scores.

Do you know what percentage of your new hires complete the introductory period? Introductory period completion is a crucial statistic to track. You should also examine new hire turnover during the first year of employment and compare this information with the turnover of longer-tenured employees. If you have multiple recruiters, you can directly compare turnover data between them for additional insight.

#2: Are Your Managers and Teams Happy With Recent Additions?

By providing questionnaires to a new hire’s colleagues, as well to the managers of any other teams with which the employee interacts, you will gain a more comprehensive picture of how well this individual complements your workforce. If the questionnaires indicate consistently repeated areas of concern from multiple sources, this may be an indication of a bad hire--a costly threat to both your bottom line and workplace morale.

#3: How Quickly Does Your Recruiting Team Fill Open Jobs?

What is your company or organization’s average time to fill a job, and how does it compare against the national benchmark? Data doesn’t lie, so track your statistics and analyze your findings. How do the numbers look when broken down by Recruiter, Department, Role, and Manager? A deep dive will help you make key distinctions.

In addition to time-to-fill, also consider what Dr. Sullivan calls the “need date,” the date by which the job *needs* to be filled. Project deadlines, quarterly budgets, and strategic objectives are all time-sensitive, and they require positions to be filled within a specific timeframe. Regardless of how much time it takes to fill your jobs, are you hiring at the optimal time? Delays in recruiting add to the cost of vacancy, whereas bringing the right person on board too early can result in wasteful spending.

A word of caution: certain mitigating factors (i.e., geographic location, an extremely specialized skillset) can result in longer-than-normal search times and fewer overall resumes submitted. Be aware of any extenuating circumstances when compiling data on the percentage of new hires who were on-boarded by the need date.

#4: How Happy are New Hires, Applicants, and Candidates with Your Recruiting Process?

What is the recruitment experience for applicants at your company? Specifically, do they find the process to be fair and respectful of their time? How easily do they get answers to their questions? Most importantly, how responsive are your recruiters?

When assessing responsiveness, it’s important to consider both the timeliness and the quality of communication. Quick replies that don’t sufficiently address questions or concerns are less valuable than a thoughtful response that takes a little longer. Be aware of the volume of work on your recruiters’ desks when considering responsiveness.

Try to seek feedback about responsiveness and the overall experience of recruiting--not just from new hires, but also from candidates who reached the final interview phase, and applicants who participated in parts of the process, as well. 

#5: Is Branding Helping or Hurting Your Recruiting?

How strong is your employer branding, and how does it impact your recruiting? Applicants and candidates should be made aware of how your organization is distinct from its competitors. What are your selling points from the standpoints of vision, culture, and benefits? Do you offer paid parental leave to fathers as well as mothers? Is your business a leader in practices that have a positive impact on society or the environment? Any of these factors may help to attract top talent. Conversely, if your reputation as an employer is damaged in any way, great candidates may not even be interested in applying to work for you.

Let’s say your workplace culture is great, and your employer branding is strong. If your recruiters have built a strong rapport with their new hires, they can leverage those relationships to generate word-of-mouth referrals to more top candidates, perhaps even including talent from your competitors. Do you know how many internal referrals each of your recruiters have generated? It’s worth finding out.

Because effective recruiting can make all the difference in building a great organization, I encourage you to conduct a thorough review of your recruiting team and practices. Recognize those areas in which you are excellent and identify opportunities for improvement.

I am always available to assist you with difficult-to-fill positions in accounting, finance, human resources, and marketing. Please contact me for further information.


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