By Leslie Rothman
Many organizations state that people are their greatest assets, and in the age of knowledge capital this is usually true. Organizations continually work to raise the caliber of their workforce. Large amounts of money and time are spent creating elaborate training and assessment programs. Attention is also paid to recruiting new talent, but rarely is appropriate attention paid to the results of recruitment campaigns. Typically performance metrics for recruitment efforts are limited to cycle time (time to fill open positions) and cost/hire. In these
cases the HR recruiter is typically the one being measured, not the manager. Rarely do measurements include quality of hire, or track new hires’ success rates over time.
The Cost of Hiring
When you consider the effort, time, money and opportunity costs, consequences of a poor or marginal hire can be huge. A $50K position can take 4 – 12+ weeks to fill, with co-workers and the manager picking up the work from the open position as they can, and letting the rest go undone. Money is spent on advertising, interviewing and possibly relocation. Once on board, it typically takes 6 months to get a new person oriented. Significant time is invested by the department to bring the new hire up to speed before knowing if the person will become a solid contributor, or not.
What about when it’s “or not”? When a less than excellent match has been made, more effort goes into additional training or mentoring. If the results are not positive, the lengthy process of removing that person from the position may begin. The managers’ time is then spent on the removal process, and finally refilling the position. It’s not unrealistic to see a year go by, with opportunity costs for the manager whose time has been used unproductively and the department whose goals have not been met on schedule or within budget.
Build in Accountability
Although quality hiring is a key area of responsibility for both Management and Human Resources, in my many years of HR experience, I have rarely seen positive or negative consequences attached to the results of this critical job responsibility.
A simple, low cost solution is to hold managers and HR representatives accountable for the quality of their hiring. A new hire’s progress in the organization can be tracked at 6 months, a year, three and then five years out. Progress can be grouped into three categories, very successful, successful and unsuccessful. Measurements of success can include performance ratings/reviews, promotions, demotions, and turnover – both voluntary and involuntary (internal job changes, terminations and job eliminations).
If you, as a manager or HR professional, are thinking, our people do a good job hiring, or this doesn’t apply to us, I encourage you to check out your assumption. Take a look at your new hires’ success rates, over the short and long term and you may find a range of results.
Armed with data, your organization can find and reward those in HR and management who hire in the “stars” or high potential talent. By identifying individuals who do this repeatedly, your company can learn the methods they use – find out what they do and don’t do that sets them apart from others. You can include them in your selection process when you have critical openings or you can get these people to be part of your interviewer training and let them share their expertise. Give them organization wide recognition, as well as rewards through individual performance methods.
These metrics can also be used to identify individuals who hire in marginally successful and unsuccessful employees. People who make less than optimal matches between position and individual may benefit from additional training or coaching. For those that repeatedly make unimpressive hiring selections, hold them accountable. The immediate and longer-term success of hires (or lack of it) needs to be part of each manager’s performance evaluation, and should also be taken into account when individuals are considered for other management positions.
People pay attention to what gets noticed and measured. By increasing your organization’s attention to it, with very little cost and minimal time expended, selection quality can be improved. The end result will be money saved, increased productivity, and a more successful workforce and organization.
“Who’s Responsible for Hiring Success” is reprinted with permission by JobsInME.com and is a copyrighted publication of Career & Workplace Directions,LLC and cannot be copied without express written permission of Career & Workplace Directions, LLC.