Measuring quality of hire is a challenge, but these three strategies will help HR land top candidates time and again.
By Debbie Bolla
And now’s the time: According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2018 Talent Trends survey, 72 percent of respondents say that employers’ expectations of talent continues to grow.
“Organizations that measure quality over time can make improvements to their recruitment and onboarding processes and candidate engagement strategies to ensure they are not only recruiting the candidates who have demonstrated the past success behaviors, but also reducing time to hire and increasing the efficiency of the recruitment process,” says Darren Findley, president of recruitment solutions for Engage2Excel.
Where should HR start? Quality will be defined differently by every organization, depending on objectives and goals. “Pinpointing the characteristics and competencies that define what quality means will help an organization implement a talent management strategy that measures an employee’s work based on clear objectives and expectations, and then identify candidates that fit this winning model,” says Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad Sourceright.
Once quality is determined, there are three approaches that organizations can consider:
1. Focus on a metrics formula. There are several metrics that organizations are likely already using as part of their measurement strategy that they can leverage to calculate quality of hire. Amie Hibbins, strategy and delivery director for LevelUp, suggests looking at data around:
- time to fill;
- hiring satisfaction;
- time to productivity;
- job performance;
- employee engagement; and
- cultural fit.
By zeroing in on scores around these metrics, organizations can develop a formula to define and create benchmarks for quality measures. Findley says turnover is another factor to consider. It can help pinpoint holes in the talent acquisition process, especially if early attrition rates are high. Organizations can look at the workers who are leaving with a short tenure and review different qualities and processes—including candidate qualifications, testing and assessments, and onboarding—to determine the missing link.
2. Benchmark top performers. Benchmarking the abilities and achievements of top performers can also provide insight. “Benchmarking can allow organizations to identify common attributes of its top performers that can be used to refine the talent acquisition process,” says Beth Roekle, president of North America for Advantage xPO. “Some of these attributes might include education level, amount of previous experience, previous employers, and assessment results. This allows organizations to execute a cycle of continuous improvement.
Once commonalities among top performers are identified and analyzed, organizations can use this data as a foundation for its selection process. “It is important that once a data-driven talent acquisition process is implemented, there is an organizational commitment to continuous refinement of the selection process,” says Roekle. “By harnessing performance data, the talent acquisition team will be able to identify key attributes that are common among high performers and refine the recruitment process to better identify those people who will have a higher probability of success within your organization.”
Findley agrees. “By utilizing top performer studies and understanding successful behaviors of existing employees, organizations can seek out, engage, and select new hires who demonstrate those behaviors,” he says.
3. Make the recruitment connection. Organizations can also benefit by connecting the new hires that are performing well to the recruitment strategies that were used to attract them. John Corso, engagement director for LevelUP, says there is much value in understanding the effect of sourcing, interviewing, and assessment processes on hiring quality. He recommends that HR teams first identify where high performers are sourced, whether is be LinkedIn, career fairs, or employee referrals. Then, they can take a look at the interview process and evaluate what types of assessments and tests were used, as well as the leaders candidates met with. And understanding if job requirements were accurately aligned to the eventual hire can make all the difference in the long run.
“Tracking this information over time would allow companies to experiment with various aspects of the recruiting process until the most successful hiring method was achieved,” he says.
One characteristic organizations tend to overlook during the hiring process is passion—and personal passion often translates into professional drive. “Learn to measure passion as it is the number one competency,” says Neil Carfagna, engagement director of LevelUp. “Ask open ended and behavioral questions focused on courage, giving, growth goals, hobbies, and interests. Those who express passion for the role among other aspects of their life separate themselves from the competition.”
Taking these steps can help organizations achieve a better understanding of the factors that make up the quality of their workforce, which will pay off tenfold. “High-quality hires produce a competitive advantage for organizations due to their high potential for success, record of performance, and overall productivity, so measuring and tracking quality of hires is extremely important for organizations to consider in order to excel in today’s competitive environment,” says Henderson.