As a team, we say we’re getting better 400 times per year. The number — 400 — signifies how many people we’ll hire in a year.  Our goal is to get better with each and every single hire we make. We’re saying that next year, we will make better, quicker hires. And we mean it.

A measurable, repeatable methodology is at the heart of everything we do here at Recruiting Bandwidth. But we cannot do our work and maintain our high quality bar without taking the time to collect and understand our own metrics at every twist and turn. By collecting data at each step of the process, we’re able to analyze our performance and fine-tune our approach – not just on a project basis, but across our entire organization, looking at trends over time or in a more minute range. This analysis allows us to share detailed reporting with our clients, reporting that covers every aspect of our campaign, which in turn allows us to build trust with our clients  through transparency. It enables us to be agile and responsive to changing needs.

Collecting the Most Effective Data Points

What exactly are the most effective data points to collect in the recruiting industry? There are multiple important data points to collect. One thing to note, this particular post is not focused on raising the quality of the hire or on the cost of turnover, as those are most certainly critical metrics to track. It’s really easy to make fast, cheap and poor quality hires. But is that what you really want, especially as hiring well is one of the top predictors of a company’s success?

At the most basic level, the core recruitment metrics should start with understanding the Average Cost per Hire and Average Time to Hire. Tracking one or both allows you to keep an eye on the health of your recruitment programs, especially in comparison to each other. But unless you’re consistently recruiting at high volumes, patterns are a little late to emerge and you may not be able to identify a problem until after it’s happened. Out of control costs (or time frames) might not be apparent until it’s too late. People may be falling off during an interview loop for a reason that may be easy to fix but difficult to notice. Even worse, you’ll have no idea why your process has suddenly gone off the rails.

If you track and measure every step of the recruitment engine then it’s easy to spot a change in the trends for a single role, an entire recruitment campaign, and even a broader location or industry. For our team, keeping track of our data at each step allows us to modify our approach in real-time, keeping costs down and helping to ensure we’re making the best possible hires and overall decisions. Following our metrics allows us to keep ourselves in check and add incomparable value and insight to our strategic decisions. At this point, in a time where keeping track of metrics is easier than ever, it’s silly not to make the most of it.

A slightly more complete set of metrics might include tracking:

  • Applicants: by source and time
  • Outbound campaigns: open rate (if email), response rate, click-through, conversion rate
  • Timeframes: from application/submission to review, from screen to submit, from submit to interview, from interview to offer
  • Interviews:  submission to interview ratio, interview to offer ratio, feedback consistency
  • Hires: offer to accept ratio, time/cost per hire, tenure
  • Satisfaction: Recruiter, hiring manager, diversity and inclusion leaders, and candidate satisfaction surveys

A big campaign will accrue lot of data and if your ATS doesn’t do a great job of collecting it (not all of them do) then you’ll have to get pretty friendly with Excel. But this data is worth everything, so put good systems in place to collect and make use of every metric you can gather. Once you have this data and are able to compare performance across a number of different roles, you can start to find some very useful insights that help with the following scenarios:

  • Need to estimate how large of an advertising and/or sourcing campaign you’ll require for a specific project?
  • Hiring manager wants to know how much time they and their team must set aside for interviews?
  • Want to predict the final cost per hire for a group of roles?
  • Whether we are underrepresented in a particular diversity category and we want to make a change.
  • Can’t figure out why you have lots of applicants but struggle to hire?
  • Too many or too few interviews?
  • Trying to measure if internal recruitment is less expensive (or effective) than your external agencies?

It’s all in the data.

Better yet, by managing the end-to-end recruitment process,  we can be transparent with our clients about this data, good or bad. We can show them exactly what’s working well, and where things are going wrong, and have actionable insights into either solving a problem or continuing along a successful route. When we need to push back and enforce changes we are supported by hard evidence that’s difficult to ignore. Here are a few examples of common problem points that can be addressed with metrics:

  • Low-ball offers are making hiring impossible? You’ll hear about it.
  • Arduous interview process turning candidates off before we can even get that far? Better believe you’ll hear about.
  • Can’t get your interview team aligned on hiring needs, feedback is all over the place, or interviews taking so long all the best people find new jobs before we can make an offer? We’ll bring things back into line, even if it’s a challenge to do so.

And we couldn’t do this without our metrics – without a data-driven approach.

Managing, and revealing insights from sometimes massive data sets sounds tough – and often is – but our customers hire us because we can (and do!) push back to ensure we’re all getting the right result.  We couldn’t do that with any credibility if we didn’t have the data to back us up. If your recruiting solutions aren’t doing the same, why not?

Coming up next, it’s finally Showtime! You can have a solid brand, great recruiters, wonderful curation and data-driven insights, but your recruiting engine will come to a screaming halt if you never get a handle on the interviewing stage. Interviewing is arguably the most important part of the recruitment process, and is also the most pervasive pitfall. This is the point when things can and do fall apart, and next time I’ll share some valuable (and data-driven!) insights about how to create an unforgettable candidate experience that reflects positively on the industry and your employment brand.

Posted by Jennie Ellis

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