When you survey the most frequent users of analytics and metrics in the corporate world, not surprisingly you find that HR ranks at the very bottom. Compared to finance, which is ranked No. 1, HR compares poorly with only half of its functions being classified as advanced users and three times more HR functions are classified as non-users.
HR shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the executive team came in No. 2 because they (along with finance) are at the forefront of demanding more metrics and analytics from HR. The remaining business functions, operations, R&D, marketing, and sales all had a higher percentage of advanced metrics users than HR in this excellent 2013 AMA/i4cp study. I have been a public advocate of talent management and talent acquisition shifting to a data-based model for decades but the transition at most corporations has been slow, expensive, and painful. Because I give regular presentations on analytics and metrics, I’ve been able to capture a long list of reasons why firms should shift to a data-based model. The remainder of this article is simply a list of credible reasons that resonate with most HR audiences as to why your corporate talent function should embrace metrics and a data-based decision model.
Part I – Reasons Why Every Firm Needs to Shift to Data-based HR Model Using Standard Metrics and Analytics keep reading…
August may have disappointed labor analysts with its unexpectedly low count of new jobs, but for recruiters, the evidence out of Washington and elsewhere says recruiting difficulty is only going to get worse.
Nationally, it took 24.9 business days (Monday-Saturday are business days for this report) to fill a job in July, according to the Dice-DFH Vacancy Duration Measure. That’s a bare tick off June’s 25.1 days. Meanwhile, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, put July’s openings rate at 3.3, a 22 percent increase over the 2.7 in July 2013. keep reading…
On July 18, ERE.net featured “How to Really Calculate the Cost of Employee Turnover,” which highlighted a few key metrics that factor into the real cost of turnover. The opening statement stands out:
Employee turnover costs are often described with generic numbers such as “$X,000.00 per employee” or “X percent of annual salary.”
Turnover cost, specifically “X percent of annual salary” — which can also be translated to $$, is one of the most effective KPIs to use in achieving the real measure. They tell a much deeper story than the “generic” term implies, and they are much easier to use. In 2010, while doing research at Aberdeen Group, we found that most companies use replacement costs to measure the cost of turnover. After taking out some outliers in high-volume/low-skill environments and some very high-level C-suite and management consultants, the analysis showed on average that using 86 percent of starting salary is a very fair estimate of the cost of turnover. NOTE: One of the research notes where this finding was published can be found here (page 2).
Here are four reasons why this metric is effective and not as generic as one might think: keep reading…
Yesterday I listed seven operational habits that characterize unsuccessful recruiters. In this second part, I examine not only the actions that distinguish the successful recruiters, but also the talent mindset that must be adopted. It is the capacity to embrace a “paradigm shift” in your recruiting philosophy that really determines how successful you will be in your talent acquisition efforts.
First, let’s stop fooling ourselves. keep reading…
Most strategic recruiters seek to optimize the three most important factors in talent acquisition — cost, time, and quality. However, that objective is often impossible to accomplish because recruiters continue to use outdated talent processes which were designed back in the 1980s.
Stephen Covey, in his ground-breaking best seller — 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – introduces timeless principles that form the framework of the changes that individuals must adopt to become more effective. But, before one can embrace the seven habits, Covey proposes adopting of a “paradigm shift”– a change in perception and interpretation of how the world really works. Similarly, recruiters must be willing to adopt a paradigm shift in how they view the world of talent acquisition — if they hope to be successful in sourcing, recruiting, and hiring the very best talent in today’s war for talent.
For example, it has been my experience that “average” to “good” recruiters follow similarly dated talent strategies: keep reading…
There has been a great deal of publicity lately surrounding the lack of STEM women at high-tech firms. Unfortunately, we have to give two thumbs down to the diversity data from each of the top high-tech firms that have publicly released their numbers. Although the firms’ intentions were good, the limited scope of the metrics that they revealed do not provide the necessary information that STEM women need in order select which firm to join or the right information needed in order to encourage them to actually apply for a different tech job.
High-tech firms have two basic reasons for attempting to hire and retain more STEM women into key roles. keep reading…
Employee turnover costs are often described with generic numbers such as “$X,000.00 per employee” or “X% of annual salary” (actual dollar amounts and percentages vary from source to source). It is tempting to go with simple sound bites like these, but keep in mind that they are based on averages. These overall tendencies probably don’t accurately describe your specific organization, department, or team.
The following is a simple but detailed method of computing the cost of employee turnover. The main factors in this calculation (aside from specific costs) are time and money involved with a departing employee, such as:
- Time spent on filling the vacant position;
- Hours/weeks in lost productivity before the employee leaves
- Time that coworkers and the manager/supervisor combined will need to make up for the vacant employee (overtime, added shifts, etc.);
- Number of hours in lost productivity resulting from orientation and training of a new employee; and
- Time spent on admin and hiring tasks (advertising, resume screening, interviewing, onboarding).
We can directly translate between time and money (time = $) to provide specific costs by multiplying hours by hourly wage for different types of employees, tasks, and responsibilities. The numbers that you provide can either be averages for your organization, department, or team, or they can be specific to a single turnover event. The calculation will total all the time and costs spent with every employee turnover so you can determine what the final cost is for your business.
Here are the steps to calculate all of this: keep reading…
I’ve been missing from these pages for awhile, but I asked if I could return and request the help of some real recruiters. I heard some of the best hang out here at ERE.
Here’s the idea. I’m working with a bunch of people and companies putting together a comprehensive batting average for recruiters that combines all the critical factors, metrics, and competencies into one useful statistic. This will become known as the RBA — the Recruiter’s Batting Average.
Please look this first list over, suggest other factors that should be included, why some shouldn’t be considered, and which ones you think should be weighted more heavily than others. keep reading…
In a world where it’s easy to get a “snapshot assessment” of your personal physical health or your organization’s financial or IT security effectiveness, what could be more valuable than an easy-to-conduct executive level “snapshot assessment” of talent management and HR?
Unfortunately I have found that most in HR are satisfied with a subjective or low-level tactical assessment, which instead of business impacts, covers spending efficiency, lean staffing, and whether managers and employees are satisfied with us.
In order to be considered as credible, instead this snapshot must be strategic, and it should mirror the executive snapshots that are available in finance, customer service, and IT. In order to assess how well you’re doing, a benchmark number must also be provided so that you can compare your results to your direct competitor firms. I have included six simple measures that by themselves are enough to give you a snapshot but accurate view of talent’s business impact. keep reading…
With a self-assigned grade of B, and an even lower C+ from the hiring managers whose jobs they fill, recruiting leaders from companies large and small heard the news there’s much to do to improve those scores, and that the road is not going to get easier in the year ahead.
Speaking to the opening session of the ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo here in San Diego, ERE’s CEO Ron Mester told the hundreds of talent acquisition leaders in direct language that “You have a lot of work to do to improve … No one should be satisfied with a C+ or a B.” At another point in his hour-long presentation of a broad and extensive ERE survey of recruiters, their leaders, their bosses, CEOs and hiring managers, Mester said it will take a rethinking of the process to get to an A. “Rethink it,” he urged. “Challenge everything that you’re doing today.”
Unveiling some of the findings of the late March survey completed by more than 1,300 during his State of Recruiting presentation, Mester turned a spotlight on the disconnect between what the respondents agree should be the key measures of recruiting’s performance and what recruiting leaders and their teams believe is where the actual emphasis lies. keep reading…
The idea that you can create a template that will work forever doesn’t happen in any business … There’s some really, really bright people in this business. You can’t do the same thing the same way and be successful for a long period of time. — Billy Beane
I am a strong advocate of what I call “parallel benchmarking,” which is borrowing the proven best practices from completely different industries and functions. This article advocates the borrowing and the adaptation to talent management of what are known as “proprietary metrics” from the baseball industry. Proprietary metrics get their name because they cover metrics that are so powerful that they are “owned” and their components are therefore not shared. In baseball, there are dozens of proprietary metrics, while in the corporate world of talent management, they are surprisingly rare. Corporate examples of these proprietary metrics include Google’s “retention metric” for predicting which employees are about to quit and its “hiring success algorithm” for predicting the characteristics that lead to new hire success on the job.
Baseball Has the Most Advanced Metric Model to Learn From keep reading…
Those who follow my articles know that I frequently write on the positive trends and the big ideas that recruiting leaders need to be aware of. However, I have not often written about the biggest strategic challenges or problems that corporate recruiting leaders face. Of course no one wants to dwell on the negative. But since I am predicting that during the next few years we will all encounter a completely transformed world of recruiting, it only makes sense to at least be aware of our largest current and upcoming challenges. If you don’t act proactively to mitigate these major challenges, they unfortunately may grow out of control, causing exponential damage to your firm.
The Top 10 Highest-impact Strategic Recruiting Challenges keep reading…
Recruiting is finally moving away from transactional thinking and beginning to understand how to better connect and engage with relevant candidates. We are not there yet, and I may be too optimistic, but many recruiters are making the transition to engage candidates and improve their experience and are therefore making more hires, increasing candidate satisfaction, and bringing in people who become productive faster and stay longer. An exemplar here is Google that has dropped many of its previous job requirements and adopted ones based on data and results.
We are moving slowly through the hype of technology into the deeper waters of understanding candidate psychology and motivation. Over the next five years I expect to see much less focus on tools and technology, and much more use of them to really engage candidates and improve the experience they have in finding the right use of their skills.
Here are the four trends I see unfolding. They will not all be competed in 2014 but they will certainly be well underway in many organizations. I’d love your comments and feedback.
What could be more important than having everyone on your team focused and on the same page? Unfortunately, in my interactions with corporate recruiting leaders, I am frequently surprised to find that they don’t have a formal set of strategic goals for their talent acquisition function. That’s a major problem because you certainly can’t be strategic unless you have a formal written strategy (most don’t) and a corresponding set of goals to make it clear to everyone what you’re trying to accomplish. Not having clearly defined, measurable, and communicated strategic goals can add to the confusion about “what is important” and “what is less important.”
While having goals provides focus and direction, their absence can cause team members to wander and to waste time and resources in low-value areas. So if you want your team to be laser focused on the important things, have clear goals that clarify your purpose and that specify what you’re trying to accomplish and what great results would look like.
In that light, this article provides a list of the strategic goals that truly effective corporate recruiting leaders can choose from. Reaching many of these recruiting goals is more complicated because the factors involved in reaching them are not 100 percent controlled by your team. However, it’s time for recruiting leaders to learn to follow the standard business practice of assuming the captain-of-the-ship role which assumes responsibility for meeting goals that you don’t have 100 percent control over.
The Possible Strategic Goals for the Recruiting Function keep reading…
Forward-looking executives seeking truly big ideas understand the value of the Davos World Economic Forum, where only thought leaders and the most senior executives at top global firms are invited to attend. If there were to be a Davos-type “big-idea session” covering strategic recruiting, this article covers the big idea topics that I would propose for the agenda.
The hectic world of day-to-day recruiting is often dominated by having to solve tactical functional problems like cutting cost per hire or identifying the correct recruiter req load. However if you are a recruiting leader who wants to make quantum improvements of more than 25 percent in your results, step back and focus exclusively on a few big ideas. Big ideas by definition are potentially high-impact strategic actions that are barely emerging, that are extremely difficult to implement, and that may become essential as the business or recruiting environment evolves and changes. Also because they require a dramatic change in thinking, almost all big ideas are instantly rejected by shortsighted individuals in recruiting.
The Top 15 Future-focused Big Ideas for Recruiting Leaders to Contemplate keep reading…
I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half.
For many marketers — and recruiters — that famous statement attributed to 19th century department store merchant John Wanamaker is still true, even with all the technology and measurement tools available in the early 21st century. How many recruiters can say they are getting the most out of the opportunities to drive new efficiencies through technology available today?
It is never easy to change old methodologies. However, recruiters have a significant opportunity to adopt best practices from another function that was forced to reinvent its core strategies in the face of technology disruption and changing consumer behavior: marketing. keep reading…
The most costly recruiting error in recent history was revealed last week.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced its nearly $19 billion purchase of the instant-messaging firm WhatsApp. But the real news about the acquisition relates to the colossal recruiting failure that occurred a handful of years earlier (as reported by Forbes) when both WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton applied for a job at Facebook and were rejected (Acton was also rejected by Twitter).
As Brian Acton put it ,“We’re part of the Facebook reject club.” You could easily argue that this colossal “hiring miss” cost Facebook billions, and as a result, this hiring error has to rank near the top “not hired” errors, only rivaled by HP’s rejection of Steve Jobs for not having a college degree. If you are a corporate talent manager, this and similar errors should now become a critical part of your business case for fully funding an effective recruiting team and flawless hiring process.
The Top Eight “Billion-dollar Hiring Miss Lessons” for Talent Leaders keep reading…
A couple years back I was asked to outline “the future of talent management” in a talk at Google headquarters. Then as now, I predicted the future of talent management will follow the “professional sports model,” which many of you undoubtedly witnessed during yesterday’s Super Bowl.
Some in HR carelessly make the mistake of instantly dismissing sports analogies as irrelevant, but those individuals fail to understand that the NFL and its teams are multibillion-dollar businesses with the same economic bottom line and the need to dominate competitors as any other corporate businesses. So if you want some talent creds, tell your boss that you watched the Super Bowl not just for enjoyment, but also in order to learn some valuable talent management lessons. My top eight talent management takeaways from the Super Bowl are listed below. keep reading…
What could be more important than having everyone on your team focused and on the same page?
Unfortunately, in my interactions with corporate recruiting leaders, I am frequently surprised to find that they don’t have a formal set of strategic goals for their talent acquisition function. That’s a major problem because you certainly can’t be strategic unless you have a formal written strategy (most don’t) and a corresponding set of goals to make it clear to everyone what you’re trying to accomplish.
Not having clearly defined, measurable, and communicated strategic goals can add to the confusion about what is important and what is less important. While having goals provides focus and direction, their absence can cause team members to “wander” and to waste time and resources in low-value areas. So if you want your team to be laser focused on the important things, have clear goals that clarify your purpose and that specify what you’re trying to accomplish and what great results would look like.
In that light, this article provides a list of the strategic goals that truly effective corporate recruiting leaders can choose from. keep reading…
Almost every manager, when asked, readily agrees that weak employees underperform average employees by a significant amount. We certainly know from sports teams, where performance is easily measured, that there is a huge performance differential (often double or triple) between the below average, average, and top performers in the same position.
From a talent management perspective, if the “performance differential” between the average employee and the worst employee is small (less than 5 percent), it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot of money on performance management programs. However, when weak performers produce more than 33 percent below the average, it makes clear business sense to invest in great performance management and recruiting in order to fix or replace weak performers.
And when your calculations reveal that employee actions can have a multimillion-dollar impact (in the negative direction, with the Edward Snowden NSA document leaking case, or in the positive direction, with the US Airways Sully Sullenberger safe landing on the Hudson River), you quickly realize the need to quantify the dollar impact of these bottom- and top-performing employees.
Begin Working With the King of Metrics keep reading…