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Our Recruiting Stock Price

Jul 24, 2009

Recruiting measurement is something we all strive to perfect — that magic number that answers many of our professional life’s little mysteries; the key that opens the door to recruiting issues and then tells you how to solve them. Many of us have tried to find that ideal fit for our organizations, but seem to come up with only pieces of the puzzle. After all, there are only so many processes that can be measured — and are these all-encompassing?

Recently, Fifth Third Bank created a simpler, single metric to represent Recruiting Operations: the Recruiting Stock Price. I’m delving in-depth into that metric in two places: 1) the Fall ERE Expo and 2) in the September Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership. But I wanted to give this wide audience a preview.

A Single View of the End-to-End Process

For us, our customers specified that the following were important to them:

  • Overall satisfaction with the recruiting process
  • 90-day retention rates
  • Recruiter efficiency measures
  • Diverse candidate pools
  • Time-to-fill
  • Number-of-fills
  • Cost-per-hire

These are fairly typical metrics that many companies currently measure. The key to success though is not just measuring these, but understanding how they relate to the customer experience and how they relate to one another.

Knowing the customers’ needs and how important they are is a huge accomplishment, although it’s not the final piece of the puzzle. We must now determine what level of performance the customer expects for each need. Is filling an open requisition in 30 days sufficient, or do they need it in 15 days? Does it vary by type of position?

For each we will need to know the level of acceptable performance — or the spec limit. For example, our customer satisfaction measures are done on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0. The threshold or spec limit for all of these measures is 4.0. Anything below a 4.0 is not meeting customer needs, whereas anything above 4.0 is exceeding customer needs. If we didn’t know the spec limit we would have no way of evaluating the customer’s feedback. If we received a 3.0 on a survey and we didn’t have a defined spec limit then, as recruiting leaders, we might interpret this as acceptable. In our mind a score of a 1.0 or a 2.0 would certainly be below customer expectations but a 3.0 “seems” decent when in fact, anything below 4.0 is not acceptable. Knowing and understanding the spec limits — the minimum acceptable performance — is another critical component of realizing how we are performing and where we need to focus our efforts.

This gets included on a two-part scorecard. The first is a scorecard that is segmented by our recruiting regions. This shows the detailed performance of every metric for each region with the ability to see infinite detail for all measures within each region. The second version is segmented by individual recruiter. Each measure for every recruiter is included, as is a stack-ranking of all recruiters across the company.

Both versions are public knowledge and available to anyone in recruiting. Both versions also include the ability to drill down and see performance in greater detail.

We show the overall health of the recruiting process summed up with a single chart. At first glance, it’s quite simplistic. The green line represents customer needs. Anything greater than zero (above the green line) indicates that the recruiting organization is exceeding customer needs. Anything less than zero shows that customer needs are not being met.

Beginning with the Recruiting Stock Price in March, by drilling-down we can see that both Quality and Delivery measures were above customer needs, while cost did not meet customer needs. Further diving into cost shows that the recruiting organization was under budget; however, the cost per hire was much too high. Additional analysis revealed that cost per hire was above spec because overall hiring volume was down versus the plan. The resulting action was that we were able to use several recruiters on other projects across the bank until hiring volume picked back up two months later.

Prior to the Recruiting Stock Price, response plans were relatively unused in human resources at Fifth Third Bank. Knowing what actions we would take should certain situations arise was something we practiced very little. For each of our key process drivers — our customer needs — we have thresholds that are even stricter than the customer spec limits. Here, we want to take action and make changes prior to missing a customer spec limit, so acting early and often is critical.

For example, our customer satisfaction measures are on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 with a customer spec limit of 4.0. In our response plan, we set a threshold of 4.1. For any individual recruiting region, we do further data analysis and provide coaching, make process changes, etc. every time a satisfaction measure drops to 4.1 or lower. By taking action before we drop below 4.0, we increase the likelihood that we can catch problem areas and fix them before it impacts the customer’s ability to manage their business.

Having accurate measures is a huge step toward improving the overall performance of our recruiting process. However, it doesn’t matter how good the measures are if we don’t do anything with them. Fancy graphics and colorful charts by themselves do very little. We must take these measurements and take action.

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