Raise the Grade on Recruitment Performance With Quarterly Incentives

Nov 25, 2014

EREConf14_footerBased on my experience, both as a former HR executive and as an agency owner, I believe corporate recruitment can be enhanced by borrowing strategies from well-managed agencies (and vice versa). For example, during my time at Dendrite, our recruiting staff was highly effective and engaged. Their success was a result of an agency-inspired, detailed, bonus structure, measured through hard and soft data that was tied to quarterly performance.

Detractors of this model have their concerns: ill-conceived benchmarks and fluctuations in business cycles can cause morale problems for those whose compensation is tied to performance. Others contend that it is impossible to set hiring metrics that fairly measure performance since there are so many players responsible for the ultimate outcome of hiring. Our winning process at Dendrite addressed these concerns.

With quarterly evaluations, HR mangers implemented forecasting and goal setting that aligned with the ups and downs of the market. They also selected the metrics that made the most sense for the specific timeframe and changing nature of the business.

Certainly there are many analytics for HR leaders to evaluate and choose from.

For example, of the many data points worth measuring, the time to fill, quality of hire, offer acceptance rate, and cost per hire are vital. However, far fewer firms monitor other recruitment metrics, including:

  • ATS and related activities, including: Monitoring continuity of ATS use, as well as the number of resumes that are downloaded or screened.
  • Volume of communication: How many calls, emails, or texts are sent out/received.
  • Quality of candidates: How many applicants are submitted, interviewed, offered jobs, and finally hired. Plus, retention benchmarks.

But the above is only the first part of the metrics equation. 360-degree surveys are equally important to evaluating recruiters’ soft skills. Surveys can reveal what the hiring managers think, how the candidates feel about the experience in dealing with the recruiter, and the sense of urgency and follow-up skills observed and reported during the hiring process.

While it’s impossible to evaluate every metric, HR leaders can determine which data points are most relevant and perform quarterly reviews to ensure consistent level of recruiting activity.

Of course, metrics are even more challenging to reach if recruiters don’t work in a supportive environment. They need the right tools at their disposal. This includes training on all new and updated technologies, administrative assistance with time-consuming tasks (like offer letters.), and of course a culture of collegiality, where all partners are working toward a shared goal.

The partnerships between recruiters and hiring managers require a structured process where there are clear guidelines about the entire hiring lifecycle, from submitting personnel requisition to updating job descriptions to providing post- interview feedback. It is impossible for recruiters to perform at their best without intense collaboration and buyin of their inside hiring partners.  

Certainly these strategies are not appropriate for every size company or for every industry. (And managements’ expectations must take into account the unique hiring situations; for example, hiring C-level executives requires a different effort than hiring salespeople or administrative staff.)

It can be difficult to find the resources to implement new and cumbersome processes. But these ideas are scalable and food for thought for every company interested in improving recruitment results. By examining them and considering ways to tailor your strategy with your organization’s needs in mind, you can raise the grade of your recruiters.

On a related note, I’ll be moderating an enlightening session, entitled Increasing Your Talent GPA with an impressive panel of HR leaders, including Lindsay Deak Frieman, VP talent, Vimeo; Mike McDonald, director, talent acquisition at Pandora; Jojuane Porter, talent acquisition director at RadioShack; and Corrie Waarum, director of recruiting at Healogics.

Find out how some of these leaders are raising the grade on their recruiters’ performances at the ERE Conference, April 2015 in San Diego. I hope to see you there!

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