Talent Acquisition

What's Wrong With Your Recruiting Metrics


One of the beautiful aspects of the recruiting profession is that most of the activities can be measured in finite detail. Everything from when the applicant hit the website, what keywords are in their resume, to when the manager actually approved the offer. All of this recruiting data is a very, very beautiful thing – and almost too mesmerizing. The concern is whether we measure too many things, because we can, and have we lost site of the critical few.

First of all, I would love to hear your thoughts as to what you think the critical few are, so the below are some thoughts to consider – but please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Why The Old Metric Is Dead

Time to Fill has been the number one metric that has dictated the recruiting industry. In doing some research, on Google –  Joseph Famularo wrote the Handbook of Modern Personnel  Administration in 1972, and he references Time to Fill as something that should be considered. Then Dr. Jac Fitz-Enz wrote the foundational book of metrics in 1984 – How to Measure Human Resource Management, in which he discusses the Time  to Fill Metric. But here is the funny part, from 2000 to 2013, the benchmark for Time to fill has not changed – it ranges from 45 to 51 days. And anecdotally, I have heard the number in the 70’s was the exact same.

Ponder that. If we are measuring it for over 40 years, and the number hasn’t improved – are we measuring the wrong thing? I want to propose two new metrics (one in this blog and one in the next) for you to consider.

Your New Talent Ratio

Growing talent communities and social media followers is a very sexy thing now, and this metric is targeted to make sure we use this focus for true business results. This is one that I have come up with, so I welcome your feedback.

Y= (qualified talent pool)/ ((turnover %)+( Retirement Risk %) x headcount)

The denominator is to figure out what your highest potential risk is. If you have a turnover of 6 percent and a retirement risk of 10 percent, then your highest risk scenario is 16 percent, and now multiply this by your headcount. For this purpose, let’s assume your headcount is 1,000 – so your highest risk scenario is 160 people that you will need to replace.

The numerator is based on what is in your applicant tracking system. How many qualified people have applied and are in your system? Let’s assume you’ve had 700 people apply in the last year, but only 320 of them are qualified candidates.

The calculation is then to figure out your ratio. In this scenario, it is 320 / 160 for an answer of 2. Which means that in order to mitigate your highest risk scenario – 1 out of 2 people in your system would need to apply and get hired – which is too low of a ratio.

How To Use This Metric

You may have folks that love to get followers and people to apply – but are you building the right communities for the right business units, locations, job families, etc.? This metric may help you become more targeted in your social media approach.

In the next article, I’ll share another metric that I learned about recently and it is pretty awesome – time to find / time to present.

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