How Recruitment Metrics And Dashboards Improve The Hiring Process

recruiting metrics

The competition for global technology talent is real. When professionals in the IT recruitment industry discuss the dearth for talent, they refer to the quality, not the quantity of qualified, high-potential professionals. According to Gartner, 63% of leaders named talent shortage as a key concern for their organization. What we learn from this is that there’s a gap between high-potential jobseekers and the businesses who want to hire them. And the gap is growing. A doable way of overcoming the gap? Use recruiting metrics.

‘Recruiting metrics’ is a broad term that covers over 40 ways of measuring, testing and controlling the processes that go into global talent management. Used interchangeably with ‘recruitment metrics,’ these are quantifiable targets that assess how well a hiring manager has fulfilled the talent needs of his/her organization.

If you are a hiring manager, you probably already have a system that reviews your recruitment efforts. The purpose here is to informally ‘audit’ the system to see if it yields all the value it can. If not, to plug in metrics that can deliver that value.

Recruiting Metrics Vs Recruiting Analytics—What’s The Difference?

A common source of confusion—this debate between metrics and analytics. Metrics refer to the hard numbers behind your recruitment efforts. This is aggregated, unprocessed data. Tech recruiting analytics are one step ahead: They are the processed form of the data, usually presented visually, e.g. through dashboards. Analytics also have the added advantage of allowing businesses to simulate ‘what-if’ scenarios while maintaining control conditions, conduct drilldown and drill-up analyses and more.

Getting Started With Recruiting Analytics

As mentioned, your organization probably has a set of metrics that determine the quality of recruitment effort. This set may include measurements of:

  • Onboarding time
  • Time taken to close an open position
  • Average employee turnover

And others.

Before developing metrics and reporting dashboards, it’s important to:

  1. Understand the objectives behind each metric: What does it measure, actually. Why? And what decisions can the business take, based on this information? For instance, chronically high employee turnover is a reflection of poor supervision; poor retention practices (including compensation) and a culture that doesn’t permit horizontal career progression, amongst other problems.
  2. Identify the gap between recruiting metrics and current practice: The more dynamic a business is, the more likely its metrics are to mature in a relatively shorter timeframe. For instance, average absenteeism is a relevant metric when your entire workforce is onsite, and permanent. But for a business with over 50% resources working freelance, and remotely, the metric’s business value doesn’t justify the cost of collecting its data. As you explore the full list of recruiting metrics, you will come across several metrics that fall under this category. And, at the same time, there will be many areas that need to be scrutinized, but which do not have any existing recruiting metrics to support them. List both.

Recruiting Analytics And Talent Strategy

At this stage, you know the recruiting metrics your business uses, their purpose and existing shortcomings. The next step is to fill the gap between practice and future direction. Compile and process your data into a basic dashboard—this can even be achieved with ordinary spreadsheet software. (The more data the better). It serves to have several different dashboards in a single workbook, because you’ll  be going back and forth for cross-references.

Next?

STEP #1 USE RECRUITING ANALYTICS TO DETECT TRENDS AND PATTERNS

This step calls out assumptions you have about the talent market (and vice versa). Pattern detection is about observing the movement of resources (digital, capital, labor or other) in one direction.

Using your metric as a baseline, dissect the recruiting data on factors such as:

  • Time taken to close one position.
  • Average cycle length of posting a job ad and onboarding talent.
  • Hiring cost per resource.

All examples above can be further analyzed by position, recruiter, external tools engaged and so on.

When this data is presented visually through a recruiting dashboard, it brings transparency into the whole process. Instead of investigating each case file, the gap can be instantly identified (and addressed). For instance, recruiting analytics may reveal that the average time to close one position in 2018 was 10 days. In 2020, the same position took 35 days, same recruiter and JD. The writing on the wall?

  • Said talent is scarcer
  • The organization needs to review its reward policy
  • Platforms are outdated—the required talent favors other media now
  • The organization needs to invest in employer branding to attract the right talent, and/or overcome market rumor/competitive headhunting

Patterns can be addressed internally. Trends are a function of external forces. A dashboard with recruiting analytics does the visual storytelling needed for a focused response to each.

STEP #2 USE RECRUITING METRICS TO DISCOVER UNDERLYING SHIFTS

Trends and patterns point to events that have already occurred. Shifts are akin to the iceberg underneath. Is your industry experiencing a spike in ghosting? Are vendors increasingly coming under attack for their credentials? Are applicants with advanced degrees applying for junior roles more frequently? Underemployment is rarely a one-person phenomenon. Shifts like these start as observations. Most recruiters would not document them. But your hiring decisions will be better if you do, especially if you plug these occurrences into the dashboard, even as anomalies.

Similarly, you may observe the rising popularity of a specific technical skill—which is showing up in all the resumes you receive. What are the benefits of this skill? And why haven’t your product owners demanded it yet in their requirements?

Does your organization attract a disproportionate number of people from a specific industry? Why?

How do these questions help?

For one thing, they allow you to be better prepared. If a shift like this is on its way to becoming a trend, you’ll have an edge in designing responsive functional organograms, without being lax or exploitative. They also allow you to make realistic assessments within your own hiring process. Reallocate signing bonuses, for instance. Or distributing other rewards for pay equity.

Sometimes the change is far more subtle, but still shows up in volumes large enough to materialize in your dashboards: Is your JD attracting unusually high turnout from candidates of a certain college? What about from a certain competitor? (This can offer useful competitive intelligence about your market position).

While the changing career challenges and aspirations of millennials have drawn the biggest spotlight, the truth is that every generation has its own career priorities. Anticipate these with the help of a responsive instrument—an interview or online application form both work well.

Shifts will also be demographic, of course, which makes a strong case again for employer branding—people need to see your culture at work. Capturing data on jobseekers’ feedback about the company—their impressions, queries and complaints (and how they’ve changed over time) can be instructive in prioritizing items on your employer branding to-do list.

STEP # 3 IDENTIFY SHORTCOMINGS IN YOUR EXISTING HIRING POLICY

This is probably the most useful application of recruiting metrics and dashboards!

HR practitioners generally know what’s wrong with the hiring process. Unfortunately, their recommendations are met with resistance or a staunch, ‘this-won’t-work-here’ attitude from product owners and other decision-makers in the talent game.

Recruiting metrics provide HR practitioners with the evidence and the quantifiable support they need to drive change.

For instance, a clear dashboard with the right recruiting analytics can solve problems like:

  • Obsolete requirements: Does your job post still say, “Candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Office?” It’s time to change that! If you compile data on applicant responses for JDs which had this line versus an identical JD that didn’t, you get the support you need to remove this line. Other examples include obsolete technology, skills that are a given, or even phrases like “women and minorities are encouraged to apply,” which could be detracting top talent.
  • Defective questionnaire/Inappropriate interviewing techniques: The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is an incomplete personality measurement tool. Also, when hiring on campus, students can ‘learn’ from the alumni experience and rig responses to their favor. Especially when the hiring organization lets its biases for a certain personality type be known. The same goes for aptitude tests. Candidates can be quick to pick on patterns in standardized testing techniques, where even preferred qualitative responses can be learnt and replicated. There has also been serious criticism labelled against the standard job interview.

A dashboard will illustrate the relationship between imperfections in the recruitment process and the quality of talent the business attracts.

And the solutions could be surprisingly simple, e.g.:

  1. Shortening the hiring cycle.
  2. Simplifying data verification techniques
  3. Making jobseekers more autonomous in the screening process. (E.g. instead of lining up interviews, automating the interview calendar to allow them to select their own slots).

Comparing recruitment technique with OTJ performance can be a good measure of how accurate the hiring process is in finding the right talent for the job. Add training needs to your recruitment metrics/dashboard and you get a fairly precise picture of the gap.

  • Poor follow-up: An unresponsive recruitment team is easy to identify: Plug in recruitment cycle time, recruiter and measure average gaps per recruitment stage. The higher the gap, the poorer the follow-up. Training and closer supervision are quick fixes to improve the hiring process.
  • Too many people chasing the same resume: This problem occurs frequently enough in ‘staffing agencies.’ Headhunters like to chase the big-ticket JDs—the ones with more commission attached, the easy sell, the easy close. This is not good for the jobseeker or the client who needs him/her.

Bubble diagrams, scatter plots and other representations on your dashboard will highlight this problem straight up. This dashboard will also help you redistribute your resources so that other open positions fare better.

  • Not enough distribution of the post—limited talent pool: The proliferation of online job posts makes it hard to identify the most effective one for your A platform’s popularity doesn’t necessarily result in soliciting the right kind of applications. Sometimes businesses depend too much on a limited set of recruitment tools, which in turn, limits their outreach and restricts their overall talent pool. Recruiting metrics spell out this problem in no uncertain terms.
  • Conscious bias, nepotism, favoritism: When recruitment processes are not formalized, these problems are impossible to detect, and naturally, the hardest to cure. Recruitment metrics cannot solve the problem, but they can make it a lot harder for miscreants to get away with them. A dashboard will pick up the trail of questionable selections and follow them back to the decision-maker.

Fake degrees, exaggerated experience, fake references—hiring managers have seen it all. Getting credentials verified is expensive and often time-consuming. That’s where recruiting metrics can help. Compiling data on attrition rates based on factors like these, paired with recruiter data, past employer or industry, average experience and tenure pattern will give you the pattern you need to identify the lag.

Unfortunately, recruiters are sometimes complicit, and dashboards can help you detect which ones and for what motive.

Add insights from the dashboards into your hiring process for enhanced transparency and traceability. (Xperti’s 3-stage validation, for instance, assesses candidates across a 100-point system, making talent management as comprehensive as it gets)!

MAKING RECRUITING METRICS WORK FOR YOU

STEP #4 USE INSIGHTS TO BENCHMARK BETTER

One thing all recruiting metrics have in common is that they point unmistakably in a direction. They tell hiring managers what needs to be done, in no uncertain terms.

A starting point in your new hiring action plan can be to revisit hiring processes and review performance baselines. For instance:

  1. Compensation structures: An attractive package is important for talent retention (and headhunting). But just how attractive is attractive? Arrive closer to the right answer by detecting patterns in employee longevity, job role and other factors—like autonomy and career opportunities.
  2. Are business competitors talent competitors? Not necessarily. Maybe the talent you need is being absorbed by an entirely different industry. Recalibrate based on the findings on your dashboard.

Improving Recruitment Planning

Expand your outlook with the broader, more comprehensive outlook recruiting metrics lend you. For instance, instead of focusing on short-term goals like placement, start developing a talent pipeline, i.e. move from a ‘staffing’ mentality to one that prizes talent acquisition.

A good dashboard highlights your own talent pain points. i.e. the areas where your business experiences its most frequent (and expensive) talent shortage. Recruitment metrics arm you with this knowledge so that your succession planning efforts can kick off when (and where) they matter the most.

Increase Effectiveness Of Recruitment SOPs

Expect more from your team. Establish higher performance standards and have supporting SOPs that reinforce compliance. A strong hiring process is good for jobseekers, of course. But it’s good for business too. It builds credibility, reinforces a positive reputation, and makes the business a prestigious employer well-worth working for.

That’s a benchmark all leaders aspire to.

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