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Better Recruiting Metrics Lead to Better Talent Analytics

By Meghan Biro
23 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
ACCORDING to Josh Bersin, in Deloitte’s 2013 report, Talent Analytics: From Small Data to Big Data, 75% of HR leaders acknowledge analytics are important to the success of their organizations. But 51% have no formal talent analytics plans in place. Nearly 40% say they don’t have the resources to conduct sound talent analytics. Asked to rate…

ACCORDING to Josh Bersin, in Deloitte’s 2013 report, Talent Analytics: From Small Data to Big Data, 75% of HR leaders acknowledge analytics are important to the success of their organizations. But 51% have no formal talent analytics plans in place. Nearly 40% say they don’t have the resources to conduct sound talent analytics. Asked to rate their own workforce analytics skills, another 56% said poor. 

   As Bersin further noted in a recent People Fluent article, HR Forecast 2014, “Only 14% of the companies we studied are even starting to analyze people-related data in a statistical way and correlate it to business outcomes. The rest are still dealing with reporting, data cleaning and infrastructure challenges.” 

   There’s a striking gap between the large number of companies that recognize the importance of metrics and talent analytics and the smaller number that actually have the means and expertise to put them to use. 

Yes, we do need to gather and maintain the right people data first, such as when and where applicants apply for jobs, and the specific skills an employee has. But data is just information captured by recruiting system or software already in place. It doesn’t tell any story. 

    Compare data against goals or thresholds and it turns into insight, a.k.a workforce metrics — measurements with a goal in mind, otherwise known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), all of which gauge quantifiable components of a company’s performance. Metrics reflect critical factors for success and help a company measure its progress towards strategic goals. 

    But here’s where it gets sticky. You don’t set off on a cross-country road trip until you know how to read the map. For companies, it’s important to agree on the right business metrics – and it all starts with recruiting. Even with standard metrics for retention and attrition in place, some companies also track dozens of meaningless metrics— not tied to specific business goals, not helping to improve business outcomes. 

    I’ve seen recruiting organizations spend all their time in the metrics-gathering phase, and never get around to acting on the results — in industry parlance, “boiling the ocean.” You’re far better off gathering a limited number of metrics that you actually analyze and then act upon. 

Today many organizations are focused on developing recruiting metrics and analytics because there’s so much data available today on candidates and internal employees (regardless of classification). Based on my own recruiting experience and that of many other recruiting leaders, here are what I consider the 

Top 5 Recruiting Metrics:

1. New growth vs. attrition rates. What percentage of the positions you fill are new hires vs. attrition? This shows what true growth really looks like. If you are hiring mostly due to attrition, it would indicate that selection, talent engagement, development and succession planning need attention. You can also break this metric down by division/department, by manager and more.

2. Quality of hires. More and more, this is becoming the holy grail of hiring. Happily, all measurable: what individual performances look like, how long they stay, whether or not they are top performers, what competencies comprise their performance, where are they being hired from and why.

3. Sourcing. Measuring not just the ‘but’ and the ‘why’ of your best talent pools: job boards, social media, other companies, current employees, etc. This metric should also be applied to quality of hire: you’ll want to know where the best candidates are coming from. Also, if you want to know the percentage rate for a specific source, divide the number of source hires by the number of external hires. (For example, total Monster job board hires divided by total external hires.) 

4. Effectiveness ratio. How many openings do you have versus how many you’re actually filling?  You can also measure your recruitment rate by dividing the total number of new hires per year by the total number of regular headcount reporting to work each year. Your requisitions filled percent can be tallied by dividing the total number of filled requisitions by the total number of approved requisitions.

5. Satisfaction rating. An important one, because not much attention is paid to this, when other metrics are in good shape. Satisfaction ratings can be gleaned from surveys of candidates, new hires and current employees looking for internal mobility. While your overall metrics may be positive, it’s important to find out how people experience your hiring process.

    As your business leaves behind those tedious spreadsheets and manual reports and moves into Talent Analytics, metrics are going to be what feeds those results. Consider which metrics are the most appropriate for your business — and why. And then, the real analysis can begin, and help your organization make better talent-related decisions.

 Meghan M. Biro, CEO of Talent Culture Consulting Group, is a globally recognized talent management leader, career strategist and digital media catalyst. Named as one of the “Top 25 Trendsetters in HR” by HR Examiner, and “Top 25 Women to Follow on Twitter for your Job Search” by CEOWorld, she’s consulted with hundreds of companies to recruit, empower and retain talent.

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