Quality of Hire Metrics are an Illusion

LinkedIn released their annual Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report last week and it had some great information.  I have to give LI credit, this report, each year, has some really great information that always makes me think!  This year’s report was no different, and one stat struck me as really telling:

When Talent Leaders were asked: “What is the single most valuable metric that you use to track your recruiting team’s performance today?

They said:

“39% of Talent Leaders agree the quality of hire is the most valuable metric for performance!” 

It was the single highest answer to this question!

You know what?  Quality of Hire is an Illusion for about 99% of organizations!  They have no freaking idea how to actually measure quality of hire, or what they’re actually measuring doesn’t haven’t the faintest correlation to actual quality of hire.

So, why is this interesting to me?

It shows me that TA Leaders still don’t have the guts to use real metrics and analytics to measure the performance of their teams!  Using a subjective, at best, measure, like Quality of Hire, allows them to continue to just make up what they ‘feel’ performance is, and one that doesn’t truly hold themselves or their teams accountable.

If you think this isn’t you, tell me how you actually measure quality of hire of your employees?  It’s very complex to even come up with something I could argue is an actual quality of hire metric!  Most organizations will do things like measure 90 day retention as a quality of hire. “Oh, look, they stayed 90 days! Way to go recruiters you’re hiring quality!” No they’re not! They’re just hiring bodies that decided to stay around 90 days!

Quality of hire metrics only work if you are actually measuring the performance of your new hires to the performance of those employees you already have.  This measure, then, becomes one that you can’t even measure until you have a true measure of performance (which is a whole other issue!) of both the new hire and your current employees. Also, you have to give that new hire, probably a year, to truly see what kind of performer they are in your environment.

How many organizations are waiting a year to measure the quality of hire of the employees they hired a year ago?  Almost none!

The other issue here is why is Quality of Hire a recruiting measure to begin with? Are the recruiters ultimately choosing who gets hired and who doesn’t?  That’s what I thought.

So, the recruiter can give the best candidate in the world to a hiring manager, but she instead hires a gal from her sorority who bombs out, and the recruiter gets killed on the quality of hire metric? That sounds fair.

Quality of hire metrics only became something because TA Leaders didn’t have the guts to tell the executives in their organizations that this isn’t really something that matters to the effectiveness of the TA function.  Quality of hire is a hiring manager metric.  You know how it’s measured? By looking at their operational measures and seeing if they actually met them.  If they didn’t it one of three things: they don’t know how to hire, or they don’t know how to manage, or both.

Regardless, check out the LinkedIn report. It has some good data points that are fun to discuss!

5 thoughts on “Quality of Hire Metrics are an Illusion

  1. Focusing on the empty half won’t fill the glass. Just sayin’ . The progress the firms who are measuring QoH have made in the last decade make for a better conversation. ERE last week devoted several sessions to the challenges and the successes in measuring that illusion.

    • Gerry –

      You’re brilliant and I love the work your company is doing at CareerXroads. I wouldn’t say I’m focusing on the empty half, but rather that orgs should be focusing on what they actually put in that glass. Recruiting is sales. Sales has great black and white metrics. Recruiting should as well. The desire for subjetive metrics TA has right now is born out of HR. It needs to stop.

      I can fill that glass up!


  2. Totally agree with your assessment. If a company didn’t think someone was a quality hire to begin with, they wouldn’t hire that person. Also, retention rate is something else that bugs me. How does a company measure long retention or short? Its all subjective. Only the department a new hire enters can measure the “True” value that person brings to the team.

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