I was recently asked to dig into talent acquisition metrics, determining which metrics drive success, which are window dressing, which are just CYA, etc. Two metrics kept coming up from TA leaders are being very important, candidate satisfaction (candidate experience) and hiring manager satisfaction.
I don’t disagree that both of these metrics are important to an effective talent acquisition strategy. You want candidates to be satisfied with the experience they have going through your recruitment process, and you want your hiring managers to be satisfied with the quality of recruitment they get from your team.
The problem happens when you don’t know the point when positive satisfaction turns into negative satisfaction.
A good example is in healthcare. Currently, in the healthcare world, patient satisfaction is a huge deal. Many hospitals are losing their minds to try and figure out how to continue to raise patient satisfaction. You can see the logic. Healthcare is an extremely competitive environment. If a patient isn’t satisfied with their care, they can easily decide to spend those dollars at another healthcare facility. Probably sounds a lot like most of our businesses, doesn’t it? (customer satisfaction, client satisfaction, etc.)
The problem is, nurses and doctors aren’t employed to keep patients satisfied. They’re employed to get patients healthy and save their life. In that process, many times, a patient’s satisfaction is meaningless. The doctor and the nurse are the experts, and before I care about your satisfaction, I care about your wellbeing.
But, as healthcare organizations continue to be run more and more like a business, doctors, and nurses and constantly pressured to put patient satisfaction above wellbeing. As long as Mary loves us, just give her what she wants, even if that isn’t the best treatment.
Now, take this back to candidate satisfaction and hiring manager satisfaction. There’s a tipping point. It’s important that you have a consistent candidate experience that is fair. This will be satisfactory for many candidates, but for some it might not be. As you continue to push resources into increasing satisfaction of those who aren’t, you begin to see a negative return on resources. 100% satisfaction, should never be your goal.
Hiring managers aren’t much different. Most of your hiring managers will be great people to work with and you’ll prove to be a great resource for them in filling their openings. They’ll be satisfied with the job you do. Some will never be satisfied, and many times those who are unsatisfied are usually causing their own dissatisfaction. Again, 100% satisfaction, should never be your goal. Because if it’s obtainable, it’s probably not valuable in this circumstance.
My job in talent acquisition is not to make everyone feel satisfied. My job is to increase the talent in the organization. To do this, it might actually mean I make some folks unsatisfied. That’s okay. I’m the expert in talent acquisition. I need to do what is best for the organization. I’m always unsatisfied with our marketing folks, but guess what, they never asked me if I’m satisfied or not.