Quality of Hire is NOT a Talent Acquisition Measure of Success!

I was looking at LinkedIn’s annual Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report 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 way you measure your recruiting team’s performance today?

They said:

  1. Quality of Hire metrics (hiring manager measure not a TA measure – my opinion)
  2. Time to Hire (the single worse measure of all time – my opinion)
  3. Hiring Manager Satisfaction (has no correlation to whether or not TA is actually good or not – my opinion)

I hate all of these answers!!!  In fact, these answers are so bad it makes me question the viability of the future of Talent Acquisition!

You know what?  Quality of Hire is an Illusion for about 99% of organizations!  Most of us have no freaking idea how to actually measure the quality of hire, or that what we are 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 works 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?  No? 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!

6 thoughts on “Quality of Hire is NOT a Talent Acquisition Measure of Success!

  1. Well, if your book isn’t out till April how is Santa suppose to bring it to me? Thanks for the insight. I’ll add your book to my summer reading list now. Merry Christmas.

  2. Could not agree more! We don’t use these as performance metrics, but we are struggling with the right metrics that will drive the right behavior of both recruiters and hiring managers. I have the performance of the recruiters but also want visibility o the HM performance as it relates to the process of hiring. Any ideas

    • Kayleen,

      Well, that’s the real question, isn’t it!?

      Patty McCord, former head of HR for Netflix, had a brilliant reply to this, which is how does your regular business measure success? TA/HR should be measured by those same measures. Okay, I know that can be difficult.

      I look at funnel activity metrics that lead to overall hires. Before that, you have to first understand some things as it relates to the business. First, what positions are foundational to driving revenue or outcomes of the business because we need to ensure those are filled first. To fill those positions some things need to happen, so let’s measure those and figure out which drivers are most important to filling positions. Then, let’s make more of that happen.

      I get into this in my new book “The Talent Fix” coming out in April, 2018!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.