I gathered data from around 13,000 sources to get the most accurate Days to Fill metric that I could. It is one of the most asked questions I get from the audience!
So, what’s the number? 37*.
Cool, now can we stop asking? Did that just solve all of your hiring problems?
No, it didn’t. Why?
Because Time to Fill is a worthless recruiting metric for the most part. There is zero correlation between how fast you fill a job to how well your talent acquisition function is performing.
37 days is meaningless out of context, as a comparison, every job is different, every organization is different, and every market is different.
So, if you are currently at 37 days time to fill a job, and in 2022 you magically get to 36.2 days to fill, are you better at recruiting? Are you? Maybe you hired too fast and now your turnover is increased. Maybe the economy went south for a bit and increased the labor pool and now you have more candidates applying. Zero. Correlation. To. Talent. Acquisition. Success.
So, why do we use it? Frankly, and this hurts because you know I love talent acquisition and the pros that work in it every single day, we’re lazy. We’re too lazy to measure what really matters. That hurts. That should make you mad. We are better than this.
Can your Time to Fill matter at all? Yes, as a health metric of your TA function. If your industry average is 37 days, and you’re at 54, your function might have cancer! That being said, you have to support that with other stuff. Your 54-day hiring process might have reduced your turnover to 15% in an industry that has 50%, then your 54 days is understandable. But, what I usually find in most industries and jobs are fairly close to the mean on time to fill. So, it can be used as a universal health TA metric.
But, once you start trying to reduce by .4 days or .3 days, you’ve lost your way.
*For those wanting to now use “37” days as the average time to fill in the world, I totally made that metric up! Stop it! Be Better!
First, shoutout to @Hervbird21 (Recruister) on Twitter for starting this conversation (Editor’s Note: Hervbird21 I don’t know who you are but send me a note and I’ll share your LinkedIn if you’d like) Also, take a look at the Twitter thread as there are some exceptional recruiting thought leaders who had thoughts on this subject.
I’ve written about this a number of times over the years, but with the recruiting market being so hot right now, I’ve actually had a number of Recruiter compensation calls with corporate TA leaders trying to figure out three main things: 1. How do we retain our recruiters; 2. How do I attract more recruiters; 3. How do we reward great recruiting performance?
First, I’m all in on the fact that recruiters should be paid in a pay-for-performance model. That doesn’t mean that corporate recruiters, agency recruiters, and RPO should all be paid the same way. All three of those roles are different and should be compensated based on what the organization needs from each recruiter.
Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Performance Pay for Corporate Recruiters
You get more of what you measure and more of what you reward.
Your best recruiters will be compensated more, and higher compensation is tied to longer tenure.
Low performers and internal recruiters who actually hate recruiting will hate it and self-select out.
It will most likely raise individual recruiting team member performance in the aggregate.
You will most likely have turnover with this type of change
Potentially, you could get behaviors that aren’t team-oriented. (IE., senior recruiters not helping junior recruiters)
Potentially, you could lower your quality of candidates as recruiters move quickly to gain performance comp. (the quantity over quality argument)
It actually might increase your compensation budget, initially, until you can find the model that is most effective.
Okay, wait, why did I say “potentially” on the Cons? Primarily, because it truly depends on the model design. Just making a decision to pay more for hires is ridiculous and leads to bad outcomes. But, developing a model that rewards individual performance that is based on recruiting behaviors that lead to better hires, quickly, and in a team setting, well, now you diminish the negative outcomes of pay for performance.
How could we make pay for performance work for corporate recruiters?
I’m not trying to dump on all the folks who commented on “Quarterly Bonuses” but stop that! “Quarterly Bonus” really means, “I don’t want to be individually measured and held accountable, but I also want more money on top of my great base salary”. Quarterly bonuses in most corp TA shops are a joke. They are usually based on Hiring Manager satisfaction and days to fill, two of the most subject measures that have zero correlation to better recruiting.
Also, internal recruiting pay for performance is not just a modified agency or RPO model. Corporate recruiters do much more than just recruit in most TA departments, so if you reward them to just recruit, understand, you’re just standing up an in-house agency model. Your internal recruiting model for corporate has to be unique to the job.
Some thoughts and ideas:
– Spend a bunch of time deciding what you actually want from your recruiters and from your function as a whole. Those two things must be aligned.
– Before going to a pay for performance model you need to get your arms around your recruiting funnel data. Otherwise, you’re just guessing at what and who to reward.
– In most cases, you can’t make the rewards the same because recruiters have different requisition loads and levels of position. Also, in most cases, certain areas of your organization hire at different times. So, get ready to test and be flexible to do the right thing at the right time.
– It’s okay if a recruiter makes more than you think if the model is producing what you want it to produce. Too often I hear from TA leaders that are like, “Jill is making too much!” But, Jill it killing it and the top recruiter.
– If you can’t get your head around paying for hires, pay for the behaviors and activities that lead to more hires.
– Start with a month or quarter test, make sure during the test no one will lose money. The goal is to try and reach some sort of outcome of better performance, to see if it can work. If they are only concerned they might make less money, you won’t truly see what can work or not work.
– It’s not about quality or quantity. It’s about quality and quantity. I’ve never led a recruiting team in a corporate or agency where good recruiters would ever send a crappy candidate on purpose. That just doesn’t happen, normally. If it did, that recruiter didn’t belong on the team.
I don’t believe in recruiting “team” rewards as pay for performance in most cases. Most teams are not designed and measured for “team” performance, so many on the team are getting the reward for a few doing most of the heavy lifting. You can still have team rewards, but you truly have to think about how you reward your most effective recruiters, short and long-term.
I think the ideal ratio for compensation for corporate recruiters should be 75% base salary and 25% pay for performance, where your best top recruiters can make 125% of their normal total comp if they are killing it. As I mentioned above, you will have recruiters quit because you have “recruiters” on your team that didn’t take the job to recruit, but to administer a recruiting process and collect a nice base salary.
Okay, tell me what I missed in the comments or if you have a model that is working you would like to share with everyone!
Say what you want about Elon Musk, he tends to be years ahead of the curve around what the world will want and need. I get it, he’s a polarizing figure, people either love him or hate him. I don’t own a Tesla, and I don’t really have the pull to want one, but I get the fascination. I get the fascination with building a company around private space travel, and he just recently said he could care less about electric cars because he now wants to build “real” robots like the ones Will Smith fought in iRobot!
BTW, I totally want my own Tesla Robot. The friend that will always be there for you and I would get the algorithm where they never try to give me life advice, just support my craziness! Also, my “Tesbot” will have an English accent, because I’m a dumb American and I really like that accent.
Elon’s robot idea came partly because of a real-world problem he faces, and truly all of us are facing at this moment, around talent shortages. He needs workers to build EVs and Rocketships. For a dude that doesn’t put limits on what is possible, it seems almost impossible to hire great, productive workers, who enjoy that type of work. So, let’s build robots!
Elon came out recently to clarify the real problem we have in America, really most industrialized countrys’, in that our birth rate is a major economic problem no one is paying attention to:
He went on to talk about world population estimates, etc., and the trends we are on are not positive when we truly look way out into the future. The problem is, in almost every country, our political systems are not built to address the future, they are built to address the next election cycle.
If you voted for Trump in the last election, you probably believe we have a “major” problem at our border to the south with immigrants flooding into our country. Honestly, we should be hoping immigrants are flooding into this country because we need them to work in all the jobs that Americans are refusing to work in!
We do have an immigration problem! The problem is, we don’t allow enough immigrants to come into our country and work legally, pay taxes, and be a part of this great experiment we call America. I’m not a liberal. I’m a raging moderate who sees what is really going on in businesses across America! We need more workers! Or, as Elon believes, more robots…
What are potential solutions for our birth rate crisis?
1. Pay people to have more babies.
You know, stuff like paid family leave and tax incentives to have more children, great education and paid daycare, etc. Let’s make it easy for families to have great families. Right now, in America, having kids is a wealth deterrent for people.
2. Massively expand immigration.
This is not a scarcity problem. Immigrants are not taking jobs away from Americans. We have way more jobs than we have Americans! Plus, immigrants now have more options than coming to America, since there are about 20 other countries with worse birth rate issues than we have. We are now in competition for immigrant talent, skilled and unskilled, and we have half our population who still are being told by politicians that immigrants are bad.
3. Help Elon build his robots!
Honestly, because of our birth rate crisis, if Elon doesn’t get there first, someone else will. We have already seen so many jobs get eaten up by automation and robotics and it’s not stopping, it’s accelerating. Self-driving semi-trucks. Touch screens to order your Big Mac. Self-checkout lanes at the grocery store. Etc. The problem is, robots are only good at certain things, and we still need humans for a lot. Unless Elon figures out my Tesbot and then look out! Timmy is going on vacation!
There are times when I struggle to get things done. I’m a really good starter of things. I love starting projects! I can always see how I want it finished (a little shout out to Covey – Begin with the end in mind). But like most things you start, eventually, things get bogged down, and getting them over the finish line can be hard.
It’s probably why most projects fail, it gets tough, so we stop and move onto the beginning of something else because that’s fun and exciting. I’ve learned this about myself over the years and I do two things to help myself. First, I surround myself with people who have a great resolve to getting things done, the type of folks who don’t sleep well at night because they know there was that one glass left in the sink, and they should really get up and put in away. I love these folks, they aren’t me. I hire them every time I get the chance. I even married one of those types, she makes me better!
Second, I force myself to not start something new, until I finish what I’ve already started. This can be annoying, I’m sure, for those around me because sometimes projects have to go on hold while you wait for feedback, or other resources, etc. This makes me antsy and I like to get things finished!
I was re-introduced recently to a quote from the novel Alice in Wonderland that I think really puts in perspective what it takes to get something done. The quote is from the King of Hearts and it is quite simple:
“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
Your 3 Steps:
2. Go till the end
We make it much harder than that but it really isn’t. I like simple stuff, it fits into my mind quite well. It might be the best advice I’ve gotten in a really long time. I don’t need pre-planning, or post-project assessments, or update meetings, or budget reviews, or a project charter, etc.
Naive? Probably. But, sometimes you just need to Begin, go to you come to the End: then Stop.
I’ve looked at a lot of hourly recruiting technology in the past three months. It seems like every organization that has mass hourly hiring all had issues all at the same time. Every org, every industry, every marketplace has openings and is trying to hire.
Take a look at this video from Paradox, on the re-launch of their hourly recruiting technology:
Of all the hourly hiring technology I’ve taken a look at, Paradox/Olivia seems to be the one, at Enterprise scale, that has the most merit to be wildly successful! The hourly hiring product is intuitive and the process flow seems to be actually built by someone who has had to hire high volume hourly workers in their career!
I’ve spoke to a number of CHROs and CPOs over the past few months and I’ve been very specific with them about having their teams check out what Paradox has put together. Well worth a demo, especially with all the pain that’s out there around hiring an hourly workforce.
I think so many organizations who have high volume hourly hiring issues right now are wondering why their ATS isn’t working better. The problem isn’t your ATS, it’s the automation behind your recruiting stack. Hiring high volume hourly workers quickly and efficiently takes a different level of automation that enterprise level ATSs do not have built. Most have a process designed around hiring your normal white collar, professional worker, and they do a fairly good job at it. Hiring 1000’s of workers a week or month, all via a mobile device, is a completely different animal!
Paradox didn’t pay me for this review (although they should!). This is how much I like this product, that I wanted to share this with all of you so you could make the decision is this would help your right now with delimma most of us are facing when it comes to hiring high volume right now!
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, the largest private-sector employer in New York City, wrote in a letter to shareholders this week that remote work would “significantly reduce our need for real estate.” For every 100 employees, he said, his bank “may need seats for only 60 on average.”
Feels about right. In my opinion, some sort of hybrid work model for office workers is going to win out. 2/3, 3/2, etc. You work from home (or wherever) some days, in the office some days. The additional flexibility people received during the pandemic is a very hard thing to take away at this point.
The “on average” phrase becomes the issue!
On average, Tim, we only need about six places for people to get there done. Okay, but on Monday’s you’ve asked everyone to come into the office for meetings and such, and told everyone they don’t have to come in on Fridays! Maybe we can find an office building that will let us just rent 4 days a week!
What this really means, is once again, the Office Furniture Industry wins! Did anyone check into see if Steelcase or Herman Miller maybe released Covid onto the world!?! The more time I spend in HR, the more I’m convinced that the office furniture industry really runs the world. About every decade or so, we (HR) is tasked with reinventing work and that means new work spaces.
Yeah, but if we are WFH Tim then you don’t have to worry about it! Yes I do! I now have to worry about employees working at home at their kitchen table hunched over in some chair not designed to work in all day, and I have the worker’s compensation claim. So, it is just a matter of time until I’m shipping new office “home” furniture to my employees to make sure they are taken care of and still have the cool hip culture we want with $1000 work at home chairs that are functional yet still look great in their 1970’s retro family room they’ve been piecing together off Ebay.
You know a great team building activity would be to have us send office furniture to everyone’s house and then we all get on a Zoom call and build it together! Hey, Ikea, get on this!
Hey, Billy, sorry, you got in at 8:30 am, you’ll have to share a desk with Mary until a spot frees up, here’s a folding chair.
This is why we’ll all be building “shared” spaces in our workplaces. Because you know what’s super effective and efficient when you’re trying to get that project done? Listening to some idiot drone on about some Netflix real-life crime drama series they are watching, and you don’t even like real-life-crime-drama, or Todd who is telling you all about it, but you’re stuck “In the Park” the cool nickname HR gave your social share space where work nomads without desks come to get stuff done, but not really done because no one can’t get anything done at the “Park”.
I’m sure you’ve read an article or listened to a podcast in recent weeks that had something to do with “the future of work”. It’s a hot topic to talk about, primarily because it’s all just a big fat guess and the best content is content where I just get to tell what I think will happen, but really have no idea for sure.
When I take a look at the HR technology landscape this week at The HR Technology Conference and see the tech that is hitting the market around work and performance, I think the future of work is actually just more work!
When I say ‘more’ work I really mean “More” work! Much of the technology that is being created and launched around HR Technology falls into a few buckets:
How can we make workers more efficient at what they are currently doing?
How can we monitor workers on what they are doing (tracking)?
How can we leverage A.I. to do certain tasks workers are doing right now?
Don’t get me wrong, the technology doesn’t scare me in the least, I think it’s amazing, but the reality is much of it is designed to help us humans reach our full potential. If my couple of decades in HR has taught me anything it’s that very few of us humans want to reach our full potential!
Reaching your full potential means you are working really hard!
I have a great story about working in a union job the summer I first got out of high school. My Dad got me the job working in a grocery warehouse picking orders to be delivered to supermarkets. The warehouse just implemented a new software system that tracked the productivity of each worker.
Basically, I would be given an order and the system had estimated how long that order should take for me to complete. If the order was complex I got more time, it is was simply pulling a full pallet of one type of item, I might only get ten minutes or so to complete, some orders were estimated to take 75+ minutes to complete.
The union had negotiated that I only had to work 77% of the time. Yes, you read that correctly! If you added up all of my order minutes, in theory, to keep my job, I had to be 77% efficient. So, in an eight-hour shift of 480 minutes, once I reached my 369.6 minutes of work, I could actually just stop. In fact, I was encouraged very strongly by my union brothers to stop at the exact point!
Now the “new” computer system didn’t account for the extra effort. So, if I had an order that was supposed to take 60 minutes, but I worked really hard and completed it in 45 minutes, I just earned myself an extra 15 minutes. By the end of the summer, I was efficient enough in getting orders completed that I spent about three hours a shift playing cards with my union brothers in the back of the warehouse until my shift was done!
The new HR Technology that is in play right now, based on AI and machine learning, would have made these corrections individually within a few shifts, knowing I could do that work more efficiently than another person and soon my orders would have been adjusted. The technology would have ensured that my ‘extra’ effort turned into my normal effort.
We already know that my warehouse work will be replaced by robots, so my example is already dated. But what about that office job? Will a robot replace you? No, not right away, we are a ways off from that, but that same AI/Machine learning technology will track and measure everything you do and soon you will feel as busy as ever, because ‘down time’ is unproductive time and the tech can compute that!
I know you want to keep working remotely. It’s awesome to be able to wake up, throw on some sweats and just check email. I mean this is what “work” should be, right!? Like not really working, but getting paid for it, this is the best time to be alive!
Okay, where was I? Sorry, Bridgerton is on in the background and episode 5 so, well, you know! No. No! I wasn’t really watching, just background noise. Similar to Steve from Accounting stopping by the cube to talk about nothing.
You’re a complete idiot if you don’t go back to Headquarters!
I’m sorry to have to be your big brother and break the news, but the future of work isn’t you sitting on your couch in sweatpants deciding if you should paint an accent wall, or add some succulents to the shelf behind your “desk” that people see when you’re on a Zoom call.
If you actually care about your career, you are pushing your leadership team to get back to work, in the office. At some point, people who make decisions are going to start promoting people and the people who will get promoted will be the people with who they have the best relationship. Oh, sorry, you thought it was skill-based, performance-based promotions! That’s cute. Anywho.
The moment someone asks if you want to return to in-office work, you say, “Yes!” You tell them, you’ll actually come in right now, this moment. You already have your desk stuff packed and are ready to come back.
Yeah, yeah, it’s a “New World of Work”!
Like a Robinhood Game Stop trader, the world is about to teach you a lesson or two. The world of work doesn’t give a sh*t about what you actually want. Oh, we’ll tell you we do, but at the end of the month, there’s this little thing we look at called financials. Look it up, it’s important. Turns out, you working at half capacity at home, isn’t the greatest thing for our financials. I mean, it is the greatest thing for your home design skills and you teaching sign language to your cat, so there’s that!
I know, it’s me, not you. I’m sure I’m wrong.
You know what. The best companies and leaders in the world have already figured this out. They figured out if you really want high levels of collaboration. Great decision-making. Great creativity. To build the next biggest thing in the world. You kind of have to be together, not on a video.
The new world of work isn’t remote. At its best, it’s probably you get treated more like an adult. Like, “Okay, Timmy, you can not come in on Wednesday because there’s a snowstorm and we think you’ll at least stay up on email, and return a couple of calls.” The pandemic showed us the new world of work, can be more flexible, and in some additional cases, remote, but for the most part we need you back in the cube.
Why Won’t This Work?
Basically, it because we won’t do two things:
We won’t really define, in true measurable, non-subjective terms, what performance looks like for your position. If we did, you might be able to work remotely and actually meet expectations of performance.
We won’t put a system in place that will truly measure what the hell you’re actually doing. The technology is out there, but you feel micromanaged that someone would actually check to see if you are doing what you’re being paid to do.
So, we’ll just have most of you come back to work. We’ll do the same dance we’ve been doing for a hundred years. It could be better, but better comes with a lot of change, and right now we don’t even change our pants daily.
In the meantime, get your ass back to HQ if you really want to advance your career. And, please, spare me the “I’m not being treated fairly” when you get passed over for a promotion while sitting on your couch in pants with animals on them.
Don’t buy into the hype! “Oh, just do what you love!” That’s not being an adult, that’s being a moron! Just do what makes you happy! No, that’s what a child does.
“Tim, we just want to hire some ‘adults’!” I hear this statement from a lot of CEOs I talk with currently!
That means most of the people they are hiring, aren’t considered adults by these leaders. Oh, they fit the demographic of being an adult from an age perspective, but they still act like children!
I tell people when I interview them and they ask about our culture I say, “We hire adults”.
That means we hire people into positions where they are responsible for something. Because we hire adults, they take responsibility for what they are responsible for. If I have to tell them to do their jobs, they’re not adults, they’re children. We don’t employ children.
I think about 70% of the positions that are open in the world could have the same title –
Those who read that and got it could instantly be hired and they would be above average employees for you! Those who read it and didn’t understand, are part of the wonder of natural selection.
How do you be an Adult?
– You do the stuff you say you’re going to do. Not just the stuff you like, but all the stuff.
– You follow the rules that are important to follow for society to run well. Do I drive the speed limit every single time? No. Do I come to work when my employer says I need to be there? Yes.
– You assume positive intent on most things. For the most part, people will want to help you, just as you want to help others. Sometimes you run into an asshole.
– You understand that the world is more than just you and your desires.
– You speak up for what is right when you can. It’s easy to say you can always speak up for what is right, but then you wouldn’t be thinking like an adult.
– You try and help those who can’t help themselves. Who can’t, not who won’t.
My parents and grandparents would call this common sense, but I don’t think ‘being an adult’ is common sense anymore. Common sense, to be common, has to be done by most. Being an adult doesn’t seem to be very common lately!
So, you want to hire some adults? I think this starts with us recognizing that being an adult is now a skill in 2021. A very valuable skill. Need to fill a position, maybe we start by first finding adults, then determining do we need these adults to have certain skills, or can we teach adults those skills!
The key to great hiring in today’s world is not about attracting the right skills, it’s about attracting adults who aren’t just willing to work, but understand the value of work and individuals who value being an adult.
I don’t see this as a negative. I see it as an opportunity for organizations that understand this concept. We hire adults first, skills second. Organizations that do this, will be the organizations that win.
The Motley Fool has a great section in their employee handbook that talks about being an adult:
“We are careful to hire amazing people. Our goal is to unleash you to perform at your peak and stay out of your way. We don’t have lots of rules and policies here by design. You are an amazing adult and we trust you to carve your own path, set your own priorities, and ask for help when you need it.”
Valentine’s Day is coming up in a couple of weeks. As HR pros we know what this means, which is usually a lot of unwanted advances by horny dudes who think they have a shot at the hot co-worker, who has absolutely no interest in them at all.
Welcome to the show, kids!
I’ve given out some rules in the past. Everyone on the planet has read my Rules for Hugging at the Office, but Office Romances are a little more complicated than the simple side-hug in the hallway. So, I thought I would lay out some easy to follow, simple rules for Office Romances for you to pass out to your employees on Valentine’s Day:
Rule #1 – Don’t fall for someone you supervise. If you do fall for someone you supervise, which you probably will because this is how office romances work. In that case, get ready to quit, be fired, be moved to another department, and or get the person you’re having an office romance with fired, moved, etc.
Rule #2 – Don’t fall for anyone in Payroll. When it ends, so will your paycheck. At least temporarily, and even then it will be filled with errors from now until eternity. It’s a good rule of thumb to never mess with payroll for any reason.
Rule #3 – Don’t mess around in the office, or on office grounds. Look I get it. You’re crazy in love and just can’t wait until you get home. The problem is the security footage never dies. It will live long past your tenure with us, and we’ll laugh for a long time at you. So, please don’t.
Rule #4 – Don’t send explicit emails to each other at work. It’s not that I won’t enjoy reading them, it’s that I get embarrassed when I have to read them aloud to the unemployment judge at your hearing. Okay, I lied, I actually don’t get embarrassed, but you will.
Rule #5 – Don’t pick a married one. Look I get it, you’re the work-spouse. He/She tells you everything. You get so close, you really think it’s real, but it’s not. You’ll actually see this when the real spouse shows up and keys your car in the parking lot.
Rule #6 – Don’t pick someone who has crappy performance. Oh, great, you’re in love! Now I’m firing your boyfriend and you’ll have to pick between him and us, which you’ll pick him, and now I’m out two employees. Pick the great performers, it’s easier for all of us.
Rule #7 – Inform the appropriate parties as soon as possible. Okay, you went to a movie together, not a big deal. Okay, you went to the movie together and woke up in a different bed than your own. It might be time to mention this to someone in HR if there is at anyway a conflict of some sort. If you don’t know if there’s a conflict of some sort, let someone in HR help you out with that.
Rule #8 – If it seems wrong, it probably is. If you find yourself saying things in your head like, “I’m not sure if this is right”, you probably shouldn’t be having that relationship. If you find yourself saying things like, “If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right”, you definitely shouldn’t be having this relationship.
Rule #9 – If you find yourself hiding your relationship at work, it might be time to talk to HR. We’re all adults, we shouldn’t be hiding normal adult relationships. If you feel the need to hide it, something isn’t normal about it.
Rule #10 – Everyone already knows about your relationship. People having an office romance are the worst at hiding it. You think you’re so sneaky and clever, but we see you stopping at her desk 13,000 times a day ‘asking for help’ on your expense report. We see you. We’re adults. We know what happened when you both went into the stairwell 7 seconds apart. Stop it.
There you go. Hope that helps as you prepare for Valentine’s Day!