All recruiting firms track metrics — calls made, emails sent, candidate sendouts — but most are doing it for the wrong reasons. They track metrics because they provide some concrete measure of the effort their recruiters put forth, and because it’s what they’ve always done.
The problem is, most firms only record vanity metrics that don’t contribute any deep insights into how to improve their firm’s performance. So they never make any effort to dig under the surface and find ways to make scalable, lasting improvements.
If recruiting were baseball, we’d still be living in the era before sabermetrics came to the fore. Just as baseball managers used to rely on RBIs, stolen bases, and gut feelings to put their teams together, recruiting management decisions are based primarily on high-level metrics that may lead you to false conclusions.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Just as Billy Beane and the Oakland As revolutionized baseball by using advanced metrics to evaluate player performance, your recruiting firm can break out of the mold by using the right KPIs to manage your recruiting process more effectively and maximize the individual strengths of your recruiters.
These three criteria will turn your recruiting metrics from an outdated time sink into a cutting edge recruiting tool.
1. Your Metrics Need Historical Context
Many firms make the mistake of looking at their metrics on only a weekly or monthly basis, and fail to maintain a long-term record of them. This is a costly mistake.
You need benchmarks from your team’s historical performance to glean any actionable insights from your daily activity. Looking at daily metrics in isolation is like looking at a player’s batting average without knowing what the league average is or what that player’s own lifetime average is.
Maybe he’s batting .250 for the year, but what does that really mean? Unless you have more context for that average, you can’t make an informed decision about where that player should bat in the lineup.
When it comes to recruiting, you need historical context to answer questions like:
- How much activity should you expect your recruiters to put in on a day-to-day basis?
- How much activity does a top-performing recruiter put in compared to average recruiters?
- How much activity does it take to get a result on average?
Keeping track of your daily input metrics provides you with a baseline, but you need an extensive database before you can make any informed management decisions with the data you collect.
2. Input Metrics Must be Tied to Results
Daily activities are also meaningless unless they can be tied directly to results. For your daily activity metrics to be a useful management tool, they need to have a direct cause and effect relationship with output metrics, like call connects or emails opened.
Tracking input metrics in isolation is like judging a baseball player solely on at-bats. What’s the point of tracking the number of times that your recruiters step up to the plate if you can’t also tell whether or not they get on base?
For this reason, the next step in getting any real value from your recruiting metrics is to establish a clear recruiting process and make sure you are tracking the activities that move the needle on making placements.
3. Your Metrics Should Help You Look Forward
The concept of Moneyball is famous in baseball as an alternative to the old fashioned, instinctive model of scouting and management. In fact, teams in every sport rely on analytics to identify strategic weaknesses and build out their rosters.
Recruiting is no different. The ability to make well-informed, forward-looking management decisions is what makes tracking metrics worthwhile — especially if your recruiters have the insights they need to make those decisions on their own.
Knowing that the best recruiter in your office averages 60 calls a day is a starting point. Knowing that it takes her 10 calls to connect with a hiring manager, and 10 connects to secure a job order gets you beyond the pure numbers and gives you a concrete basis to coach your team.
Best yet is to see how many job orders your recruiters are working, use context and historical data to prioritize the ones that they are most likely to make placements on, then leave them to it and go on vacation knowing exactly how the next month will play out.
Just to be clear, recruiting metrics are not useless. In fact, they are an essential building block of effective recruiting processes. But you are fooling yourself if you think that you are getting any real value from simply tracking daily activities. To build a winning franchise, you have to go beyond the vanity metrics, identify the core activities that move the needle, and leverage these insights to create a scalable, lasting recruitment process.