Categories Articles, Staffing & Recruiting

How many times have you been watching your favorite team play on TV and heard the announcers say, “They need to just focus on the fundamentals”?

In basketball, that means hitting free throws, rotating on defense, and taking care of the ball on offense. In football, it’s blocking effectively, covering the points of the ball, and wrapping up the ball carrier on tackles. In baseball, it’s throwing strikes and being patient at the plate.

The fundamentals are the foundation for victory. When your performance is going south, they’re the things you keep in mind to get yourself back on track. So what are the recruiting equivalents of free throws, blocking, and strikes? They are efficacy and efficiency.

Most firms mistakenly lump the two together and assume recruiting efficiency is sufficiently representative of effectiveness, and vice versa. As a result, they miss clues for what they need to do to improve performance, and subsequently never right the ship when they struggle.

Breaking Down Efficacy

The efficacy of your recruiting efforts breaks down into two components:

  • How satisfied clients are with the result of your work
  • The toll your efforts take on your recruiting team

Your business lives and dies on your ability to satisfy clients, but you also can’t bend to their every demand. Firms that rely only on results-based metrics often struggle to control this second component of an effective recruiting process.

Since all of their focus is on the end result — keeping clients happy and generating new bookings — they do a poor job of prioritizing their work, and ultimately lose their ability to make adjustments and improve the results they care so much about.

This approach is the same as running science experiments without paying any attention to the methodology — you might get the desired results, but you’ll have a hard time replicating them.

The Relationship With Efficiency

Recruiting efficiency is all about input. It’s a matter of finding the most cost-effective way to make a placement, and scaling that approach so the entire recruiting team can consistently execute with it.

Unfortunately, emphasis on recruiting efficiency is often taken too far.

Consultants and vendors encourage firms to automate decisions in the recruitment process that are better left to human judgment, and cut out out steps that improve the quality of hire simply because they aren’t “essential” to the recruitment process.

Unless your firm is keeping close tabs on the end result each recruiting process change you make has on the efficacy of your activity as well as the efficiency, you risk undermining the value of your recruiting efforts by losing sight of what really matters to your clients.

Perfecting the Fundamentals

Focusing on these two fundamentals helps find your firm’s sweet spot between efficiency and efficacy.

You can’t afford to spend all of your resources making the perfect placement for a single client, but you’ll also be out of business just as quickly if your sole goal is to churn through placements as smoothly as possible without consideration for the results.

To strike a balance, you identify what needs to happen to satisfy all of your customer requirements, and make those a priority. The efficiency you strive for is to meet those requirements in the most cost effective way possible.

This way, your approach to recruiting promotes the two complementary fundamentals of the practice, and helps improve both. Removing unnecessary or redundant steps from the recruiting process ultimately improves the quality of your service, and the standards you set help guide your efforts for improving efficiency.

To keep your firm churning along over the long haul, strive to be more efficient, but never compromise on your standards of excellence. That’s the winning approach to recruiting.

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