Categories Articles, Staffing & Recruiting

Over the weekend, an acquaintance called me. This was weird, since this particular person has never, ever called me (our relationship had strictly been text-only). This was red flag number one.

“Hey, what are you up to today?” she asked.

“Uh, I’m not sure yet,” I said cautiously. Asking about my free time? Red flag number two.

“This blizzard was pretty brutal, right?”

“It sure was.”

“It’s awful. And my car is completely covered.”

Boom. Red flag number three. It was time to disengage.

“Yeah, I bet,” I said. “I’m going to be spending all day shoveling out my walk.”

That was pretty much the end of that conversation. Thank you Red Flags for tipping me off to some major shovel duty. Back to lounging around and playing Ruzzle on my phone.

We all have the ability to raise red flags when there is an upcoming issue and that’s a good thing. Red flags can save us from some pretty major headaches by warning us of impending problems. What sort of red flag triggers do you have in your Staffing data? Even if they are not automated, here are three red flags to look for to tip you off when things are about to go south.

1. Stalled Activities

Job Orders that your team doesn’t work probably won’t close on their own. Job Orders need to have activity against them constantly to increase your chances of making a Placement. At InsightSquared, we call this momentum and define a Job Order as having momentum if an activity has been logged against it within the past ten business days. If not, those Job Orders show up as red in our reports:

Open Job Orders

Perhaps your threshold of momentum is longer or shorter than ten days, but either way you should be looking at your data and raising red flags on Jobs that haven’t received any attention. These are in danger of being lost, and the last thing you want is for a Job Order to slip through the cracks simply because of neglect. Pull a report of the “last activity” on each open Job Order and see which ones are raising the red flag.

2. Stalled Time to Fill by Employee

No one likes a long time to fill (also known as sales cycle) when it comes to Staffing. Slicing this at the employee level can provide a powerful red flag: the employees with longer cycles probably need more coaching. Here’s an example of this report:

Sales Cycle by Employee

Neils Bohr time to fill is out stripping everyone else. Furthermore, his pipeline is stalling at the interview phase for a very long time compared to the others. Why is this happening? This is a clear red flag that Bohr is not working his Jobs as efficiently as he could be. Perhaps he is not following up with his clients after they’ve conducted interviews. Perhaps he isn’t checking in enough with his candidates. Either way, there is something he could be learning from his peers on how to shorten his cycle.

3. Data Quality Trending Down

Your analysis is only as good as the quality of your data. So when you start seeing this trend south, you know you’re in for a world of bad business intelligence. Bad data creeps in through human error, some examples being fields left blank or decimals being missed. Maybe you’re missing a zero.

Data Errors

The closer you are to keeping your data 100% accurate, the better any future analysis will be. This is a huge red flag for your company if your data quality starts trending lower than what it used to be. Maybe your newest employee is logging information incorrectly. This is absolutely something you should be aware of and nipping in the bud long before it corrupts any analysis. Remember, better data, better business.

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Samuel Clemens
Sam is founder and chief of product & marketing for InsightSquared. Previously, Sam was VP Product at HubSpot, VP Product at BzzAgent, and on the founding team at Elance.com. His background also includes venture capital with Greylock Partners, the Algorithms group at Amazon.com, and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. Sam has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Applied Math from Yale. In his off time he dives shipwrecks in the New England area.
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