Has anyone ever pulled that prank on you where they switch your speedometer from miles per hour to kilometers per hour, and then make fun of you as you back up traffic while driving 15 miles below the speed limit?
Okay, it’s kind of a lame (and potentially dangerous) prank. But there’s an important lesson in it for recruiters: You can easily be led astray by bad metrics.
You assume that your firm is moving full speed ahead based on your bookings, but if you don’t have any pipeline intelligence, the reality may be that you’ve burned through all of your winnable job orders. You’d be in for hard times in the near future, but you wouldn’t see it coming.
In order to identify future obstacles before they affect your performance, your firm needs a set of recruitment KPIs that act the same way as the speedometer in a car.
Recruitment KPIs are metrics that measure specific activities performed by your recruiters. These KPIs allow you to measure your performance, paint a clear picture of the state your team is in, and implement targeted solutions that boost your top line.
Learn the criteria you need to use to identify and implement effective KPIs in your own firm by reading the 4 points below.
1. Measure Output
While it’s important to understand the entire story behind your firm’s work process, the numbers that really matter at the end of the day are the results — number of placements made, job orders earned, in short, the bookings for your business.
These numbers reflect the lifeblood of your firm, so the value of including them as KPIs is clear. However, output metrics are useless unless you can tie them back to input.
It’s not helpful to see that the number of placements your team makes has been dipping over the last three months unless you also have data that show why that might be happening.
2. Measure Input
You need KPIs that reflect every stage of the recruiting process, from cold outreach all the way through confirmed placement. Many firms rely solely on output metrics like bookings or number of placements made to measure performance.
The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t provide any coachable information that will help recruiters to learn and improve. It’s the same principle as judging pitchers based solely on wins and losses — you know the quality of their performance, but you have no idea how they achieved those results.
That’s why you have to include input metrics such as calls made, number of sendouts, interviews, etc. as KPIs. By looking at these activities, you can pinpoint where job orders are falling off the map, and adjust your recruiting process or tailor your coaching to individual recruiters as needed.
3. Measure Effort
It may seem obvious that recruitment KPIs should reflect progress towards placements, but you’d be surprised by how many firms track KPIs that don’t reflect the amount of work that recruiters complete.
Email is one commonly used recruitment KPI that exemplifies this point. This is partially because a recruiter can simply use mail merge to send email to hundreds of prospects at once.
There’s nothing wrong with this tactic per se — in fact, mail merges can be a very effective tactic for getting in touch with targeted groups of prospects. But if email is a primary KPI that the recruiter is being evaluated on, it will look like a whole lot of work has been done, when in reality, it only took 20 minutes to send out a form letter.
The whole point of measuring KPIs is to paint a clear picture of how your recruiting team is performing and streamline the process by eliminating steps that aren’t contributing to making placements. That’s impossible to do if your KPIs are either inflated or simply don’t include the activities that have the most impact for your recruiters.
4. Identify the Cause-Effect Relationship
Metrics are useless in a vacuum. To get value out of the recruitment KPIs that you track, there has to be a clear relationship between them. For example, You make “X” phone calls to secure “Y” in-person meetings, “Y” in-person meetings leads to “Z” sendouts.
If you can’t connect your KPIs in this way, they aren’t accurately measuring the true recruiting process that your recruiters are executing. If that’s the case, then recording them is simply a waste of time — it’s equivalent to reading your speedometer in KPH when you expect MPH.
This last criteria is also the hardest to get right. Think hard about the typical process that leads to a placement for your firm, and get input from your producers about what activities move the needle with clients and candidates. Those are the activities that will give you a clear picture of your team’s performance.
Don’t get blindsided by a bad month ever again. Use these four criteria to evaluate your own recruiting process, identify the core activities that drive placements, and always know exactly what pedal you need to push to keep your team humming along smoothly.