Why You Might Want to Take Another Look at How You “Measure Success” When Working With an Executive Recruiter
If you are currently looking for an Executive Recruiter, you have far more important things on your mind than to worry about how you will be measuring the success of this search once it is completed. To put your main focus on those metrics while a search is taking place would be idiotic. What matters most to you is hiring the best possible candidate in an efficient amount of time. Fortunately, as an Executive Recruiter myself, I agree with you.
However, once the role is filled, how are we able to best evaluate how the search went? Metrics can play an important role in providing an objective performance evaluation after a search is completed, but keep in mind when it comes to executive search based metrics, they have the potential to be misleading and could very well distract you from what the overall goal was at the start of the search. Good Executive Recruiters want to provide full transparency throughout every search, we’re here to help you place the best candidate possible, but we want to ensure success is measured properly.
In order to quantify the productivity and success of a recruiter, let’s fully examine each metric, address the problem, and supply a simple solution. By keeping metrics simple, you'll have a better idea at the end of the search, if this is a recruiter you want to keep working with in the future.
Metric #1: Determining Quality of Hire
How much an individual contributes to your company’s long term success.
Is quality quantifiable? When it comes to measuring the quality of hire, Aptitude Research Partners found that over 60% of companies identify defining an individuals quality of hire is the top challenge they face, stating that there is “no standard for defining, measuring and improving this critical method”. Only 26% of the companies surveyed had a formal methodology for defining quality of hire.
Additionally, “over 80% of organizations in this survey believe that quality of hire is a recruitment metric and not a hiring manager metric.” As such, recruiters are faced with finding top talent meeting the company’s goals and expectations while facing the consequences of an unsuitable hire, all without having a benchmark to measure the success of candidate placement.
When I meet a client I ask them how success for the role will be measured, so we have the KPI’s. But I can’t control if the person is “enabled” to reach those goals, or if the culture sucks and they quit, or their boss is an asshole.
So, with this illusive measurement, what are we actually quantifying, and how can we look at this from a different perspective?
Let this metric evolve over time. We will never be able to know an “exact” metric of how a candidate impacts a company’s health, nor will there ever be a standard quality of hire metric due to the fact that each company is going to have entirely different goals.
Metric #2: Measuring Time to Shortlist
The amount of time it takes to present a panel of interested, qualified, and first-rate candidates to their client for consideration
When creating a shortlist, just like any other process, roadblocks can emerge and criteria can very well need to be changed or revised. However, when you decide to change the strategy in the middle of the search, the entire shortlist may very well need to be torn down and reconstructed.
Suppose you get new information and need to alter the job requirements by changing a significant qualification for the role. Doing this will require an Executive Recruiter to go back to the drawing board. Selecting new candidates for the position, greatly impacts the initial time to shortlist.
Communication. In planning for these challenges, both the Executive Recruiter and the client company should communicate early and often. By doing so, the Executive Recruiter can pivot accordingly if the criteria for shortlisting changes, minimizing any delay in presenting qualified candidates for interviews. Additionally, communicating often and early allows time to provide information that’s critical for finding the right candidate in an effective amount of time.
Metric #3: Time to Completion
The total amount of days it takes to place a qualified candidate.
Ultimately, it is up to you to evaluate and close the candidate. To put it bluntly, time to completion is greatly impacted by how efficient (or inefficient) your company is, and how quickly you are communicating.
Keep in mind that candidates have schedules too, it isn’t just about you. You have your timeline, but keep in mind that your ideal candidate will likely be working on an entirely different timeline. Be prepared to be patient.
For one CEO search, we had the candidate who we recruited in less than three months, but it took almost two months for the offer letter to be approved, firstly, I asked the client to call the candidate and extend a verbal offer anticipating the inevitable back and forth. The initial call was delayed a few days, and the candidate came back with a counter, this went on for two weeks, with the delay being on the client's side in responding. Once a verbal general agreement was reached, it took the client two weeks to provide a written offer they expected to be signed, even though I had counseled them that this candidate would have their lawyer review the document and likely come back with changes. Ultimately, the back and forth lasted over a month and it took another two weeks before the clients lawyer provided the final agreed upon version.
Anticipate deliverables and schedule in advance. Typically your shortlist will arrive on an agreed upon date. Allow yourself time to reach out to candidates as soon as possible Schedule follow-up interviews right away.
You need to be as flexible as possible with your schedule and be ready to take action.
Metric #4: Evaluating the Candidate Experience
Defining the series of interactions that a candidate has with your company throughout the recruiting process.
Ego. Top-tier candidates are frankly just not willing to put up with bad hiring experiences. From both Executive Recruiters and their client companies, keeping the candidate experience top of mind is critical in today’s evolving business environment.
You'd be surprised how common it is that candidates will withdraw from consideration because they feel the recruiting process is unorganized or disrespectful.
Structure. To boost a candidate’s overall experience, you must incorporate the following;
Securing the best talent possible has a direct impact on the success of a company. Remember your search partner and you share the same goal and want to maximize the likelihood of your company being successful. Be open to the process, communicate, anticipate deliverables and have structure, and you will ensure a successful experience and welcome an addition to your team that will take your company to the next level.