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Unfocused and Feeling Stuck?

There’s an old adage, “you get what you measure”. Sure, we might practice what we preach in every other department of our business such as sales, marketing, finance, operations, customer satisfaction, etc. But, recruiting talent has typically been an area of mystery for so many CEOs and VPs. When we don’t have good answers for questions like, “What is the status of our search?”, “How long will it take to hire this role?” and “How do we know we are being successful in recruiting?”, something is very wrong.

“Recruiting Top Talent” is often listed in a company’s” Top 3 Company Goals” , but it is rarely measured. Getting a baseline for where you are and where you want to be is the best way to improve your recruiting efforts. Typically, the absence of these recruiting metrics boils down to 4 reasons:

CEOs/VPs just don’t understand – Of the hundreds of small to midsize company CEO’s I’ve known over the last 20 years, 95% would admit say they are totally winging it when it comes to recruiting. It might seem surprising that so few CEOs are confident when it comes to recruiting, but think about how many were promoted into senior level management positions without ever having received formal recruiting training. It’s assumed that somewhere along the way, they somehow magically gained this skill.

Recruiters don’t understand either – Unlike everyone else at a company, there is no college or professional career certifications for recruiting. Recruiting is pretty much an accidental career for anyone who ends up there. So a recruiter’s knowledge is either instinctual, or whatever was tribally taught by a predecessor. This typical recruiter training lacks business metrics, ROI calculation, and executive reporting communication.

Law of diminishing returns – Many recruiting organizations that do establish metrics and KPIs will try to over-engineer the process or establish metrics that don’t make sense – and, thus, don’t get followed. Small to midsize companies do not need to follow the Amazon or Google recruiting model. Recruiting solutions need to be customized for your company’s stage and be measured with a simple red/yellow/green dashboard everyone understands. Once that happens, you can focus energy on moving the “red” to “yellow” indicators first for the biggest initial ROI.

Lack of balance – Most companies focus too much on the “science” of recruiting (databases, pre-assessment tools, LinkedIn) at the expense of the “art” and “strategy” of recruiting. Don’t forget that quality recruiting includes your inspiring company pitch and candidate experience that helps you stand out from the pack. An informal recruiting strategy can lead to key blind spots that hold back your results. Take a big picture view of how these work together and enables you to prioritize key projects that make the biggest impact with less effort.

Of course, it’s easy to point to HR or a Recruiting team for poor hiring performance, but no real cultural change or improvement can happen until the CEO makes recruiting a top priority, and is willing to invest in training and resources for his or her team.

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