If you look through Saratoga, there are all sorts of metrics around measuring our HR operations. For recruiting, these include all the standard metrics like cost/hire, cost/requisition, time to fill, fills per recruiter, etc. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of most of these metrics. They give us a lot of data, but they don’t tell us how effective or efficient we really are. You’d like to think that there is going to be a correlation between fills per recruiter to efficiency, and there probably is some correlation, but true efficiency is a bit harder to get a handle on.
When I’m thinking about efficiency, I’m not thinking about how many requisitions a recruiter can get through in any given year or month. I’m not even sure I care too much about the time to fill. All of these things are attributes of your particular staffing organization and the crunch you put on your recruiters. If you have an unexpected ramp-up, your recruiters will be forced to work with higher volumes and perhaps at faster fill rates. Once again, I’m sure there is a correlation with recruiter efficiency, but it may not be as direct as we think.
Back to the point, when I think about recruiting efficiency, I’m thinking about the actual recruiting process, not how fast you get from step one to step 10, or how many step 1-10 you can get through. Recruiting efficiency is about how many times you touch a candidate between each of those steps. Efficiency is about optimizing every single contact point between every constituency in the recruiting process – recruiters, sourcers, candidates, and hiring managers.
The idea is that you should be able to provide high quality results without having to interview the candidate 20 times or have the hiring manager review 5 different sets of resumes. If you present a set of 8 resumes to the hiring manager and none of them are acceptable, you just reduced your recruiting efficiency by not knowing the core attributes of the job well enough and not sourcing/screening well enough. If you took a candidate through 20 interviews, you just reduced your efficiency by involving too many people who probably don’t all need to participate in the hiring decision and who are all asking the same questions to the candidate. Sure, there is a correlation between the total “touches” in the recruiting process to time to fill, but “touches” is a much better metric.
I know we’ve been using the same efficiency metrics for ages upon ages, and most of us actually agree that we dislike these. Touches within the recruiting process makes a whole lot more sense to me, as it gets to the actual root of the efficiency measurement.