Going for the Gold in Talent Management

Going for the Gold in Talent Management

skiers during European race

The competition for great talent is fierce, just as it is on the ice or mountainside.

Great Candidates, just like athletes, are few and far between. Every candidate has a goal in mind when they interview at your organization, whether that is “Get the Job” or “Just seeing what’s out there”. 

Finding good candidates and hiring fast still retain their positions as the top 2 challenges when it comes to recruiting. Consider what happens before and after the job application, as well as the risks and opportunities these findings pose to employers who compete for top talent.

The Impact of Social Media. 74 percent of interviewers will check candidates’ social media as part of their interview preparation. This is in contrast to the expectations of candidates, however, as only a third expect their social media to be screened, meaning many could be caught short online. 

Time is of the essence. Just as our Team USA athletes compete in timed races, the dash to hire top talent is crucial. Today’s candidates want a faster process and to communicate via social channels such as texts, WhatsApp, Twitter or even Instagram. Luckily, with the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence, top recruiters are increasingly able to streamline into one single sign-on platform accessing virtually all aspects of recruiting and following up with candidates for future opportunities. With technology taking the brunt of the more cumbersome work, your recruiters have more time to invest in high-value areas, like giving candidates a high-quality experience and hiring managers impactful advice. On average, filling a vacancy takes 45 days and that’s 45 days of lost productivity. When your organization builds upon a solid technology foundation, you have a winning strategy!

Keep your players engaged. Take a minute to think about the difference between a happy employee and an engaged one. Though they might sound similar, they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Engaged employees feel their work is valuable, have a sense of connection to their co-workers, and want to be part of the company’s operations. Focus on getting potential new hires ingrained in your company culture as quickly as possible and keeping it throughout the recruitment and onboarding process. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much better your employees will perform, and your retention rates will decrease as well. Here’s something to consider: people will never remember what they were told or what they read on their first day at a new job. They will always remember how they felt at the end of the day. You want your employees leaving work like they just won that gold medal, the best job ever.

Think like a head hunter. Just as athletes are always thinking about their competitor, how they’re training, how often they are practicing… you should be too. You know there are executive recruiters out there with their eyes on your top talent. Do they know things about your best people that you don’t know? Better catch up or someone may recognize that star player and make an offer that’s tough to turn down.

To learn more about Going for the Gold in Talent Management, be sure to tune in to my webinar next week with Deltek. Click the button below to register. 

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Tracking Hiring Milestones and Recruiting KPIs – Part 1

Tracking Hiring Milestones and Recruiting KPIs – Part 1

Knowing what to measure and when to measure it helps define your HR team as a crucial addition to the company’s success.  Gone are the days of simply posting job opportunities on your company website, and hoping for the best. Building a strategy, being smarter about where you are finding candidates, and knowing how effective your recruiters are will determine the future of your organization’s talent. When it comes to recruiting, there are dozens of metrics that you could report on, but we have picked out just the top five most commonly used to focus on in Part 1 of this post, with another five coming in Part 2.


1 – Time to Start


Time to Start refers to the amount of time it takes to bring a new hire on board from the moment that you first publicize the open position.


It is important to distinguish that this means the time until a new hire’s first day on the job, not the day they accept the offer. This is probably the most important recruiting metric to focus on as it relies on the efficiency of the recruiters and the sourcing channels used, but also determines the success of your overall recruiting strategy. Job vacancies within an organization can mean a loss of productivity until that position is filled, so the longer the time to hire, the longer your organization is lacking in that area.


Of course, the time to fill is going to vary based on the job level and perhaps the skill set that is required. As time goes on, however, HR should be able to determine an average time frame across all positions and work towards reducing that time.


2 – Retention Rate


Employee retention is an important metric for many reasons. Not only does it show how successful your recruiting efforts are in finding qualified candidates, but is also a great indicator of the overall health of an organization. For now, we will focus on what the retention rate can tell us about recruiting efforts.


If your organization has a hard time retaining people for longer than a year after their hire date, you may be hiring the wrong type of candidate. Once you have determined the cost per hire for each position, it’s no wonder that the retention rate is such an important metric. Your company could be bleeding money with this unnecessary turnover. The cost of replacing an employee can be upwards of two times their salary! (Article from the Center for American Progress)


So, as with any problem, the first step is to identify whether or not your organization has a reasonable retention rate based on your industry’s standards as this can vary widely by industry.


Then, rather than trying to look at retention rates for all positions across all levels of the organization, it will be more insightful to analyze by sections. For example, you can look at the turnover rate for a specific role. If one role is causing turnover every year, maybe you need to take a look at the responsibilities of that role. Are there unrealistic expectations or unattainable goals? Another way to look at the data is turnover by pay grade or even by department. In this way, you can determine if the retention problem is company-wide, if it’s in a certain department because of a bad manager, etc.


Ultimately, measuring the retention rate will allow you to pinpoint whether or not the issue is a recruiting one. To quote an article from Forbes, “The best recruitment strategy is a solid retention strategy and this has to start at the top.”


3 – Applicant Satisfaction


While related to the employee retention rate, it is important to look at applicant satisfaction on its own to ensure that your recruiting efforts are placing applicants into positions where they feel they can grow and excel.


The best way to measure this is simply to have a standardized new hire survey, and then use performance reviews as another chance for employees to express how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with their job. Surveys can include questions on the hiring process, on-boarding, and overall job satisfaction. These metrics will help you determine how positive an applicant’s experience is from the moment a recruiter reaches out to them. This allows a company to take a step back and look at their processes from an outsider’s perspective, and shed some light on how they are portraying their organization to applicants versus what they experience when they are hired.


In today’s social world, this firsthand experience and testimonial is as important to a company’s reputation and messaging as any other marketing effort. The real goal is highlighting where a change needs to occur internally.


Is there an opportunity for more training for not just the interview process, but the competencies of employees? Is there a reason for employee dissatisfaction with the company that can be fixed to help retain top talent? It may be as simple as the job descriptions need to be revised. But it may be the job, the role, or the company direction that may need to be refocused, clarified or redirected. These are just some of the insights that can be gained by using applicant satisfaction company’s self-reflection.



4 – Sourcing Channel

Sourcing channel or source of hire simply refers to the efficacy of the different job boards or media a company uses to publicize its current job openings. The reason for tracking this metric is simple – there are hundreds of options for sourcing candidates, but depending on your industry or your specific organization, certain sources will prove to be more effective or provide higher quality candidates than others.


Talk about sourcing channels comes up often when thinking about Big Data – gathering the information above, you are able to combine this data to see the big picture and support your sourcing choices. As noted by David Bernstein on HR.com, “Big Data analysis also enables the employer to measure the effectiveness of their recruitment campaigns in real time and make necessary adjustments—sooner rather than later—to improve performance.” Not only do we need to take a look at what we’ve done in the past that worked, but what are we doing now that isn’t working? And how might we shift our resources towards more effective sources?


5 – Quality of Hire


It will take some time to determine the quality of a new hire, but the longer the employee is at the company, the easier it will be to establish. This should take into account not only performance ratings, but also their potential. Over time, you will be able to see a trend in their performance reviews, and determine their overall worth to the organization. This metric can then be linked to the sourcing channels to help determine where the highest quality candidates originated from, as well as the time to hire so recruiters can get a sense of how long it takes to find the right candidate.


The formula for Quality of Hire should be comprised of recruitment-focused quality measures and post-hire contribution / performance quality. The factors that contribute the data for each side of this metric can differ from one organization to the next. Deltek’s Quality of Hire report plots recruitment efficacy and directly correlates this to post-hire performance appraisal scores.


Quality of hire may sound rather subjective and difficult to determine, but nevertheless is one of the most important metrics. Because the cost per hire and retention rate are constantly scrutinized, it is important to find quality hires that are going to stay with your company for a long time, thus diminishing the need for another costly hire down the road.

Because of its organizational impact, quality of hire is a more important metric to track than time to fill or cost per hire.


For more recruiting KPIs, keep an eye out for Part 2 of this blog post coming soon!


You may also find our Top 10 Recruiting Metrics Cheat Sheet to be helpful in your efforts to streamline your recruiting plans in 2017. 


Internal Hiring: Advantages and Process

Internal Hiring: Advantages and Process

The recruitment process is the process of hiring the right people in the right place, at the right time. This is a critical activity which allows companies to conduct proper and effective workforce planning. This process is important because it involves all stakeholders, to make sure they are well equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skill


set to hire. Where there are several well-known candidate sources to look for future employees like the company website, job boards, vendors etc., this blog we will instead focus on the internal employee transfer employment.


Saratoga Institute reports that, the average cost of finding and hiring someone from outside the company is 1.7 times more than an internal hire ($8,676 vs. $15,008). What’s more, in the Business Times research shows that between 40% and 60% of external hires aren’t successful, compared to only 25% for internal hires are unsuccessful. This is good news for employees who typically leave firms due to lack of career opportunities, yet its bad news for job seekers who may have fewer jobs to apply for as internal hiring rises. According to Business Times article

Advantages of Staffing Internally:


  • Money: Rather than going through the whole recruitment cycle from scratch and paying investment money in different sources to find the right qualified external applicants; internal staffing allows you to easily find the right nominees for the position.
  • Culture Fit: When you promote or transfer an internal employee, you know that he/she already fits in with the corporate culture, which is something that is often a risk with external candidates; for example many candidates can say the right things in the interview but that does not mean that they can fit as part of the team. So as an employer you already know the work ethics of your employees which reduces this risk factor when hiring external candidates.
  • Motivation: Motivation is key because it allows companies to retain their talent and reduce turnover. When employees know the career path that they can achieve as a result of hard work then they are tempted to stay and work harder resulting in a happier staff and higher revenue generation.
  • Time: As we know time is money. So rather than spending time in publishing an open vacancy in different sources and going through the whole interview process and waiting for the new hire to submit his resignation from the other company and join yours; you can reduce the recruitment time in half by hiring internally.

How is that Accomplished?


Finding the right people internally starts by having the right tools that allows you to assess employees on relevant competencies and skills. Running their gap analysis and create career plans for them while giving your employees the relevant training programs to help them grow. Allowing the employee to have access to update his/her competencies and skills profile gives your organization the ability to always have up-to-date information for future leaders’ planning.

Few other important items to take into consideration while performing internal transfers are:

  1. Make sure your internal transfer policy is clear and followed consistently.
  2. Give internal employees clear feedback if you select someone else so they don’t look elsewhere because of miscommunication.
  3. Make sure their current manager is a part of the process.
  4. Don’t make them feel like their current job is in jeopardy because they applied to a different one.

The recruitment process is one the key building blocks that helps define a company’s workforce level of competitiveness in the market and generate revenue. There are many benefits to hiring internally for vacant positions, however, doing this efficiently requires a full well planned and organized process of identifying top performers, their level of qualification and the development options.


Attracting and Building Relationships with External Applicants

Attracting and Building Relationships with External Applicants

man's hand sitting at desk writing on chart with pen

While looking at your current employees and their referrals is a strong way to fill open positions, many times external applicants are going to make up a large percentage of your applicant pool.  So how can you best attract these applicants to your company, and once there, how can you make sure to build a relationship with those applicants?  And what is the downside if you don’t get this right?

Attracting Applicants

When it comes to getting applicants to visit your career center and apply to jobs, you cannot just rely on the job description to get them through the door.  There are many other factors that you need to consider to make sure that it is easy for applicants to learn about your company and find a job that interests them.

First, make sure you are advertising your jobs in the right places to attract the right applicants.  This could include local universities, job board, social media, the newspaper or emails to previous applicants.  Every company may have a different strategy on how to best get information about your jobs out there – take a look at where your previously successful hires have come from and start from there to attract similar applicants.

Also, don’t assume a one-size-fits-all approach with your career center.  Different applicants have different needs, and your career center needs to cater to those.  Be able to direct applicants to corporate jobs to a career center specific to those jobs, and do the same for your hourly workforce.  By breaking this up, you make it easier for applicants to find jobs that they are looking for and qualified for, and improve their user experience.

Finally, don’t forget to make your site mobile friendly.  According to Beyond (http://about.beyond.com/infographics/mobile-job-search-apps) 77% of job seekers use mobile devices to search for jobs.  So, if your career center doesn’t support this capability, you might end up missing out on some really good applicants.

Application Experience

Once you’ve made your jobs easy to find and learn about, make sure it is easy for applicants to apply.  The process, the rules, the requirements – it is important that each one of these items is clear and easy for the applicant to follow.

Over the years, one of the number one complaints I hear about the application process is that it is too hard, too long, and too repetitive.  Really evaluate your current process and get rid of the things you don’t need.  If you are asking every applicant to submit a cover letter, but you never read it, remove it from the application.  Having extra steps that don’t provide value to your or the applicant just makes the process longer and increases the odds that the applicant won’t finish.

Communication and Follow Up

Feedback to your applicants is one of the best ways to ensure you develop a good relationship with potential talent.  After someone applies to a job, it is really important that regular updates are provided throughout the entire hiring cycle.  Whether it is good news that you are reaching out for an interview, or the more dreaded news that they aren’t qualified for the opening, applicants need to be apprised of the status of their application.

Also, you may have heard of the resume black hole, and you probably know this isn’t a good thing.  Providing follow up and communicating with applicants can help alleviate this issue, which is so prevalent that there are many articles and videos on how to avoid the black hole.

So What If You Don’t?

The cost of dissatisfied applicants is more than them giving up and looking elsewhere – it can leave applicants with a negative perception of your company as a whole.  Whether the process is too rushed, too slow, or lacks any meaningful feedback, there are repercussions with how that potential applicant views the company, and whether or not they will share their experience with their friends or elsewhere on the internet.  And don’t forget that studies have shown that job seekers are less likely to buy or use services from a company that is unresponsive when they apply to work there.