Friday, 25 April 2014

Metrics that Matter

Firstly apologies to those of you that aren't quite as geeky about the numbers of recruitment as I am, I'll be back to ranting about the misuse of Pinterest for recruitment soon.  As I promised previously I wanted to give a little insight into those individual statistics that go to make up the metrics I use (or those I like to see) when recruiting.  Gathering this information isn't about producing a report simply to prove effort.  It is only the most unengaged stakeholder who can take solace in knowing that candidate and recruiters are somewhere in the building...  Gathering this seemingly disparate data points, in a consistent format (more on this later) is about creating a dataset that is alive and available to answer questions that may arise later... regardless of what those questions might be...

So what are the basics?  Those elements that you have to capture and whether that's in an ATS, a spreadsheet or typed up and popped in one of those old-timey filing cabinets.

Name, gender - All of your candidates will have a name, even if they have just one like a Brazilian footballer or Madonna they still have a name.  You should decide in advance on a format for writing these names capitalization, hyphenation etc this is to facilitate later use of names in mail merge or batch operations - candidates don't want to receive an email for "MAtthw BUCKLAND" so spell it right and you won't have to change 1000 name spellings at a later date.

Gender as a metric is of particular interest to me.  I've always worked in technical recruitment and it's an industry where females and transgendered people are under represented.  This metric can be combined with source to know which sources are productive for diversity goals and with the date ranges to know if and where candidates excel or fall down in your recruitment process.  This can facilitate later discussion and provide great evidence for changing processes later.

Role - the role the candidate applies for...this one really is basic to be able to slice numbers of total applicants by role, I hope everyone does at least this.  If not I guess they just tie CV's to the back of kittens and let them lose...

Gate Dates - Not for Farmers, this is the notation of the dates that a candidate moves through the hiring process.  Date of Application, Date of Phone Screen, Date of First On-site Interview all the way through to Date of Offer, Verbal Acceptance, Written Acceptance and Start Date.  GET ALL THE DATES!  So why track all these dates?  These date ranges can be used to answer a multitude of questions.  With values in these ranges reports can be compiled that show total length of process, drop-out ratios, expose bottlenecks in the process, expose waiting times and hold-ups, track notice periods... basically everything.  The date ranges and days elapsed are the bread and butter of recruitment reporting.  Do you currently know the average length of your interview process?  Does it vary a great deal?  Why is that? It's the interrogation of these dates that will give you those answers and perhaps when you have enough of an historical dataset predict time to hire of for future capacity planning... all for putting some dates in a spreadsheet or clicking those little calendar icons in your swanky new ATS!  Brilliant!

Source - Again a simple one, but it bears repeating, the source is how the candidate arrived in your recruitment process.  This should break down the source into broad categories that can tell at a glance what is a good source (a lot of quality candidates) a weak source (few candidates) or a bad source (lots of irrelevant candidates).  Example sources should differentiate between the "How" of the source too e.g. not just "LinkedIn" correct reporting should be "LinkedIn Search" and "LinkedIn Advert", this will enable you to distinguish between an active candidate application versus a directly sourced passive candidate.

Secondary Source - Some sources may require extra insight, you might need to know more for a later report.  If you have a primary source as "Event" this could be the particular Meetup, conference or pub you met them at.  A primary source of "Agency" might have the secondary source of the agency's name, for referrals it could be the refering employees name... remember they all have one...

Country of Residence -  I also like to track where a particular candidate is based this has multiple reasons, one might be for immigration purposes to highlight to internal teams where visa constraints may be an issue or delay a start date, a second reason could be to track individual sourcing efforts from a particular country... best of all most reports can include a lovely map showing where candidates came from...the prettiest metric :)

Contact Details - This should be the most obvious but still I see people finding value in the wrong things.  We all should know that a direct contact is better than a message delivered through a third party.  Simply put a telephone call or a direct email address are better than a LinkedIn Inmail.  If you only use LinkedIn to contact candidates and leaving it at that you're doing it wrong.

Last Employer - Want to know your pulling power?  Doing some competitor analysis?  Then you'll need to know where your candidates are currently working.

Recruiter - Who found the candidate and who is shepherding them through the process?  It's important that I'm not noting this to provide a productivity report for managerial consumption.  Unless all the members of the team are hiring for the same role in the same geography there is little to be gained from a direct comparison.  Raw numbers alone, stripped of context are not an aid.  They are a great example of one of the great flaws in gathering data - quantity isn't always preferable to quality.

Date of Last Contact - One of the consistent complaints and killers of candidate experience is the lack of timely feedback.  Even giving a candidate a short "no news yet" will pay dividends if you later wish to offer against a less communicative rival.  To overstate, if you track the last date you contacted a list of candidates you can very easily automate an email letting them know what's going on and when they'll get feedback.

Status - Decide on a glossary of terms that best fit your process, get the hiring managers involved in this process too.  Phone Screen, First Interview, Second Interview..etc.  Have as many of these as you feel you need.  Counting each of these each week will give you a very rapid view of the overall pipeline.  Hiring managers will love this, full on warm and fuzzy feelings.  Too often the work of the recruiter can look like a dark art - they go and stare at a screen and people magically appear for interviews - a weekly pipeline report just illustrating the numbers of potential candidates at each stage will calm even the most rabid of hiring manager.

There are more things to track of course and when real value can be derived from the collation of this data you'll find it quite addictive.  Best of all, when you start to move on from thinking the collection of data is just to describe the current status to instead thinking that you are creating a living, growing dataset that can be used to answer questions that haven't yet been thought of... you'll start to see why metrics really do matter.