I’m fortunate to be speaking or facilitating at some cool recruitment conferences this fall. I’ll be leading a couple of tracks at TruLondon 4 in London on September 1-2. I’m also going to be presenting a keynote at The Recruiting Conference in Chicago on November 2. In both cases, I’ve chosen Quality of Hire as the focus of my message.
Quality of hire is such a big part of our discussion in recruiting and yet, it’s also one of the areas in our work where we have struggled the most to make great progress. I hope over the next couple of months to contribute in some small way to pushing the conversation forward on this important topic.
Since I’m speaking on this topic, I’m thinking about it a lot. And if I’m thinking about it, I will be writing about it as well. I’m republishing here a guest post I wrote for Jobsite on the topic. Jobsite is the major sponsor of the TruLondon event. You can find the post here or you can read it below. Enjoy.
Quality of Hire isn’t about Recruiting
“My wife and I recently purchased a new house. We used a real estate agent to help us through the process of finding, evaluating, and negotiating the purchase of our new home. The agent added a lot of value to the process. She first met with us to outline the criteria we were looking for in a new house. Then, she leveraged her expertise and tools to identify a list of homes for us to review. My wife and I selected a short list of homes from those our agent found and we went out to tour these homes. Eventually, we found one that we wanted to buy. We worked through our agent to negotiate an offer on the house and ultimately we closed on the purchase.
Does this process sound familiar? If I were to outline the process a good recruiter should follow in helping a hiring manager fill a position, the steps are almost identical with one crucial difference—who we hold accountable for a bad outcome.
If for some reason in 3 years we have really grown to hate our new house and decide that we made a really lousy purchase, whose fault is it? I am guessing that you probably said the fault lies squarely with my wife and I. We made the decision to buy the house after all. It’s hard to blame the real estate agent assuming she didn’t do anything illegal or unethical. Her role was to facilitate the process of helping us find the house and negotiate the offer. We made the decision to buy that particular house out of all the options that were available to us.
So, why do we hold recruiters accountable for quality of hire? Recruiters facilitate a process. We don’t make hiring decisions (at least not in most cases), so why is it that we keep accepting responsibility for the quality of hire within our organizations? If the hiring manager is making the hiring decision, they are responsible for the outcome of that decision. Quality of hire is not a measure of recruitment effectiveness. It’s a measure of the effectiveness of the hiring decision. There are a lot of things we control within recruiting, but the commitment, skill and decision making skill of our hiring managers isn’t on that list.
Let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean that recruiting shouldn’t try to measure quality of hire. It also doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to influence and improve the hiring abilities of our hiring managers. What it means is that the way we use the quality of hire metric has to change. It’s not a measurement to improve recruiting, at least not directly. It’s a tool to hold hiring managers accountable for making quality hiring decisions.
My point is this. Quality of hire is important. But, if you can’t or won’t hold your hiring managers accountable for their making poor hiring decisions, stop measuring it. It’s a waste of time and you are only hurting yourself.”