Despite thousands of applicants applying to organizations with job opportunities, businesses today are facing a long-term talent shortage unlike anything experienced over the past several decades. Leading editorials as diverse as The Economist and CNN Money have pointed out that the problem is the shrinkage in highly skilled work force, increasing worldwide demand for highly skilled knowledge workers and globalization of the economy will create difficulty for even the most creative and successful businesses in managing their talent pipeline.

Over the next 5-10 years, the demand for talented people will far exceed the availability of skilled workers – at all levels, and in all industries. Before proceeding further, let’s put things into perspective. The recruitment and staffing department within each organization is responsible for recruiting the primary assets of the company – its workforce. For a company to make sure that their recruiting department is effective and efficient, proper performance metrics must be employed along with the aid of tools and techniques to source and screen talent.

How do I know I have a problem?

  • I have fewer applicants than I’d like showing up at my door
  • Resumes never give me the right picture
  • I am spending too much time calling each candidate
  • I am spending too much time talking to candidates that are not really qualified
  • My applicant to hire ratio is very low
  • Line organizations constantly differ with the candidates that are shortlisted

As we speak with staffing and talent acquisition executives from around the world, they all express frustration in creating a measurable means that drives one main objective – getting the right candidate for the job. In order to achieve this objective we must first look at how the recruiter of today is being measured and its implications on how he/she sources. We have noticed that organizations measuring their recruiters in traditional methods and processes are losing out in the war for talent.

According to us recruitment has 3 key areas to focus on that every recruiter and recruitment manager need to live by.

  1. Attracting talent exhaustively
  2. Screen talent systematically
  3. Measuring talent for knowledge, skills, abilities, and other factors such as fit.

What am I doing wrong?

Recruiters today are being trained to “screen out” applicants, thus making their roles very transactional. Measuring the number of transactions a recruiter could perform in a specific amount of time led to the creation of the most commonly used metrics: Cost-Per-Hire. Many organizations continue to employ these same metrics on today’s recruiter with poor results and low “client” satisfaction.

Cost-Per-Hire, the most common measurement applied to recruiting, only looks at the initial cost and not the long-term cost associated with hiring the wrong candidate. Focusing purely on initial cost will drive recruiters to focus on making more hires as opposed to making better hires and loosing focus on the three elements of recruitment practices. This metric can inadvertently create conflicts between recruiting and hiring managers by driving the recruiter to ‘sell’ candidates internally that may not be appropriate but come at a low cost.

To summarize: “How recruiters are measured is having its impact on the quality of hires”. But smart recruiters and recruitment managers can change the way they hire and be accountable for quality of hires while continuing to make more hires through a very systematic approach. To achieve this recruiters should spend more time with pre-qualified candidates and leverage technology that simplifies processes and systematically follows the 3 key areas of focus; attract, screen, and measure.

How do I address that problem?

The smartest employers, who hire the best people, recruit a pre-qualified candidate pool of potential employees before they need to fill a job. The earlier you adopt these practices, the better your organization will do in the war for talent.

Related Resource: Best Hiring Practices – Top Questions Answered

Related Blog Post: 5 Effective Ways of Attracting Top Performers