17% of Americans Pee in the Pool – And Other Hard Hitting Talent Metrics…

Tim Sackett Driving Productivity, Recruiting, Retention, Tim Sackett

Alright, I know, the title has nothing to do with HR, but it was from an actual article in the Detroit Free Press and it made me laugh out loud.  I mean seriously, who got up in the morning and started to write this article as real news?  It did get me thinking though about other worthless metrics, we might measure in our everyday professional life, that are meaningless.  It’s a classic argument that HR Pros and every organization seems to have different metrics they use to measure the health of their people business. So, here’s my list of measures you don’t really need in HR:

1. Turnover and Retention– notice I didn’t say “or” – companies that use both make me laugh,Caddyshack_doody especially when they haven’t differentiated between the two (ie., we have 3% turnover, but 97% retention – really, thanks for doing the basic math for me!).  Now, if you measure the retention of your top performers, and have a performance management system that identifies that group – more power to you – you are now in the Top 10% of HR Pros.

2. Days to Fill– When measured as an aggregate.  The majority of organizations in the world hire many different types and levels of talent.  To say our HR/Recruiting Dept. has a 43 days to fill ratio is again meaningless.  This should be broken down by hiring segment – 14 Days for Admin level, 35 for Professional, 67 for Management – or something like that.  Also, have at least some knowledge of industry days to fill for those segments you are hiring for and give your Operations Partners the comparison – even if yours is worse, because you’ll then be able to show them improvement!

3. Diversity– when measured as a percentage of the whole.  So, we have 45% diversity within our employee population.  So what?  Again, this is meaningless.  What is the goal and why is that the goal?  If you can show operations that at 63% diversification our business units run 15% more productive – now you are in the Top 1% of all HR Pros in the world – make it happen – you might have to work past 5pm, but it will be worth it!  I beg of you, please stop measuring Diversity if you aren’t going to have a goal and reason – otherwise all you’re doing is telling every white male on staff that until we get 100% diverse we aren’t done – so if you are a white male HR Mgr. – you will have to replace yourself to reach your final goal!

4. Employee Engagement  – I can’t think of a more worthless metric!  Once a year we, the HR Dept., are going to justify our jobs for a month as we roll out our annual Employee Engagement Survey and then act like Nazis and throw pizza parties in the attempt to get everyone to fill one out. Then send the next month collecting all the data and making the largest PowerPoint presentation on the planet, so we can show our senior executive team the good, bad and ugly. Finally, we add fat free pudding to the cafeteria menu as a response to our two month project.  Really!? Is this adding value?  Lou Holtz said it best “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.”

5. Training and Development Class Surveys– This probably should be #1, if this wasn’t a completely tongue in cheek post.  Has anyone really ever filled one of these out, for in-house training – I mean unless you were made to or didn’t get paid!  That is the new standard for Organization Development folks, “you must fill out this survey of the class to show that you were here and get paid for the time spent” – if you’re in Org. Development and doing this – Stop It!  It sucks, and you suck if you do this. If you have great training, you’ll know it, people will talk about it, and other people will track you down to be a part of it.

What measure would you like to see go away?

Tim Sackett
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.