Move Over “Time to Fill” Metrics…

Jessica Lee Communication, Influence, Jessica Lee, Metrics, Recruiting

Admittedly, I’m not a metrics gal. There are others who are experts in this space while I continue to operate off of my gut. Wear a coat today? Well, I don’t really feel like it… who cares about checking the weather report? It doesn’t look cold outside!

And on the staffing front, when it comes to metrics, I’m not necessarily gung-ho about time to fill or cost per hire – those run of the mill, standby metrics. So what is important to measure? It all depends, right? It depends on what is important to your organization or its executives. But that said, I do wonder if we should try to think about metrics and performance indicators a little differently.

A few weeks back, I was part of an interesting discussion with godfathers of HR like Kevin Wheeler, John Sumser and Gerry Crispin. For Kevin, he shared that his favored staffing metric is time to present a candidate. Which actually makes a lot of sense to me. A recruiter’s effectiveness isn’t necessarily about the time it takes for them to fill a requisition – there are way too many variables that can be beyond their control once qualified candidates are put in front of a hiring manager. So, the time it takes for them to open a req and then present a slate of qualified candidates to the hiring manager – that’s the clincher.

But that too got me thinking. It does seem like a smarter metric. But if we drilled down deeper – what exactly is it that holds up the time to fill a req between the point a hiring manager is presented a candidate and the point in time where an offer is accepted? Well…

  • The hiring manager has too much on their plate to focus on interviewing.
  • The other interviewers involved in evaluating candidates don’t provide feedback or opinions on candidates to help with the decision making.
  • The hiring manager can’t make a decision on who they want to bring into the team.
  • The candidate takes a while with their decision to act upon an offer presented.

I could go on and on with the excuses, er, reasons… but you get my drift. There indeed are a lot of different variables that delay a position being filled. But can these variables be controlled? Maybe yes. What if a recruiter had a high level of influence with their hiring manager? With other interviewers? With the candidate?

How could a recruiters influencing people to take action and make decisions come into play? Let’s take those four common “snags” in the hiring process and apply an effectively influential recruiter to those scenarios —

  • The hiring manager has too much on their plate to focus on interviewing. Says the influential recruiter, “But Mr. Hiring Manager – we could lose these stellar candidates if we don’t move on them quickly. The job market is heating up and our competitors are recruiting for these same positions too. Let’s look at the resumes I sent over to you together and talk about them and make some decisions about who we’d like to move forward with.”
  • The other interviewers involved in evaluating candidates don’t provide feedback or opinions on candidates to help with the decision making. Says the influential recruiter, “But Miss Interview Panelist, we really need your input. This could be your future teammate and we wouldn’t want to move forward with a candidate who you didn’t support.”
  • The hiring manager can’t make a decision on who they want to bring into the team. Says the influential recruiter, “So, Ms. Hiring Manager, let’s weigh out the pros and cons of these candidates together. Let’s also think about each candidate’s growth opportunities here and whether we can meet their long term needs. And why don’t we also talk through team dynamics and how candidate A versus B will impact your group.”
  • The candidate takes a while with their decision to act upon an offer presented. Says the influential recruiter, “Oh, Candidate Jones, you need two weeks to evaluate this offer? Can you talk me through your decision making process and what the drivers are for your decision? By the way, would your spouse be interested in learning more about some of the schools in our community that many staff members’ children also attend?”

I know we often say that it is a recruiter’s job to sell, sell, sell… but what if we began thinking about their ability to influence as a measurable performance indicator instead? Could time to fill a req be impacted for the positive if a recruiter effectively influenced people to take action and make decisions? I think yes. Some snafus will be beyond a recruiter’s control regardless of influence – budget challenges for one. But on the whole, I think there’s gotta be room to think about staffing metrics at a recruiter individual contributor level more qualitatively… starting with this idea of influence. Or at least my gut thinks so..

Hit the comments section with your reaction.