Many HR professionals don’t realize the on-boarding process begins when a candidate applies for a position or is sourced by a recruiter and not on an employee’s first day. These first interactions between the candidate and your organization set the tone for how they perceive your employer brand. It’s vital to get off on the right foot! Two important factors contributing to on-boarding during the hiring process: the length of time it takes from a candidate’s initial application until an offer/rejection is made and how informed the candidate felt during this time. To help effectively on-board employees, the hiring process must be as quick and painless as possible. If candidates wait forever for an interview or job offer, their level of engagement will start to drop off before they’ve even entered your organization. Just as important, candidates must feel special and “chosen” to maximize their engagement. Newly hired employees will not feel this way if they sat by the phone pondering the status of their application. It’s detrimental to your organization’s retention efforts if new employees show up with a negative impression even before first day. Therefore, it’s imperative to evaluate your hiring process in order to properly on-board your new hires.
To enable an optimal hiring process, your organization may already have an arsenal of metrics to evaluate recruitment staff. Most typically, companies look at metrics only in terms of how they impact the bottom line. It’s important to realize these metrics also indicate a candidate’s experience in the hiring process. Both recruiters and hiring managers need to be held accountable for how long it takes to fill an open position. By establishing base-line metrics for both recruiters and hiring managers, they will be incentivized to streamline the process, becoming more efficient at sourcing, pre-screening, interviewing and hiring qualified employees.
HR professionals often rely on days-to-fill as their metric of choice for measuring recruiters’ and hiring managers’ performance alike. However, days-to-fill is too generic a metric. There are too many factors outside of both recruiters’ and hiring managers’ control for the days-to-fill metric to properly identify sticking points within the hiring process. For recruiters, variables outside their control include: hiring managers dragging their feet in terms of interviewing, making a decision and offering the position. Hiring managers are not able to control if recruiters adequately source candidates, present them in a timely manner and effectively pre-screen the candidate.
To further evaluate and assess bottlenecks within the hiring process, break the process down into phases and hold recruiters and hiring managers accountable for the phase in which they are most crucial. Recruiters should be held responsible for the time it takes for them to present a candidate to the hiring manager. In holding recruiters to a baseline “time-to-present-candidate” metric, it alleviates many of the factors that are out of their control and truly measures their performance. The time-to-present metric accounts for recruiters’ abilities — such as the time it takes to source a candidate and how quickly they are able to pre-screen. In a perfect world, recruiters would always select and present only the utmost qualified applicants to their hiring manager. However, we don’t live in a perfect world so it is also important to establish a baseline “quality-of-candidate-presented” metric for recruiters. This prevents recruiters from artificially decreasing the time-to-present-candidate by advancing ill-qualified candidates to the next step in the hiring process. Also consider establishing a baseline “number-of-candidates-presented” metric. This will discourage recruiters from bogging down hiring managers with an onslaught of mediocre candidates and help ensure only the best and brightest advance.
Hiring Managers should be held accountable for the time it takes for them to present an offer or reject the candidate after they’re presented by the recruiter. Establishing a baseline “time-to-present-decision” metric for hiring managers will incentivize them to set aside time to interview candidates in a timely manner and make filling their open position a top priority. This will also encourage them to come to a decision as to whether the candidate got the job or not in a timelier manner.
However, it’s important to realize that evaluating the hiring process can’t end with just quantitative data. Monitoring the time-to-present candidate and time-to-present decision metrics will provide useful insight along with other baseline quantitative metrics. Adding qualitative data will help you gain a broader, more accurate picture of the hiring process as a whole. Remember, it’s essential to keep candidates well informed during the pre-employment phase (not to mention the entire employment life cycle) to most effectively on-board them. Survey newly hired employees and ask them to evaluate their recruiter and hiring manager based on their communication during the hiring process, how the process could be improved and how your organization compares with that of your competitors. By honing in and optimizing your hiring process, you’re paving the way to properly on-boarding employees and extending their tenure as well as having them recommend your organization to colleagues and friends.