Improving Recruiting for Organizations and Candidates

Years ago I had the good fortune to be involved in the development of staffing metrics and I used those metrics to evaluate staffing performance in organizations around the world. The process started by establishing a baseline for new hire quality, time, hiring manager satisfaction, and efficiency. Then we would start to routinely measure and communicate the results in stages.


Measuring, just measuring improves performance and it did improve staffing for the research arm of a major pharmaceutical company but time, hiring manager satisfaction and efficiency were still well below expectations. As I dug into the numbers, I quickly saw that the interview to offer and offer to acceptance ratios were very low, particularly for M.D./Ph.D. positions. HR and staffing leadership were convinced that the poor numbers were indicative of recruiting hard to fill positions in a very competitive market. General management was suspicious of the “that’s the way it is” explanation so I finally started calling and then surveyed candidates that rescinded their candidacy after the first interview and turned down offers.


In addition to communication and process issues here were a lot of surprises in the results. One gate guard inexplicably would direct candidates to a parking lot almost 200 yards from the building that necessitated walking over 10 yards of landscaping rocks. Signing in at the reception desk was a less than pleasant experience and candidates also often got lost in the maze like corridors. Acting on the feedback immediately and significantly improved staffing performance and the organization started to also measure candidate feedback.


Like steam, feedback is very powerful. If you don’t properly capture and direct positive feedback it quickly dissipates and is wasted. If you don’t give negative feedback a place to go, it explodes and burns.


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