Quality Of Hire: A Giant Step Forward?

By Tony Restell

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Is Quality of Hire a key concern in your business right now? If so, read on - as I recently had the opportunity to schedule a demo of the Talenytics platform. You may well have seen coverage of them or seen them in your social feed these last few months. They've been making quite a splash with the way they’re looking to help HR and Recruiting leaders tackle their quality of hire challenges. This blog’s intended as an overview of what I learnt.

But first, imagine for a moment how much more successful your recruitment campaigns would be if:

  • Through big data, your company understood the hiring profile of candidates most likely to succeed in each new open role you had to fill.

  • Through better collaboration, your hiring managers and your recruiters had a much more thorough understanding of candidate requirements, hiring red lines and aspects of the hiring campaign where compromises would be acceptable.

  • Through better measurement, your interview shortlist candidates could be narrowed down to only those most likely to succeed long-term in the role.

  • Through ongoing assessment, your sources of candidates could be benchmarked in terms of the ultimate quality of hire that they produce.

Now this may sound to you like some utopian world, in which everything a company needs to know to make a perfect hire every time is readily available (and acted upon). The reason I'm excited to share with you the insights I have gleaned about Talenytics is because it’s a tool that is seeking to make this a reality!

If you're serious about tackling Quality of Hire in your company, it's probably well worth organising a demo of your own in order to see exactly how this could dovetail with your own hiring processes. But I'll share some screenshots and commentary here, to give you a flavour of what they’re making possible.

Quality of Hire - Leveraging Big Data

The long-term competitive advantage here lies in a company accurately capturing data that enhances the prospects of making successful future hires for any given position. Compiling and acting on such data moves a company away from the dangerous reliance on gut instinct, to instead focus efforts on the exact hiring profile that’s proven to be most successful within the organisation.

To take a fictitious example for illustration, let's say that an IT business has always assumed that a college degree was a prerequisite for being a successful Business Developer in their industry. But it might be that over time we discover that it’s candidates with previous telesales experience who actually prove to be the most successful. Ordinarily it would be a contentious decision to drop the requirement for a college degree in favour of telesales experience - and indeed the importance of telesales experience might even go unnoticed. But once the right data is being collected on an ongoing basis, these are exactly the types of insights that will come to the surface - leaving companies far better placed to make the right calls on hiring criteria.

Now apply that same rationale across your whole company - and the learning set that all your hiring activity provides - and you can start to see how this might dramatically impact the profile of hires your business looks to make. Decisions based on preconceptions can now be bettered by taking those same decisions based on hard facts.

Quality Of Hire - Improving Collaboration Between Hiring Managers and Recruiters

Even before this hiring data has been collected, though, there is tremendous scope to improve hiring effectiveness through simply improving the communication channels between hiring managers and recruiters. How many times has a recruiter presented a proposed shortlist of candidates, only for the hiring manager to reject the majority of them (or to have decided on a new set of priorities since the hiring assignment was first embarked upon)?

We all know that a hiring manager doing a thorough job of briefing the recruiter is a key element of success. We similarly all know that recruiters being able to push back and provide a reality check on what is genuinely achievable is also key.

Quality of Hire - Hiring Manager

Figure 1: Stakeholders all contribute to an agreed hiring specification against which all proposed candidates will be assessed

By making this collaborative briefing process a prerequisite for a hiring campaign to get underway, Talenytics ensures that recruiting resources are only invested once the goal posts have been clearly marked out. Compromises that are - and are not - acceptable have been communicated and agreed. You have to see this in action to really appreciate how intuitive it is, but what I loved is the way that it forces users to prioritise hiring criteria and to make trade-offs between them. This overcomes the classic problem of hiring managers’ expectations simply being set too high, with little or no chance of the resulting hiring profile ever being achieved by the recruiting team.


Quality Of Hire - Improving Your Candidate Shortlisting and Offer Process

Getting that agreement between hiring managers and recruiters is absolutely key. But we also need to objectively check throughout the process whether key criteria are being met. This tool allows both parties to see how candidates compared with the initial brief agreed, both at the candidate screening stage and then again once interviews have actually been conducted. Crucially, this minimises the possibility of human intervention jeopardising the hiring process. We may have liked a particular candidate at interview, but if something about their profile or characteristics means they are unlikely to be a success in the business, this is now transparent to both the hiring manager and the recruiter.

Quality of Hire - Candidate Fit

Figure 2: Throughout the hiring process, recruiters and hiring managers can see which candidates most strongly match the proven hiring formula for that position

Of course, the longer an organisation has been using such a tool, the more powerful the insights become. History may well show us that people with unrealistic salary expectations have typically gone on to become unsuccessful hires. They have simply not stayed with the business for long enough and so cannot be considered a match for our ideal hiring profile. With that data to back us up, all future hiring briefs will be conducted in the knowledge that making an exception for a candidate who falls short in this way is likely to be a poor decision. There’s still the element of human fallibility here of course, but with Talenytics the decision to go against what’s proven to work in the business will be much more obvious - and far more likely to be resisted.

Quality of Hire - Assessing Your Sources of Hire

With such a system in place, the data that becomes available to the company really gets the imagination going. You might start to see distinct differences in the quality of hires made by different offices within your organisation. You might start to see distinct differences between individual recruiters on your team. But one piece of data that I'm sure will interest recruiting decision-makers more than any other will be how your different sources of candidates perform in terms of the quality of hire that they deliver.

Think about that for just a moment. To date, in most companies it's the case that assessment of candidate sources stops at the point at which a hire is made. So today’s best case scenario is likely to be that we score different candidate sources (and invest in them) according to the cost per hire that they are ultimately able to deliver. But what if your hiring data started to show that certain sources were far more likely to produce high quality hires: people who would stay with the business far longer or go on to be far more successful? That could start to have a material impact on how we allocate our recruiting budgets and might shake our preconceptions about using tools such as LinkedIn or external recruiting suppliers.

Quality of Hire - Candidate Source

Figure 3: Data provides key insights such as the best sources of quality hires

All in all, it seems to me this could really transform the way that many companies recruit over the coming years. It’s also a platform with far-reaching ripple effects. It could change the profile of hires that companies make. It could change who we perceive to be the best recruiters in an organisation. It could transform our thinking about our best sources of candidates. Not to mention the bridges that could be mended between hiring managers and internal recruiting teams. Take a look at Talenytics and maybe
organise a demo yourself to form an opinion on how they’re looking to transform the way we think about hiring quality. I think you’ll find it eye-opening and highly constructive.


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