The Only KPI that Matters is Quality of Hire

October 30th, 2013

When corporate HR evaluates itself, it does so through the use of metrics that are not tied to the performance of the candidate.  Instead those metrics are tied to the performance of HR and the talent acquisition specialists.

These metrics speak to KPIs that measure “Cost of Hire” and “Time to Fill a Position”. As part of these KPIs, activity must be generated and tracked. From the time positions are opened and posted in today’s world, the following activity is normally measured to make sure the talent acquisition team is on target and has activity on as many positions as possible:

  • Resumes generated from referrals and the job postings
  • Out of those candidate resumes, how many candidates have been interviewed
  • Of the interviews how many offers have been made and accepted
  • How many positions have candidates interviewing on them (either one or multiples)
  • How many positions have been filled
  • How many candidates have been brought in for interviews overall
  • What is the average time it takes to fill a position
  • What is the cost of hire (with or without recruiting and search firms)

All these metrics are focused on the pre-start process of hiring a candidate or filling a position.  As soon as the hire is made, all metrics focused on the candidate-hired ceases.

It is truly rare to find best-of-breed companies and Human Resource departments that care more about Quality of Hire than Cost or Speed of Hire as KPIs. If that wasn’t true, the metric tracking would look much different than described above?

For one thing, the focus would change. From judging how HR/Talent Acquisition is doing or how one or all Recruiting Firms are doing, the focus would be on how the candidate did after the hire. Those metrics are much different and do change the focus to the evaluation of “Quality of Hire”, which can then be tied to HR, Talent Acquisition, Postings, Employee Referrals, Recruiting Firms, Retained Search Firms, etc. The story then addresses what is working and what isn’t, along with the fact that “Quality of Hire” has a huge impact on the success or failure of a company and provides a huge deviation in ROI.

When we look at the metrics here, they consist of:

  • How was employee located
  • Performance Rankings of employees at 6 months/1 year/2 years/3 years
  • Individual retention and average length of tenure
  • % of employee resignations/average retention time
  • % of employee terminations/average length of stay
  • % of overall turnover
  • % of employees retained
  • % of employees promoted
  • % of employees promoted and how often if multiple promotions.

In tracking these metrics based on after the hire factors, we can now extrapolate and make a positive impact on future hiring. Questions that maybe asked include:

  • What are the best sources of candidates?
  • Why are we loosing our top/poor employees?
  • Are we managing our top performers well?

The important thing to keep in mind is focusing on the right information, allowing overall hiring and candidate/employee quality to improve using the information as a roadmap for success.

At Honer & Associates, we focus on these after-the-hire metrics.  It is one of the ways that we ensure that we are finding our clients the top-tier, productive talent that they need.  Want to know more?  Contact us today. 

Why Internal Talent Acquisition will never produce Top Candidates

October 16th, 2013

Everything starts with requirements, even corporate Information Technology positions.

The manner a position requirement is put together and the questions it answers dictate how fillable the position and the caliber of candidates it attracts.

In corporate America, position requirements come from job description information. Job descriptions define the ideal candidate (and then some), what skills are required, and any pluses they might bring.

This requirement (job description data) that provides the candidate roadmap creates the initial roadblock by making the field of candidates too narrow. Secondly, it creates a barrier by not discussing what the candidate will do identifying the required performance. Thirdly, because of no detailed discussion of what work and challenges the position entails, the position doesn’t attract the performance-based, high-caliber passive candidates.

Therefore, the internal recruiters do not possess the adequate or accurate position information.  They are forced to look for skills that may not be required to fill the position and eliminate many high caliber candidates from the mix.  Because they are dealing with job description data, they cannot identify real requirements.

Without having knowledge of what the candidate’s responsibility will be, what needs to get accomplished over the next 1-2 years, a vivid picture of success, the hurdles/challenges needed to be overcome, etc. the position cannot be explained to the high caliber candidates enough to attract them.

In this scenario, skills are sought with no eye on caliber or past performance of the candidate.


Internal recruiters usually talk to the candidates responding to posted positions on job boards, company websites, and social media. Talent acquisition is usually not contacting or cold calling candidates, networking with someone to find a candidate who would be excited about the position, or working on referrals.  Most of the time when they do talk to a candidate, they are hamstrung because of their skill-based requirement and can’t adequately discuss the challenge, impact, opportunity for change, and other opportunities interesting to a top performing, high-caliber candidate.  They spend most of the conversation discussing the company needs from the job description in an attempt to find out if the candidate possesses those perceived essential skills. This kills the candidate’s interest level.


This motivation for the position and company is driven by what the candidate will get to do, challenges they will have, impact they can make, what they can become, and how high they can scale. And because internal talent acquisition departments are focused on skills and needs, they cannot interpret or speak to the candidates’ motivations.

When this is not understood, an entire dimension is removed from the talent acquisition process, and makes it very difficult for internal talent acquisition to measure the candidate “fit” and candidate caliber.

The candidate becomes a 2 dimensional creature – someone who is just a list of skills.

Honer and Associates

At Honer and Associates, we focus is on identifying, attracting, hiring, and retaining the highest-caliber, top-performing candidates in the marketplace.  We provide a value-add service that pays off long-term in respect to employee longevity, promotions and low turnover.  If you have any additional questions about attracting the best candidates to your organization, please contact us at your convenience.