Chris Bogh |

Time to hire, cost of hire. Everyone wants to measure them and everyone wants to reduce them. But in a data driven age is it time to rethink how we measure our recruitment strategy?

In some respects, the time and cost to hire are outputs; the result of everything else that has happened during the recruitment process. If we are to make informed decisions to improve recruitment performance, we need to drill down into their constituent parts.

Time to hire…from when?

Let’s take time to hire. When does the clock start ticking? This is one of the problems with a metric that has no ‘official’ definition. Some organisations measure from the moment a new job requisition has been raised, others from when it was approved – and we’ve seen many examples when the actual time taken to get approval made up a considerable portion of the overall time taken to fill the role. (Hint: Ask your hiring managers when they think the clock should start ticking!) Others may track time to hire from when the job is assigned to a recruiter, or posted on the company careers site. It is therefore not surprising that this often discussed metric can be both misleading and misunderstood.

Better decisions from deeper analytics

What can’t be ignored, however you measure it, is the need to fully understand the individual steps in the process and analyse the data generated. Sounds ominous, sounds difficult, but really, that’s what your recruitment software should help you do.

Traditional applicant tracking systems have been great at collecting data; moving candidates through a largely linear process, rinse, repeat. Where they have often failed, is in providing real, actionable insights. Rather than being colossal repositories of past applications and current jobs, they need to be your trusted decision-making tool.

So, if we breakdown a typical time to hire (or even time to start) into its parts, or phases of the process, it might look something like this:
  • Job requisition and approval
  • Candidate attraction & sourcing
  • Candidate assessment
  • Offer management
  • On-boarding
Even with this breakdown we are still analysing at a fairly high level – take Candidate Sourcing as an example. This part of the process could include searching the talent pool, posting to job boards, posting to your careers site – as well as the time taken to gather applications.

Making sense of your hiring data

Happily though, modern E-recruitment platforms, like Eploy, actively help recruiters analyse the vast amounts of data generated by the recruitment process to provide real insights into what is actually going on.

Tracking Candidate Sources is a simple example – helping you identify which job boards, social networks etc. are generating the most applications. However, the real power lies in getting a better understanding of the quality of each candidate, and analysing how far through the process candidates from each source progressed. Simply looking at the top level quantity of candidates provided by each channel does not tell us the full story – the context lies in the quality.

As we look forward to a New Year, let’s maximise the tools at our fingertips to get a better and more informed understanding of the recruitment process

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