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What’s stopping you from achieving high-performance recruiting?

Posted by
Akash Bhat
November 24, 2021

All hiring systems work — eventually. But to build one that’s efficient and effective, you need to rethink the basics.

High performance is the difference between a machine and a well-oiled machine. Take your end-to-end hiring cycle: how much leakage happens between one stage and the next? Jobvite’s 2019 recruitment funnel benchmark report says that top-to-bottom conversion rate (hires per number of job posting viewers) is only 0.6%. 

According to talent acquisition leader Mike ‘Batman’ Cohen, leaks happen for a number of reasons but in too many cases, it’s because hiring teams are operating on some basic misconceptions. The first step to improving conversion at every stage of the hiring funnel is revisiting and clarifying the fundamentals and breaking out of some bad habits.

#1 KPIs vs. Metrics

In hiring, these two words are often used interchangeably — but they mean very different things in terms of the performance of your hiring team.

KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are the end result of the actions taken towards an end goal. They indicate progress. Examples of KPIs include:

  • # of candidates messaged
  • # of screening calls made
  • # of interviews scheduled
  • # of offers rolled out

On the other hand, metrics are a way to evaluate tactical efficiency and efficacy. They are measurable (obviously!) and tell you how fast or well certain actions are being done. Examples of metrics include:

  • # of profiles viewed vs. messaged
  • Open rate for emails
  • Response rate for emails/texts
  • Interviews taken vs. offers made

Do you see the difference? KPIs tell you a number or status at any given point in time but they don't really give you the full story. For that, you need to look at the right metrics. So if your hiring team has targets like “Reach out to 100 candidates per week” (a KPI) then think again if that’s the best way to measure how well the team is performing. 

If someone can source 10 quality profiles by reaching out to only 30 candidates (a metric), then they are being far more effective and should not be made to chase a random target. 

A focus on KPIs without the right metrics makes you lose sight of the forest for the trees. 

#2 Tracking vs Accountability

Today, we sit on reams of data about every aspect of our hiring funnel, thanks to accessible analytics. But when you are tracking too many things, there is information overload and no action gets taken. 

Take for instance, time to hire. This is a wonderful and essential metric to track; however, it is impacted by a large number of factors from the effectiveness of your sourcing to candidate response time, the steps in your application process, and the efficiency of your recruiters. Given so many variables, many beyond the recruiter’s control, does it make sense to hold them accountable for time to hire? 

In a high-performance recruiting system, time to hire is definitely monitored but at a strategic level. For instance, you can set a benchmark or target for yourself based on historical performance or industry standards. Let’s say this is 20 days for Tech roles. Keep an eye on time to hire and if it increases by more than 5 days for 5 consecutive openings, then you know it’s time to act. 

A high-performance recruiting system also means that you equip your team with all the tools they need to get more efficient. Recruiters spend up to two-thirds of their time (20 minutes per candidate on average) on mundane, repetitive tasks such as answering the same questions over & over, updating data, scheduling calls, etc. Automating a large part of this process, from sourcing to screening, will free up their time to focus on meaningful people-centric activities.

#3 Inputs vs Outcomes

As in life, in hiring, one rarely gets points for trying! A recruiter may be working assiduously, calling hundreds of candidates and updating your ATS. The question to ask is to what end? 

For high-performance hiring teams, only outcomes matter. You want your ATS to be regularly refreshed, enriched with accurate, updated candidate data. You want to respond quickly to candidate queries, send them relevant, personalized messages, and engage in meaningful conversations. And you want all of this to happen without your recruiter fatigue going through the roof. 

Is that asking for too much? Not if you are employing the right tech solutions to power your hiring engine. With Sense Engage, you can trigger personalized emails at scale to candidate segments that you determine. With Sense Messaging you can reach candidates when and where it’s convenient for them — their phones — and get a response within minutes. With Sense AI Chatbot, you can be available to candidates 24x7 even if they reach out with a query at 11pm on a Saturday. 

So when designing your recruitment system, focus on the desired outcomes that will help you achieve your business goals. Empower your people by investing in the right tech that will simplify their work and let them focus on what truly matters in hiring: relationships.

With our suite of offerings built by recruitment industry veterans and tailored for your business’ needs, we could be the partners you are looking for. Talk to us and find out? 

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