5 Talent metrics myths we should ignore & what we should focus on

“Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein.

The use of data and metrics to measure performance in Talent Acquisition is nothing new. We have been doing this for many years, most notably through the pre-employment psychometric tests.
However, with improvements in technology we are now seeing a renewed focus on data and we are encouraged to measure everything. Doing this can be a time-consuming process and not all metrics are useful metrics.
It pays to be selective about what we focus on and here are five myths about Talent metrics to remember before we start measuring and correlating those data.

Myth 1: The more the better, we should measure everything.

You can measure everything and have the best metrics in the world, but they mean nothing if nobody uses them for decision making.
You also run the risk of overloading ourselves with too much information that we lose sight of why we are doing this in the first place.
Three to four metrics should be enough for reporting to senior management. You may want more metrics for your own use to improve efficiency, but it should generally be no more than five.
The few you choose you show upper management should be focused on effectiveness and quality. Suggestions include the time to present a candidate, hiring manager satisfaction, candidate satisfaction with the hiring process.

Myth 2: Metrics related to finance are the most important

Tracking financial metrics on their own will not drive improvement in the TA process.
Instead, focus on measures of satisfaction and quality. These are most important, along with the hiring managers satisfaction with both the process and the candidates presented.
Cost-per-hire may be useful as a guide to your department’s efficiency, but it is not a measure of the quality of the Talent you are finding.

Myth 3: Metrics allows us to identify what is going wrong

Yes, it does, but only if you use it in line with accurate baseline metrics that you regularly track. Setting up the baseline metrics is a first step in creating a strong measurement culture.
The use of metrics should also not be more focused on finding wrongs than for improving your processes. It pays to encourage a more positive culture for using metrics.

Myth 4: The data isn’t available

The issue is usually not about having data, it is about having access to and making sense of the data. We collect vast amounts of data in our ATS and HIRS systems, but we usually lack a process to analyse the data.
And if you are looking for data that is hard to quantify, why not qualify? Conduct surveys, pick up the phone, talk to people.

Myth 5: Metrics is about reporting what has happened

Avoid narrowing yourself down to this one-dimensional use of your metrics as it would severely restrict their application.
The most useful metrics are predictive of the future and by accessing the data we have, we can learn who are our most successful candidates and what their attributes and skills are. Using this data, we can then look for additional candidates with similar backgrounds.
Not to mention they can also help you improve your candidate experience, onboarding process and more.
Cover image: Shutterstock

Kevin will share more during his “Making the Leap from Metrics to USEFUL Metrics” workshop at the upcoming ATC2019. If measuring performance to improve decision-making for your Talent function is important to you, then this is a session you cannot miss. Get your tickets here
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