Come performance appraisal time, you get evaluated on your productivity. How many widgets did you process? Did you meet your goals?
Corporate recruiters are no different. They have goals, too. And if you know the standards they are held to, you may be able to better position yourself as a successful candidate. Here are some sample metrics toward which recruiters must work:
Metric: Cycle time, as measured by the number of days it takes to fill a job.
What it means, and Why it matters: While a company will usually wait to identify the best fit for a job, the faster a job is filled, the better. The longer a position stays open, the more pain it causes for a hiring manager and his or her team who are covering the work. As a candidate, if you can help bring the process to a prompt closure by not only demonstrating that you have the right skills but can also provide prompt closure (prompt start date, ready references, etc.), you may be able to tilt the process in your favor.
Metric: Cost per hire, as measured by the actual dollars spent to fill a job.
What it means, and Why it matters: Recruiters may have several resources to fill jobs at their disposal, including job boards, job advertising, dollars to relocate a candidate, and the use of staffing firms. All of these cost money. A cost-effective hire is defined as one who brings the most value for the least cost. So, if you’re a candidate who lives near the office, and your recruiter didn’t need to advertise to get your resume, and you meet the criteria of the position, you may be able to position yourself as a cost-effective hire for the company.
Metric: Quality of hire, or how good a fit the person is for the job in terms of performance.
What it means, and Why it matters: This metric is a bit more difficult to gauge, because the results often lag behind the hire. It could be measured by ratings on the next performance cycle, or through a post-hire manager survey, or through the percentage of terminated employees hired during a period of time. Either way, these results show up long after the hire has been made. As a candidate, you can put a recruiter at ease by demonstrating a strong history of past performance – strong references and performance appraisals are a great place to start.
Metric: Offer accept rate, or what percentage of job offers are accepted by candidates.
What it means, and Why it matters: A job offer declined by a job candidate is a wasted offer in many ways – the copious amounts of time spent interviewing, the potential mismatch in terms of salary and other expectations between the company and the candidate, and the opportunity cost of having spent time on a single candidate rather than on having hedged bets with other candidates. The more you and the company can agree on terms up front, the less time either of you will waste on a doomed interview process.
By no means are recruiters evaluated on just these metrics. There are countless other ways companies may opt to measure their recruiting function. But the more you know, the more you can streamline your own interview process.
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.