As we prepare for the publication of the 2011 Staffing Performance Benchmarks Report, we will take a closer looks at each of the five ‘Optimum Staffing’ metrics.
Staffing Performance Metric #1 – New Hire Quality
Quality is the first and most important recruiting metric. It is something that people often stand up for, saying that it should command attention and be measured. The difficulty lies in defining quality to a point of mutual agreement and then finding a method for assessing something that is obscure, and by nature, difficult to identify. While acknowledging these difficulties is important, it is more important to avoid letting them interfere with assessing the quality outcomes of your operations. Like Customer Satisfaction, the New Hire Quality metric cannot be defined by a specific formula. Instead, it is defined mutually by both staffing and business stakeholders.
The standards for New Hire Quality should be determined by the hiring manager before recruiting is initiated, and the quality measure taken within the first 90 to 180 days of employment. This is after the easiest and hardest periods of new hire assimilation, and also before organizational influences significantly impacts the rating.
The simplest strategy is to ask the hiring manager to review the criteria established prior to hiring and answer the question: Compared to pre-recruiting requirements, how would you rate the new employee today on a scale from 1 to 5?
It can be argued that out of all staffing the metrics discussed, New Hire Quality is one of the most important ones. Routine surveys conducted by organizations including Optimum Staffing found that over 19,000 C-level executives rated new hire quality as having the highest level of importance when compared with over twenty other HR metrics (9.6 on a ten point scale). Twelve years ago, over 90% of organizations in the U.S. insisted that New Hire Quality was critical, yet less than 2% of them were making any attempt to measure it. In that same report, respondents were asked to prioritize their metrics foci for next year – over 58% selected quality; more than any other choice. Today, over 40% of organizations have some sort of New Hire Quality measurement.
Despite agreement by both CFOs and chief HR officers that people and talent are crucial, it’s somewhat surprising that organizations have been slow to measure the quality of their new employees.
One approach to initiating (or enhancing) the measurement of staffing performance in your organization is to design a comprehensive initiative that puts all recommended metrics into place and tracks data for recruiting and hiring organization-wide. However, designing and implementing a comprehensive initiative from scratch can be a daunting task, especially if your organization is new to performance metrics. To get started and introduce performance metrics to your organization, we recommend using a phased approach.
The benefits of a phased approach are as follows:
- Increased acceptance. A phased approach allows the staffing organization to obtain some initial familiarity with the metrics you choose and how they need to be managed. As we have discussed in past articles, resistance to the use of metrics is likely. Some of this resistance will be a result of fear of the unknown. The unknown can be threatening. However, by allowing time for employees to develop familiarity, you can dissipate and lessen this fear.
- Success through small victories. A phased approach that includes specific milestones that are clear and recognizable provides recognition of the achievement in several phases. These small victories create a sense of progress and success rather than a continual sense of burden because a huge undertaking is far from complete.
- Focus. A phased approach helps focus on specific, fixable, components of a process rather than questioning the entire process.
Our four phased approach for implementing a performance measurement program in your organization is as follows:
Phase One: Detailed Data Analysis
Phase Two: Consult with Stakeholders, Negotiate Agreements
Phase Three: Begin Tracking Data
Phase Four: Report Your Findings
For more information, reference our 2011 Staffing Mission, Objectives and Metrics Toolkit which contains the full guide to the implementing a performance measurement program using a phased approach along with the tools and templates necessary for success. The Toolkit is included free as part of the 2011 Staffing and Performance Benchmarks Package.
As part of our 2010 Staffing and Performance Benchmarks Report, a group of participants were asked a series of questions regarding the use of staffing metrics within their organization. The results are as follows:
- Out of 1,254 responses only 16% measure New Hire Quality.
- Out of 1,189 responses only 26% measure Hiring Manager Satisfaction
- Out of 1,188 responses only 2% measure Candidate Satisfaction and less than 1% collect Candidate feedback on the hiring process.
Regardless of how the general lack of measurement can be explained, times are changing. With the rapid increase in globalization and e-commerce, the acceleration of labor market competitiveness and technological advances that make numbers-driven, results-oriented information accessible to everyone, measurement will be the report card of how departments like staffing and HR will be gauged. The instruments to measure, track, report, and analyze are also becoming more common and effective.
Metrics are even being used by executives in top-performing organizations to measure their high-quality performance. This goes to show that savvy professionals realize results-by-numbers is not reserved for the finance department. Metrics are what allow them to establish business-partner relationships with the CEO, clearly show how they contribute to the company’s bottom line, and illustrate how well these executives use the resources granted to them to generate revenue and improve profitability.
The lesson is clear: obstacles to measurement must be understood and overcome. Measurement need not be overwhelming and daunting. A good place to start is our 2011 Staffing Performance Metrics and Benchmarks Package which contains the resources to help you “get out of the gate” and get started on your metrics programs including:
- The 2010 Staffing Metrics and Performance Benchmarks Report
- Staffing Consulting Skills, this empowering 28 page program dramatically increases effectiveness and regard
- Excel Staffing Budget and Resource Calculator
- Customizable Power Point Presentation
- The Staffing Mission, Objectives and Metrics Toolkit
Will 2011 be the year that your organization starts to measure staffing performance?
The beginning of the New Year is the opportune time to prioritize the list of projects that have accumulated over the last year and develop a strategy for your enterprise applications. One small problem, you are busier than ever and funding is still limited. Nevertheless, it is good to be prepared as you will undoubtedly be asked for your plan when requesting funding.
Developing a strategy does not have to be a major event requiring an off-site retreat, consultants, breakout sessions and flip charts. The following is a simple four step process that can be conducted in a two hour sessions. The result will be an effective, prioritized plan for your enterprise application projects. You may even surprise yourself and find that there are a number of initiatives that you can move forward without additional resources.
Step 1- Make a list of all your projects, big and small. By developing a comprehensive list, you feel more organized (but perhaps temporarily overwhelmed).
Step 2 – Categorize the projects in a spreadsheet using the following criteria:
- Size (big or small)
- Function (business process or technology)
- Type (new project or part of existing operations)
- Funding Required (yes or no)
- Level of Effort (high, medium or low)
- Resources (requires additional resources or can be absorbed by existing staff)
- Organizational Impact (high, medium or low)
Step 3 – Determine which projects are depended on the following factors:
- Other projects
- Business Decisions
Highlight projects without dependencies and rate the team’s ability to influence the dependencies.
Step 4 – Based on the categories and dependencies, prioritize the projects according to the following:
Low Hanging Fruit – Small projects with few or no dependencies that have an immediate impact and can be achieved with no additional resources. Examples: implementing functionality requested by end users or performance tuning of long running processes or reports.
Intermediate Projects – Small to medium size projects that make a measurable impact with dependencies that can be influence by team. Examples: Rolling out additional self-service functionality or gathering business requirements in preparation of a larger system upgrade.
Long Term Initiatives – Medium to large size projects that have a significant impact, but have significant dependencies outside the influence of the projects team. Examples: business process transformation, version upgrades or new module implementations.