What is the definition of success in recruitment?
Hiring the right candidate. That is a non-starter. But the question is how do you
measure success in each step of your recruitment process that will produce that
Before diving into the process metrics, I want to, again, reiterate a strongly held view: that
candidates be provided a position description or position prospectus with sufficient detail for them to understand the job, the criteria, experience requirements, performance deliverables and the salary range. Given that the recruitment process has been described as the equivalent of getting married after four or five dates, I firmly believe that the best way to mitigate the risks that are inherent in this time sensitive process is to provide more, not less, information. Weaker candidates tend to “de-select” if they know the position is above their pay grade – their experience and current skills. Moreover, a great deal of time is wasted in the search process, by both internal and external recruiters, because the process is advanced with candidates who frequently are not aware of the salary range.
Virtually every executive or management recruitment process is comprised of two or more
interviews. At JohnGSelf Associates, here is how we define success in each phase.
1. Resume Review —
You finish the round with a panel of candidates with the credentials,
skills, and relevant experience who have submitted their
resumes and reviewed a position description or a position description
outlining the key elements of the opportunity. Hopefully the resumes
will be of sufficient quality that the researcher or recruiter can easily
track past accomplishments. Each resume should be graded and
only the top candidates should advance to the next round. The
researcher or recruiter who evaluates the resumes should complete a brief
written analysis, preferably online as part of an integrated recruiting
information system, highlighting areas of concern or those that will need
clarification if the candidate advances.
2. Telephone Interview – When you have completed the telephone interview round
of the search, you should have a group of candidates, any of whom you
could invite for a face-to-face interview. They know the salary
range; they understand the scope of responsibility and the performance
expectations. Most importantly, they have been told about the
culture of the organization, how decisions are made, and what challenges
they must overcome in order to achieve success. You will know
that these candidates have the relevant experience and a record of success
in a similar situation. From this group, subject to background
checks, you will select the highest rated candidates for site
interviews. Some organizations will check three or four
references prior to the face-to-face interview, but in a “high volume”
internal recruiting environment, this may not be practical. If
you use a behavior and values tool like DiSC© we recommend
that you have the candidates who will be invited for site interviews to
complete this so that it can be available for that
phase. Recruiters who lack the experience in using one of these
tools should seek counsel from someone who understands the tool to ensure
that it is used appropriately in framing questions to be asked during the
site interview. Success at this stage is having seven to 10
candidates from which you can select three or four for a site interview.
Time is now of the essence. The best candidates are in demand.
You do not want to have a search in which you have only one remaining candidate
because the other candidates have withdrawn for whatever reason.
Competition among the candidates is important.
3. Face-to-Face/Site Interview – This interview should explore, clarify and
confirm key elements of the candidates prior accomplishments, their style
and how their “presence/chemistry will fit with the organization’s
existing culture. Measuring a candidate’s commitment and
passion for success is a very important component of this
interview. The interviewer(s) must fully engage in what is
known as “active listening” – suspending other tasks, focusing on the
candidate, listening not
merely to the words, but the feeling content, and asking for clarification of
At this stage, success
is defined as having two or three candidates, any of whom could successfully do
the job and deliver long-term value for the organization.
© 2010 John Gregory Self
© 2020 John Gregory Self