Are Your Recruiting Metrics Getting in the Way of Quality Hiring?

February 5, 2013

One metric we as recruiters are constantly striving to improve on is our Time to Fill. What does this mean? Time to fill is simply the length of time it takes a search to complete from beginning to end.
The shorter time it takes you to fill a role the better. Right? Not always. There are a few things you should keep in mind when trying to assess your time to fill metrics.

First of all, Chill Out

Would you rather have a candidate in the seat, or would you rather have the right candidate in the seat?
Sometimes finding the right candidate takes time. Make sure that the candidate is meeting with the right people and going through each step of the process that is laid out. By skipping people in the process or being less thorough with references, you may be missing critical aspects of the candidate’s experience or personality that may be critical to their fit within the company. Don’t rush. Take the proper amount of time to assess the candidate.

Let Candidates and Stakeholders Make Decisions for Themselves

The ability to back off is critical in hiring process. If you are excited about a candidate that’s great! Just make sure you allow people to formulate their own opinions prior to giving them yours.
You do not want to force this process — you want it to evolve organically. By keeping the process on track you allow the candidate and the decision makers to come to an agreement that either the role is a fit for the candidate, or it is not feasible. If you lose a candidate because the process was not done at lightning speed, ask yourself: did you really want that candidate in the first place? In my humble opinion, I appreciate a candidate who wants to be taken through the process, get all their questions answered, and be certain that it will be a good fit. Someone who is going to make a hasty decision, on the other hand, may not work out long term.

Worry Less about Time and More About Quality

The quality of the hire should trump time to fill every time. Any expansion-stage company is going to need to hire people who share the vision of the company and who are passionate about what they do — not just people who need a job.
As a recruiter, I never want to hear that someone I hired is underperforming and can’t hack it. While an employee’s performance is not in my control I always wonder if there was something I could be doing differently during the interviewing process. The conclusion I came to is that making sure I am vetting all concerns out during the interview process is the best bet.
Don’t misconstrue what I am saying — time to fill is something that is important. You can’t let the search linger on forever because all parties involved may lose interest.
But shorter time to hire is not always the best or most important thing. Quality of hire should come first, and any candidate who will be a good hire will not have an issue with going through the hiring process without cutting corners.
As the recruiter leading the hiring search be sure you are putting the emphasis on the correct process and are not just trying to mollify the hiring managers by getting someone who ultimately will not work out through the process.

Where do you stack time to fill in terms of recruiting importance?

Senior Corporate Recruiter

<strong>Lindsey Gurian</strong> is the Senior Corporate Recruiter at <a href="">Acquia</a>. She was previously a Senior Talent Specialist at Sonian, responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and its portfolio companies.