The Most Important KPI In Job Searches – And It’s Not Money

The Most Important KPI In Job Searches – And It’s Not Money

I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with companies on hundreds of job searches in my 30-year recruiting career, and I want to share a frequent issue that I observe.

When companies create a job req, in most cases (not all – which still amazes me), they allocate a dollar budget for the search and for the specified role. It always puzzles me, though, that the second part of the equation – determining a timeline for the hire – often is overlooked.

Think about any other project that companies undertake. Employees assign a budget and deadline.

Same with company SMART goals. The “T” in this acronym stands for “time-bound,” which means that goals need to have a deadline for when they will be achieved.

Why should filling critical roles be treated differently?

The “Time To Fill” KPI

From a recruiter’s perspective, knowing a company’s timeline to hire someone is essential information, because it helps us understand the urgency of the position. 

One of the most important metrics that we use to evaluate our efforts is average time to hire (a.k.a. “Time To Fill”). This KPI measures our efficiency. Time is money for both companies and recruiters. The opportunity cost of a long, drawn-out hiring process can be exorbitant.

A time-bound job search means there is a specific target date that you want the project completed by. This isn’t a check-the-box exercise, either. The target completion date assumes that the person hired is an “A” player who has been vetted thoroughly. 

This brings us to another aspect of a time-bound job search. Companies should budget time for people internally to participate in the hiring process. When this doesn’t happen, it’s when “rush jobs” occur, and new hires are put through a “car wash” interview process that often feels discombobulated. 

You have one opportunity to make a good first impression with a candidate. Don’t leave it to chance by not preparing ahead of time.

In summary, when you need to make a hire, budget for the following:

  • The job search
  • Compensation for the role
  • Time to complete the search (and set a deadline)
  • Time for colleagues to join the search  

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