Tim Sackett

2 min read


Quality of Hire Should Correlate to High Performance!

We have an obsession in talent acquisition about Quality of Hire (QoH). We try to tie everything we do to the fact if we do “this thing” it’s going to increase our QoH. If we just use this one source more, our QoH will be better. If we use this one assessment our QoH will be better. If we interview better our QoH will be better.

Sound familiar?!

The problem is, most of us don’t even really measure our quality of hire! We’ll measure our 90-day turnover and call it quality of hire, but just because someone stays for 90 days has zero correlation to whether they are actually a good hire or not. They just stayed around for 90 days!

Our reality is quality of hire actually correlates to high performance. Meaning, if you hire better, the better higher, on average, should have higher performance. So, the only true way you can measure quality of hire is to correlate the performance of an employee to their hire, source, etc. This means you really don’t know your quality of hire until you have some sort of measurable performance from an employee you hire.

Do you really mean Quality of Applicant and not Quality of Hire?

What I find is most organizations actually mean Quality of Applicant, but use the term Quality of Hire. Quality of Applicant can be measured by a simple metric of what percentage of the applicants you forwarded onto a hiring manager does the hiring manager choose to interview?

Example: A recruiter screens ten applicants and passed them onto the hiring manager. The hiring manager decides to interview five of the applicants. The QoA measure would be 50%.

I get asked a lot about what level of QoA should an organization or recruiter strive to achieve. In my mind, if a recruiter is good at screening and has a great relationship with the hiring manager, that QoA should be 90%! There really should be very many reasons a hiring manager doesn’t interview someone I send them if we are both doing our jobs at a high level.

As a recruiter, if I know the job and the type of candidate the hiring manager wants, and the hiring manager has told me everything I need to know, there really shouldn’t be any reason for them to turn down a candidate I send them. The problem is, most recruiters and hiring managers aren’t giving each other what they need to be successful at a 90-100% level.

Quality of Applicant is a Recruiting Measure, Quality of Hire is Not!

In most organizations, a Recruiter does not make the final candidate selection and that same Recruiter does not manage the onboarding, training, and performance of the employee. Thus, Quality of Hire is a Hiring Manager metric, not a recruiting metric. Almost all organizations get this wrong.

Quality of Applicant is by far a better measure for recruiting and for measuring the recruiting function effectiveness. As a recruiter, if I’m sending candidates to a hiring manager that they don’t want to interview and hire, I’m not doing my job very well. QoA is a direct measure of how well a recruiter is doing.

Okay, I hear you, “but, Tim, what about a recruiter who finds great candidates but the hiring manager is just super picky!?” You are still not doing the job! Part of the job of recruiting is not just finding great talent, but having a relationship with the hiring manager so you are not wasting valuable resources of the company. The better relationship you have, I guarantee you the fewer misses you’ll have when sending applicants to that hiring manager.

What did we learn today?

  1. QoH correlates directly to employee performance, but doesn’t correlate at all to recruiter performance!
  2. QofA directly correlates to recruiter performance.
  3. Recruiter performance also correlates rather high to the positive relationship they have with the hiring managers they support.

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