[LTR] There has been plenty of research over the past twenty years that demonstrates the importance of having the right person in the right job at the right time doing the right things. The challenge is how to identify these candidates and entice them to join your organization. With the shortage of talent in the marketplace, recruitment professionals both internal and external have had to engage in much more social marketing as part of their search strategy. In other words, recruiters need to be prospectors, hunting for potential candidates, building relationships and matching skills, personality and organizational culture in order to facilitate a successful hire. However, the next challenge for those organizational recruiters is just how to determine the success of a candidate search.

So, what exactly is a successful hire? In my view, a successful hire is one through which a candidate is sourced and selected within a reasonable time frame and who meets the selection criteria set out by the employer. As well, a successful hire is one in which both the employer and employee are happy with their arrangements and the employee is making a solid contribution to the organization as quickly as possible.

Finding the metrics to evaluate success is certainly a challenge. Over the years, metrics have been developed to evaluate the time to fill a position, or the cost to hire, but in my view these neglect to measure the quality of the hire and the impact of the hire on an organization. For instance, what value has the new employee provided and how can this be evaluated? My advice is to utilize a mixture of measurements that will allow you to determine the success of your recruitment. Some of these measures include the following:

Job performance/quality of hire - no matter what organization, complex job roles may require up to one year of experience before an employee is working at a level of high performance. Even straight forward jobs require three to six months. Therefore, you need to be sure to evaluate the performance of the new employee at three month, six month and one year intervals. Develop specific criteria and compare performance against that standard.

Manager satisfaction - managers are the first to know if their candidate is performing or whether or not the employee is fitting in. Have the manager rate the recruitment process and the candidate fit on a scale of 1-5. Then evaluate progress at the 90 day point as well as six months and one year.

Candidate satisfaction - I also highly recommend staying in touch with the candidate/new employee at the 90 day mark and every six months until they are fully settled in. Their evaluation of job satisfaction from the point of view of how accurately the job role and culture was described is critical and valuable information.

Candidate source - employers often don't think of exactly where they can actually find good candidates. Focusing on specific sources of candidates rather than conducting a shotgun approach to your recruitment will bring much more success. Metrics that include calculating the number or percentage of hires for each source as well as the length of tenure each candidate might spend in their job is valuable information for the future.

Employee referral rates - many organizations today are offering bonuses to employees who refer candidates to their employer. Start recording statistics regarding the success of these hires. After all, your long term loyal employees understand the culture and can envision their contacts working for your organization. Data on referral rates can identify those individuals within the organization who offer a good understanding of your needs.

Determining recruitment success can be a challenge and quite frankly, is often neglected all together. However, it is my experience that those organizations that spend time reviewing their processes and determining why one recruitment is a success while another is not, stand a better chance of recruiting long term employees who fit and who more quickly contribute to the organization.