crayons

All I know is that sometimes the truth is contrary — everything in life you thought you knew.” —Neil Peart (Musician and Writer)

Without doing the math and coloring them in, you can still tell what most of them are. But that’s no fun when you’re six, just learning addition and loving to color pictures like my oldest daughter does. Adding the numbers together in each piece of the picture “puzzle” and then following the corresponding picture color code to color each piece in is the thrill of discovering its full context.

If the data is right (the math is correct) and the color code followed accordingly (regardless if colored a bit outside the lines), then these two things coming together tell a vibrant story in and of itself. And no matter how many times you complete the color by number pictures, the vibrant stories remain valid and reliable.

Quality may always vary somewhat with all of the above, but it’ll definitely go beyond the artistic going with one’s gut.

Like in recruiting. In a global talent acquisition market where most recruiters and even hiring managers spend only seconds reviewing each resume (we’ve all done it), no matter how good we think we are, it’s no wonder the “gut feel in hiring” is usually less accurate than a coin flip.

In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review last year highlighted that, “humans are very good at specifying what’s needed for a position and eliciting information from candidates—but they’re very bad at weighing the results.” The authors found that simple computer algorithms outperform human decisions by at least 25 percent, “regardless of whether the job is on the front line, in middle management, or in the C-suite.”

While there is obviously still value in having recruiters and hiring managers who possess good people instincts, it has become even more essential that they have reliable data on which to base their sourcing, screening and hiring decisions.

We’re just not as good as we think we are when it comes to computing quality.

Reliable data and that single source of data truth – that’s where we need to get to first in order to address the quality conundrum. That’s not easy when today’s human resource and talent acquisition professionals rely on a variety of systems, such as HRIS, ATS, ERP, CRM and more, to manage their most important asset – their people.

These systems supply companies with data on everything employee-related, from general demographic information like date of birth to candidate sourcing channels and from compensation and benefits history to employee performance ratings. And, the volume of HR data generated by companies is increasing daily – in large organizations, there can be upwards of 10 different HR applications generating data.  In multinational corporations, there are dozens of different disparate HR systems, covering various geographies and functions, yet disconnected from the “mothership” core.

Obviously the solution is to integrate and analyze the data that is held within a company’s talent acquisition system into the company’s human resource information system (HRIS) and vice versa. This could be done in a integrated core HR and talent management suite solution, or it could be done with a sound data integration and management solution that nicely unifies the pipelines of any and all HR and recruiting point solutions and/or suite combos.

As the workforce continues to become more global, mobile and diverse, ensuring that all these systems enable collaboration and cooperation becomes even more critical. Again, we need that one single source of data truth that will support our HR reporting and talent analytics initiatives, something we talked about at length on the TalentCulture #TChat Show with and Jen Phillips Kirkwood, ADP Analytics and Innovation Ambassador.

By allowing for applicant data to flow unobstructed between all these critical business systems can enhance our ability to:

  • Build deep talent pipelines
  • Obtain a long-term view of our workforce
  • Gather real-time, actionable data
  • Save recruiters and hiring managers time and resources
  • Standardize and synchronize data across all HR systems

No longer are talent acquisition professionals focused primarily on time-to-fill as a competitive advantage – now, it is also about finding ways to increase quality of hire. The unification of all this data enables improvements in recruiting effectiveness throughout the organization, impacting the overall quality of hire and ultimately the performance of the business.

When I got certified as a Talent Acquisition Strategist from HCI last fall, we went over a progressive case study on quality of hire measurement from Avanade, a technology company that helps clients and their customers realize results with Microsoft technologies.

Avanade has created a worldwide interview assessment methodology that measures competencies, behaviors, technology capability and cultural fit, against their current workforce populations. This results in improved new hire performance and helps reduce attrition for the first 12 months of employment.

Their quality of hire analytics require multiple data points that help calculate and inform continuous adjustments to new employee quality. This includes:

  • Average performance rating for new employees in the first 12 months.
  • Employee performance as a percentage of “achieves expectations” of performance in the first year.
  • Annual hiring manager survey focused on overall quality of new employees.
  • Percentage of employee retention during the first 12 months of employment.

Quality of hire is often referred to as “the holy grail” of recruiting and hiring. It’s what all the winners of the Candidate Experience Awards aspire to. In fact, Amelia Merrill, Head of People Strategy (HR) at RMS and four-time CandE winner, recently presented at the first-ever CandE 101 Workshop and shared that “either you’re all in on the candidate experience, or your not. Nobody gets half pregnant.”

Indeed. There’s no better way to be “with quality-of-new-hire child” than by going all in with unified HR systems, key recruiting and hiring data and talent analytics. An excellent way to start determining your quality-of-hire is by tracking the turnover of your new hires during their first year with you. Higher-than-desired levels of turnover within this period often signify poor sourcing, selection or onboarding – or some combination of these activities. It all comes down to how carefully you measure and track new hire sourcing, performance, competencies, turnover/retention, diversity and inclusion, and developmental/leadership potential.

Just do the math: people quality is what makes for picture perfect business.

This article was inspired by the TalentCulture #TChat Show. Don’t forget to check out the TalentCulture #TChat Show every Wednesday at our new time from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT). Join us! And subscribe to the podcast!

Plus, we’re very excited to announced that the TalentCulture #TChat Show will be live from the IT@Cork European Technology Summit in Cork, Ireland on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, from 6-7pm GMT (1-2pm ET, 10-11am PT).

This special #TChat will focus on the impact of gender diversity on technology business performance around the world.

photo credit: Crayons, Coloring via photopin (license)