How to Measure if Your Talent Acquisition Strategy Is Working

One of the most important things a business can do is attract top talent to help build its reputation. It’s no secret that this is not an easy or simple process—it takes years of hard work to build a strong culture, incentivize employees and strategize recruitment processes. We know that a strong talent acquisition strategy can help attract and hire amazing individuals, but how can we be sure we are routinely evaluating the effectiveness of this strategy to make sure we’re meeting changing market and business needs?

When you fail to gather strong data about your company’s recruitment strategy, you can easily waste time and money recruiting and hiring the wrong people. In this article, we will explore the key metrics you can use to give insight into the health and functionality of your talent acquisition processes.  

Businesswoman discussing pie chart with colleague during a meeting.

Setting the Foundation for Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

Hiring the right person for the job is no easy feat—talent acquisition requires a lot of big-picture thinking related to how a candidate’s goals and talents will fit into the role for which they are being considered. There’s a lot of pressure to avoid losses by picking the right candidate the first time. 

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • A corporate job opening tends to receive 250 resumes per posting, but only four to six individuals will get invited in for an interview. The odds of leaving out excellent talent can be very high in the event of a large volume of applicants.
  • 75 percent of hiring managers recognize that company brand is crucial to the recruitment and hiring process.
  • 93 percent of millennial workers prioritize opportunities for skill development, and millennials currently make up the bulk of the workforce.
  • Top talent is usually hired within 10 days, so locking down these individuals is highly competitive.
  • 67 percent of candidates believe emphasis on diversity is an important factor when considering whether to accept an offer.
  • 25 percent of new employees leave their jobs within a year, especially if they had a disorganized or poor onboarding experience.
  • Millennials and Gen Z workers are less likely to stay at a job long-term unless they feel they belong and are valuable to the organization. 

As you can see, there is a lot at stake and a lot that demands careful consideration when evaluating your talent acquisition strategy. Additionally, diversity, inclusion, workplace culture, and competition all play into a candidate’s decision-making process, so how can we synthesize this into an effective talent acquisition strategy? The key is to start by identifying a few foundational aspects. 

Consider this: hiring and onboarding the wrong candidate can result in a loss of as much as $240,000. Budgeting for what loss will look like if your first choice doesn’t work out is an essential part of the hiring process. 43 percent of hiring managers admit to having made the wrong choice because of time restraints. 

To avoid such losses, start your process by considering these points:

  • Develop a standardized interview process that gives interviewers the tools they need to ask impactful questions, look for red flags, and discuss concerns with a team of recruiters. 
  • Emphasize company brand and culture in the interview process. Giving a good idea of what a candidate can expect should they accept an offer will not only help attract talent that aligns with company values, but it will also encourage the candidate to envision themselves in the role and get a good sense of whether they will feel they belong and be productive in that setting. 
  • Onboarding shouldn’t just be a week of welcome lunches and training sessions, but rather a yearlong process that involves mentorship, regular check-ins with leadership, and programs that help the new hire feel comfortably acclimated and productive. 

When preparing to evaluate your current strategy, be sure to align your goals with your organization’s overall mission. Develop a strategy map and deliverables, and lean into a collaborative mindset that keeps the organization’s overall success in mind. 

Tips for Measuring Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

When it comes down to measuring the success of your hiring strategy, what exactly are we aiming to measure now that we know our foundational goals and objectives? There are several crucial talent acquisition metrics and KPIs to consider:

1. Cost of hire

Is your recruitment and hiring process financially efficient, or are you losing money in the process? This will help you budget for upcoming years and identify if you are experiencing significant losses due to turnover. 

2. Time to hire

Evaluate whether or not your recruitment process is efficient and productive. Are you losing out on top talent to competitors who move faster? Are you losing employees faster than you’re able to replace them? 

3. Qualified candidates per opening

How many candidates are interviewed before an offer is made? Aim for four to five interviews per opening.

4. Sourcing effectiveness and cost

What channels are you using in your recruitment process, and how much do they cost? Are you placing your company’s hiring notices on websites and platforms relevant to the sort of candidates you seek? Calculate the amount you spend against the success of your hires to inform your continued research on the best ways to recruit key talent. 

5. Retention rate

High employee turnover can signify something is wrong within your organization or hiring process. You can hone this in to include demographic factors as well, depending on what you need to measure. For example, are you noticing a trend in first-year employees leaving before a full year is up? Are you losing more employees of color than white employees? What does this information reveal to you?

6. Quality of hire

Does the candidate fit your company’s culture well? Do they have the leadership qualities you were looking for? What is the candidate’s overall performance like relative to cost and retention? Undoubtedly, this is a difficult metric to assess, but experts recommend coming up with a numeric scale on which to measure them on these qualities.

7. Hiring manager satisfaction

This can be measured via survey to check in with hiring managers after a certain amount of time has passed since a new hire has started work.

8. New employee satisfaction

This can also be measured via survey and can gauge things like how supported the new employee feels, what they think of your company’s  onboarding process , etc. All of this information will provide valuable insights if there are areas for improvement that are costing the company time or money.

9. Offer acceptance rate

Calculating the percentage of jobs accepted after offers are made gives a good idea of the overall health and effectiveness of the hiring process. Consider sending a brief survey to individuals who decline an offer so you can note any benefit, position or salary factors that are important to those you wish to recruit. 

Next Steps

You’ve gone through and used these tips to measure your talent acquisition metrics and set KPIs—what’s next? You likely have a lot of information on your hands that you need to synthesize, share with stakeholders, and build into a strong strategy for the year ahead. 

We invite you to download our free guide, Building a Sustainable HR Strategy, for a deeper dive into these topics.  

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