Growing Organizations Rely on In-House Recruiters

Only 23 percent of employers measure quality of hire, SHRM survey finds

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer April 18, 2016

Research finds that as organizational staff size increases, employers are more likely to have in-house recruiting specialists or talent acquisition professionals responsible for finding applicants for job openings.

The new study from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) also found that HR generalists are primarily responsible for bringing in talent at smaller organizations with 499 or less full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.

The survey results on talent acquisition were released April 18 at SHRM’s Talent Management Conference & Exposition in Orlando, Fla.

SHRM surveyed 1,974 HR professionals between November 2015 and January 2016. Of the surveyed organizations, 69 percent had staffs of 499 or less; 20 percent had between 500 and 2,499 FTEs; 7 percent had between 2,500 and 9,999 FTEs; and 4 percent had 10,000 or more FTEs in their workforce. 

Who Does What

HR professionals are more likely than designated recruiters to decide which applicants should be chosen for phone screenings (33 percent vs. 25 percent) and to present employment offers to finalists (40 percent vs. 22 percent).

Hiring managers are mostly responsible for selecting which candidates to make employment offers to (77 percent), and deciding which candidates should be selected for interviews (55 percent), while also playing a sizeable role in selecting applicants for phone screens (30 percent) and making verbal employment offers (30 percent).

John Dooney, manager of SHRM’s workforce analytics program, suggested that as organizations become larger, they hire dedicated talent professionals with specific expertise in employee branding, executive selection and sophisticated sourcing techniques to actively scan the market for top executives.

Other key findings include:

  • Recruiters and HR professionals who perform recruiting duties have 40 requisitions to fill on average per year. Government organizations are more likely than privately owned for-profit employers to have a higher average number of requisitions (51 vs. 35).
  • About one-fourth (26 percent) of open positions are filled internally. Government organizations and those with 500 or more FTEs are more likely to fill positions internally than privately owned for-profit and smaller organizations.
  • Employee referrals (83 percent), the company website (81 percent) and social media (67 percent) are the top three sourcing tools organizations use to recruit talent.
  • Twenty-five percent of respondents use automated prescreening tools to review job applicant resumes.
  • The average acceptance rate for extended job offers was 89 percent.
  • Structured interviews (53 percent), references (52 percent), and one-on-one interviews (45 percent) are the top three selection techniques used to assess executive candidates.
  • Structured interviews (65 percent), knowledge tests (64 percent) and phone screenings (62 percent) are the top three selection techniques used to assess middle-management candidates.
  • Structured interviews (58 percent), phone screenings (57 percent) and references (57 percent) are the top three selection techniques used to assess nonmanagement candidates.
  • The overall time to fill a position was 41 days. Within that time frame, it took an average of 10 days to approve an open job, four days from approval to post the open job, nine days from the posting to start screening candidates, nine days to conduct interviews and six days to make a final decision. It took candidates on average five days to accept an employment offer.

Time-to-fill is not unimportant, but don’t consider it as the only metric to evaluate, said Lou Adler, the CEO and founder of The Adler Group, a talent acquisition training, consulting and search firm based in Orange County, Calif. “Is it better to get an A-level person in 60 days or a B-level person in 30 days? You have to take quality and cost into account. If I ignore quality of hire and focus solely on efficiency, then I’m just filling seats,” he said.

Quality of Hire Lost in the Shuffle

SHRM found that less than one-fourth (23 percent) of organizations measure the quality of their hires. Very large employers with 10,000 or more FTEs are more likely than smaller organizations to measure quality of hire, according to the survey.

“The bigger issue is that these firms don’t break out a pre- and post-hire quality metric,” said Shanil Kaderali, executive vice president of global talent solutions at San Jose, Calif.-based Pierpoint International, a global recruitment process outsourcing firm. “Very few firms seem to even be doing simple regression analysis on these measures and tying it back to relevant business outcomes.”

Respondents reported that the top three ways for measuring quality of hire are on-the-job performance as rated by the hiring manager (69 percent), retention rates (57 percent) and performance appraisal scores (49 percent).

360-feedback scores were a top five quality of hire measure only in privately owned for-profit organizations, while promotion rates were a top five quality of hire measure only in government agencies.

“These are the common ways,” Kaderali said. “The challenge can be when companies submit surveys too soon in the process, within the first two months, for example. Employers need to confirm it’s statistically valid.” After nine months is a good indicator, he said. “The weakness of the approach is that not enough of a 360-review is conducted to get a holistic picture of job performance.” Kaderali recommended HR use at least seven to eight reviewers, including the hiring manager, to assess new hires’ job performance.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him @SHRMRoy.



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Are you a department of one?

Expand your toolbox with the tools and techniques needed to fix your organization’s unique needs.

Expand your toolbox with the tools and techniques needed to fix your organization’s unique needs.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.