Quality of Hire Top Metric for 2016

By Roy Maurer January 4, 2016

The quality of hire measurement is the most valuable metric employers use to track their recruiting function, finds new research from LinkedIn.

About four in 10 (39 percent) of nearly 4,000 corporate talent acquisition managers from 40 countries agreed that quality of hire is the most valuable metric for performance, although that is a dip from the 44 percent who said so in 2014. Other notable findings from the report include employers’ continued use of employee referral programs, increased investment in employer branding, and the disconnect between employee retention emerging as a top priority in the year ahead while internal mobility is overlooked.

According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016, the time-to-fill metric increased slightly as the most important benchmark to gauge recruiting performance, from 25 percent in 2014 to 28 percent. This is due to the urgency to fill roles, said Stephanie Bevegni, content marketing manager for LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions. “But quality of hire continues to be the most valuable performance indicator. Most companies are measuring quality of hire with feedback methodology, such as new hire evaluations and hiring manager satisfaction, or a long-term methodology like employee retention.”

But few employers are satisfied with how they measure this elusive metric. Only 33 percent of respondents globally felt that their methodologies are strong, and just 5 percent rated theirs “best in class.” Broken out by country, 54 percent of Indian companies rated their methodology high, whereas in the United States, only 32 percent did so, and in China just 20 percent rated themselves highly in measuring quality of hire.

As global recruiting manager for Appian, a business process management company based in Reston, Va., Tiffany Ballve said that she measured quality of hire by tenure and speed of career trajectory. She took “hire dates, roles, source of hire and all promotion data into consideration.” This has helped recruiters and sourcers “hone in on those candidate profiles, and bring them into the company.”

Employee referral programs continue to be viewed as a key source of quality hires—ranked third, at 32 percent, by LinkedIn users, behind social professional networks (43 percent) and online job boards (42 percent). Referral programs are important because referred employees tend to integrate into the organization faster, have a longer tenure and perform better, according to Mark Fuell, director of talent acquisition for Ernst & Young’s U.S. experienced hire recruiting function. The percentage of respondents who chose referrals as one of “the three most essential and long-lasting trends in recruiting” rose 10 percentage points to 26 percent in this year’s survey.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents ranked themselves high on using employee referrals, but only 8 percent said their programs were “best in class.” A majority of Indian organizations again scored themselves very highly on utilizing employee referrals (65 percent), as did U.S. employers (51 percent).

“Employee referrals are the single most important thing we do in recruiting,” said Steve Klingensmith, recruiting manager at online accommodations site Booking.com. “Unfortunately, most companies treat their referral program like an HR program. If you really want to succeed with referrals, you need to treat it like a marketing program.”

Awareness of and investment in employer brand have risen as top priorities, according to the survey results. Sixty-two percent of respondents rated employer brand a top priority compared with 56 percent in 2014, and investment in branding has increased over the past two years.

“Organizations are creating more proactive strategies and using more outbound channels, like online professional networks and social media,” Bevegni said.

The survey also indicated a rise in cross-departmental branding collaboration, especially involving the marketing team. Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) said they share employer branding with their marketing department.

“When you’re rolling out a talent brand across more than 25 countries, you need every bit of help you can get,” said Adam Sunman, employer branding and social media lead for Vodafone, based in London. “Marketing’s vested interest in our employer brand refresh was invaluable to our success. We also found it vital to work with the communications teams, who ensured that the messaging was on point.”

Employee retention is a top priority for one-third of talent acquisition professionals going into 2016, but only 12 percent listed internal mobility as a top priority.

“Since internal hiring isn’t a top priority, it’s somewhat disorganized,” Bevegni said. “Currently, most internal hiring occurs on a case-by-case basis with very few defined programs in place. Not only should talent leaders formalize the internal recruiting process, but recruiters should maintain relationships with candidates post-hire and keep them in their long-term pipeline.”

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy​​



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