Recruitment / Recruitment plans

Is your recruitment plan working?

Last updated: November 30, 2018

business analytics on computer screen

Is your recruitment plan working?

Teachers understand the value of assessing student achievement throughout the year. A reading test at the start of September, for example, offers a quick snapshot of a student’s strengths and areas for improvement. Teachers can then customize their instructional strategies depending on a student’s baseline, and ongoing assessments let them know if these strategies are working – that is, if the student’s skills are improving – or if the strategies need to be modified to support performance.

The importance of ongoing assessment also applies to recruitment plans. When you collect data about various aspects of the recruitment process – such as how long it takes from posting a position to hiring a new employee – you have the benefit of knowledge. And as you collect more data over time, you’ll learn whether your strategies are working as well as you want them to. This ongoing data collection also makes it easy to evaluate the effectiveness of any tweaks you’ve made to your process.

While it is important to compare against your past performance, you may also want to consider measuring your performance against industry benchmarks, such as the Society of Human Resource Management’s 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report.

Relevant recruitment metrics

You might be wondering what sort of data you should collect. If you’re not sure, you may be tempted to collect data for all the recruitment metrics out there. Resist that urge!

Instead, start with the most relevant metrics that directly connect with the performance of your strategies. Some of the most popular recruitment metrics are:

Time to fill

Time to fill is the time it takes to find and hire a new candidate (the number of days from posting a job to hiring the candidate).

If you have a high number for time to fill, it might be harder to hire your top-choice candidate. The longer you wait to offer someone a job, the more likely they’ll accept a job elsewhere. You can try and decrease the number of days for time to fill by:

  • choosing different platforms to advertise your job posting,
  • reducing the time between posting the job and the closing date for applications,
  • reducing the time it takes you to follow up with applicants and
  • reducing the time you take to select your top candidate.

To follow-up quickly with candidates that apply, enable notifications within your job posting, so when someone applies, you’ll get an email alert.

email notification screenshot

Average number of applicants per opening

Average number of applicants per opening refers to the number of people that apply to your postings. A simple way of calculating this is by adding up all the applications you receive for all your job postings within a year and dividing it by the total number of job postings. This average number of applicants per opening will be your benchmark.

If a recent job you’ve posted receives more applications compared to your average, then you’re doing a great job. If it’s below the average number of applications, ask yourself:

  • Is this below average compared to similar types of postings, e.g. French Immersion?
  • Did I advertise this posting differently?
  • How does it compare to other postings on the site? Could this be a seasonal effect?

By asking yourself these questions, you can then decide what adjustments you may need to make to your recruitment strategies so you get more applications.

Keep in mind that having a high number of applicants does not necessarily mean you have a high number of qualified candidates. This data may inform you that your job description is either too broad or too specific. Some strategies to adjust this number could include:

  • choosing the platforms where you are advertising the posting – you may want to advertise on more platforms to boost your number of applicants or you may want to be more selective to obtain more qualified applicants and
  • broadening or narrowing the selection criteria you include in your job posting to either increase or decrease the number of applicants.

Job posting views to applications ratio

From your job posting data, you may notice that a lot of people are looking at your job, but you’re not receiving a lot of applications. This could indicate a variety of issues, such as:

  • Your call to action is unclear. For example, you might be directing people to apply online through the site, but you also include a mailing address.
  • Your job posting doesn’t include enough detail about the job. For example, you have no job description and you don’t indicate where your district is located.
  • Your job posting isn’t very interesting, and does not include enough information and inspiration to compel someone to apply for a position.

Make a Future can tell you how popular your job postings are compared to other similar districts. Contact us if you’re interested in taking a deep analytics dive into your job posting data.

Cost per hire

Cost per hire is the sum of all the money you’ve spent on recruiting for a position divided by the total number of hires.

This figure may help you better allocate your financial resources in your future recruitment plans. If you find that your cost is high compared to the cost per hire for similar positions, take a look at what you’ve been spending your money on.

You could look into the success of attending career fairs. Did attending that fair in Toronto get you the candidates you’re looking for? How did attending that event compare to the event in Calgary? You could also look at your advertising. Did you get more quality candidates by advertising on or did you get a similar result by using Make a Future’s ads on social media?

By looking at what you’ve spent your money on and reviewing how well your strategies have worked, you can decide how much you want to spend and where you want to allocate your precious recruitment dollars.

Collecting the data

Regardless of what software or platform you decide to use, the important thing is that you establish a consistent process and a unified system to collect, categorize, analyze and report the data.

When putting a process and system in place, ask yourself:

  • Is each metric clearly defined? Do all staff members understand these definitions?
  • Are all the staff trained in navigating the system that you are using for data collection?
  • What is the risk for human error? Are there any safeguards in place?
  • How often will you report out on the data?
  • Why should you care?
Most people use statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination.
— Mark Twain

Analyze the data and adjust!

Once you’re collecting data, you’ll want to compare your current metrics to your baseline (benchmark data). You should establish your baseline at a specific point in time when you first started implementing your strategy. For example, does it take fewer days to fill a position now than it did six months ago? On average, are you receiving more applicants per opening than six months ago?

If you see any changes in the data, link it back to your strategies to see how they may have affected your performance. This will tell you if you are on the right track or if you need to adjust your recruitment strategy. It’s important to do this on a regular basis!

Monitoring your results is also a great way to demonstrate accountability. Sharing this information with others in your department or with senior administration and leaders is a way to continue the conversation about shared recruitment goals and identify ways to improve the recruitment plan.

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