How to Improve Your Recruiting Batting Average 25 Points

I’ve been missing from these pages for awhile, but I asked if I could return and request the help of some real recruiters. I heard some of the best hang out here at ERE.

Here's the idea. I'm working with a  bunch of people and companies putting together a comprehensive batting average for recruiters that combines all the critical factors, metrics, and competencies into one useful statistic. This will become known as the RBA — the Recruiter’s Batting Average.

Please look this first list over, suggest other factors that should be included, why some shouldn’t be considered, and which ones you think should be weighted more heavily than others.

I’ll be demonstrating how recruiters can better use LinkedIn Recruiter to improve their RBA at a LinkedIn workshop in NYC on June 17 for staffing firms. You’re invited to the streaming event.

All of the factors will be converted to a 1-5 scale and adjusted for importance based on a weighting factor. The sum of all of the factors will represent the recruiter’s RBA. An RBA of 100 will be considered the standard norm. A score of more than 150 is first ballot all-star material, and an RBA of 75 or less justifies a lengthy stay in the minor leagues.   

Most Heavily Weighted Factors

  • Productivity. This is a measure of delivering results. It’s a raw score combining sendouts (interviews with hiring managers arranged) per month adjusted for the number of assignments being worked concurrently. Tracking this will drive all time-to-fill related metrics.
  • Number of candidates needed to be seen to get one hired, aka sendouts per hire. This indicates that the recruiter is efficient, knows the job, knows how to recruit and close, is a strong interviewer, and is in sync with the hiring manager’s needs. Target a maximum of four for most positions, and no more than two for repeatable high-volume positions like software developers or sales reps.
  • High-quality referrals per recruiting call. The best recruiters always get the best referrals and they spend most of their time getting them. This not only leads to the most placements per month and the highest billings, but it also increases productivity 2-3X, since referrals call you back and they’re already pre-qualified. Track referrals per call (or total per week) to drive the RBA higher, since it also gets the most weighting. Better: it instantly increases quality of hire.
  • In-depth job knowledge. When a top-tier passive candidate asks you to describe the job, the challenges involved, the available resources, and how success will be measured, you need to be able to answer with more than generic hyperbole and BS. Getting this information from the hiring manager is the first step in being able to convert a job into a career move. This is what I call a performance-based job description.
  • Quality of candidates presented. If a company just fills positions based on how they’ve always filled positions, they’ll continue to hire the same kinds of people they’ve always hired. To raise the talent bar, programs need to be put in place that define candidate quality and recruiters need to deliver to this standard. We use a talent scorecard as part of our Performance-based Interview to measure this.
  • Converting passive prospects into new hires. Being faster dialing for dollars (i.e., cold calling more people per hour found on some Boolean search) and filtering out people on factors that don’t predict performance is a waste of time. Tracking callback and conversion rates from first contact to the final close isn’t.

Less Weighted, but Still Important Factors

  • Accurately interviewing and passive assessing candidates. A recruiter needs to be able to accurately interview someone who’s not looking, while they’re overcoming objections and convincing the person the opening represents a career move.
  • Sourcing channel effectiveness. Knowing where and how to look ensures that candidates from all possible sources are seen and hired.
  • Creating compelling marketing messages. Posting skills-infested generic job descriptions, sending boring emails and tweets, and leaving dull voice mail messages is a recipe for attracting the desperate. Tracking message response rates is part of this, but these rates will surge when the messages tap into the ideal candidate’s intrinsic motivators.
  • Name generation. While cyber-sleuthing and having Boolean expertise are important skills, they represent only one channel for reaching people who won’t see or respond to your job postings.
  • Pipeline development and management. A pipeline of followers is short-lived, as the best active people find new jobs. Managing this turnover with fresh candidates and keeping those in the pipeline warm and interested is a great way to improve time to fill.

Not surprisingly, when asked, most recruiters rank themselves well-above average on all of these factors. However ability to do something is not the same as actually doing it. The RBA is intended to track what’s actually being done. It starts by making sure the right metrics are being tracked. Add your comments and thoughts to the whole idea. You never know: we actually might make it so that the best people are actually hired, not just the ones who manage to apply and make it through the artificial barriers and roadblocks, companies, hiring managers, HR, and recruiters put in their way.