Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
Quality of Hire

The Guaranteed Way To Have Better Quality Of Hire

A good manager regularly analyzes each employee to ensure everyone contributes to the company in an appropriate way. However, this kind of analysis is just as important when you’re looking to expand your staff — and it starts before you even extend a job offer by looking at quality of hire.

These are the pre-hire steps you must take to ensure that your hiring process is producing the best talent pool for you to choose from:

Focus on the ideal number of candidates per hire

If you’re seeing hundreds of candidates before making a hiring decision, the process is drawing on too long and becomes a waste of both time and energy for everyone involved. However, if you interview just two people before making a choice, you may not have landed best fit for the role.

You want to get a broad enough candidate base so that you can make an informed decision. How many people you should interview will vary from business to business, but it’s important to reflect on whether the number of candidates you’re interviewing is appropriate for your company and the position at hand.

Assess job post effectiveness

When composed correctly, a job post can do a majority of the legwork for you, as it provides applicants with a background about the position and the company. This can weed out individuals who aren’t a good fit for the position, thus preventing you from wasting time interviewing someone who wouldn’t be a good match.

Instead of writing a flat description that leaves candidates confused about the position and the business, take the time to put in details. What exactly does the position entail? What kinds of projects will the person work on? To whom do they report? What sort of personality type excels in this role? Analyzing how many people apply for the job directly versus how many people are recruited for the role can help you determine whether your postings are working for you.

Factors to consider as you analyze quality of hire

Before you’re able to fully assess the quality of your hire, you need to set parameters that determine what “quality of hire” means to your business. This will depend on the industry you’re in, the type of role you’re trying to fill, and will also vary from manager to manager. Ask five different people how they define quality of hire and you’re sure to get five different opinions. These are a few different components that can contribute to quality of hire:

Good cultural fit: For some businesses, cultural fit is an extremely important part of the hiring process. While they need a team member who can do the job properly, they also place a heavy emphasis on finding someone who blends in well with veteran employees. For them, a high quality hire is someone who is a natural fit with the rest of the team.

Quick to perform: Some degree of onboarding is required no matter how experienced your new hire is, as all companies operate slightly differently. For some businesses though, minimal onboarding time is important. They want to be sure they’re able to get this employee up and running as quickly as possible.

Well-equipped for the role: The need for some training is fine, but for the most part, the individual should come in ready to handle the role for which they were hired. You want to look for cultural fit and an enthusiastic personality, but if they lack the experience to actually perform the job they’re asked to do, you’re eventually going to run into a problem.

Low turnover rates: Job turnover is disruptive to the team from both a time and financial standpoint. You’re taking a manager’s energy and the company’s resources getting an employee acclimated. So, if they end up leaving two months later, it becomes a disruption for the entire business. For this reason, some businesses cite a successful hire as one who ends up sticking around long-term.

Once you’ve determined how your particular business will gauge the success of a hire, it’s time to gather some data about the newest team member. There are a number of different ways to go about doing this. These strategies include:

Consulting with the new team member’s direct supervisor

This is always a wise starting point, as they can provide the most up-to-date feedback on this employee’s job performance. The risk with this method of data collection though is that, if this person was directly involved in the hiring process, they may not be apt to admit they’ve made a hiring mistake.

The other shortcoming with this collection method is if there’s a large number of new hires coming on board at once, the manager may get tired of having to consult about each and every new hire, as this can get time-consuming.

Gauging their performance

This is another fairly straightforward way of determining whether the new team member has proven to be a valuable acquisition. If it’s a sales-based position, what is their client list like? Have they begun to close deals?

The downfall of working off of this method is that some businesses struggle to gauge performance effectively, perhaps because they don’t set milestones for their new employees. Also, it may be easy to evaluate performance for certain departments, but more challenging for others.

Measure revenue per employee

This is an important, yet little-used metric for assessing the effectiveness of a new employee. This figure reflects the revenue that is directly lost or gained in proportion to the number of employees in the organization. It is also effective in analyzing figures like turnover rates and cost-to-hire.

The reasons behind poor quality hires

If you realize your business continually makes poor hiring choices, it’s not necessarily because the company or its managers are failing. In fact, attracting poor quality hires is a common problem, and can be attributed to a few of the following concerns:

A rushed process

When the hiring manager feels pressure to get someone in an open role as quickly as possible, they might cut corners and overlook warning signs about the candidate they’ve selected. This can lead to a poor fit and high turnover rates.

Discrepancies during the interview process

Perhaps the hiring manager asked one candidate a certain set of questions, and failed to cover these same questions when they were interviewing someone else. Maybe you had a panel interview setup and didn’t have a conversation beforehand where everyone agreed on what constitutes a strong candidate. This can make it a challenge to find the most qualified person for the job, and may result in a lackluster hire.

Your hiring manager isn’t prepared to sell the company

During an interview, a candidate should be ready to sell their experience, skills, and why their personality type would blend in well with the rest of the office. However, it’s also a hiring manager’s duty to showcase why the company is a great place to work.

What kinds of projects will make the employee excited to arrive at the office each day? What makes the team so great? What kinds of perks will the individual enjoy? If the hiring manager isn’t ready to sell the brand during an interview, they may miss out on top-tier talent.

Businesses have fallen behind their competitors

If you’re still asking employees to snail mail their documents to you or relying or archaic software to do business, don’t be surprised when would-be employees look elsewhere for a job.

Keeping up-to-date on technology may not seem important, but it matters, particularly when it comes to recruiting. Professionals, particularly those who lead your industry with their expertise, want to work in an office that stays ahead of the curve. If you’re ten steps behind, you’ll consistently miss out on quality hires. Instead, they’ll opt to go with a company that places more of a priority on evolving as the industry’s landscape changes.

How to improve quality of hire in the future

When you’re looking to improve the quality of the employees you’re adding to your team in the future, there are several steps you can take. These include:

Determine what constitutes a quality hire

You might realize there isn’t a real consensus among upper management about what a strong hire looks like. Some are focused on experience, while others are looking for a certain personality type.

Instead of assuming everyone has the same parameters in mind, take the time to define the traits a good hire should have. You should also characterize which traits are negotiable, and which you can live without. Can a hire still be a strong candidate if they lack a master’s degree, for example? It’s a question worth discussing.

Make estimates about the quality of the hire

You can provide a rough estimate about the quality of your hire based on factors like past performance, educational background, and the training program they’ll go through, among other factors. Once you’ve made a prediction about how you think they’ll do, check in after they’ve started and see how they’re actually performing. If new hires continually fall below your predictions, you may want to re-evaluate some or all components of your hiring process.

Involve more than just the hiring manager and direct supervisor

It can be helpful to involve a new hire’s colleagues when it comes time to analyze how they’re doing. These people interact with the newest team member on a daily basis, and therefore can provide even more valuable feedback on how things are going.

Where does the person excel? Where do they appear to be struggling? How does their personality fit with the rest of the office? Do they seem engaged and excited about the work, or do they clock out at 5 p.m. each day?

Don’t get so hung up on the small details

It’s important to assess the number of people you’re hiring at once, how much your hiring process is costing your company, and more, but you also want to take a look at the bigger picture. Is your hiring process effectively serving the business? Are the people you’re adding to your team improving the depth and range of the staff? What is turnover like?

Decide how you’ll assess the quality of a hire in the future

Determine a rubric that you’ll use to evaluate the effectiveness of future hires, and make sure everyone involved with the hiring process (regardless of department) is made aware of this rubric. Consistency across departments is essential

Create an effective training program for new team members

Proper onboarding for new team members is another important part of ensuring that new hires are able to get up and running as quickly as possible. If your current training program is a measly packet of information and a half-hour session with a manager, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Teach managers to coach new hires in a more effective way

While recruiting and selecting the proper addition to the team is essential, the way in which this person gets acclimated to the office also dictates what kind of employee they become. Managers should know how to coach their new hires effectively so that their transition time is as seamless as possible.

Assessing the quality of your hires ensures reduced turnover rates and increased productivity. Proper pre-hire analysis and a strong hiring process can contribute to a business’s ability to select strong hires that become essential contributors to the business.

What are some other things to remember when measuring quality of hire? Share in the comments below!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.