Quality of hire is a quantitative recruiting metric used to hold recruiting and talent operations accountable for contributing to the quality and efficiency of growing teams. The value a new hire adds to the company in terms of performance, productivity, and culture are just a few examples of quality of hire. Many leaders prioritize quality of hire differently, even if the end goal is the same.
There are a few metrics you can rely on to measure quality of hire and ensure better hiring outcomes. We’ve broken down several easy ways to assess your hiring process and improve interview questions and decisions. Let’s take a look:
Time to full productivity
Onboarding new team members is generally the same in terms of familiarity with the services or products your company offers, learning about the target customers, and workflow. How quickly a new hire transitions from onboarding to performing confidently in their role makes a major difference in the team’s productivity.
While you can account for training time, you can’t always predict how long it will take for the new hire to contribute to hitting team goals. And if they struggle to progress beyond onboarding, team performance and morale suffer – some might argue worse than if the role remained open.
Setting clear benchmarks to measure the time to full productivity of new hires is critical to tracking your overall quality of hire. Noting skills and experience or personal qualities in new hires that hit performance benchmarks around the same time gives your recruiting and hiring teams objective evaluation criteria to rate candidates.
For example, you may notice that candidates who consider themselves self-starters, are growth and solutions-oriented, or have excellent communication skills get up and running faster than those who don’t. It could be even more black and white.
In certain roles, you may need candidates with experience in certain technologies or who demonstrate specific hard skills to ensure there are no hiccups in work production. Your hiring decision-makers need to determine a priority for hard and soft skills for each role and assess candidates without bias for the most important qualifications.
It can take time to get a pulse on how new hires fit into the team. Peer reviews at regular intervals help you see a progression as new employees create relationships and hit performance targets. Understanding how peers gauge new hires for culture fit and how their skills contribute to team success are invaluable quality of hire metrics.
Many companies opt for quarterly or even annual peer reviews. But the risk of losing touch with how new hires and current employees are adapting to one another is too high to wait for regular reviews to roll around. Long-term employees can suffer from the stress of bad hiring decisions. Not to mention, your HR team loses a valuable opportunity to learn from employees about ways to improve new hire screening and onboarding processes before repeating mistakes.
When it comes to peer reviews, set several early check-ins. Have employees who work closely with new hires and new employees submit 360 reviews at two weeks, 30, 60, and 90 days. Make sure the survey process is constructive and transparent. You don’t have to reveal who provided what feedback, but employees should have access to their peer reviews so they can learn from them.
Make sure employees recommend solutions when possible rather than just identifying concerns. It’s important everyone knows their suggestions are taken into consideration so the team can grow together. And be sure to highlight what everyone is doing well. Accept there may be a transition period for all new hires, but set a clear timeline of when new employees should be adjusted and you expect to see progress.
In the same way you want to understand your employees’ perspective of new hires, you must assess new-hire engagement. Catching early that the role doesn’t meet a new employee’s expectations can head off issues with job satisfaction that may be more costly down the road. This means checking in with new hires regularly enough to show your investment in their growth but not overwhelming them with micromanagement as they adjust.
Not every survey of quality of hire needs to be regimented to a questionnaire. Getting a feel for how engaged an employee is with their role can be as simple as paying attention to how they respond to feedback, whether they ask questions, the kind of questions they ask, and how well or frequently they communicate or collaborate with the team.
If a new hire leans too heavily for too long on their peers or manager, they are possibly underqualified for the role. But it could also mean they were not placed in the correct role because the job description and evaluation criteria didn’t align with the responsibilities. If you notice a new hire is struggling to grasp basic tasks, missing deadlines, or shying away from team projects, schedule a stay interview to find out how you can help them connect with their role and the team.
The worst-case scenario is you both learn there was a miscommunication in the hiring process. You can work together toward a solution to make the job role work to meet both the employee and company’s needs, and your hiring team gains invaluable insight to improve on quality of hire if you need to fill the role again.
A quick path to burnout for team leaders is poor quality of hire. When managers have to pick up the slack for new employees who cannot carry their share of the workload, they begin to see a strain in other areas they manage. Realizing a manager is burdened by a hiring decision helps get to the source of the problem fast and prevents stress across the whole team.
When collecting peer reviews of new hires, survey managers for feedback regarding how they feel about performance, productivity, and morale since adding a new team member. Encourage managers to stay objective in their reviews. Their personal opinion of working with new hires is important (to them), but their satisfaction should be rated by how well the new employee contributes to the team.
This is a good time to check up on bias training and team leadership skills. You may find the root of an issue with manager satisfaction stems from personalities. If the new hire is meeting performance expectations and getting along well with peers, there may be other ways you can help managers adjust. At the very least, you can show you value managers’ mental and emotional well-being at work and discuss solutions to assess a better fit with future hires.
One of the essential assessments you make in the hiring process is culture fit. It is critical to ensure job satisfaction for the new hire, but also it’s a quality of hire metric that can impact the success of your brand. When employees fit into the company culture, they build meaningful connections with team members and leaders and, most importantly, align with the company values.
Since you’re already looking for a strong culture fit, if you discover you’re missing the mark, the company culture possibly shifted, and it’s time to update your evaluation process. Many company leaders adjusted their work models since the 2020 pandemic. Adopting hybrid and remote work options could have impacted your culture in how employees communicate, collaborate, and celebrate together.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion have moved to the forefront of hiring initiatives. If your team has grown more diverse, there may be elements of your work culture you’re not effectively leveraging in the recruiting and hiring process. A foolproof way to dial in on the most important factors of culture fit is to bring employees in on the hiring process.
Poll your team to learn about how the culture has shifted and find out what is important for not only culture fit but culture add as your company culture evolves. Use the insight you gather to revise your structured interview questions and improve your quality of hire for culture fit.
As mentioned above, culture add is just as important to the dynamics of your organization as culture fit. There is a level of comfort you preserve by hiring new employees who fit into your culture, but the only way for growth to occur is through culture add. You want new hires to bring something unique to the team that challenges perspectives and improves even the best-functioning processes.
This is another opportunity to have employees weigh in on the decision-making process. Similar to how they easily recognize what it means to fit into the work culture, your team knows what your company lacks. Encourage team members to speak up about areas of interest, knowledge, skills, and experience they think would benefit the team. Discuss how hiring someone with these traits or abilities would push the team to explore new perspectives or learn new skills.
For example, it might benefit your team to hire more bilingual employees that better serve your clients. You could go as far as to learn new languages through Duolingo as a team. Maybe you need someone with a hard skill like graphic design because your team wants to create more engaging visuals to share and learn information – but also add some flair to social events and fundraisers.
Whatever the need is, your employees should take the lead in open discussions with leaders and hiring decision-makers about how to evaluate culture add for future hires.
It is no surprise that your new hire retention rate is a glaring quality of hire metric. If new employees check out before getting their barrings, something is sorely amiss in the hiring process. It’s not always obvious what is causing poor retention rates, however.
It’s vital you collect data from exit surveys in several ways.
First, encourage candidates who drop out of the hiring process and those who do not receive an offer to share feedback about their candidate experience. You should also survey the new hire to identify areas for improvement after they’ve accepted the job offer. And finally, if the new hire doesn’t work out, try to get an idea of where your company missed the mark from their first impression to their two-week notice.
Don’t forget to look at feedback from employees who leave in the months surrounding a new hire joining the team. Learn if the time it took to fill a role with a qualified candidate impacted a decision to leave. Identify if missed details or inaccurate job descriptions disappointed new hires. Find out if the company culture is clear in branding and the hiring process.
No matter the role, industry, or company looking to fill an empty seat, high performance and a sense of belonging to the right brand are key indicators that the quality of hire is on point. While you can point at quality of hire for low retention rates, there are typically a few factors influencing how and why the hiring process has failed.
It may seem any number of stars must align to ensure your hiring process turns out consistently high-quality hires, but it comes down to clear communication across all key players. From candidates all the way up to company stakeholders, the hiring process needs to communicate the needs of the company and the expectations of the talent.