It’s no secret that talent acquisition is directly correlated with the effectiveness of your business.
Practice effective talent acquisition, and do so consistently and efficiently, and your business will perform better. You’ll have better people in better positions, so you can operate more productively.
There are plenty of metrics that can help you track your talent acquisition effectiveness, but how can we quantify this relationship?
How can we track our talent acquisition effectiveness in a way that helps us contextualize our momentum and motivate better decision making?
The answer is with hiring velocity.
But what exactly is it and how do we measure it?
Hiring velocity attempts to measure how fast and consistently you’re hiring new people in a given framework of time. We measure this by comparing the number of positions we’ve filled to the number of positions we’ve opened over a given time; as a result, we’ll typically have a positive or negative number that tells us the direction of our momentum and how significant that momentum is.
As an example, let’s say your business has opened 50 new positions this month. You’ve also filled 60 positions this month. We subtract 50 from 60, giving us a hiring velocity of +10. Because this number is positive, it indicates forward momentum; we’re ultimately filling more positions than we’re opening, which is great for the business. A hiring velocity of +10 is better than +1, but not as good as, say, +20 or +30.
Now pretend we’ve opened 50 new positions this month, but we’ve only filled 40. We subtract 50 from 40 to get a hiring velocity of -10. This indicates that our momentum is negative, as we’re opening more positions than we’re filling. This is not sustainable, since if we continue this momentum, it’s only a matter of time before we have so many open positions that the company can’t operate effectively.
Hiring velocity is often confused with time to hire, but these are two different metrics.
Both hiring velocity and time to hire attempt to measure how fast you’re hiring new people, but you’re measuring different things in different contexts.
Time to hire effectively allows you to track how much time it takes you to fill a single position. On an individual level, this can help you determine how effective you’re recruiting and hiring strategies were. On a broad level, your average time to hire can help you identify potential issues with your recruiting and hiring strategies.
But hiring velocity is more interested in broad trends and the overall direction of your company. It’s much more important for making high-level decisions and determining where your business is headed in the future.
Why is hiring velocity so important?
Calculating hiring velocity manually isn’t especially difficult, as long as you’re working with easily accessible and small numbers. All you have to do is subtract the number of open positions in a given period of time from the number of filled positions, as we did in our earlier example. This is typically measured weekly or monthly, but you can measure it for any interval of time.
At scale, it’s much easier and more effective to measure hiring velocity using technology. Various HR platforms are natively equipped with features that automate the calculation of hiring velocity and provide reports for your perusal.
Measuring your hiring velocity is a great first step to take, but if you want to make an actual difference in your business, you’ll need to find a way to improve your hiring velocity. The higher your hiring velocity is, the better you’re recruiting and hiring momentum is.
So how do we pump those rookie numbers up?
Tap Into Better Sources
Your first step is to tap into better sources for finding new recruits.
If you know who you’re looking for, and you can find out which channels those people are most likely to use, you can shift your job advertising and recruiting strategy to favor them.
These are some strategies that can help you:
Improve Your Job Descriptions
It could also be helpful to improve your job descriptions.
Accurate, interesting job descriptions increase your number of applicants and increase the probability that these applicants will follow through the hiring process.
These are some of the best specific tactics to employ here:
Hiring velocity is, to an extent, a time-bound metric.
Accordingly, you can increase it by accelerating certain phases of the hiring process. One of the most fertile grounds for improvement is usually screening, the process of weeding out bad fits and approving good fits for the next stage of recruitment.
There are several things that can help you here. You can set more specific, easily discernible criteria for approval and rejection. You can make the phases of your recruitment process cleaner and more consistent. You can even set more aggressive deadlines and timelines for the hiring staff making these decisions.
The bottom line is that you must find a way to accelerate the screening process.
There’s no way to completely eliminate human, manual effort from your hiring and recruiting strategies.
But it’s important to eliminate whatever you can.
Adopting automation over manual effort can increase your hiring speed, improve consistency, and reduce your expenses at the same time. While automation isn’t always perfect, it’s highly useful for repetitive manual tasks, such as:
Finally, work to instill more decisiveness and autonomy in your HR staff.
Decisiveness is important because it practically eliminates decision procrastination. Decisive leaders within the department know what they’re looking for, and they don’t have qualms about approving or rejecting candidates at various stages of the hiring process. Once you have established criteria for what constitutes a successful hire, you need to start pushing those successful hires through as quickly as possible.
Autonomy is also important to make your HR team feel empowered to make decisions in ambiguous situations or make changes to your recruitment process on the fly. This can be risky, but if your HR department is full of competent people you trust, autonomy is strictly a good thing.
With better hiring velocity, your organization will be more agile, more consistent, and eventually, more profitable.
But optimizing your recruiting and hiring efforts is hard – at least, when you’re doing it entirely alone.
That’s why we’re here – to make it easy.
So, contact us today for more information or a free analysis of your existing strategies!