Last week I went for my annual health check-up. Being an entrepreneur in HR Tech means that fitness is key to deal with the positive stress of scaling a business globally. Fortunately, I received top grades on all elements, which is the result of a combination of fitness and… luck. The latter is hard to influence, but the first is a matter of discipline. I am an enthusiastic trail runner, practice a 90% healthy diet and make sure I get enough sleep, usually. The exercise is done by goal setting (I sign up for races) and peer pressure (I have a running buddy) and helps me level-off any stress I encounter.
This reminded me both fitness and luck are just as applicable to recruitment. But how do you measure recruitment fitness? In a health check, it is about blood values, heart rate, lung volume, etc. Recruitment fitness is usually measured by the output of number of hires. We hardly ever look at the underlying fitness. High output can also come from an obese or even ill team, which is depleted in the long run.
What are key indicators of recruitment fitness?
In my opinion, fitness is much more than output and can be measured with the following 5 indicators for agility as a good sports analogy:
AGILITY or NIMBLENESS
“Agility is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner, and to achieve this requires a combination of balance, speed, strength and coordination”
“The ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the coordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive organs in our joints).”
Can the team balance candidate experience and engagement in a personalised setting with the opportunity to automate? Which tasks can be achieved by software and which ones require a recruiter as coach and career advisor? Does your team recognise this new equilibrium?
“The ability to move all or part of the body quickly.”
In the recruitment fitness context, this can mean two things: 1) speed of hire and 2) speed of change. Time-to-fill should be a core metric already, so let’s focus on speed of change or adaptability for now. Is the team able to adapt to changing market circumstances and new technologies or do they resist?
“The ability of a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance.”
HR and talent acquisition usually are not considered to be core business if we forget about staffing agencies for the moment. This means that HR and TA need to have muscle and put recruitment on the strategic agenda. Is the team capable of pushing back and driving change so that it is seen as an equal partner in the business?
“The ability to control the movement of the body in co-operation with the body’s sensory functions (e.g., in catching a ball [ball, hand, and eye coordination]).”
If we look at recruitment as a combination of marketing, sales and HR, with the sum of all parts being greater than the individual elements, coordination is key. Can the team work well together and does it have the sensory abilities required to deal with constantly changing market dynamics?
“The ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.”
Recruitment is not a sprint, it is a long-distance run where endurance is key. You cannot start or stop employer branding whenever you need to. The employer brand is there and needs to underpin your talent acquisition regardless of the fact if it is a candidate-centric market or not.
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Obviously, the above analogy is incomplete. But what if you start looking at your team differently and not just measure by output of hires. Look at the long-term and make sure recruitment is fit for any situation. They have agility at their core. I am sure that you will assess the current war-for-talent with confidence because your team can handle the job!