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Candidates Who Fit In Will Be 30% Higher Quality

Firms should look less at candidates’ skills and experience, and more at how they work with others. This is often difficult to determine during employment screening, but necessary for success

Completing a puzzle piece network organizational fitRecruitment teams at the world’s big companies have less money and are being asked to do more than they were a few years ago.

For example, CEB Recruiting members say that 38% of them now have smaller recruiting budgets and that instead of the seven business units they were serving four years ago they are now hiring people for more than nine.

This means that firms need to become more efficient at recruiting than they are already and in those roles where people are recruited at high volume, this is even more critical. As the volume of candidates being recruited rises, recruiting efficiency typically goes down: in the past three years there has been a 33% increase in application volumes, yet 72% of those applicants are considered to be average quality at best.

Maybe this need for more work at lower cost wouldn’t be so bad if it was appreciated, but only a quarter of managers actually think their recruiters influence the hiring decision. And even when recruiters think they have the right person in the right job, with the right skills, those new hires are still 50% more likely than current employees to walk out the door in their first year.

Time to Get Fit

The problem is most volume recruiters look for the candidate with the right skills, experience, and knowledge for the job; in other words, their ability. Although that sounds like a sensible approach for the typical volume roles like contact center or retail workers, it misses a big piece of the puzzle: “fit.”

Fit doesn’t just mean how well the new hire fits into the firm’s culture, important though that is. It also means how well the candidate works with his or her colleagues, both within their team and across the whole firm (or “network”). And while 73% of all new hires tick all the boxes for knowledge and skills, only 35% are a good fit for their network.

Most people have come across a colleague (or an entire team) who may have exceptional skills, but has poor network fit: people who are more likely to leave; people who don’t put as much into the job, and teams that produce less.

CEB data show that recruiters who find candidates during employment screening that fit with the organizational culture will improve “quality of hire” by up to 12%, whereas those that have network fit will improve quality of hire by as much as 30%. For the average Fortune 500 firm, this shakes out as a $16 million boost in profits and a saving, by avoiding rehire costs, of over $850,000.

Five Steps to Find the Right People

There are five steps that companies should take to survive the application avalanche and maximize the return on their recruiting efforts.

  1. Measure what matters: Don’t just assess ability, but a mix of knowledge, skills, ability, and fit. Define the specific need with each hiring manager.

  2. Focus on the candidates’ performance once they’re in role: Identify and prioritize the traits and abilities that have the biggest impact on performance.

  3. Be able to explain why you chose a particular applicant: Ensure you comply with regulatory and professional standards. Be consistent, objective, and job-relevant in your selection processes.

  4. Engage candidates: Help candidates judge for themselves if they are right for the job. Communicate clearly and often, and ensure your recruitment process is user-friendly and job-relevant.

  5. Empower recruiters: Help them focus on high-value activities, such as identifying and measuring the qualities of ability and fit that lead to business results. Automate or eliminate low-value activities such as reading résumés and writing application responses.

By taking these steps, and by embedding a program of objective assessment, recruiters will process more applications much faster, at less cost, and recruit the talent they need for business success. This is one of three steps that, along with employer branding and providing a good candidate experience, support successful volume recruiting.

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