Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Quality of Hire: A Vaguely Valid Metric?

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In November I wrote about Linkedin’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends Report (you can re-read it here) and took them to task about their methodology. Turns out they did a bit of a miscalculation and corrected data that looked askew. Good on them. As I looked at a relatively new infographic about their survey data, I was again intrigued by some of their findings. In a good way.

The infographic, found in Linkedin’s Talent Blog, 4 Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2016, boils the report down to 4 key points – and they are good ones:

  • Quality of Hire is the magic metric
  • Employers are finding quality hires faster through professional networks
  • Employer branding is bouncing back as a top priority
  • Employee retention is growing as a top employer priority

The big question raised in my mind by this infographic is: how should we define quality of hire. Linkedin helps us understand that perhaps we should be talking about this a little more than we are.

Linkedin 2016 Quality of Hire

Linkedin’s data show that around the world, the KPIs that define quality of hire shift between three primary metrics:

  1. New Hire Performance Evaluation
  2. Turnover/Retention
  3. Hiring Manager Satisfaction

These are interesting and good metrics. But are they the correct metrics to use in judging wether a hire was a quality hire?

As more employers shun “labeling” performance and leave traditional performance management systems and their inherent biases in the dust, having fair, accurate and reliable performance evaluation metrics may be harder and harder to obtain – especially for employees new to their jobs.

Turnover and retention data are somewhat valuable in that they measure whether the new employee actually commits to their job and the organization and decide to stay. The challenge with this particular measure is that it is two-sided. Employees can quit their jobs if they don’t like their employee experience more easily than employers can fire new employees who don’t perform. It’s hard to make a case that turnover or retention are valid measures of quality of hire.

And hiring manager satisfaction, while maybe the most influential measure, is the least scientifically valid assessment of the three: every manager has their own performance benchmarks that are shaped by their experience, education and time in the job. Certainly a new employee’s ability to create a positive relationship with their boss is significantly influential in creating a positive impression from a performance evaluation perspective. And that makes it only vaguely valid.

It’s interesting that employers in different parts of the world have developed different steps to develop Linkedin’s “magic metric.” That there is not the emergence of a common standard (SHRM or CIPD anyone? Bueller?) creates opportunities for stakeholders to get confused about what is trying to be accomplished. And that just makes it harder to make a business case for a critical aspect of talent management.

I think Linkedin has pointed out an opportunity for significant value in the talent management game:  unless and until we can develop a relatively standard, valid set of KPIs for Quality of Hire, we can’t really make sense of whether or not we’re hiring the great talent we all need. And since having the right talent available to us when and where we need it will make the difference in whether our businesses survive or not, getting a handle on the magic metric just might be helpful.

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Filed under Analytics, Annual Performance Reviews, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Global HR, HR Analytics, Linkedin, Performance Management, Quality of Hire

Sometimes it IS about the methodology!

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There’s no denying that Linkedin is a 600 pound gorilla in the talent acquisition space. But as I write that, I wonder in what space exactly Linkedin is. Wikipedia says Linkedin is a business-oriented social networking service. Linkedin says it’s the world’s largest professional network with 380 milllion members. Is it the ultimate job board? Is it an employer branding consulting firm? Is it a talent research firm? Is it a recruiting company? Maybe it’s all those things. Maybe it’s none of those things and it’s something else altogether. But whatever it is, I think we’d all agree that it’s big, it seems to be influential, lots of companies in the talent space are afraid of it, and most professionals – all over the world – wouldn’t look for a job without it.

So I read with interest Linkedin’s new report, Global Recruiting Trends 2016. It’s a quick read with some interesting data. The report sections are:

  • Introduction

  • Key takeaways

  • Quality of hire: The magic metric

  • Employee referrals: On the rise

  • Employer brand: A cross-functional priority

  • Retention and internal mobility: Time to align

  • Parting thoughts

  • Methodology

I like simple and straight forward reports like this. They tell you what the headlines are, give you charts and graphs that are easily understood, and then they end with a summary and the description of their methodology.

So the highlights are these:

  • Quality of hire is most important to talent acquisition practitioners, but there isn’t a lot of agreement on how to measure it
  • The use of employee referral programs is continuing to increase
  • Other functions, most notably Marketing, are getting in on the Employer Branding act

That’s about it. Not really surprising. But here is the really interesting part to me: the methodology.

  1. It’s a global survey – 3,894 talent acquisition decision makers in corporate HR departments who have some stake in the recruitment budget took the survey.
  2. Those responders were Linkedin members.
  3. They were from all over the world (see below).

Linkedin 2016 survey footprint

Although the report doesn’t specify that the numbers shown by country represent the number of survey respondents by country, we must assume that is the case. And if it is, I find it fascinating that only 200 U.S. respondents were included. It’s true this is a global survey. And it’s also true that the world of talent does not revolve around the U.S. But when 400 U.K. responses, 300 Australia/New Zealand responses and 231 Brazil responses are included – and only 200 U.S. responses were included – I’m not sure whether this analysis is compelling. The U.S. has ~7 milllion organizations; the U.K. has ~ 4 million; Australia and New Zealad have ~ 2 million; Brazil has ~1 million.

I’m not arguing that there are too many respondents from countries other than the U.S. There are some incredible talent innovations emerging all over the world in countries like India, Brazil and China. I’m positioning, rather, that there are too few respondents utilized from the U.S. I’m pretty sure that if the survey had included 400, or even 500, talent leaders from the U.S. instead of 200, the results would have been different. It’s hard to say how different, but different nonetheless. Having a more representative national sample vis a vis other nations would make the conclusions more compelling.

With a hat tip to Laurie Ruettimann, this raises the issue that we have to be mindful of the results of vendor research analysis. When sample size is too small, or when questions are ambiguous, or when the answer selections are biased (which they almost always are in vendor sponsored research), we really do need to take the results and analysis with a grain of salt.

There are interesting analyses and conclusions here that are worthwhile. But I wouldn’t build my budget from this report if I were a talent leader in the U.S. I appreciate that Linkedin, the world’s largest professional network – or whatever it is, is asking its members questions related to the talent acquisition challenges with which every employer around the world is grappling. And it’s interesting to see the results country by country. I’m just not sure the U.S. data are solid enough on which to build action.

What do you think?

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, Laurie Ruettimann, Linkedin, Quality of Hire, Talent Acquisition

Friendships at Work

Data Point Tuesday
Censuswide
and LinkedIn recently partnered up to explore how friendships at work impact employees’ experiences and perspectives of their workplaces. Their study, titled “Relationships @Work,” surveyed more than 11,500 full-time professionals between the ages of 18-65 in 14 countries, including the U.S, Sweden, India, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil and the U.K. What did they find? A large percentage of professionals surveyed (46%) admit that work friendships play a role in their overall happiness, and it’s clear from the research that the amount of value placed on workplace friendships, and the level of confidence (or how personal they were) varies significantly depending on the generation. For example, while 46% of respondents stated that work friendships play a role in their overall happiness, this data point increased for millennial respondents, age 18-24, up to 57%. Respondents in this age group also felt that work friendships were motivating (50%) and made them more productive (39%).

The research also found Millennials to be much more likely to share personal details with friends at work. 67% of Millennial respondents stated that they share details of their lives such as salary, relationships and family issues with work buddies. This is a major shift from the days where mentioning salaries or details of one’s personal life was taboo. Millennials’ potential “over sharing” doesn’t seem to be rubbing off on colleagues, however; only 3% of baby boomers admit being likely to share details of their personal lives with work friends. Millennials’ casual approach to communication with work friends is also reflected in their relationships with managers. LinkedIn and Censuswide’s research found that one in three, or 28%, of millennials have texted a manager out of work hours for a non-work related issue. This is compared to only 10% of baby boomers.

global friends at workWhy are Millennials gushing to buddies at work? It may not be so much a facet of their generation’s personality, but a genuine attempt to grow and further their career. One third of Millennials versus 5% of baby boomers stated that they think socializing with colleagues helps them move up the career ladder. Note too, that 18% of respondents (all generations) say that friendships with colleagues make them more competitive in their careers, so while close friendships at work may be a greater trend for Millennials, it is not exclusively a trend of that generation. Additionally, 51% of respondents (all generations) say that they stay in touch with former colleagues, and while we can’t say where exactly the value of this comes from (friendship, mentor, resource, networking, etc.), we can certainly say it indicates respondents have a loyalty to past colleagues and work friendships. It seems that globally, too, workplace friendships have a high level of importance. In India, for example, 1 in 3 professionals say their closest work colleagues understand them better than their partners.

Overall, this data is a good reminder that everyone communicates differently, whether on an individual basis or by the larger personality of an age demographic. Specifically, though, when it comes to retaining Millennial employees, this desire for work friendships and casual communication could be an overlooked point of value for employees. As workplaces become increasing more generationally diverse, it becomes important (even vital) to recognize the different, and evolving, communication styles of employees.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Millennials, workplace happiness