Looking Back: What Matters a Year Later

By: Travis Inda


It is common practice for a recruiter or agency to follow up after placing candidates to learn how they are performing. Often times this is done in the first week, month or even quarter after the new hire starts. However, according to the Harvard Business Review it can take up to 8 months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity.

In over 10 years of recruitment experience I have had many follow up conversations with hiring managers to see how candidates are performing after we have placed them. Very rarely do we discuss the recruitment process that landed this candidate, the number of additional candidates interviewed, the time it took to land them or even the money spent (all of which seem incredibly important in the moment of hiring). Rather, we almost always focus on Job Performance and Cultural/Team Enhancement.

Of course, process, candidate flow, time to fill and budget always matter. However, if you hire the wrong person or they leave the organization quickly then all of the perceived benefits no longer exist. When determining your recruitment process or partnership in the future, I propose that looking at what truly matters first to allow that to lead your team to make the best decisions. So how do we prioritize these factors?

Job Performance

According to O.C. Tanner, 60% of companies fail to set milestones or goals for new hires. Often times in speaking with hiring managers and discussing performance objectives, the manager is speaking to their new employees’ performance more by feel than tangible measures. Plus, the employee typically has no idea how they’re being measured. If the employee knows the goals they are meant to meet and the timeline in which they are expected to do so, they should always be on the same page as their management team about their performance.

As a solution to this, we rely on performance-based job descriptions. The idea is to start writing job descriptions that include these goals up front. In hiring for a recruiter, the following lines as the could appear on a typical job description:

  • 3+ years of prior recruitment experience in high paced environment
  • Previous experience working directly with and building relationships with hiring managers

However, the following examples are much more geared toward gauging the employee’s performance post-hire:

  • Within 90 days of employment the ideal candidate will be independently responsible for up to 10 requisitions per week.
  • Within 180 days of employment the recruiter will be responsible to work directly with hiring managers while growing relationships and building trust.

You will notice that we are essentially asking for the same qualifications in each example. In example 1 we are asking for the previous experience that we deem as necessary to be successful to meet the goals in example 2. By stating our expectations with performance objections as in example 2, we are able to allow the candidate to know what will be expected while they are applying to and interviewing for the position. We are also driving our hiring managers and HR teams to put additional thought into hiring for this position by determining the end goals rather than what is believed to be the qualifications. This may also help decrease an estimated $37 billion that is spent annually in keeping unproductive employees on staff who simply do not understand their job expectations (source).

Cultural and Team Enhancement

Historically, most companies have made hiring decisions based on the candidate’s fit to the established company culture. This focuses the search on hiring only those who are very similar to the current top employees. While it is certainly critical to ensure there’s alignment to your company’s core values, there may be things that are overlooked in an effort to ensure the new hire will “fit”.

As we continue to learn and grow as employers, we quickly see that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can bring innumerable benefits to our organizations and teams. Instead of hiring for primarily for culture fit, consider hiring for culture add. How can a new hire bring diversity of thought and perspective to your organization?

A good place to start is to identify your organization’s areas of growth – the gaps in your team not from a resume or work experience perspective, but from a team work style approach. Is your organization loaded with big picture ideators who don’t naturally work in the details? Maybe it would be good to bring someone on who’s more comfortable with the nitty-gritty.

We believe the best way to do this is by utilizing unbiased information. There are many behavioral and cognitive assessment tools that will help you accomplish this; however, our tool of choice at Titus is The Predictive Index. Here is a link to an article of how you can use this tool for alignment, management and to help build personal relationships.

It’s no secret that employees typically leave their manager rather than their organization. Ensuring value alignment, team enhancement, and that managers and leaders have the best tools available is essential for success. It is also essential for the bottom line. Did you know that the average cost per hire of an organization is $4,000 according to Glassdoor?  Even more staggering is that the organizational costs of employee turnover are estimated to range between 100%-300% of the replaced employees salary according to the Harvard Business Review. If we are focused on creating the best environments and teams for our employees to thrive (while also avoiding unneeded expenses) having a tool to help us towards best practices is a great investment!

Nearly 33% of new hires look for a new position within their first 6 months of starting a job and 23% leave before their first anniversary (source). We can and should be better as recruitment professionals to ensure we are setting our companies up for success as well as setting our candidates up for realistic expectations. By understanding those expectations before starting our recruitment as well as being equipped with the best management tools, we can begin this journey.

Want to talk more about Titus’ recruiting process or our favorite behavioral and cognitive assessment tool, The Predictive Index? Click the button below to drop us a message!

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