How To Set Recruitment KPIs – 5 Steps You Must Follow
How can you increase the impact that KPIs are having in your recruitment business?
When a recruiter comes in for an interview, then tells me they’ve not hit their revenue targets, I ask them why they feel that is. More often than not, the answer is something along the lines of lack of leadership and training. This leaves me to wonder if their employers are making the most of what can be an incredibly powerful tool: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
If KPIs are not realistic, relevant or challenging, they will soon fade into insignificance in the mind of an overworked recruiter who simply needs to pay the bills at the end of the month. They will naturally do everything it takes to make that next placement, because they need the commission. But they will become so much harder to manage, as their KPIs mean little to them. Most managers will leave those recruiters to their own devices. After all they are generating the revenue, so no need to take on the headache. This type of thinking is a tiny splinter that will fester over time. The day will come when the other team members start to resent what they perceive as “being singled out.”
KPIs should be realistic, allowing your recruiters to buy into the idea that they can achieve that level of performance. Targets should be relevant to both their current role and their career aspirations. They need to be able to see the logical connection to their own earnings and growth opportunities. KPIs should challenge recruiters to consistently grow and improve—if they’ve run out of room to grow, it might be time to think about moving them within the organization.
If approached thoughtfully, setting effective KPIs doesn’t have to become a complex, daunting process. Here are five steps to consider when setting KPIs to help your recruiters perform to their full potential:
Embed your KPIs in your culture. Most people feel an affinity towards their employer, otherwise why would they come to work? When that bond includes a drive to perform not only for themselves, but for others around them, KPIs become something to be celebrated rather than ignored or feared. When the right KPIs are naturally embedded in a company’s culture, stress is reduced, morale is increased, and you have the makings of a high-performance team.
Allow space for the individual. If you allow space for a recruiter’s natural preferences, they will feel happier and achieve more. A recruiter might not be so confident on the phone, but they might be great at generating new candidates or clients through social media. You might have an insightful interviewer, who hates net new business development. When room is made for meaningful personal goals within the framework, KPIs will strengthen, not weaken your business. Flexibility naturally has its limits, but KPIs could definitely afford to be more “human.”
Coaching happens within a process. KPIs offer a fantastic opportunity for people to benchmark and measure their performance against themselves and others. When employees own their KPIs, it gives their managers a fantastic opportunity to drill a little deeper and help finesse their performance. There is nothing worse than telling someone that they need to increase their billings without offering any further guidance.
Stretch your star performers to help raise the bar. KPIs are not about staying in your comfort zone. If you have the flexibility within the team to reallocate some of the more mundane activities, certain recruiters can smash targets that they previously felt were impossible. When someone hits an impossible target, it raises the bar for all around them. I challenge anyone not to be motivated by one of their colleagues billing an obscene amount (with the accompanying commission). With the help of meaningful KPIs, recruitment success can be modelled, and when people are stretched, everyone understands just what is possible.
Living and breathing KPIs. There is only one thing worse than realising the KPIs you have implemented are meaningless and unachievable – managing a team of people who think that their KPIs are meaningless and unachievable. Your team is only as invested in their targets as you are. If you’re not eagerly waiting to see, review, and discuss last week’s activity report, it’s probably time to reassess what you’re measuring.
Our industry has encountered many disruptions and will continue to do so. Disruption is something to be embraced not feared. As technology continues to impact our industry like never before, time can be freed up for recruiters to concentrate on the “human” aspects of the role. Surely that means it’s time to disrupt our thinking around Key Performance Indicators.