Planning for hiring success in 2012 – Part 1 of 2

It’s that time of the year – again.  Time to get your budget together for the New Year.  Time to look at all the money you spent on talent acquisition and wonder where it all went.  Time to try and figure out how in the world you are going to keep up with the company’s hiring plans along with trying to retain your current employees so you don’t have to replace them as well.  Ahhh, our favorite time of year!  In case you haven’t been keeping up with what’s going on out there here are some statistics (available in various iterations on the web).  The unemployment rate for professionals with a Bachelor’s degree or higher is 4% nationwide.  The unemployment rate for technology professionals is 2% in Colorado and 4% nationwide.  What does this mean for you?  It means that there is a shortage of professional level talent nationally and you are going to need to be smart about how to attract talent in 2012.  So, how do you get started?  By looking at what happened this year.

1. Where did they come from?  Take a look at every new hire you made in 2011.  What is the original source for each of these hires?  If you paid a recruiting/referral fee for them, what was the cost?  Are they still with you?  What sort of a grade would you give them (A,B,C).  A nifty little spreadsheet will give you the visual you are looking for.

2. What is your Cost per hire?  Let’s not get super technical here.  Just look at direct costs associated with your hires.  Include recruiting fees, job board costs, print advertising, RPO fees, referral bonuses to employees or others, ATS licensing costs.

3. What worked?  Take a look at your source of hire and apply this data to your cost per hire.  Where did you’re “A” players come from and what did they cost you?  This is where you should plan to apply more budget in 2012.

4. What didn’t work?  This is the hard part….changing behaviors.  Let’s say for instance that you paid a total of $25,000 for job board membership, job postings and resume search access.  You made exactly 1 hire from these sources and you’ve rated that hire a “B”.  If you remove these fees from your cost-per-hire then what happens?  Furthermore, if you apply this total to one of the sources that netted you “A” players – you have a new and improved talent acquisition model for the New Year!

It takes a lot of courage to change classic behaviors and embrace a new way of doing things.  The passive “post and wait” method is broken.  Gainfully employed professionals find job boards frustrating and invasive.  Even unemployed professionals are tired of being ignored by the black hole of career boards.  If you truly want to hire quality professionals you will need to think creatively and stop claiming to be productive while posting your open positions on job boards.  Next month, we’ll explore some different methods of finding and attracting talent so that 2012 will be substantially more productive than 2011 – on the hiring front.