Monday, December 15, 2008

Improving the Recruitment Scorecard

A Challenge in the Scorecard
Recruiters face a lot of challenges. Among them is the need to balance the attributes of job seekers against not only the requirements for the positions to be filled, but other attributes as well; particularly those dealing with the issue of diversity.

Recruiters are taken to task if not enough of the new recruits have minority status of some kind (race, religion, national origin, age, gender, disabled, veteran, and others). Corporate legal departments don't wish to provide opportunity for an applicant who didn't make the cut to mount a legal challenge.

If this were not enough, recruiters are measured against the time it takes them to fill an open position with a candidate possessing the requisite skills and experience. The longer it takes to fill a position, the lower the score on their own personal scorecard which impacts their chances at promotion and influences decisions made on a recruiter's compensation.

Changes to the Scorecard
Not so very long ago, before drug screening became mainstream, asking a recruiter to add drug screening (typically urinalysis) to the checklist of tasks to be performed on all or nearly all new recruits met with very negative response. Since that time, drug screening has gained favor as employers came to see the value in the avoidance of hiring employees with drug/alcohol problems.

We are presently in the midst, underway but not yet complete, of a similar integration of background screening into the checklist of tasks and tools used to qualify candidates and on-boarding new hires. Most, if indeed not all, of Fortune 1000 companies have embraced background screening for some time. However, the small/medium sized businesses are still in transition on the background screening issue. Many see the value, but just as many see and have difficulty with the additional cost. Worse still, is that not all have made the appropriate adjustments in the scorecard of the recruiter.

On one hand we ask the recruiter to fill the position with a qualified applicant within a certain number of days subsequent to the requisition. On the other hand we ask that the recruiter thoroughly vet the applicant by not only doing the requisite drug screen but also the background screen. On occasion, the organization does not account for the fact that background screening will result in a thinning of the applicant pool and lengthen fulfillment times.

If background screening is important to an organization, and indeed it should be, then the organization should appropriately account for the additional filtering of the applicant pool which will naturally result. That accounting needs to be reflected in the recruiting budget (most organizations pay for background screening from the recruiting budget) and also in the lead time needed to fill a position.

Introducing Tescor to the Scorecard
As organizations increase their awareness of behavioral testing, there is a corresponding increase in the desire of the organization to employ behavioral testing as a part of filtering the applicant pool. Behavioral testing is frequently more effective in spotting substance abuse and more cost efficient. Behavioral testing are vastly superior to reference checking (when you can get references at all) when it comes to identifying those prospective employees that would steal from you if hired. Behavior testing also can be very effective in uncovering those individuals with a propensity for violence.

With these benefits in mind, recruiters are beginning to be asked to screen the prospects with Merchants behavior survey the Tescor Survey. However, not in all cases does the organization properly accomodate the introduction of another tool for screening out undesireable applicants. To that end, we recommend and encourage all organizations benefitting from the use of the Tescor survey to appropriately accomodate the use of this tool into the scorecards of the recruiters and be likewise reflected in the recruitment budgets.

We ask a lot of recruiters, and frequently for good reasons. However, we need to be sure that we have properly provided them with the tools nedcessary for success.


Anonymous said...

An interesting post, but what's so compelling about your product that it's worth the extra time?

MGM said...

A background check that includes a full criminal history is a must. Also useful for many positions is a credit check. A credit check will tell you something about an employee's credit risk (potentially related to risk of theft by the prospective employee).

What the Tescor survey can tell you about your prospective employee that a credit check cannot is what is their behavior like as it relates to theft. A credit check can give you a credit report and a credit score but they are not perfect in assessing risk. Past behavior is a much better predictor when it comes to theft.