Impact of new hires ‘measured too early,’ finds global research

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Recruitment and talent metrics more prevalent in UK than France and Germany.

More than three quarters of HR professionals worldwide measure the impact of new hires after 12 months to gauge the success of their recruitment process, a study has found.

However, the ‘Understanding the race for impact: Global talent impact study’ from Futurestep suggests this prompts a short-term approach that could jeopardise an employer’s longer term strategic goals.
The study of 1,589 recruitment and talent professionals in the US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, China, Hong Kong and Australia showed that 46 per cent said performance of new hires is the most important measure of a successful recruitment process. This was followed by retention, with only 15 per cent.

“There is a risk that talent and recruitment managers are neglecting the measurement of impact over the longer term and the insights that can be gained from this,” said the report. “A year can be a long time in business but if feedback on the recruitment process is based on the first year alone, then opportunities may be overlooked to recruit and develop talent that can add value over time, be promoted and potentially take on leadership roles.”

Despite the finding regarding measurement, more than a third of HR practitioners agreed that a ‘new’ recruit has the most impact when they have been at an organisation for more than a year.
“Worryingly, 35 per cent of respondents admit that their organisations measure the impact of a new hire before they expect recruits to have made their greatest impact on the business,” the report continued. “While this focus helps ensure the recruitment process successfully fills the role with a competent candidate, it lacks a strategic approach.”

The report suggests that high performance can build over a three year timescale as an employee builds skills and relationships. But the focus on short-term results may inhibit the growth of creativity and strategic agility, qualities prized by HR professionals, the report said.

In addition to concerns about premature impact measuring, the survey suggests there is “a tension between the measurement of impact and its perceived value”.

Byrne Mulrooney, chief executive of Futurestep, said: “Despite many organisations confirming that some measurement takes place, we found that both the board and a number of talent professionals appear to question the value of this practice.”

Results also showed that UK recruitment and talent managers used slightly more likely to use metrics to assess outcomes from the hiring process than their counterparts in Germany and France, but less likely than other global comparators.

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