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Establishing Meaningful Metrics



Picking the right metrics to track is a skill with huge payoff. The right selection will prove the value of the initiative, align it to the organization’s needs, and enable Return on Investment (ROI) calculations. However, even the best selected metrics are only as valuable as the ability to measure and track them.


There are three keys to measuring and tracking metrics:


1. Define what will be measured and by what standard of measurement


For each metric, identify exactly what is going to be measured as specifically as possible. This includes both the scope of the metric (what is included and what is not) and the time/place of measurement. Then identify the standard of that measurement or how it will be measured such as if it will be in dollars, hours, category A or B or C, etc.


Example: your metric is diversity of candidates applying.

  • What will be measured: diversity upon application submission (vs. clicking the apply button or making it through an initial stage of the process)

  • Standard of measurement: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported classes: race/ethnicity, age, gender, Veteran status, and ability/disability.


Example: your metric is employee acquisition cost (or cost to hire).

  • What will be measured: The total cost from job post to hire including money and resource spend. Does not include general advertising, employer branding, or post-hire onboarding activities. It also does not include cost of attrition or other costs associated with employees.

  • Standard of measurement: US dollars.


2. Break down the metric into individual measurable elements


Some metrics are straight forward, with one element to collect and track. Others are complex with multiple elements collected over multiple systems and requiring different reports. Breaking down the metric into its individual components will make it a lot easier to measure accurately, and consistently.


Example: your metric is diversity of candidates applying.

  • Element 1: diversity of candidates upon apply


Example: your metric is employee acquisition cost (or cost to hire).

  • Element 1: Resource spend for developing and approving the job description

  • Element 2: Money spend for advertising jobs through job boards

  • Element 3: Money spend for third-party recruiter

  • Element 4: Resource spend for resume reviews & first phone screen

  • Element 5: Resource spend for interviewing and selecting candidates

  • Element 6: Resource spend for generating offer

  • Element 7: Money spend for applicant tracking, testing, and interviewing software


3. Establish repeatable (automated if possible) measurements for each element


Each element of the metric must be measured in a repeatable, and ideally in an automated way. While it’s ideal that they are all measured in one place, that doesn’t mean it is the easiest or cheapest approach. Sometimes the simplest solution is the one where you add a few numbers together every once and a while.


For each element of the metric, identify how it will be measured and by what process/system. If it doesn’t exist, what is the most reasonable approach to establish the measurement.


Note: sometimes the cost of measuring a metric is just too high. In those cases, come up with a proxy or choose a different metric.


Example: your metric is diversity of candidates applying.

  • Element 1: diversity of candidates upon apply System measurement: EEOC demographic data by specified groups will be collected within the application process of the ATS. The data is kept separate from the application so the information cannot be used (or perceived to be used) as part of the selection process.


Example: your metric is employee acquisition cost (or cost to hire).

  • Element 1: Resource spend for developing and approving the job description Process measurement: Recruiters and hiring managers will log hours spent in drafting and reviewing job descriptions. To calculate US dollar cost, the metric will use an average FTE/hour value of $x/hour for recruiters and $y/hour for hiring managers.

  • Element 2: Money spend for advertising jobs through job boards Calculated: Use existing ‘average time to hire’ tracked by ATS and multiply it by the negotiated spend per week for the job boards.

  • Element 3: … etc.


4. Measure before you change


Once you have your metrics set with a definition and standard, broken them down into measurable elements and a way to measure those elements, it’s time to take it for a test drive.


Before changing anything, measure the metrics. Not only will this show the current state so you know if your initiatives are improving the numbers, it will also verify that the metrics are measurable and are giving meaningful results.


#NoBias #diversityandinclusion


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