Now that the holiday season is finally upon us, we’re once again reminded of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. While Scrooge’s greedy ways are not directly applicable to our work as recruiters there’s still a lot that can be learned from the message of Dickens’ classic book. Specifically, we can use the concepts of the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future as an analogy for how to reflect on how we do our work and how we can better spread the joy of employment to candidates around the world.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

As we learn from Scrooge’s story, one of the most helpful ways to make meaningful changes for the better is to properly understand your past. Recruitment is no different in that you can only begin to improve your sourcing and recruiting by taking stock and assessing your activities over the past year and their outcomes. Sometimes we tell ourselves we’re too busy to review our performance – which is the worst thing we can do! Scrooge was only able to start considering the need to change his ways when he was forced to look back.

Here are just a few recruitment KPIs for you to reflect on this holiday season:

Weighted Time to Hire

Time to hire is a classic metric, but it can be misleading. When done at only a basic level it can ignore issues of quality, nature of the role, etc. For instance, if you only care about how long it takes to fill a job you may decide to reject great candidates who have a longer notice period with their current employers. Weighted time to hire, on the other hand, forces you to consider factors like candidate quality, market competitiveness, etc. The weights you use are dependent on your organization, but don’t be afraid to take the time to consider what other factors you need to align with your time to hire metrics.

Client and Hiring Manager Feedback

While you should already be seeking regular feedback from your clients or hiring manager – and taking it seriously – it’s sometimes difficult to see the bigger picture when you’re in the thick of it. At this time of year, take the opportunity to look for patterns or recurring issues in your feedback over the past year. This way, you can not only identify and address specific concerns, but also more systemic and regular pain points that you can remedy. Ideally, you’d be creating automatic feedback requests with each client/hiring manager 2-6 months after a placement. However, if you haven’t done that be sure to take the time to survey them before the end of the year.

Candidate Feedback

The candidate experience is key to both your employer brand as well as how the candidate performs the job. Just as you should be aggregating feedback from internal and external customers you should be gathering feedback from candidates. The more data you have the easier it is for you to reflect and improve.

The Ghost of Christmas Present

Once you’re done reflecting on the past it will be time to cast your attention on where you stand right now. To avoid any Scroogish, bad recruiting for next year you need to have a clear understanding of what things are like at the end of this one.

Talent pool

For recruiters, maintaining a candidate pipeline is a fantastic way of staying ahead of the curve, but it cannot be achieved without a well-curated talent pool. With that in mind, examine your current talent pool to identify any areas of weakness, such as a lack of candidates with certain experience or skill sets. In this case, if a vacancy that demands these skills or experience were to come up, you would be unable to fill it quickly. Once you’re aware of the gaps in your talent pool, however, you can make a point of addressing them so that you’re well prepared for any future vacancies.

Shameless plug: Hello Talent makes building and managing talent pools easy as Christmas pie. Best of all, we’re not Scrooges about it – you can use the basic version free and upgrade when you need to. Sign up today!

Competitor analysis

Due to the competitive nature of recruitment, it pays dividends to be aware of what your direct competitors are doing, as well as evaluating your own endeavors. In particular, look out for how they operate differently to you and how this impacts their performance. Using tools such as Google Alerts will help you stay abreast of your competitors’ activities, while job sites such as Indeed feature tools for hiring and salary trends. Using such resources will help you benchmark against the competition and develop your recruitment strategies going forward.

Furthermore, take a look at the candidate experience they are offering. What ideas of theirs can you use? On top of that, examine what jobs they are focusing most on at the moment. This kind of knowledge will help you to make smarter comparisons and engage in better planning.

The Ghost of Christmas Future

Finally, you’ll need to take the time to look ahead to how things will be next year. Just as a vision of the future was key in transforming the way Ebenezer Scrooge saw the world, it will help you to see where things will be going if you hold to your current way and how things will look if you change them.

Status Quo Forecasting

This is an interesting approach you can take: Predict where things will go if you change nothing about your processes. Take your current budget, time to fill, source performance, etc. and apply it to expected growth and turnover. This will be great in arguing for more budget as well as in identifying where things can be improved.

Differentiate Between Turnover Forecasting and Growth Forecasting

When trying to predict which vacancies will emerge don’t forget to create at least two different kinds of vacancies: turnover and growth. Turnover is based on the number of employees that leave a given role/team/department. Knowing this helps to identify potential trouble spots as well as give you some predictions on where and when vacancies will arise for existing roles. Growth, on the other hand, is based on jobs the company doesn’t have today but will have later. This requires you to be a partner with management and help them understand the talent side of expanding teams, rolling out new products, etc.

Tool Assessments

The market for recruiting software is growing rapidly. Take the time to read about upcoming recruitment trends, new tools, and how they can impact your business in the future. Being an early adopter of such tools doesn’t carry as many risks as you might think, and it helps give you an edge over competitors who aren’t using the right software to enhance their business. We’re admittedly biased about this part, but it doesn’t just apply to Hello Talent. There are lots of different tools out there, and the recruiters that learn about and use them are the ones who consistently outperform their peers.

Don’t Be a Scrooge!

Being a recruitment Scrooge isn’t about holding onto all the money (we’re not usually the ones with the money after all), its about not thinking about where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. Take the time to go over this and you’ll prepare yourself for a strong future with happy candidates and happy hiring managers.