Training Tips for When You Need to Improve Your Quality of Hire

by Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany

Quality of hire shows you the future of your company and gives you a look at how successful your hiring team finds and recruits talent. You need to keep your fingers on the pulse of your company. When you realize you’re struggling to find top talent, you probably should have started making changes yesterday.


Making bad hires can be costly. A few years ago, Zappos CEO restructured the company’s recruiting process saying that over the course of his company’s existence, bad hires had cost the organization “well over $100 million.” It’s important to make your adjustments now to stop wasting time and money.

Let’s take a look at how to train your hiring team on improving the recruiting process and making the right hires:

Create Candidate Profiles

Show your talent acquisition team how to define what the ideal candidate looks like before they start posting positions. They need to identify what the essentials are—years of experience, skills, competencies, education, and personality types.

Encourage them to collaborate to ensure there is a clear understanding of the perfect match. They should hold meetings with department heads as well so they have some input in who they want. This way, everyone agrees on a standard to base their hiring decisions off of.

The candidate profile is what makes or breaks each applicant’s chances of advancing. Hiring managers can compare applicants to the profile to quickly eliminate those who fall short and move forward with the better matches.

Use Metrics

Measurements should take place before and after the hire, but the problem still lingers—most companies aren’t confident in how they measure quality of hire. LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends report found that only 33% of talent leaders surveyed feel that their methodologies are strong.

Take a look at what metrics your hiring team is measuring. The prehire metrics should look at things like source of hire. Learn how effective your hiring manager is sourcing by looking at candidates per hire. They should only be interviewing a few people before making a decision. However, if they’re spending more time and resources on calling in dozens of candidates, they may need to be trained on how to properly screen.

Consider other important metrics like passive candidate conversion rates, referrals per call, e-mail conversion, and job posting effectiveness. You can learn what channels need more attention, like seeking out passive candidates and boosting employee referrals, and how job postings can be improved to earn a high apply rate.

After the hire is made, hiring managers should be looking at metrics like performance, productivity, engagement, and cultural fit. This helps them track how well new hires are performing and how they stack up against expectations. Surveying employees helps HR best understand how new hires perceive the onboarding process and where they can make improvements.

Find Your Best Sources

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but don’t waste any in the baskets that fail you. Use metrics to find your best channel. What attracts the most applicants? What source brings you the best fits?

Your best source might be right under your nose. Enlist the help of your staff to make referrals. Hiring managers should be involved in creating a robust employee referral program.

Also, consider offering advancement opportunities and professional development to your best players. Make sure your hiring team knows how to evaluate and assess internal applicants.

The 2015 Talent Mobility Research Report by Lee Hecht Harrison found that only 42% of companies understand their employees’ unique skills and experience. HR should be conducting surveys and performing assessments to find out how each person works and what they’re best at.

Once they know each employee’s strengths, they can align projects that they can succeed at, but also push them to improve on their weaknesses, giving them a chance for growth and advancement when a promotion opportunity opens. Your hiring team can start building their talent pipeline.

Know What to Ask

Help your hiring team find out exactly what they need to know from the interview. They need to ask questions that are specific to the role and the duties involved. Situational questions encourage the applicant to share how they apply their skills and experience in a real world context.

Teach your team to inquire about how candidates deal with failures, what they’re proud of, and how they fit with the company. Hiring managers need to ensure the candidate not only fits the role, but the company culture as well. Make sure your interviewers learn how to actively listen and gauge how the interviewee stands up to the candidate profile.

It all starts with measuring. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Provide your hiring team with the tools and resources they need to track key information and to best evaluate and develop new hires.

How is your hiring team improving their quality of hire?

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent management solution that helps companies identify, hire, and retain more A-Players. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.