The Case for Quality Over Quantity in Recruiting

What do new hires and sweaters have in common?

If you want a commodity that will stand the test of time, you need to look for quality — not quantity. And that’s exactly what jobs and employees have turned into in this day and age: items to be acquired. You could have 20 ill-fitting sweaters in your wardrobe or you could have two high quality cashmere sweaters, just like you could have 20 applicants that are hit and miss or you could have two applicants who are your ideal hires. Hiring low quality candidates leads to poor business performance, negatively impacts your bottom line, and sours your taste on the applicant source you used to find them. 

In 2023, employers now have the chance to focus on the quality of hire rather than scrambling to find enough applicants to fill their open roles to keep the business afloat. 

Good news: you can track and measure the quality of hire your recruiting team consistently makes over time. As we know, what you can measure you can change — and you can absolutely impact the average quality of hire at your company.

When you focus on quality of hire, you can

Improve retention rates

When you increase the overall quality of hire of your newest staff members, you increase the likelihood of them staying with the company for a longer period of time.

Recruit more effectively

By tracking which candidate source reliably delivers the best results, you can refine your recruiting tactics to focus on only quality talent pools to recruit more effectively.

Hire faster

When you know where to go for the best candidates and implement some of the tactics below, your team can reduce time-to-hire so your organization can be fully staffed faster.

Positively impact bottom line

Overall, focusing on quality of hire can help you save money by reducing costs to post open roles and train new employees.

What is quality of hire?

So what exactly is quality of hire? The term refers to an HR metric that determines the value that a new hire brings to an organization and how much they impact the overall bottom line with their work. You can’t exactly measure quality of hire directly, so you need to find indirect ways to track this metric.

Metrics that can indicate quality of hire

Since you can’t directly measure the quality of hire, there are other indicators you can use to determine this HR metric. You could look at:

  • Hiring manager satisfaction
  • Retention rates
  • New hire performance metrics
  • Percentage of new hires promoted in a period of time

How to determine quality of hire before the first day

Based on the indicators listed above, it might seem that quality of hire can only be determined after a candidate has accepted an offer — but that’s not the case. In fact, there are many ways that your hiring team can use to measure the quality of a potential hire before they’re officially on your team.

Screening surveys

Screening surveys are a useful tool that you can use to disqualify applicants who don’t match what you’re looking for in your next hire. By using “knock out” questions, you can automatically eliminate applicants who respond with the wrong answer. These questions can be as simple as, “Are you licensed to work as a nurse in ‘X’ state?” or “Do you have reliable transportation?” By getting critical information like this out of the way this early in the hiring process, your hiring team can focus their time and efforts on candidates who are a better fit for your company.

Background checks

After the initial screening, it would do your hiring team well to consider adding background checks to the hiring process. Some businesses have forgone background checks for the sake of moving as quickly as possible in the hiring process, but by looking into the past of a candidate your team can use this information to directly impact the average quality of hire made. 

Reference checks

Another aspect of the hiring process that has been overlooked in recent years is reference checks. Once used dutifully to gauge the overall feel of candidates, reference checks fell to the wayside when businesses were scrambling to make as many hires as possible to keep their organizations open. Automated reference checks take the pain out of this process so your team can simply request information from candidates and receive feedback when it’s convenient for the reference.

Standardized hiring processes

Finally, having an applicant tracking system that enables your hiring teams to follow a standardized hiring process no matter which branch they’re hiring at can make all the difference for quality of hires. When evaluating candidates, there are many aspects that could be rated subjectively — leading to inconsistent quality of hire across different rooftops. To counter this, having a clearly defined, step-by-step hiring process is the remedy.

Are you ready to start tracking quality of hire?

Now that you know what quality of hire is and how to quantify it, do you know if your current ATS enables you to track this pivotal HR metric? If not, let’s connect to show you how Hireology’s intuitive all-in-one platform can help you hire better talent faster. 

Want to know what the modern worker really wants? Download our 2023 State of Hiring Report for a comprehensive look inside the minds of job seekers. 



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