Whether genuinely true or not, improving the quality of hires is what most HR/Recruitment professionals tell us is their main focus.

No easy feat.

There are so many aspects of the recruiting process that play a part in the quality of the new hires joining a business; from the ability of recruitment to find and engage the best talent in the market, to the assessment processes used during selection, to the skill of the hiring manager when making the decision to offer, to the on boarding, induction and ongoing management and engagement of the employee.

Then you have to factor in how you are even measuring quality of hire.

Is it the percentage of joiners that pass probation, or stay for 12 months / 24 months /36 months? That may make sense, but what if your performance management processes are weak and managers capability low?

No matter what you focus on and how you measure quality of hire, the one thing we are certain of is that the aspects relating to the recruitment process can be made far better by improving one thing;


With sufficient time to search, attract and engage, even modest recruiters will excel in offering up a vastly improved selection of candidates for assessment. Plus with far more time to play with, the selection process can be better defined and hiring managers can make smarter hiring decisions without the increasing burden of an empty chair in their team to fill.

Forecasting gives you that time. It gives your recruiters the best chance of finding the best candidates. It gives hiring managers the opportunity to make an informed decision. It gives the candidate a far better introduction to their future employer.

Time to hire is quite an old fashioned measure of the success of a recruiting function nowadays. However the notion of how long it takes to hire a person is still a very important focus for any organisation. Rather than time to hire, we believe in a far more powerful measure – “empty chair time.”

This being the average length of time, or possibly the total number of business days that a position has been vacant. The reason we feel this is a more telling measure, is because it is far more aligned to business productivity. Quite simply the fewer empty chair days an organisation has per year, the less disruption to its operation, and as a result the greater its output and earning potential.

So then, time is a critical factor. However time cannot override quality; after all there is no point filling roles with poor candidates as this will have an adverse effect on productivity. So what is really needed, is great talent quickly – and that is a huge challenge.

With the best will in the world, the slickest of recruiting processes will generally take at least 8 weeks from a new role being approved. Two weeks sourcing and reviewing candidates, one week to arrange and complete all selection stages, one week to negotiate and manage the offer process, and four weeks notice for the candidate.

8 weeks.

And what is the average notice period of an employee? 4 weeks generally. So as you can see we are already losing the battle against time, and this is with a perfect recruiting process of 8 weeks.

However not all reasons for recruiting are the same. Sure, sometimes there is little anyone can do about the surprise resignation, but what about the maternity leavers, the retiree’s, the growth or project roles? All those instances when actually, they are known about with much more than 4 weeks notice?

This is exactly where Foresight comes in. By using Foresight you will retrieve information on all known recruitment in every corner of the business, nicely itemised by department, grade and timing.

As a recruiting function you will then – far more often than not – have a significant “heads up” about the recruiting that needs to happen. Meaning that the 8 week process can begin much earlier, you could even take twice as long if you needed to, and still hire a candidate before the dreaded “empty chair” days start counting…

There is no denying it, recruiting is an expensive business; when you factor in the cost of adverts, agencies, recruitment team salaries, ATS license fees, search tools, assessment tools, candidate expenses, and even the time of those involved in the hiring process that could be focusing on their “day job.”

It all mounts up.

It’s understandable then that a business should keep an eye on these costs and work hard to maximise the return on its investment.

Whilst everything listed above is a key component of a talent acquisition strategy, plenty can be done to ensure that the level of spend in each category is suitable for the volume of recruitment required.

Clearly an improvement in direct sourcing of candidates will reduce expensive agency usage, utilising candidate source data can help refine spend on attraction routes and having well trained recruiters will mean more heads can be recruited with fewer people.

Alas though, whilst useful, these tactics to reduce spend are still quite arbitrary. In order to really tackle cost of hiring, your entire process should be as lean, and well planned as possible. The size of your recruiting function, the routes taken to market, the amount you spend on LinkedIn, the types of technology invested in – should all be based on tangible data about what you will be recruiting; otherwise your entire talent acquisition strategy is nothing more than a hopeful finger in the air.

This is where foresight comes in.

Using Foresight will mean that you can quickly and easily gather the information that tells you what you need to know; namely where you will be recruiting within your organisation, and when! Use this to plan your approach over the future 12-18 months and you WILL save money purely through the reduction in waste within your processes.

– have the right number of recruiters

– give them the time to direct source and reduce agency usage even more

– Invest in the right advertising channels and benefit from economy of buying

– Reduce spend on expensive interims by hiring critical roles quicker

Invest in time through robust forecasting and make huge financial improvements.

There is a lot written about candidate experience and what seems like the eternal quest to improve it, but is it really that difficult?

Candidates want what everyone wants in a buying process;

– Information

– Honesty

– Speed

Provide those three key ingredients, with a smattering of customer service, and you can’t go far wrong.

Why then is it so difficult for so many companies to achieve this and treat their candidates well? One word – volume.

The truth is that most recruitment teams are battling against an avalanche of vacancies, with every new day bringing with it a new “critical” role that the hiring manager insists is more vital than the rest. It’s not uncommon for in house recruiters to be managing 50,60, even 70 plus roles at any one time. With an average of just 10 candidates per role that makes 700 candidates to try and keep informed (in a timely fashion of course).

No wonder it is so difficult.

Add to this the fact that this poor recruiter is normally fire fighting and re prioritising on a daily basis, it makes it nigh on impossible to provide a great candidate experience every time.

Really the problem isn’t the recruiter, it’s the fire fighting. Bouncing from one priority role to another with no view of what is coming next is no way to manage recruitment.

However, if future recruitment was known about, the same recruiter could plan accordingly. They could attract fewer, more relevant candidates. They could build and manage appropriate talent pipelines for upcoming vacancies. They could get on the front foot and work proactively WITH candidates, rather than REACTIVELY against a process. They could ensure a great experience for all candidates.

Foresight provides exactly the information needed to do all of this, and what’s more, it can be available within a matter of weeks.

An increasingly important topic within many organisations, and rightly so. The talent marketplace is more expansive than ever and as a result companies simply must challenge their pre conceptions about what talent looks like.

The recruiting process is a very “human” affair and as such it is too easy for bias and subjectivity to creep into hiring decisions. Such hiring “narrow mindedness” may be the difference between gaining, or maintaining competitive advantage within your marketplace.

Improving diversity of hiring is not an overnight process though and can involve having to rewire some pretty stubborn human behaviours within your current management population. It will also require a collaborative effort between many departments, and the ongoing focus of colleagues at all levels.

Within the recruiting process however, there are some fairly obvious steps that can be taken quickly;

– Advertise / source candidates from a variety of places that match the diverse candidate pool you are interested in

– Audit your application and selection processes to understand where there are limitations and difficulties for different populations

– Train your recruiters and Hiring Managers so they properly understand the limiting effects of unconscious bias and how to overcome them

– Create an environment that challenges the “norm” and allows everybody to openly find ways to improve

Some of these are easier than others, but it is very clear where Foresight can help.

By knowing sooner what recruitment needs to take place, and when over a 12-18 month period, far more care and attention can be afforded to the planning of attraction strategies.

With a robust recruitment forecast to work from, a talent acquisition function can more reliably invest in channels to attract populations and demographics of candidates that match what they need.

The downfall of many a diversity strategy, can be the difficulty in showing the return on any investment made. This is never more apparent than when scrutinising often stretched recruitment advertising budgets.

With Foresight you can buy the data and time needed to make far more informed choices about how to maximise the reach and potential of your attraction budget.

If you got here you must be intrigued..

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