What is Quality of Hire & What is Recruiting Speed?

Recruiting speed and hiring for quality are two of the biggest challenges facing firms that employ frontline customer contact employees.  By quality of hire, we mean the organizational standard that defines satisfactory job performance.  By recruiting speed, we mean how fast the hiring process can move a candidate from point of contact through the pre-hire and on-boarding processes to an accepted job offer.


Though the economic downturn has seen increased unemployment and created more job candidates seeking work, these challenges still remain.  Despite the downturn, companies continue to hire frontline service, sales, and support employees.  Even with significant unemployment, the challenge stills exists to find individuals who can be successful working in frontline service, sales and support jobs. 

Many companies hiring customer contact employees get stuck in a dangerous place ” the intersection of a slow recruiting process and low quality of hire.  These companies do not have a measurable understanding of their internal quality of hire and the recruiting process is cumbersome.  They enter a high risk area ” only able to hire candidates that represent a lower quality of hire.  The goal is to avoid the high risk area of slow recruiting speed and low quality of hire.

Why Does Quality of Hire and Recruiting Speed Matter?

 When recruiting speed and quality of hire are high, you have the ability to control your hiring destinyFurstPerson experience shows that the best qualified candidates find jobs faster.  As the chart to the right shows, the best qualified candidates tend to find jobs within 5 days.  As the recruiting speed slows, the labor pool of higher-quality candidates sourced for this position will shrink, wasting time and money, while the best candidates find other positions.

In their research, ‘The Effect of Job Offer Timing on Offer Acceptance, Performance, and Turnover”,  William Becker, Terry Connolly, and Jerel Slaughter discuss how job offer timing can impact job acceptance.    The article found that job offer timing can impact overall job acceptance.  While the study did not review hourly workers, their research concluded that job seekers are more likely to accept employment offers made earlier in the company’s hiring process than later.  In other words, extending Waiting greater than 10 days increases the changes of hiring from a lower quality labor poolthe offer as soon as possible is better than waiting.

Companies hiring frontline customer contact employees but lacking competitive hiring processes risk losing job candidates to those organizations that can define and identify high-quality candidates quickly and have a faster recruiting speed, allowing them to present the offer early in the process.  Looking at it another way, as the chart above demonstrates, if your recruiting organization can identify how the job candidate meets your quality of hire requirements and do it quickly, you have the first choice of candidates.  If not, you may be faced with candidates that don’t meet your performance standards resulting in selecting candidates that are not the best job fit for your position.

6 Ways to Achieve the Quality of Hire You Want with the Recruiting Speed You Need

Leading customer contact organizations achieve fast recruiting speed and quality of hire evaluations by pushing proven (i.e. predictive) hiring processes into automated, objective systems that are calibrated against key performance outcomes and linked into an integrated employee life-cycle.  These organizations do this by leveraging the following:

  1. They use a quantifiable job analysis process to systematically identify the key knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors (competencies) associated with the job in order to perform satisfactorily.  This enables the hiring team to target who they want to hire.
  2. Based on the job analysis, they use pre-employment assessment tools before an interview to qualify the job candidate.
  3. The assessment tools, which include work samples, problem solving assessments, and personality tests, are calibrated against specific job performance results so that an objective and predictive pass/fail decision can be applied automatically against each candidate. 
  4. They understand that in hiring for a customer contact job, assessment tools tend to be more predictive at measuring job performance than the results of a traditional interview.  They are certainly much better than traditional screening questions like education, work history, and other standard knock-out questions.
  5. Since recruiting is (and should be) a contact sport, the interview is structured and based on the job analysis. The goal of the interview is to reduce variance and structure it so that it is predictive of some job performance.  Because candidates have been filtered, recruiters can focus on the better qualified candidates, saving them significant administrative time.
  6. The entire process is web-enabled and linked to key performance systems, which means the process gets smarter as time goes on.

Hiring hourly workers in customer contact positions will always be challenging.  Customer contact organizations that understand their recruiting processes and candidate qualification processes can make the right changes to improve overall hiring speed and quality of hire accuracy.  This can create a significant competitive advantage in the local labor market as well, by getting the right talent into your organization faster.

Discover how to build a winning strategy that gives you the speed you need and the quality of hire you want by downloading your free copy of the whitepaper below, or contact one of our talent selection specialists today.