Question:  I had my admin run reports to verify our metrics over the last couple of years. Key metrics she had measured so far include submissions to first time interviews (send-outs). We are getting one send out for every one first time interview for every 1.3 submissions. Our send out placement ratio is 4.8:1. That is the good news. The bad news is that I also had her track our last six months send out to placement ratio. In the last six months, we are at 11.1 send outs to placements, so more than a double. The send out to submission ratio is virtually the same, however. Perhaps this partly due to a couple of new recruiters joining my staff?  I do not think this can account for the whole problem. So, my question is, given this metrics, what are some factors that I might not have thought about that may be leading to this kind of change where we have to do twice the work for same amount of money? Matt

Coach Mike: Two different questions let me tackle the first one. One, it could be some of the new people. The fact that you had only 1.3 submissions to send out has remained constant means if it is you, and you are doing a fantastic job selling the candidates to the employer to talk to. So, here is a list of possibilities/remedies to your problem. One of these will probably resonate. It could also probably a combination of the things below.

First, look at the quality of the assignments of the last 6 months. Every once in a while, over a period of time, I have had a couple clients who worked on a big project and they submitted twenty something people that got interviewed and the whole project was frozen. That spikes interview to placement ratio. I do not think that is the case with you, but this is what I am looking for when looking for potential diagnoses with clients.

The next possibility is that you are not submitting the strongest possible candidates. You are doing a great job selling candidates, but they are coming from some other recruiters in the office. If you recruited on your own, you would not have sent those candidates on some interviews. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but that could be spiking it.

Another possibility is you have brought on some recruiting search associates–people to do recruiting for you—and you have taken some weaker assignments where you do not have much control and you have more competition than you normally would have on your openings and that could be spiking the ratio.

Number four, again, probably a combination of all these possibilities. Number four is, you are due for a placement because you have put in the effort.  Meaningful metrics need 9 to 12 months to determine a solid first time interview to placement ratio. Now, a lot of times, if you say, “Mike, none of that has really changed.” A 4.8 ratio might have been a little bit low, but I would say you are going to have fantastic quarter as long as you keep arranging NEW interviews. My experience is that if your historic number is 4.8 to 1 you will revert to the mean in the coming months.  I ALWAYS see that happen to those that track the right metrics.

If you are a sports fan, you know every once in a while you have baseball stars that are lifetime .300 hitters. They have a batting average anywhere between 290 and 310. You can watch them all season long. They are 290 and they are 310 every season. Then you are watching the team on TV and the announcers are like “Joe Blow is at a real slump. He has been hitting .125 over his last two weeks and in his last ten games, blah blah blah.” You know what?  We quickly forget that because a lot of times that same guy, six weeks later is American League or National League player of the week. Because we hear about those guys, “Oh, Joe Blow hit .600 for the week with three home runs and 15 RBIs.” They tend to average out. The same thing occurs with send outs.

So, my diagnosis with that is it is any one of those four things or a combination thereof.