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Quality of Hire - How to Make Better Talent Decisions

A conversation with Yves Lermusi, CEO and Founder of Checkster

Yves LermusiYves Lermusi

"About 50% of the hires that are made are not great."

How do you define quality when it comes to recruiting and hiring? That was the topic of discussion at the Recruting Trends Conference in Las Vegas, featuring panelists Jason Buss, VP, Global Talent Management at Akraya; Kay Creighton, Cox Communications Director of HR; and Jason Pistulka, Director Technology Recruiting and Corporate College Relations at Asurion; moderated by our guest, Yves Lermusi CEO and founder of Checkster.

How to uncover quality in the hiring process is the focus of this podcast.

Welcome to Talent Decisions, a monthly podcast featuring leading practitioners within talent acquisition. The focus of this program is that final four - the final four candidates you are considering to fill a critical position within your organization. If you are a hiring manager struggling to ensure you make the right call or a talent acquisition department leader who wants to be more strategic, this program is for you.

Yves Lermusi TotalPicture Radio Interview Transcript

Welcome to Talent Decisions, a monthly podcast featuring leading practitioners within talent acquisition. The focus of this program is that final four - the final four candidates you are considering to fill a critical position within your organization. If you are a hiring manager struggling to ensure you make the right call or a talent acquisition department leader who wants to be more strategic, this program is for you.

Talent Decisions is brought to you by Checkster, the leading talent decision platform leveraging collective intelligence to upgrade talent processes including interviewing, reference checking and 360 quality feedback. Checkster believes everyone deserves a productive and fulfilling career and that starts with the right talent decision. To learn more about Checkster, visit Checkster on the web at checkster.com.

Hi. This is Peter Clayton reporting from Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are at the Recruiting Trends Conference delighted to have back on the show Yves Lermusi; it's been a long time since you've actually been on TotalPicture Radio. Yves is the founder and CEO of Checkster and this is a Talent Decisions Channel interview. Yves actually moderated a session called Quality of Hire: How to Make Better Talent Decisions.

Yves, welcome back to TotalPicture Radio.

Yves: Thank you Peter, a pleasure to be here.

Peter: How do you define quality when it comes to recruiting and hiring?

Yves: Great and loaded question to start with.

Peter: Yes it is. Right off of one of your slides, by the way!

Yves: Quality is definitely one of the most strategic metric that recruiting departments and talent acquisition departments are trying to achieve. The problem has been in the last couple of years, it remains kind of an obscure metric. Everyone speaks about it but nobody really measures it.

So when you ask people, and that's what we asked during the panel, how do you define quality, most organizations are looking at retention, performance review ranking after 12 months. Those are what I would say probably most of the organizations are looking at.

However what we see is that organizations that are performing the best need to have feedback sooner. So obviously retention is after a long period of time. The performance review is after a year. One of the quote I often mention is in the great research from Good to Great from Jim Collins about 10 years ago, what he saw is that great companies are different from good companies not by the number of mis-hire they're doing, but by the way to quickly respond to the bad hire that they made.

So having a measure of quality that can be faster than something that you will have literally a year after is the key things to make sure that organizations can be great.

So in order to achieve that and to continue to answer your question about what is quality is that you have to have metrics that can be monitored sooner after the hire.

What we typically recommend to our customers at Checkster in general we just say you know what, perform a kind of 360 post hire that can be 30, 60, 90, 180 days but depending on the type of positions, where you can have feedback not only from the hiring managers because they're often biased, but from people that are either one level up or directly working with those individuals. That will give you a way to assess their quality. It could help them not only to onboard better because it's not a performance-link review, but it's a way to measure quality.

So that's one way and obviously we have more detailed metrics on what to keep to have one single number, etc., but that's in a nutshell, the way to measure quality more than just by the traditional retention and performance metrics.

Peter: You had three very interesting people on your panel today. One is Kay Creighton who is the Director of Human Resources with Cox Communications which obviously is a very large and well-known company and well-known brand. You also had Jason Pistulka who has been on TotalPicture Radio in the Talent Decisions Channel and a very interesting guy, works for a company called Asurion which is one of those big companies that you've never heard of because a lot of what they're doing is in the background for other organizations. You also had Jason Buss who is in a new role who is the VP of Talent Management for Akraya Staffing Firm.

Here are three quite different approaches to recruiting. All of these - obviously they're trying to make quality hires. So what differentiates what they're doing at Cox Communications from say what they're doing at Asurion as far as recruiting?

Yves: I would even push the question further because it's a great distinction to make. I would say even within these own organizations there are differences about what quality is. We have four pillars of quality that we've been looking at and typically most individual when they think about quality they will think about knowledge, skills, abilities. They just say that is what a quality individual. That's what typically the assessments are after. That's what most of the résumé reviews are after, as well as experience which is another dimension.

However, for instance, for Cox Communications call center the quality may be something else like retention, meaning fit within the organization because obviously it takes some effort to train those people and even if they churn every year or more than that it starts to be very expensive. So it will depend from one type of position to another. One additional elements you see where you have the experience, the knowledge, abilities and skills, you do have also the motivation. That could be very important because you can have people that are very skilled, that have the right experience, that will fit into the culture but if they don't want to perform or they don't have the fire in the belly like you're trying to seek you won't have the four quality.

So to answer your questions more directly, if you have that framework with those four dimensions it helps you to make the differences of what is important from one organization versus the other. I would say even more specifically, what type of positions within each organization. So that's often a framework that we help organizations to build in order to define and essentially to screen according to that framework to increase the quality.

Peter: I'd like to step back just a little bit and have you describe to our audience what's really changed in recruiting over the last 15 years.

Yves: Great question, and I actually started the panel with that in saying 'look, what we've seen - when I started in this industry the big trend was online job boards.' It was the fact that the industry overall was moving online, and it was at that time where I actually started a company. It was more of a consulting and research organization that was called iLogos and we were monitoring Fortune 500's corporate websites who had career website on their Fortune 500.

In 1997-98, which was the first time we monitored that, it was like less than 30%. In like three years it has just shifted to most of the Fortune 500 had a career website. The big shift at that time was essentially that the implications instead of becoming on paper, traditionally on paper, became online. So consequently the volume just exploded. And that's at the time where I actually joined Taleo. I was part of the first executive team there, which was a great solutions for those type of problems, essentially applying supply chain principles to streamline this huge volume and this new process through a software as a service solution.

Peter: Taleo was one of the very first of the applicant tracking systems that was integrated out there.

Yves: That's correct and now they're part of Oracle, etc. But that was essentially the first big response to the fact that application was done online versus to be done with traditional snail mail.

The big things that happened more recently is I would say the social network impact is that instead of having to be a farmer where you post your requirements, you can start to be more of a hunter and start to find people.

You see hundreds of millions of people online in profiles over a billion with Facebook right now. So the ability to find everyone and anyone is there. So consequently what we see and strategically for organization, is that the ability to find people will become and will be more and more commoditized.

So if you are a strategic leader right now in talent management or talent acquisitions, the big differentiations that you will be able to reach is not on the sourcing site. It is still very important and we don't diminish that. But now that you can reach everyone and anyone what you need to be able to do is to convince those people that you find that your organization is a viable choice. So all your value propositions, your marketing, your branding is critically important.

I have an article that we may be linking in the resource for this interview where I have a 2x2 metrics just saying you need to be good at sourcing people but more from a branding perspective to create a great pool of talent. That's number one.

However, if you are good at having a great shortlist of talent but you cannot essentially get to the one that is the best, make the best talent decisions, you will fail in the long term. And that's the second dimension of this 2x2 where you need to be great at selection as well. So organizations looking forward are less about sourcing; it will be way more about branding and about selection. Those are the two dimensions that you need to be extremely good at. Checkster as an organization we just say let's tackle the selection side and that's where we spend most of our time.

Peter: So your recent article in recruiting trends is entitled 'Why LinkedIn is Changing Everything' and does that really have to do with this whole sourcing idea that now you can go on to LinkedIn and virtually every professional has a profile on LinkedIn. So sourcing has really become a lot easier.

Yves: That's correct. I often give the example, we are based in the San Francisco Bay Area and just imagine we need a lawyer that is specialized in patents in the telecommunications industry. I will find, let's say, the 20 lawyers that are qualified for my job. The next thing and relatively easily you see -is something and it'll become easier and easier - the next thing that you have is can I convince those 20 to be interested in my company.

Let's assume that you can interest 10 of them. The next thing you will say among those 10 who do I really want? And that's the core thing.

So yes, it's changing definitely the way companies are sourcing, but more importantly, is that if you're good at sourcing that won't be good enough. You will have something that you will need to be able to interest those people and after that making sure that you are taking the person that is the most appropriate for your job.

Peter: One of the insights that came out of your session today which I found really interesting and I haven't quite heard this from this perspective before and all of your panelists said the same thing is everyone thinks they're a great interviewer, whether they're a recruiter, whether they're a hiring manager - they all think that they can pick up on nuances and stuff in a candidate and really figure out whether they're a good hire or not. I thought that was pretty fascinating and the fact of the matter is not everybody is a good interviewer.

Yves: Well exactly and the stats speak for themselves. We know that about 50% of the hires that are made are not great. So you have a strike rate that you see is not as good as you think it would be. So when you look at the results it's a little bit humbling. So the questions we really ask at Checkster is how and what can we do to improve the quality, to improve your batting average essentially. So of course all organizations - and that's what came out of the panel are interviewing - you need to be better at this.

The other thing that we see as well as an easier than you think approach is asking people with who they worked, how do they perform. Because at the end of the day it's the real work experience that is the best predictor. You see we often say past behaviors are the best predictor of future behaviors. The difficulty for someone that you try to hire is how can I access this past behavior and typically historically it has been done trying to ask people around, etc.

Now with the web, you can scale that and you see that's one of the solutions that we have been pushing at Checkster because we say you know what, there is gold there. If you can access essentially the people with who they worked before, ask them how they performed it's a low hanging fruit that you can get the feedback that you want. How do you call that is kind of the reference check 2.0. It's not the traditional one because it doesn't work anymore and people have often a hard time to just say "Well, I don't think it will work." Until they try it. And that's what is really interesting.

So in terms of advising organizations right now to improve their quality is for sure go above the impressions that you are a great interviewer and making sure that you are really diligent at it but also doing the low hanging fruit like you see checking peers with who they work and you can automate that online and that gives you in the start give you a pretty good picture of the individual.

If you have more appetite you can go with assessments. You can do a number of other things. It's the first step in order to be more diligent and more scientific about being better at increasing the quality.

Peter: It seems like a lot of people in the audience and you asked the question of the audience how many of you are still using the telephone to do reference checking and there were a few hands that went up and so there are some recruiters out there who think that there is absolutely no value in reference checking and have just abandoned doing it at all because all they're getting is the candidates friends basically and the cost and time involved in doing telephone reference checking.

Yves: That's correct, and I think maybe the name should be different. It is not the traditional reference checking that you used to do over the phone. What it is really is asking in like a Trip Advisor way what was your experience with this individual. So it's an online interaction where people can be more candid and where you get way more insights.

The key thing is for, especially for a leader that have strong and long experience where they just say 'You know what, that's one of the practice that I don't believe will reap fruit.' You can try it very easily. It's something that is there. If I was today a leader of a talent acquisition organizations today, I would say what are the quick hits that I could make in order to essentially make sure that my quality improved and that I can measure quality. There are a couple of them.

Like the interview, one of the recommendations that came from the panel was have two interviewers instead of one. Simple to implement. Yes, it takes a little bit more resources but if you have two interviewers interviewing one candidate, you will kill biases, you will be more diligent because it's difficult to take note at the same time and thinking of the next questions and listening to the individual, that's one easy to implement.

The other easy one is to implement a kind of a peer rating online that we do and actually we receive lots of very positive feedback from our customers and a couple of them are in this channel and you can listen to them.

Peter: Yeah, and it really is... since I've started doing the talent decisions interviews with your clients, I'm really fascinated with the number of responses they get from this reference checking tool and not just the number of responses, but the number of people that their candidates put into the reference checking tool for them to go out and do a reference check. Also, they're amazed at the speed that these online submissions get returned to them.

Yves: Let me give you one anecdote because that's probably speaks more for itself that was shared during the panel here is that one of the individuals shared the fact that they were hiring for a senior position. The individual entered 25 of their peers on Sunday evening. Forty-eight hours after the 25 respondents and they had a vetted candidate with 25 people who had worked with them before.

When was the last time you took the time to speak to 25 people, get their objective confidential feedback in order to vet a candidate. You never do it. Am I saying that everyone is putting 25 easy references or people with who they worked? No. But on average we get six. These customers specifically get closer to 10. You see they are more demanding. It's because a lot of customers are still shy.

People online now have many friends, many connections. They can invite way more people. It is easy and when you do that it's not only your best friends that you can train to only say good things. You start to have a pretty good view of who they are. So I would advise organizations when they look at what can we do to increase quality to just take one or two initiatives; these being one of them, and they can try it very easily and to see the results that they get.

So the limit is counterintuitive. For a leader that has been there for 20 years in the agency "You know what, I've done that for 20 years. I've decided to stop speaking to references." That's why we shouldn't even call it references. It's something else. It's maybe a social rating type of approach and it doesn't work you may say or she may say until they try and when they try and Jason shared that during the panel they just say they were a little forced to do it because of the hiring managers and now they just say it's one of there best practice in order to do this and they would never -

You shared with another person outside of the panel that if they had to decide between their applicant tracking system and Checkster, they will get rid of the applicant tracking system first, which was the first time I heard that. That's very surprising, but that's the level of insight that you would get.

Peter: Of course they're insisting that those references that the candidate put in there are former employers and direct reports and managers and peers. So it's not just their friends that they're throwing into this thing, right?

Yves: That's correct, and there is a number of level of controls that you may have, etc. So it is a simple approach to do that on the pre-hire side. What we have seen as well that works well is to use the same methodology for interview debrief. So you have a number of interviewers that typically will sit at the table and they will just say 'we interview Peter Clayton and what do you think of him?' And what we have seen often in the interview debrief either it's not done or when it's done there is someone that is overpowering and is called a social influence. We have a white paper about that and there are academic research showing that those decisions are essentially biased towards one directions and people feel more comfortable even though it's actually less accurate.

So the simple approach that I often recommend is just to say do the like a sticky notes, the yellow sticky notes and ask people to give the feedback, as simple as that, before starting a debrief. If you don't have debrief or if people are distributed, then you can do it. We offer a product that does that as well but you can do it online where it's confidential. You can do that more specifically on the dimensions that are critical for the job. So it's to give another level of consistency in a debriefing process to increase not the interview per se but the debriefing of the interview which is actually very important. Otherwise you send lots of people doing lots of interview and don't capitalize on it.

So that approach of essentially leveraging collective intelligence which mean the collectivity of people that have been interacting with the individual that could be in the job, in the interview, or in the new company to measure quality of hire, 360 for performance promotion, or for reference, or for interview debrief, can be applied at multiple level with the same focus. Make sure that we get the right person and we can direct them accordingly because when you have those feedback hiring managers are actually asking for those.

They may still decide to go with the individual. Nobody's perfect. At least they know what to address and that's what we see with many of our customers. They take the report and they just say "You know what, that's interesting." We know that we need to coach Peter on those 3 things when he or she start the new job. And that's changed a little bit the relationship where the recruiting department start to be really a talent adviser. And that's really what we're after, too; help really those organizations, those talent organizations to be more than résumé pusher because if you're just there to provide résumé your quality, you're probably likely to go through an RPO and to be outsourced because you're not providing the quality required.

Peter: There's an assumption out there, Yves, that reference checking really doesn't work very well because of all the legal restrictions especially with large companies when you go to get a reference check on someone, all you're going to really get back is a verification of dates of employment and perhaps that individual's title, but you know, in the interviews I've done for talent decisions, people are really getting in-depth information on people.

Yves: That's correct. And there is one simple reason why it is is that the traditional approach is that the employer will reach to the references. In the process that Checkster provide it's the candidate that reach out to those references.

Peter: That's a huge difference.

Yves: It's a huge difference. And so consequently, people are more willing to participate, there is no fear of, you see, you cannot participate to those types of things and I would say the feedback we have typically all customers and across the board invite 8 references and 6 participate, and the 2 that typically don't is typically not because they cannot. It's because they were traveling, they were not there, it was closed before, or they had the opportunity to do it, and those type of things.

So it's really something that we don't see but obviously that's the easy objections. You see people say, "Well, my mind is set. I don't want to try something new. Don't bother that." And so it's really what we ask organizations typically is it's pretty easy. You see, in 30 days, you will see if it works for you or not and I ensure you it will. And that's what we have seen again and again.

Peter: One of the questions that came up from the audience in your session today and this is something we hear a lot at recruiting conferences, they asked the panelist, "do you go out and do you use social networks? Do you check a candidate's Facebook? Do you Google them? What is your assessment currently about how social media such as Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn is being used in the recruiting process and are recruiters Googling the name and seeing what comes up?

Yves: The answer is yes. And if the recruiters are not doing it, your hiring managers do. So a number of research have been done out there and shows that more than 80% of organizations are doing it. We wrote actually a white paper on that just to say you need to have a guideline to at least direct what's happening within your organization.

The questions that is more interesting is that, is it useful? People do it for sure. They want to see if there is any surprises that will come out. Some organizations obviously that have maybe in political campaign or in law enforcements, they have to do it to make sure that there is no embarrassing fact that could come out but for day-to-day things, we ask ourselves at Checkster is there any meaning there that we should essentially include in our process.

What we've seen interestingly is that there is a study that I referred on my blog that show that browsing for about 10 minutes the Facebook profile of individual is more accurate than the personality test that are given out there. So it gives you a good feel of what's the personality of someone by seeing their interest, what they're linking through, what they're saying, etc. So there is some value to do it.

Is it done that way? Maybe not. Is there some potential land mine from a legal perspective and discriminations, etc? Definitely. So that's why you have to be careful and typically HR prefer to ignore it instead of being proactive. But it is done today. It can have some value, and I think as an organization you have to be proactive to have a guideline.

Peter: The reality is, as one of the audience members said that work for a consulting firm, they definitely go on Facebook and see what candidates are putting on their Facebook because it's important to them to know that that candidate uses good judgment because they're going to be out representing that organization. So I think a lot of companies are doing this.

Yves: Exactly. The number I heard is more than 80% are doing it. What is interesting though that came from another mention is was that younger individual start being aware of that, start to have two or several profiles; one that is, you see, for essentially the employers and if they ask because you may have a number of similar names, they ask your profile and you will give that one and then there is the one for your personal use that don't want to disclose and you put high privacy on it.

So it starts to be a practice that may lose its validity because of that approach where people will essentially don't want to disclose their true self out there. So it's a moving target. I think there is a lot of buzz right now. Is it completely validated? No. But people are doing it so you have to be proactive in terms of addressing it.

Peter: I want to return for a minute to how your clients and how companies are using the results they're getting back from these reference checks because it goes far beyond just you have these candidates checks out or it's validated and looks like they would be a good hire. Hiring managers are really fascinated by all of these data.

Yves: That's correct and often there is the question about cultural fit for instance. Cultural fit is - it's hard. It's something that you need to feel, you see how people are going to be. Are they going to be a fit with the organization?

So what we have seen with our customer is that you can first make sure that what are the key dimensions that are critical for your organizations in terms of future success. What you can do is you can then tailor the responses that you're trying to get from peers with who they worked, past bosses or the interviewers or depending on at what stage you're doing it if you do it on peers, then you will ask those questions to individual and then you get more than just "Yes, he's a good programmer," or "He's good at this." You start to have more details.

One example we had a customer they had two candidates that were very strong from a knowledge, skills, abilities point of view and they couldn't decide. So they flew those two people twice to their headquarters, had successive round of interviews. They couldn't decide. Then they were on the Checkster on their past peers and colleagues and one was of an obvious misfit from a cultural standpoint. That's when you get more from it than just the impressions that when you do the interviews and that are some ways where you can get more than just - they know what they're talking about. They're technically a good fit. You will get more. And that's something which is obviously very hard to scale and to reach to all of those people but if you do your homework to put your competency or your values within the framework they can be very, very useful to avoid bad hires.

Peter: I think that also fits right into this whole how do you measure quality, because you get into then to the area of retention and referrals and that kind of thing which don't come up on a traditional reference check at all.

Yves: That's correct and the overall approach that we see - it's a 360 approach that you would do having a tool that - and that's why I'm moving away from references per se and I just say, the ability to ask peers how well you perform can be useful at several levels. It has been used for years and years for development of leaders and that and typically now, what's happening is that you can do it more cheaply because its online, more broadly and you can try to get more feedback for performance improvements post hire but you can do it as well to make better talent decisions pre-hire or you can do it with your current team to know who you're going to promote.

One example was an organization that just said we'll do them now internally. And they had and it was a one HR organization that was very interesting they had to promote someone internally and so they started to do those kind of peer reviews because when you want to promote someone and you're the manager of those people you don't always know how they're perceived by their peers and some people are very good to manage up but not too good to manage down and manage literally and they avoided a couple of bad hires because some of those people are pretty good to manage up and you have the good impressions then when you ask the people they will manage tomorrow, it will be a disaster. And then they've been avoiding some of those mistakes thanks to that simple very little step. But they have to go beyond their comfort zone because they have the impression they know the individual, they've been working for them, and it's only one point of view. It's only one point of view. You need the rest, especially if you will put that person in leadership positions and specifically over those people.

Peter: I think you're bringing up a really important point here given that an awful lot of recruiters really don't get involve in internal hires or promotions at all and they really need to.

Yves: That's correct. What we try to do and really our mission at Checkster is that we want to help organizations make better talent decisions. I think recruitment has been seen for a long time as very transactional. You provide me a number of résumés, you source people, etc. The key thing is as a talent adviser that should be probably a better name than the recruiter, I will sit down with the hiring managers and we'll discuss together in order to say what do you need, what is a performing individual for you?

And the best one, when the hiring manager will them what they need, they will sometime push back and just say, "No, that's not what you need." Actually, ABC is not important but CD is very important and that's how you earn respect because you know the business, you know what's working, etc. But the only way to know how it's working is to make sure you have a follow up in terms of you now who have been performing before. That's the feedback loop of quality of high monitoring. That's the kind of a 360 post hired that you need to do or follow up with those individual.

So that's really the connection there and after that, you come and that's what one of our customers in the financial industry came back. He just say, "We want our recruiters to be really talent adviser but in order to do that we need tools that they can rely on and then they can have meaningful discussions with the hiring managers and that's one of the Checkster report was the tool for them in order to just say "It's not only my impressions or my gut feeling about-" This is based on the feedback of 7-10 people and that's how they see it.

I know you like this candidate but candidate B is actually way superior and so you start to have those discussions. That's how you earn respect because when you think about it, if you are a leader of an organization, a leader of a department, the talent that you will put in the seal panel that was just before us, they all agree: talent decisions is the most important thing for their business.

So you need to make sure you make the right talent decisions. When you think about your own career, the decisions of where you go this is the most important decision of your life. It will define who you are, it will define your salary, it will define your happiness in the day if you like your work or not, etc. Very important decisions. The key thing that we need to make sure is that there is a fit that goes both ends. And that's really the mission of Checkster is just to make sure that we enable and empower organization with the tool to make the fit the best possible not only from a skills point of view but also from a cultural point of view, from a motivation point of view that this is possible because that will drive not only the performance of the organizations but also the satisfaction of the individual.

Peter: One of the overarching themes of the last couple of days here at this conference talking about the proverbial seat at the table, if you want to have that role as a leader in your organization you've got to have metrics. You just can't talk about feelings.

Yves: Exactly. Exactly. And that's why - but at the same time it's not easy when we speak of quality of hire, it's not an easy metric because it's not like-

Peter: Because you have to define and for different roles, there are different ways to define it, right?

Yves: Exactly. And so that's why you need to have an agreement with who they are if they have what I often advise a business leader or a head of talent acquisitions or a talent management, if you have existing business metrics that you have in sales, that you have in call centers, etc., use those ones. You don't need to 360 post hire. It can help if there is a long ramp of time, etc. to get at least a feeling before those come out but that's what you should look for. Just to say, "Okay, in the last five years we hire, let's say hundred sales people, those 20 are at the top performers. What are the differences?"

That's what all the assessments are typically designed and that's what they do but that's what all organizations should do and then just to say, "Okay, repeat that exercise for all the other jobs as well or starting with what is typically called the pivotal jobs which are the most important." But yes you need to do that in order to earn respect and then you will be seen as the strategic players because like, I mean, Jack Welch has probably been one of the most vocal person about that. If you look at sports, you don't speak to accountants about the team. You speak about the scouts and who is managing the team, the talent and the team. That's what will win essentially the tournaments - that's the team.

Unfortunately in the business world, we speak to the accountant, the CFO, they're important they keep the machine running and the things but at the end of the day, who will win is the team and essentially the head of HR, the chief people officer, the CHRO, however you want to call it, is the key person and should have the metrics to be able to report and that's what we are helping organizations to do.

Peter: One last question for you. Can you share with us maybe one or two key takeaways from your session today?

Yves: Yeah, and that's at the end of the session I asked each of the individual to just say if you had a couple of one-key practical thing that you could give the audience here, what would it be? So I will give those that were shared.

The first one was one of the approach about making sure that your interview process is well done. That's something that is very often overseen because there are these wrong perceptions that you're great at it and so revisit that interview process. It's very critical. So I completely agree with that.

The other end of the spectrum is the on boarding. That was the second approach is just to say on boarding is really critical because that's when you made a decision that is individually is key but that's when you have the ramp up happening and the acculturations and all of those things. So on-boarding is also a key step that needs to be- where you need to pay attention. That's where you also differentiate yourself as a department not only to be a résumé pusher where you just send résumé but you actually really help really the departments to be productive sooner from an ROI standpoint is also very, very important.

The third one and I will add two more. The third one from the third panel member was about SLA (Service Level Agreement). Typically, a talent acquisition department has some metrics that they measured because quality is so hard to measure; typically it's cost and time. And his recommendations was put out through the window. You shouldn't use it because that will impact the quality of what you're after. So SLAs are a good guideline. You should have obviously not look at them at all. But if you ask any business leader and you just say would you rather pay 10% more and or wait one week more but have a top talent rather than to have it on-time but you not completely sure about the quality? They will all say "We are after quality." And so one week or 10% more for the cost we're okay because again when you make the ROI, it's a multiple of that. It's hundred times more, even more and there are a number of studies showing that.

And finally, my advice for a talent acquisition leader today or talent management leader is they are so busy today, there are so many things going on. Focus on low hanging fruits in terms of what can you do today that will impact the quality very quickly? And there are a couple of things that you can do. We share the ability to gain digitally the feedback from their peers, etc., that's one way that you can easily test. You can just say let's put 3 recruiters for a couple of weeks and it will know. That's one way to do it.

Same thing for interviewing; let' make sure that we interview better. That's a low hanging fruit. You can fix that. It may be harder if you want to scale that to the whole organization but in the essence. So I would say make sure you focus on low hanging fruit to have a huge impact because that's something that will create a huge difference for your organization.

Yves Lermusi is the founder and CEO of Checkster and you'll find this interview in the Talent Decision Channel on TotalPicture Radio. That's totalpicture.com. This is Peter Clayton. Thanks for listening today.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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