Another ubiquitous thread about the “best metrics” started my brain pondering the inherent problems with developing and maintaining metrics for recruiting.
First, I considered Weinberg’s Law of Metrics which states that which gets measured gets fudged. As it pertains to us, the issue here revolves around all the post hoc modifications of the data that take place if the numbers don’t tell the story you want. From my quant background, I learned that you must put in place an analysis plan rather than phish for the data that supports your position.
Then there is the Metric Law of 90s: The first 90% of a recruiting project takes 90% of the schedule. The remaining 10% of the project takes the other 90% of the schedule. We tend to do the easy stuff first (probably because it satisfies many a frenzied – or whining – hiring manager) which can lead to a false sense of progress leading to inflated values for self-reported metrics. Again, a realistic and agreed upon recruiting plan that is followed helps here.
Finally, the Metric Law of Least Resistance asserts that the more human effort required to calculate a metric, the less often (and less accurately) it will be calculated, until it is abandoned or ignored altogether.
Which is why although I love human capital analyses focused on EVA, they are a bear to gather information on and calculate. Sure they are accurate but the effort is enough to curdle the blood of even the most ardent numbers junky.
No wonder cost-per-hire is still around!