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Why Quality of Hire Is the Holy Grail of HR Metrics

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. The following information is pulled from our new white paper, 6 Cutting-Edge HR Metrics to Measure. Download the full paper here

Many HR professionals believe quality of hire is the “holy grail” of people metrics. Since the beginning of the HR practice, businesses have sought to score hiring decisions. While doing so has traditionally been the responsibility of recruiting teams, there’s value in getting the broader HR team involved. 

Every company defines quality of hire differently. That’s mostly because each company has its own unique ways of measuring performance. Expand your notion of what quality of hire measures. Yes, it’s an HR metric, but when you drill down further, you see it’s actually a collection of data points. Consider there is more than one characteristic or trait that defines a “quality” new hire. For example, many organizations score employees based on a number of factors, including productivity, engagement, and adherence to company values. Identifying your company’s list of most valued characteristics in a new hire is the first step. 

As mentioned earlier, your list should include what matters most at your organization. For example, you might look at characteristics such as performance, productivity, job fit, and values fit. Whatever your list looks like, it’s recommended that you don’t use any more than four or five metrics in your calculation. Doing so will needlessly complicate your calculation and potentially introduce unwanted bias in the process. Remember, the key to getting started with quality of hire isn’t to nail your first attempt and consider every conceivable factor. Your goal is to make this measurement repeatable and objective.

HR Metrics: How to Calculate Quality of Hire

In the white paper, you will find the formula you will need to calculate quality of hire. Once you have your numbers, average the scores to come up with one definitive quality of hire metric. Ideally, you should be measuring this between 60 and 90 days from the new hire’s start date. That data is immensely valuable for informing everything from your recruiting processes to internal learning and development programs. Are there specific skills or competencies in which recruits might be scoring low? This could signify an opportunity for your HR team to further invest in onboarding procedures. 

Bottom line? Quality of hire isn’t about just measuring one static number once; it’s also about spotting trends over time. Check in on the metric every quarter or every other quarter. Any more frequent, and you may not have enough meaningful new data to compare. Also, be sure to involve team members from every facet of HR—doing so will empower the broader team to spot problem areas and continually improve on your internal programs and practices. 

To calculate quality of hire, download your copy of 6 Cutting-Edge HR Metrics to Measure today.


How do you currently measure quality of hire at your organization? What other HR metrics are important? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments. 

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