Measuring the value of the individual

Two thirds of HR professionals around the world see a new professional and managerial level employee’s immediate performance as a critical indicator of a successful recruitment process. However, 40 per cent of respondents are concerned about the metrics and measurements that they have in place to assess their impact once the recruit is on board, according to a global study from the leading recruitment solutions company, Futurestep.

Launched today, the inaugural Futurestep Global Talent Impact Study 2012: Understanding the Race for Impact surveyed over 1,500 HR professionals from across five continents* and examined their views on the impact of professional and managerial talent and how they measure it.

Focus on the individual’s performance ranked highest when evaluating the success of the recruitment process ahead of factors such as the cost of hire (only 27 per cent cited this) and the time it took to secure them (27 per cent).

Further, over three quarters (76 per cent of respondents) measure the impact of a hire in the first 12 months, viewing this immediate impact as three times more valuable than retention – highlighting the pressure on organizations to focus on short-delivery as a result of the economic uncertainty.

The research found that organizations are drawing on a range of methodologies and metrics to measure the impact of a hire, with considerable differences between countries. Overall, 62 per cent of respondents formally measure the impact of a hire on the business, but China and Hong Kong are twice as likely to measure this (89 per cent and 85 per cent) compared to their Australian counterparts (44 per cent).

The study also reveals:
· While 62 per cent of respondents have a formal measurement process in place, only 32 per cent of those say they formally measure the impact of hires using a widely adopted methodology

· On average, HR professionals adopt two criteria of success– the most popular measures are performance data and financial performance (64 per cent and 46 per cent respectively)

· Only 23 per cent of respondents cited board level requirements as a driver for measuring impact, the recruitment process and promoting the values of the process were ranked highest (56 per cent and 48 per cent respectively)

Byrne Mulrooney, Chief Executive Officer at Futurestep comments: “It’s clear that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to measuring impact but many organisations favour performance and financial data over longer term measurements such as retention and the potential for promotion.”

“Interestingly, there is some acknowledgement that new employees are often measured too early and before they reach a point when they are most likely to make the biggest impact. This may be because soft skills such as creativity are harder to develop and measure and are less likely to emerge within the first year.”

Mr Mulrooney concluded: “The big question is how to prove the value of measuring the impact that an employee has – not just on the recruitment process and in the first year but also on the business in the long term. There seems to be headroom for senior leadership to show a greater interest in the impact of an individual.”

“With senior buy-in, HR professionals will be well positioned to highlight the benefits that individuals can bring to a business in the medium to long term and gain greater recognition for the strategic role that HR plays within businesses.”