You are fanatical about metrics for your online business. You A-B test everything. You study metrics and user behavior. The consumer’s every move across your site, your mobile ap, and your marketing campaigns is tracked and analyzed.
Can you say the same for hiring?
If you are like most of us, the answer is no. We use headhunters. We ask friends and colleagues. Metrics? A year after the hire, we review the candidate. Too little, too late.
Last week I met a recruiter who can teach us all something–John Wentworth. John is as relentless about metrics in hiring as you are in your business. He starts with a list of all the traits you are looking for in the ideal candidate. As he sources candidates, each one is empirically tested for those traits, in addition to having the required pedigree.
Most interesting, he holds his clients accountable at the end of the process. Did you hire the candidate who is the best fit with your own “spec”, or did you pick someone else? Why? Holding a mirror up to the hiring process may be the most valuable thing he does for his clients.
John is not the only source–there are many ways to test a candidate. The real value comes from the process. You are forced to specifiy the traits you are seeking, test for them, and then ask yourself whether you are choosing a candidate for empirical reasons or on some other basis.
Repeatedly using a the process will allow you to accumulate meaningful statistics over time. Did we specify the right traits? Did we hire to our own spec? Can we benchmark successful individuals, and hire to their profile?
You A-B test everything else. Why not candidates?