Season after season, fans eagerly await the imminent return of professional baseball. And part of their excitement no doubt stems from the numbers they avidly follow: runs batted in (RBIs), batting averages, earned run averages (ERAs), strikeouts, steals, home runs, win-loss percentages, and many more. In the major leagues, numbers track every element of the old ball game. Indeed, nowhere else in sports are statistics more important than they are in the great American pastime.
Fielding a winning baseball team requires managers and coaches to track some pretty arcane numbers. The same holds true when you’re building your own winning team in just about any business or industry—whether you source your players from:
- Recruiting firms. In our baseball analogy, these would be the college and minor league teams that feed talent to the big leagues.
- Seasoned headhunters. Pro baseball teams call them “scouts.”
- Your own self-generated talent pool, finding heavy hitters in the “free agents” who apply for your open positions independently.
However (and wherever) you find talent, you need to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to determine how successful each of those efforts are, helping you determine the best possible staffing resources for the roles you need to fill.
Q&A: Staffing KPIs That Best Track Staffing Vendor Performance
To help shed some light on which KPIs may be the most important to track and learn from, we’ve spoken with Casey Enstrom, Prosperix’s VP of Enterprise Solutions, who has spent nearly 20 years in the staffing industry and specializes in sales and operations.
Question: What are the most common hiring KPIs to track staffing vendor performance?
KPIs are critical in providing insight into supplier performance, maintaining a clear understanding of expected outcomes, and driving focus in the right areas—all of which positively influence performance. I would say that the most commonly tracked KPIs in staffing are:
- Submissions to Positions
- Time to Submit
- Submissions to Interview
- Submissions to Hire
- Interviews to Hire
- Time to Hire (from when a job is published to the start date of the person hired)
- Assignment Completion
Question: Which of those KPIs do you feel are the most important and why?
In my experience, Submissions to Positions, Submissions to Interview, Submissions to Hire, and Assignment Completion are most helpful in determining the performance and value of staffing partners. These KPIs measure each staffing supplier’s responsiveness, whether they source an appropriate number of candidates, the quality of those candidates related to open positions, and whether they source reliable hires who successfully complete their assignments. Any staffing vendor that does those well is a worthy partner.
Question: Are any commonly tracked KPIs actually unhelpful or distracting?
This can be a hard question to answer—or at least one that is subject to opinion. In general, I feel all data is important and should be leveraged to provide a complete and comprehensive picture of supplier performance. That said, I’ve been involved in many programs where clients used Time to Submit alongside the total number of submittals as their primary metrics to rank supplier performance. Neither of these speak to candidate quality or candidate experience.
In fact, when these two KPIs are given undue attention, many programs become inundated with too many submittals. This not only results in unnecessary work on the part of the client when it comes to sifting through submissions, but also risks burying the best candidates. What happens is that these KPIs essentially train staffing suppliers to submit as many candidates as possible and as quickly as possible, without time and attention spent on skill- and culture-fit. When overwhelmed with too large a quantity of candidates, clients often only review the “top of the stack” from the candidates submitted, leaving the perception of a “resume black hole” for many candidates and a poor candidate experience. Plus, when hiring programs like these don’t include shortlisting or curation services, then there is inherent risk that a “best fit” candidate will be missed.
Question: How often should organizations review their staffing vendors’ KPIs?
In today’s world, most businesses review their hiring program’s KPIs on a quarterly basis. While this is better than nothing, I struggle to understand how real-time KPI review is not at all a common practice for most contingent workforce programs—especially when technology that offers real-time data is so readily available.
Dashboards showing live KPI performance for a client’s supply base can and should be available to maintain an optimal contingent workforce program. And I’m not just referring to a stack rank of staffing vendors or even each vendor’s YTD performance by KPI. I argue that hiring programs would benefit from reviewing each vendor’s KPI performance in real-time, down to a requisition when that makes sense.
This is part of how we at Prosperix are challenging the industry status quo. To us, working with static staffing supplier lists and traditional tier-based job distribution to those suppliers are rudimentary and archaic. That’s why we’ve developed a solution that provides our client users with a dynamic and real-time approach to leverage the best suppliers—at that given time and for that given role, based on each supplier’s active talent pool and bandwidth at that moment.
In my experience, maintaining a dynamic and agile approach to KPIs will greatly improve and enhance any contingent workforce program by ensuring constant knowledge, iteration and innovation. In the end, this is all about how to swiftly identify the best talent to join and benefit your company. It shouldn’t just be about who can provide the most bodies.
Question: In what way(s) does Prosperix allow client users to track KPIs?
Our strategy is to track everything, so that everything can be reportable. Unique to our approach, and what many of our clients love about it, is our ability to present data across the entire recruiting workflow. This provides visibility into supplier performance from the beginning of the process (e.g. number of candidates currently sourced, number currently being screened, etc.). Traditional MSP/VMS solutions don’t typically offer that calibre of reporting. They can generally track agency performance only after candidates are presented.
Other unique KPIs we track are specific to each staffing vendor’s Candidate Experience. In my opinion, to ensure the best staffing suppliers are a part of your contingent workforce program, you need to capture the voice of their candidates during the entire recruiting process.
Yet another measurement element that’s hardly tracked revolves around KPIs that focus on innovation, market intelligence, or any value-added elements that clients should receive from their staffing vendors. Most staffing partners claim to act as an extension of their client, but how much are they really doing to assist their clients’ growth, knowledge, or adoption of innovative opportunities that improve their hiring strategies? To me, this form of KPI—or accountability to program enhancements, improved efficiencies, and knowledge building—could be significantly more impactful than the number of candidates presented on average for any given position.
A Vendor Management System that gives you the insights you need to win
Prosperix’s Crowdstaffing VMS works relevant KPI metrics into a dynamic scorecard to help your team come out ahead of the game both now and in the long term. You can run these reports at will or schedule them to arrive regularly—whatever you find most helpful. Plus, the system uses that data to automatically send your job requisitions to the best suppliers for each role at that time, thanks to dynamic tiering made possible by our groundbreaking artificial intelligence.
Want to know more? Here’s our pitch: Get a demo of Crowdstaffing VMS to see how you can customize your supplier scorecard and use it to make more informed decisions. Step up to the plate and contact us today!