A recent Glassdoor study found that the average cost to fill a job vacancy is a whopping $4,000.

With that kind of money devoted to a single opening, it’s no wonder recruiters view time to hire as a viable metric. The faster a position is filled, the fewer dollars recruiters and HR professionals pour into the talent search.

That said, time to hire doesn’t always align with another important metric: quality of hire. Take, for example, what happens when recruiters work with third-party staffing vendors to fill openings. These large staffing agencies look for quick placements that illustrate short-term ROI to the companies that hire them.

That speed is great, but the goal for any company is to onboard the right candidate — not just the most convenient one. For that reason, recruiters weighing factors to consider when recruiting employees should view quality of hire as the unquestioned top priority.

How to measure quality of hire

Make no mistake. Embracing quality-of-hire metrics isn’t easy, and it doesn’t mean time is suddenly no longer a factor. While this change might require you to rethink your recruitment process, it’s worthwhile as long as you find the best candidates.

Whether recruiters conduct searches themselves or outsource work to vendors, finding quality hires boils down to answering three questions:

1. Can they do the job that’s advertised? It can be easy to get lost in the weeds with some candidates, but every recruiter should weigh this as one of the top quality-of-hire metrics. If candidates seem capable of meeting — and exceeding — the needs of positions, keep them in the pool.

You should also consider building a success profile with an ideal candidate for each position in your company. These attributes then serve as guiding factors to consider when recruiting employees, and your team can instantly review those attributes to determine whether you’re measuring quality of hire effectively.

2. Did they nail the interview? An interview is the first chapter of a candidate’s book. It’s your first impression of them, and their best chance to sell themselves. As such, it should factor heavily into your quality-of-hire metrics.

Interviewees should hit a few marks: They should be engaging enough that you think they’ll gel with their hypothetical team; they should be experienced and informed enough that you think they can handle the role; and they should leave you — the recruiter — excited and ready to sell them to the higher-ups.

3. Can they grow in this role? Hire quality is as much about the future as it is about the present. A quality-of-hire metric that can’t be overlooked is a candidate’s ability to realize his or her potential to grow in the role — and with the company.

This question requires you to forecast a hire’s trajectory and potential skills, which can be incredibly difficult. But if a candidate has a stellar resume and flashes certain innate qualities during the recruiting process, consider it a good sign for growth.

The importance of selecting the right employee quickly and efficiently isn’t lost in recruiting teams. Linking success to straightforward quality-of-hire metrics gives you and your team a guide to bringing the best, most qualified candidates into your professional family.

Author Abby Carter

Abby Carter // Tech Storyteller

Like most people who gravitate toward writing, Abby has a love for helping people. She takes pride in bridging the gap between people and technology, and enabling others to make sense of the two working together for a greater impact. You’ll catch Abby around town at a local brewery, enjoying the outdoors with her German Shepherd, or cuddled up on the couch with a glass of wine and her latest new read.

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