Why Turnover Is Not a Valid Metric for Quality of Hire

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - By: Greg Moran

Three years ago you hired a man named Jim for a sales position in one of your firm’s branches. Jim was a great candidate who sailed through the interview process and you felt he’d really mesh well with your organization’s culture. Now, thirty-six months later, you feel that Jim’s recruitment was a successful candidate placement because, even though he has failed to meet the established annual sales goals, the fact that he’s still there say’s a lot, right?

Well, no, actually that’s wrong – especially when referring to quality of hire. Turnover, although frequently used as an indicator of how successful a candidate placement was, is not a reliable indication for whether or not the right person was hired.  The reason is this: the walking dead (no, we’re not talking about real zombies).  The walking dead are individuals who, although they do not quit, fail to add any substantial value to their place of employment.

The walking dead are actually a drain on the overall vibrancy of an organization.  While the fact that their once-vacant position is still filled may offer some comfort at face value, the truth is that everyday they stay is a merely a missed opportunity for that position to be filled by a high potential candidate who would propel the company towards its goals.

Thus, while turnover is certainly a useful metric to gauge other aspects of an organization, quality of hire should be determined through more effective assessments that are tailored to the goals of the particular position.  Chequed CEO Greg Moran explains further, “What it’s really about is more consistently hiring a candidate who subsequently goes on to be a strong performer and reach the business results, than was done before.” In doing so, hiring managers can better assess incumbent data to further improve their hiring process and avoid hiring zombie “Jim’s” in the future!

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