The Talent Forecast: Move Beyond Cost Per Hire

A new Korn Ferry report reveals the price of hires who don't last.

The world’s job recruiters are under pressure to not only hire people BUT as soon as possible. But while “time to hire” is the most important metric for talent acquisition professionals, retention and the employee’s performance are right behind, according to the latest Korn Ferry Futurestep “Talent Forecast” survey.

Indeed, there’s a growing appreciation of the costs of getting a hire wrong. The cost of replacing a manager within 6-12 months of their hire is 2.3 times the person’s annual salary, according to Korn Ferry Hay Group research. For a senior executive position, the replacement cost could amount to $1 million or more. “Talent acquisition needs to be about more than just cost per hire,” says Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Korn Ferry Futurestep.

The “Talent Forecast” survey asked more than 1,100 talent-acquisition professionals around the world about the overall market for talent. Part 1 focused on how it has become more difficult to find talent over the past year while Part 2 highlighted how many firms still view recruiting as a transactional activity. In Part 3, recruiters highlighted not only the measurements of their own effectiveness, but also what keeps them up at night.  

One of the biggest worries: that their efforts are not producing leaders fast enough to execute their firm’s strategies. The survey respondents attributed the leadership shortfall to a variety of reasons, including underdeveloped training programs, demand for skill sets that are not part of their firm’s existing knowledge base, and demographic trends that have severely weakened talent pipelines. In Latin America, for example, rapid economic growth during the last 15 years led many companies to promote young talented people too quickly. “Today we have executives in leadership without the experience to face difficult moments and are not in a position to move to the next level in their organizations,” said Parise a managing director in South America for Korn Ferry Futurestep.

Tackling the leadership pipeline shortage requires that organizations do a more effective job of leadership assessments, development, and succession planning for specific positions, Korn Ferry Futurestep leaders said. For example, as part of their responsibilities, organizational executives should consider holding managers and senior leaders responsible for developing their own successors. In addition, companies may want to more closely align their firm’s talent strategy with their business strategies.

Other suggestions for talent acquisition professionals include:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the business strategy and how it impacts talent needs throughout the organization.
  • Build better partnerships with hiring managers and senior leaders by providing quality information on the talent marketplace, candidate pools, and competitors.
  • Use talent acquisition software tools to improve the recruitment and hiring process and to provide data to record talent acquisition performance and success.
  • Focus on cross-over skills from other industries that would bring value to the organization.
  • Examine performance of successful hired candidates to assist in assessing new candidates under consideration.

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