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Measure These 5 Talent Metrics for Greater Success in Hiring and Managing Employees Human-resource teams worldwide are still failing to use data to make decisions as well as evaluate business performance.

By Andre Lavoie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


An organization is only as good as its talent, so finding and hiring the best is vital for success.

However, the 2014 Global Assessment Trends Report from The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) found only half of respondents use talent metrics to prove return on investment of talent or help inform business decisions, and only 45 percent currently use objective measures of potential to guide development and succession plans.

This means human-resource teams worldwide are still failing to make the connection between measuring talent metrics and using that data to make hiring decisions, as well as evaluate business performance.

Related: 7 Payroll Items to Check Off Your List Before the Year Ends

Here are five talent metrics that need to be measured:

1. High-potential talent (HiPo)

HiPo talent are employees who have the potential, ability and aspiration to be successful leaders within an organization. Generally speaking, HiPo talent earn the trust and respect of others, demonstrate flexibility and have proven to be reliable.

As HiPo talent are often the future leaders of an organization, it's important to determine which employees qualify and how their talent can best be developed. Is it through mentorship? Leadership opportunities? Measuring and developing high-potential talent is crucial to the future of an organization.

2. Candidate reactions

More than 80 percent of organizations see a positive candidate reaction to their hiring process as important, but less than half actually measure reactions, according to the CEB report. The report also found that 20 percent of candidates who have a negative experience use social media to publicly share about it, making it increasingly important for organizations to measure candidate reactions.

Organizations can measure candidate reactions throughout the hiring process, as well as after it has been completed. Using surveys to measure what worked and what didn't, as well as to collect candidate thoughts and opinions, can help organizations streamline their hiring process and ensure candidates have positive reactions.

3. Employee engagement and retention

The CEB study found 56 percent of human-resource professionals listed engagement and retention as a top priority. However only 19 percent had a formal engagement and retention process, risking the loss of key talent.

Related: The Art of Courting Candidates: Creating a Stellar Startup Interview Experience

Employees who are not engaged will not feel connected to a company and may seek out opportunities elsewhere. In addition, they may not be as productive. Developing a process to measure employee engagement can help an organization increase engagement and by association, retention. This can be done through surveys and focus groups designed to find out what motivates employees and makes them feel engaged in the workplace.

4. External hiring versus internal

Measuring the success of external hiring versus internal can help a company determine where to look for talent. Objectivity, or the gap in hiring vs. internal promotions, should be considered, as well.

For example, if all hiring is external, the company may need to work on improving its current leadership programs. Only 30 percent of organizations have a formal leadership-development process, according to the CEB study, and lack of leadership programs can inhibit internal promotions and cause the objectivity gap to widen.

5. High-performer turnover rate

Not only is turnover costly to the company, but it can also have a negative impact on an organization's success, especially when the turnover involves top performers. If an organization is continuously losing top talent, it may need to take a look at its policies and make some changes.

How long does top talent stay with an organization? What motivates them to leave? Measuring these things can help an organization understand the needs of top talent and adapt to fit those needs.

One final thought: While it's good to measure talent metrics and collect data from them, remember that this data can't exist in a vacuum. It should be used to help the organization see success. Metrics on HiPos, as well as external vs. internal hiring and high-performance turnover rate, can all be used to inform talent acquisition. Engagement and retention can be used to inform performance-management processes and candidate reactions can be used to update the hiring process.

What are other talent metrics that need to be measured?

Related: 5 Rules for Promoting Managers at a Fast-Growing Startup

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent-alignment platform that aims to bridge the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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