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Why Measure Time to First Qualified Interview?

Recruiting Problem: You can always tell if a ship is making progress on making their destination–its engines are engaged and the ship is moving forward along its charted course. It may not be as readily apparent when viewing your firm’s recruiting activities. Although there may be considerable activity, with mountains of incoming candidate applications and resumes being scanned for keywords, it doesn’t readily equate with progress towards filling your important engineering or management vacancy. Your search could effectively be at Full Stop. Tracking time to first qualified interview places emphasis on the quality of search being conducted, rather than quantity.

We recommend that you not place faith in measuring activity, but rather focus on measuring performance.

Time to First Qualified Candidate for Interview (TFQCI)

Where TFQCI = Calendar days from recruitment launch to 1st qualified candidate being presented to the hiring manager

This is not to be confused with first resume to hit the desk of the hiring manager, which is a very tempting measure. A qualified candidate on the other hand has been contacted and vetted by your recruiting source as meeting agreed upon screening criteria provided by you–the hiring manager to justify an interview.

Why is TFQCI important?

  1. Because candidate volume does not equate with candidate quality. Succeeding in garnering hundreds of applications from posting sites such as GlassDoor, LinkedIn, StackOverflow to your job posting does not equate with hundreds of qualified candidates having been acquired.
  2. Having established clear, measurable expectations with your hiring manager of what constitutes a qualified candidate, you are only presenting candidates that you have screened, meeting those expectations.
  3. Your management team knows whether they have appropriately funded a recruitment process that can rapidly deliver qualified candidates from a limited talent pool to meet critical, time-sensitive openings.
  4. Both you and your hiring manager get a first approximation on the recruitment metrics for the position (e.g. 60 prospective candidates contacted; 20 responded; 5 have meet general criteria; 2 thoroughly vetted candidates strong in critical profile criteria are presented to the hiring manager within 30 days, with 1st on day 14)

Recommended TFQCI Benchmark

As an initial rule of thumb, use 20 calendar days or less for the first qualified candidate being presented to the hiring manager for a technical position having a limited talent pool. Why ‘only’ 20 days?

  • If there has been an initial flaw in the candidate screening criteria, it becomes quickly known, rather than later. Candidates screened out may have been due to inaccurate measures.
  • If no candidates have been vetted and presented, it suggests that resources initially authorized and provided for the are inadequate for an accelerated hire.
  • Critical technical openings are costing your firm a great deal, remaining vacant. Your firm’s ability to meet a given set of milestones will be in jeopardy.
  • Your firm’s internal recruiting resources are limited. Misdirected searches mean re-work, that further constrains concurrent searches to fill other staff openings.

Best wishes implementing the TFQCI measure. Full Speed Ahead!

Alfredo Hannenberg

P.S. Please share with us how this tool has helped in accelerating qualified candidate interviews for your firm.

Alfredo Hannenberg

Co-founder & President, Informative People, Inc.