January 24, 2023

The Dirty Truth Behind Board-Based Recruiting SLAs


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Not all data is good data

Only a fool would set expectations for a search without a deep understanding of the requirements.

So if you set broad based SLA or KPI expectations across *all* your searches and engage a firm who agrees across the board…you’re working with a bunch of fools.

Of all the reasons why crappy recruiting firms still exist, there’s one that’s driven by their clients: the commoditization of hiring.

To be fair: I don’t think companies realize they do this. Everyone wants to make good decisions and uphold standards based on data.

The issue comes when people don’t recognize Dubious Data. Things that seem reasonable and legit on the surface, but end up giving you the wrong insights (or no insights at all.)

I touched on this a bit yesterday“The idea of setting metrics for submissions, time to fill, ratios, etc., all sounds amazing.

The problem is: they vary immensely from one opening to the next. Talent pools are different.  So are hiring requirements….SLAs are not one size fits all. Each industry, level, and position will have different ratios.”

There’s an (understandable) desire to hold your vendors accountable with metrics. (You’re paying them, after all.) But a lack of understanding that those metrics may differ on every single search and cannot be applied across the board.

This isn’t an issue in dedicated arrangements with high touch partners. Every search is evaluated on its own merits and SLAs can be custom. (If you haven’t experienced this…there’s a whole other world of recruiting out there…)

Where is it a problem? The hell of multi-firm, vendor list, contingent recruiting. Where there’s no downside to agreeing to everything, because what’s the worst that can happen? You lose a client with unrealistic expectations who didn’t commit and is using a boatload of other firms.

That’s the circular nature of it. Ask for arbitrary metrics because people will agree to them and firms agree to them because it doesn’t matter if they do.

And that’s one of the many reasons Why Crappy Recruiting Firms Still Exist (ep 57 of the 10 Minute Talent Rant here.)

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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