Time, Money, Quality – Pick Two


No I am not suggesting a new Texas Lotto game, although the odds of winning with only two numbers would certainly be better than three or more. Nor I am I referring to some new age life-work balance seminar that promises something close to paradise on earth.

I am using these three terms as they relate to talent acquisition and how companies should consider which two of the three are most important to hiring for each requisition because you can’t have all three.

All those involved in the talent acquisition market, namely internal recruiters, 3rd party recruiters and recruitment consulting (RPO) firms like ours, deal with these three terms every time they engage with a client. Some deal with the terms well, some not so well or not at all.

Those who deal with the terms well, like our company, discuss, explain and get agreement from the client on the two most important to the engagement on the front end as part of the needs analysis and scoping of the project.

Those who deal with the terms poorly or not at all take the assignment (job requisition/job order) without ever discussing the three terms and thus indirectly promise all three to the client.

Now let me explain the three terms as they relate to sourcing, screening and selection of great talent.

Time – As you might guess, this is Time to Hire. How long will it take from opening the requisition to offer and/or start. This can not be determined without getting the following information from the hiring manager.

  • Realistic job requirements/performance expectations
  • Location of position
  • Realistic compensation relative to job requirements
  • Candidates exist
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Complete interviewing information
  • Opportunity and company information
  • Access to decision makers

Once this information is gathered, a realistic time period can be agreed upon, barring any unforeseen issues.

Money – This refers to Cost of Hire. To determine this many companies merely look at personnel cost, advertising cost, external recruiter fees (if any), job board subscription fees, testing fees, relocation expense (if any) without considering some of the hidden costs such as lost opportunities, overtime coverage, training, ramp up costs to productivity, just to name a few.

Whatever factors are used to determine Cost of Hire, and the more the better, then a true Cost of Hire can be agreed upon.

Quality – This refers to Quality of Hire, probably the least quantifiable of the three. Some would say that quality is in the eye of the beholder, or the hiring manager. What constitutes quality for one manager or company might not be considered quality for another manager or company. The best that can be offered is that the candidates for a position meet all or most of the requirements for that position and as a result of the interview process there is general agreement that the candidates are a good fit.

If you want Quality candidates it may cost more money and take more time. If you want to spend less, reduce Cost of Hire you may have to sacrifice quality, or if you want to fill positions quickly and reduce Time to fill, you may have to bend a little on Quality of Hire.

So, as a business leader what two of the three would you pick to fill a position? Not a question that is easy to answer. So many factors need to be considered before you pick two.

However, I can guarantee one thing, if you don’t consider Time, Money and Quality in filling positions, you will rarely be satisfied with the end product and will feel that the process took too long, cost too much and produced less quality hires. You might as well be playing the Lottery.

Pick Two!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s