Metrics – don’t be fooled

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Ah recruiting metrics. They can provide such a wealth of information, but they can also fool you by providing unnecessary data. Some find them the necessary evil while others appreciate their value and have built sophisticated processes in order to capture every possible data point to measure their recruiting effectiveness. I, for one, have always loved recruiting metrics. From the time I stepped into corporate recruiting, I was determined to eliminate subjectivity on all fronts. At the end of the day, I was so determined to be prepared to answer that elusive question from my leaders and/or hiring managers: “Why?”. There was no way I would let myself answer with a vague “I don’t know” or “because” response. Instead, I would rifle through any data I could lay my hands on to put together informed and valuable answers. Remember, this was 15-20 years ago when the thought of recruiting efficiency was at it’s infancy and it was acceptable to point the finger at the recruiter for the blame.

Let’s fast forward to today. The data that is available to us now is well beyond the usual suspects – cost per hire and time to fill. We’re reporting on any and everything we can – from the useful to the useless. The HR tech industry has given us some pretty cool tools to help us measure more than I could have even imagined 15-20 years ago to prove our efficiency and effectiveness in our hiring practices. Gone are the days of pointed fingers and blame.

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Now that we are at a time when technology can calculate all of these metrics, we really must ask you: Are all of them necessary for you to effectively manage your department? Are you finding yourself answering that elusive “Why?” question? And do your metrics even support your answer?

What if the data being measured is the wrong data? Common metrics of today don’t necessarily help you know if you are getting the right person at the right time. Imagine if you started putting metrics on your talent pipeline. For example, if you measured your talent audience engagement, you would have an indicator of the quality talent available at any given time. Understanding your pool quality would allow you to know if your talent audience meets the critical needs of the business. When you start analyzing to understand if it’s tell you if you are getting the right people at the right time, you may realign your measuring and start focusing on your talent pool data before you focus on your applicant pool.

When you pause and think about it, metrics wouldn’t even be around if we didn’t need to answer that ‘Why?” question. If we were all hiring the right people at the right time, the questions wouldn’t have to asked. Hiring teams and organizations would be pleased with the amount of candidates, the quality of candidates, and ultimately, the quality of hire. Recruiters wouldn’t have the need to capture every possible data point to prove their ability to support the hiring needs.

While other tools are out there capturing every single data point, the team at Qwalify believes in capturing the right data to help bring in the right people at the right time. Instead of starting the talent evaluation after someone becomes an applicant, Qwalify’s Talent Dojo allows organizations to construct discussions separate from the application process, which allow you to gather contextualized data to find the most suitable members to be invited into the application pool. You can quickly identify fit for both the company and the role through metrics that matter.

Don’t let all those metrics out there fool you. Focus on what is most valuable to your organization through a top of the funnel, relationship-building, discussion-based engagement platform that removes the need to record all those never-ending data points that you’ve been so diligent about recording. And while you’re making your job easier, you’re providing your talent audience a positive and engagement experience.


Better Engage Your Talent Community in Three Steps


Machines are better at hiring talent than humans. Or so they tell us. Sourcing, candidate screening, job matching, source of hire data, time to hire metrics – all of these and more are aided or provided by tech tools and systems. Technology certainly makes the role of the recruiter more refined, effective, and efficient, but we can’t remove people from the mix entirely. We think that the human touch is still a vital component to making successful hires. Even with cognitive technology at our fingertips, the last say on a hire is a person, not a machine.

Your talent community craves personal contact. Who wouldn’t? We live in a world of machines; in a world of a million ways to stay connected without ever having to actually talk to someone. So it’s nice, feeling like someone is taking the time to talk to you – just you. But we know that’s not the most effective way for a recruiter to spend their time, especially if your talent community is made up of thousands of people.

The solution? A question and answer community that is designed around motivation, recognition and contribution value that allows you to target specific members. Imagine the member’s delight when they receive a message requesting them specifically to participate in a discussion. It feels good to receive that message and it feels even better to receive a recognition on their response.

It doesn’t stop there. Engagement isn’t just about reaching out and showing your face. It’s about providing the right kind of content – well directed, on-message, industry-relevant, interest-piquing, and timely content. After all, there is no point in engaging in discussions that hold no value for you or your talent community.

So how do you do begin to engage your talent community? By inviting them into your Talent Dojo. And what do you do with your Talent Dojo? Educate, participate, and invigorate.

Educate: The members in the talent community you’ve built within your Dojo are there for a reason. They are interested in your organization. They want to know more; they want to have the insiders edge that will give them the advantage. So why not give it to them? Provide them with background information, updates on company projects and products, and company trivia.  As you provide them with information, ask them for feedback and what they think.  Perhaps even go so far as to ask ‘how might you have done this differently?’  It’s a great way to both educate your Dojo and learn about your members.

Participate:  Encourage participation from both your members and your team collaborators.  The more you can get your own team active in the Dojo, the more opportunities members will have to interact and contribute.  The more collaborators you have to lead community discussions, the more diverse the discussions will be.  Chances are likely your Project Manager on the development team would ask entirely different questions than your Marketing Manager – which also means that you can better target segments of your Dojo by leveraging the diversity of your collaborators. Added to that, a valuable perk of having several of your own team members interacting with Dojo members means that you can gather different perspectives about members you might otherwise miss if you were relying on just yourself.

Invigorate: Worried that your Dojo is getting a little stale? Provide your members with challenges, surveys, brain teasers, and contests. Remember that community discussions don’t have to just revolve around your organization.  You can also consider trends are going in on your industry that you can build discussions around, which will help you to learn which candidates are engaged and informed about your industry. Another great way to shake things up a little with your Dojo members is to invite them offline for an event.  While this approach is more time consuming and requires effort from both HR and marketing, the results can be amazing.  While Talent Dojo can create an amazing online experience, there is still nothing like a real live meet-up.  Invite your prospects to in-person events where your recruiters and employee brand ambassadors can meet with them, whether it’s a recruiting event, an informational event, or an after five networking event. Through the Community Discussion you can create an invitation and share it with either a select group or the whole Dojo, and collect your RSVPs through a simple Yes or No answer.  Coordinate with your marketing and recruiting teams to find a suitable date and time that works for a handful of staff to plan and participate in.  

Don’t leave recruiting just to the machines. Take a proactive approach and insert a little human touch to make the best hiring decisions you can.


Relationships Matter

relationshipMy success in my recruiting profession can be attributed to the valued relationships I’ve established.  As a recruiter filling jobs, I formed an immediate connection of trust and commitment with hiring managers and candidates alike.  As my career advanced, building strong relationships became even more important.  I know for a fact that there would have been no way I would have been able to introduce SEO, SEM, Social Media and even metrics to Arrow Electronics for recruitment if it were not the relationships I established with Marketing, IT and Finance.  I was wanting to implement things that the organization hadn’t even thought of yet.  I knew I needed to establish trust with my peers and beyond.  While socializing ideas with these key partners, we were able to form a bond of trust which gave them comfort in my ideas and how they would impact the business.  These individuals became my biggest supporters.

The American Management Association states that 90% of career success hinges on your ability to communicate well, foster mutually beneficial relationships at work, and earn the respect and loyalty of bosses, coworkers, clients, and customers. Business is built on relationships and without them, they would crumble. Consider this: studies have shown that leaders who focus on building solid relationships are more effective and that employees who have developed meaningful relationships work more productively and in harmony with one another.

We recognize the importance of relationships within the workplace. But what about the relationships externally? Not just with your everyday consumer, but with prospective talent.  Investing in your relationships with prospective talent will:

Build trust between both the employer and job seeker

    • In order to build trust, we need to understand one’s credibility, integrity and reliability.  Does the interview process give you enough interaction to do this?  “Trust has to be earned and should come only after the passage of time” – Arthur Ashe.  Does the interview give you enough time?

Give talent a sense of belonging with your organization

    • Including the job seeker in the conversation allows the audience to feel connected.  This connection allows them to subconsciously begin to process “friend” vs. “foe”, thus decreasing any apprehension about considering a new company or opportunity.

Provide both the job-seeker and employer insights on the way each behave, allowing both to make more knowledgeable decisions.

    • The more that is shared, the more which is learned.  Potential candidates might decide over time that they aren’t a fit for the organization – and this is fine.  Remember, you don’t want everyone, you want the right ones.
    • As job seekers experience your organization more before they join, they become familiar with how you operate and communicate. This escalates the point of contribution to your organization after they join.

Allows the organization to keep a pulse on the talent audience and be prepared as business needs change

    • Applicants are based on today’s job requisitions, which are today’s business requirement.  Allowing the discussion to happen before a business requirement, allows the relationship to evolve along with business needs and doesn’t end when yesterday’s job opening is filled.

While there are forums like career fairs and open houses that can be executed to cultivate these relationships, typically, the conversations end at that recruiting cycle.  Delivering continuous events like these aren’t very efficient. It takes a lot of resources to execute these well, and yet, the conversations ultimately end.
Qwalify’s TalentDojo allows organizations to begin conversations to establish a relationship with the talent audience on an on-going basis in an efficient, systematic way. The company owns the conversation, but, delivers it in a non-evasive, very engaging manner.  Through their discussion-based system, talent can showcase their areas of expertise while learning more about the organization.  Through this process, the company can quickly identify the experts and reward them for their contribution.  Talent Dojo provides the forum that establishes the relationship to build connection and trust for all parties to make more informative decisions to meet the ever-changing business needs.


HR Tech Trends to Stop, Start, Continue in 2016


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Undoubtedly, 2015 was a hot year for HR tech. As the economy continued on its upward trend, investments in HR Tech went with it. During the first half of 2015, investment alone more than tripled what was invested annually between 2000 and 2013. With money in pocket and an eye on consumer trends, the HR tech sector accelerated its transformation in 2015, creating tools that meet the growing needs of HR departments, and the enterprise as a whole.

Those consumer trends have dictated the way that companies now (or will soon) interact with employees and prospective employees. Strategic business leaders must ask themselves which tools and trends will best integrate with their company. The biggest question should be: What strategies will most benefit the overall success of our organization?

Over the past few months, as our clients and prospects completed their strategic plans for 2016, a few trends become very clear. Further, reading the observations and commentary from the likes of Josh Bersin, Jessica Miller-Merrell, and Steve Boese further enforces some of these discoveries. Based on these conversations and readings, we’ve compiled our own Stop, Start, Continue list of 2016 HR trends, outlining which trends to follow and which to ditch this year.


  • Stop focusing on all the data that is available to you.  Rather focus on the relevant data you need.  Analytics, metrics, Big Data – call it what you will, but too much unstructured, irrelevant data becomes overwhelming and muddies up the evidence you are trying to gather. Get the data you want to assist with decisions, like Steve Boese says, such as allocating salary increases and bonus pools across an employee ground, determining the optimal mix of skills and competencies in a prject team, and predicting the organizational impacts in terms of retention and attrition. Spend the time to uncover what data is most important to your team and company, then find the appropriate tools to deliver that data.  No point in paying for data you are not going to use.
  • Ineffective ‘talent community’ strategies – ‘Job agents’ (automated job notifications that are sent to the job seeker based on their selected criteria) don’t build talent communities. Job agents are focused on filling a specific current job opening, they are not (mostly) focused on creating an engaged pipeline or building lasting relationships for the future. CRM’s and ATS’s are not talent communities, they traditionally foster one-sided communications that are seen as spammy to many, and are heavy on administrative tactics like data-entry.  Talent pipelining strategies must include prospect (pre-candidate) engagement tactics that don’t have a job attached to be effective. Providing an experience that is prospect-focused and relationship-driven will help optimize your time, money, effort and ultimate ROI on your pipelining strategies.


  • Start marketing your talent community. Talent communities are not an ‘if you build it they will come’ situation. Leverage your social channels to attract your target audience to bring them to your talent community where you can begin engaging with them. Jobvite shared that 67% of job seekers use Facebook, 45% use Twitter, and 40% used LinkedIn.  Job searching in public is no longer ‘taboo.’ A surprising 67% of people will job search from the comfort of their own bed, 38% during a commute, 30% while on the job, 20% during a meeting (yikes!), and 8% while at the bar. Whether they are passive or active, potential candidates are out there and readily accessible to connect with. Once you’ve got them in the funnel of your talent community, you can begin true engagement efforts to motivate, encourage brand loyalty, and offer a positive pre-candidate experience.
  • Get a pulse on talent – Start responding in real-time to employee and talent community. Old and stale data is yesterday’s news. Shiny new tech tools are coming onto the market every day to provide current, up-to-the-minute data on your talent . New processes now focus more on employee feedback, pulse surveys, ongoing engagement monitoring, goal management, performance management, and even tools that monitors the physical response of an employee to a new office layout. If you can think it, it is likely someone has created it. Imagine all of that information readily available at your fingertips that you can use to respond accordingly to foster engagement, loyalty, and motivation. We are clearly biased, but if you want next generation talent insights, we’d be happy to show you Talent Dojo.
  • Holistic engagement – engage the whole person, not just their professional side. Focus on growing relationships rather than just filling req’s. Treat prospects as well as you would your customers, because as our clients and prospects realize, they are often the same people. See our case study for an example of the effects holistic engagement can have on your organization, in this case, for Diversity recruitment.


  • Multi-departmental collaboration – keep driving the importance of cooperation and showing the benefits. Whether it’s Marketing, Finance, or IT, every department should come together with HR on pieces to support and promote both a positive employer brand and talent brand.
  • Measuring HR initiatives and results to prove departmental worth within organization and need for budgets. As Jessica Miller-Merrell put it, measuring your department’s effectiveness can help to move you from a cost centre to a revenue centre.  After all, happy, successful employees means a happy and successful company. All those targeted analytics only help to promote your cause.

The HR tech industry is revolutionizing the way we engage with talent. The ebb and flow of trends will always take us for a good ride, but making sure you’re riding the right wave is vital to building an engaged and thriving workforce. The trends you choose to stop, start, and continue in 2016 will reflect greatly in the success of your organization.

We hope your 2016 is off to a great start!

Qwalify hires me, a brand advocate!

Qwalify at #SourceCon. Such a great on-boarding experience!
Qwalify at #SourceCon. Such a great on-boarding experience!

One year ago yesterday I posted on Facebook asking if my HR/TA Technology friends were going to #HRTechConf and if so, to check out Qwalify.  It’s still my favorite tool out there, but now I get to work with them as their Head of Talent Engagement and get to be part of the Qwalify journey.  

A Qwalify Advocate
Once a Qwalify advocate, now a Qwalify employee


My relationship with Qwalify started almost 3 years ago when I was the Talent Community Manager with one of the largest search and talent consulting organizations in the world.  In this role, I supported other leading organizations with the implementation and management of their talent communities.  I worked closely with their HR, Talent Acquisition and Marketing & Communications organizations to develop and implement engagement strategies that would increase awareness of their brand and convert a passive talent audience into active candidates.

While we were at the forefront of the talent community practice, there was still quite a bit of education at the beginning for everyone, including me!  Three years ago, clients wanted to know “what is a talent community?”; however, this quickly changed to “how can it work for me?”  I learned how important it was to measure the effectiveness of talent community engagement and translate what the data meant for my clients.  It was very interesting to witness the evolution of talent communities and client’s understanding.  They began to see the value beyond the standard recruiting metrics – time to fill, cost per hire, etc.   They started to see how engaging with a talent audience ultimately creates brand advocates beyond the company walls.   The lightbulbs started clicking for both the talent acquisition professionals and their in-house marketing teams.   Now, the measurement of the effectiveness of a talent community becomes even more powerful for organizations but how is this measured?

Now this is where my engagement with Qwalify began…  I requested a demo.  At that point, I had seen all other so-called ‘leading’ community tools out there, and I had implemented a few communities.  I had enough strategy and tactical experience to translate how technology can transform my talent community world.   I knew the data wasn’t giving me the whole story of talent community effectiveness. I knew I hadn’t seen a tool yet that could give me data beyond # members, click-through rates and understanding what content was clicked on by my audience.  Then I saw Qwalify.

See, Qwalify is different.  It’s the only talent community tool that actually MEASURES engagement and puts a VALUE on the engagement.  It’s that top of the funnel experience before one even thinks about what jobs they qualify for at your company.  It’s getting your talent audience to get to know you at the same time as you’re getting to know them.  It allows YOU, the recruitment professional, to have a valued conversation with your talent audience. That’s just the beginning of Qwalify’s magic. Once those conversations begin, Qwalify provides real-time measurement of those conversations.  You not only know your top contributors, but, you also know the quality of their contribution as it relates to your brand.  It allows you to recruit brand advocates. Pretty cool, right?  I thought so too!  Being a Qwalify advocate turned employee, I’m pretty pumped to help recruiters identify brand advocates as future employees for their organization.

The Qwali-Five – Week of February 10th, 2014


Since today has us feeling kind of romantic, we wanted this installation of The Qwali-five to be centered around L-O-V-E so here are a few videos to get you revved up.

The Qwali-Five – Week of February 3, 2014


Welcome to another instalment of The Qwali-Five, the best of what we’ve been reading, watching and enjoying over this past week. Now let’s get to it!

  • ZDNet have a brilliant 6-part story that features numerous HR and recruiting technologies and demonstrate how they help in acquiring talent. The article can be found here and it is a must read. Seriously. It’s that good.
  • This is too funny not to share…


  • ’10 Ways Companies Drive Away Talent’ by Liz Ryan of Human Workspace features brilliant and colorful illustrations that accent her smart thinking on HR, management and leadership.
  • Sign us up for Super Human Resources, a comic book that might interest our fellow geeks!


Welcome to the HR department of the world’s greatest super teamThe Human Resources department of Super Crises International includes all the ordinary folks behind the comic panels that keep your favorite heroes up and running. They file expense reports for hovercrafts, refill the coffee filters, FedEx out the anti-matter nullifiers and clean up the conference rooms after crossovers gone horribly wrong.

In other words, Super Crises International is pretty much like the office you work at. Only stir in a butt-load of circus freaks, with capes, claws and radioactive half-lives. Or as we like to call them, “your co-workers.”

Welcome to Super Human Resources. Your cube is right this way.

  • Time for a TED Talk. This time it’s Dan Ariely, a researcher specialized in behavioral economics speaking on the topic of ‘What makes us feel good about our work?’ There are several interesting experiments cited in this video which will no doubt help you in inspiring meaning in your team.

Give Good podcast interview with Qwalify’s Phil Noelting


If you are interested in filling your earbuds with a podcast that celebrates passion and the get ‘er done philosophy, then look no further than Give Good with Katie McCarthy.Katie is one of those passionate and vibrant people who you need in your corner to motivate and inspire you. She’s a career coach that has been there, lived through it and come out the other side and can provide tools and techniques to help you live the life you deserve. Katie’s podcast, Give Good features interviews with “good-givers: visionaries, cutting edge scientists, best-selling authors, social innovators, artists, ambitious entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers, thought-leaders, thinkers and doers.”


Our very own Founder and President Phil Noelting was featured on Katie’s podcast where they spoke about Phil’s background, his interests and passions as well as the topic of ‘Building a Proactive Talent Pool for Business Owners’.

You can check out the details from their discussion and listen to (or download) the podcast via this link.

The Qwali-Five – Week of January 27, 2014


It’s the tail-end of January and we’re anticipating whether the groundhog will see his shadow or stay in his cozy, little burrow. We hope that you’ve been fighting the beastly Polar Vortex and keeping your talent pools warm.

The following things caught our collective Qwalify-eyes. Enjoy!

  • Here’s a great article on the topic of how ‘Cloud-based HR revolutionizes employee engagement, innovation in 3 new ways’ which does a great job in explaining the benefits of cloud-based HR solutions. Will you be making the move this year?
  • On that note, a little HR humor:


  • Last week’s HRPA 2014 conference was a great success and one key element of it that we greatly appreciated was the work put into live updates to their blog from the show floor. Kudos to those who compiled the information and delivered such informative blog posts. Go check it out here and if you aren’t an HR blogger already, then read this post and get to it!

Have a great weekend!

The Qwali-Five – Week of January 20, 2014


Well while we try to defrost from round two of the Polar Vortex, we were warmed by the glow of our computer screens with the following five fabulous items that were begging to be shared with you.

Flickr’s solution was simple and smart: it ensured its employees were as passionate about the product as the community’s most die-hard fans by hiring directly from within the early community.  For example, for its international rollout it posted a call on the Flickr blog for community managers and got more than 700 responses.

We have adopted this approach with OpenIDEO – having hired two of our most prolific users who regularly appeared on our community leaderboards. 

  • A Conference Call in Real Life. It’s funny because it’s true.
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