recently posted the following picture on my Facebook Page knowing that it would ruffle feathers and maybe even garner some hate mail on who is responsible for the Quality of Hire.

The purpose was not to incite a riot or start a fight – although I did receive some interesting comments!  Here are a few:


“Ummmmmmm when did a recruiter become a psychic?!! I have been in recruiting over 10 Years … And I have yet to be able to tell what someone is going to do after they are hired.”


“We only bring in what we feel is a qualified candidate… ultimately it’s the hiring manager that makes the actual hiring decision.”


“This is why I recently resigned from my job as a Corporate Recruiter. I am the only one held accountable for all that goes wrong after the hire. Even if their credentials, background, drug screen and assessments are impeccable, when they quit, resign or leave because of shitty management, the retention issue is thrown in my lap. Then I’m thrown under the bus.”


“When the managers don’t want to pay for quality candidates…you get what you are willing to pay for! Bottom line it’s Corporate budgeting for positions and being competitive in the market place!”


“No recruiter is to blame. We find the candidates and it is up to the client if they want to move forward. Some slip thru the cracks as they can talk the trade in construction but with not being able to see skill set to follow makes that difficult. Also we can’t stress enough to guys that it goes off your performance if the client wants to keep you. If you are not doing what is expected or always on your phone, talking or taking breaks or constantly re directed to do the task you will be let go. Some don’t care and then don’t understand why they got fired. And they are usually the ones that are always looking for work.”


First of all, I appreciate that recruiters were willing to state their opinion and provide context to each.  Second, this is obvious a hot potato of a topic that needs to be further explored.

Distinct But Related

Buried beneath this graphic are a number of different but interwoven questions that come up.

  1. What does Quality of Hire really mean?
  2. How do you measure Quality of Hire?
  3. Who plays a role in achieving Quality of Hire?
  4. Is Quality of Hire a metric that recruiters and recruiting leaders should be held accountable for?
  5. If a recruiter has even a slight level of accountability, what is the limit to that accountability?

There is probably enough material in these questions to write an entire book – something I may consider in the fall! That being said, the purpose of this article is not to look at how to measure, but to focus on the question of should recruiters be accountable to any part of the measurement?

What my job?

As stated above, many recruiters indicated that their job was only to identify and present candidates – selection and hiring was left to the hiring manager.  Furthermore, the hiring manager could be a train wreck, driving a great candidate out of the organization and potentially affecting the view of the quality of that candidate.

Let’s look a little deeper here.   Article after article from some of the most well-known recruiting gurus talk about recruiting earning a seat at the table within the business they support.  Time after time I see things like “5 ways to become a true talent consultant” or “Why recruiter credibility is the real talent gap”.   There is no limit of articles, blogs, and presentations on how to improve the perception of us as recruiters from transactional paper pushers to real consultants.

Most of these articles talk about guiding the hiring manager in the recruiting process; helping identify, present, and help the hiring manager SELECT the right candidate; serving as a consultant on all things talent; etc.   Creating a line in the sand as a recruiting professional and saying my job stops at the presentation of candidates is counter to what being a real professional is.

By the numbers

Do most candidates get fired due to a lack of skills?   No

Why do most candidates get fired?  Due to a lack of competency or attitude related items.

According to Mark Murphy’s book Hiring for Attitude, the numbers show that only 11% of candidates are fired due to a lack of skills and 89% are fired due to a lack of some other piece such as attitude, motivation, etc.   Hiring managers can often quickly assess skills as thy are the subject matter expert – the recruiter is not.

On the other hand, hiring managers are not subject matter experts on recruiting or assessment of candidates – they focus on capability.  The recruiter is supposed to have the training and expertise to assess for culture, competency, and character – the issues that cause 89% of the population to get fired.

If we are supposed to be the experts, why wouldn’t we accept some of the responsibility for the quality of the candidates we present to the hiring manger?  How many candidates do we interview versus the hiring manager?  In theory who should be better at selecting quality candidates outside of just skill sets?

Quality is a shared sport

Let me be clear – We as recruiters are NOT to be blamed for a bad hire, but we should take some responsibility if we are doing the role we were hired to do.    Measuring quality of candidate for each recruiter is a number we should strive to know, and strive to improve.

There is a saying that what gets measured gets improved.  If we don’t measure quality of candidate, will we really improve from where we are?



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