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The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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(May 24, 2005) - Our hero, Peter Drucker once summarized all of the activity inside an organization: it's all cost. What happens within the control of the firm is infinitely measurable. It can be managed. In the very micro sense. It can be reduced.

That's the key thing...what happens within the shop can be reduced.

Sadly, most measurement schemes are all about efficiency - doing more with less. While hardly a bad thing, efficiency is a set of blinders. Doing the wrong things cheaper and cheaper is a recipe for rapidly going broke. Today's silly focus on Recruiting Metrics is just another way of speeding the eventual outsourcing of HR functions.

Effectiveness - doing the right things - is all that really matters in terms of organizational survival. You simply can not figure out what the right things are by measuring them.

There is a clue, however...important things go up; unimportant things go down.

In marketing, for example, success is measured in increases in market share, a hard to control, hard to manage variable. The admin folks are responsible for shrinking the cost of advertising or the time to market for a new campaign. Costs are internal; success is external.

New customers make the company grow. More sales to existing customers make the company grow. New products for new markets make the company grow.

Reducing time and expense, while worthwhile goals, do little to strengthen the organization.

Reduced costs for manufacturing the same product can produce one time improvements in profitability but they are the signs of declining fortunes. Reduced costs for the internal handling of purchased materials are the concerns of people who want to do it cheaper. Faster turnarounds are all about being cheaper.

The real challenges for Recruiting operations do not involve these internal issues at all. Every single internal measure is subject to derailment by external forces. In particular, the size and availability of the talent supply drive these internal variables. The focus on internal dynamics is misplaced.

Over the medium term, successful recruiting will depend on a demonstrated ability to control external variables.

John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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