The two primary challenges for talent acquisition leaders in supply chain—specifically the logistics, manufacturing, and distribution industries—as the pandemic reaches nearly a year of marketplace and workforce disruption, will be filling skilled positions and putting safety protocols at the forefront of their employer brands.
Pandemic Hiring Requires Flexibility and Creativity for Businesses in Distribution, Logistics, and Warehouse Industries
One thing that the global pandemic did? It put supply chain automation and technology into overdrive.
As part of Forrester’s 2021 predictions guide, they cited several areas that will drive growth in manufacturing and logistics in the coming year, including 3D printing of protective equipment, augmented reality (AR) headsets used to reduce time doctors spent with high-risk COVID-19 patients, re-skilling machinists to build ventilators, and remote support used to help engineers guide customers through remote maintenance tasks.
Warehouse automation technology, such as RFID and automated workflow solutions, will be key for logistics enterprises to maintain operations and manage critical workflows. During the pandemic, warehouse operators had to implement social distancing measures and limit the number of employees in their facilities, which drastically accelerated the development and adoption of flexible automated solutions within warehouses as well as increased the need for tech and other workers with different skill sets.
Safety protocols are key to attracting warehouse and other in-house workers, which means investing in health and wellness solutions, such as thermal imaging kiosks that screen for fevers and provide reminders to wear masks, and additional staff dedicated to monitoring safety.
Essential Recruiting Metrics for Logistics & Distribution
With these two challenges in mind, we’ll review the top recruiting metrics you should be tracking for logistics, manufacturing, and distribution hiring.
Cost per hire
Cost per hire is the average amount of money you spend on making a hire. The best use of this metric is to compare the cost per hire 12 months ago to your cost per hire now. This will give you a solid idea of how much more or less you’ll need to add to your recruiting budget in order to reach qualified candidates.
Time to fill and time to hire
Time to fill is the number of days between posting a job and getting an offer accepted for that role. If this metric has gradually increased over time, it can indicate that your sourcing efforts are lacking, that something isn’t working with your job description and posting (or where you’re posting it), or that the talent marketplace has become significantly more challenging. Note that this metric is a broad snapshot of how long the process is taking based on internal and external factors, while time to hire tells you how quickly you and your team move once you find the right candidate. Time to fill is important for reporting to company stakeholders so they have a realistic expectation of how long it really takes to fill a position and can therefore adjust business planning for company growth.
Source of hire
This metric tells us which applicant sources are performing the best across the board. Calculate it by dividing your recruiting source yield by the number of qualified applicants from the recruiting source. Use this metric to determine which sources, job boards or websites are most effective for hiring for your business. Tracking the source of hire will help you distribute your hiring resources to the most effective recruiting channels, specifically the channels that are bringing in qualified applicants.
Candidate Conversion Rate
The percentage of candidates who move forward in each step of the hiring process is referred to as the candidate conversion rate. Because this metric reflects candidates who have moved through stages of your funnel within a specific time range, it allows you to see a snapshot of where your candidates are abandoning the process, opting out, and helps you identify areas for improvement.
For example, if you are testing a set of job postings by including what your company has done really well that keeps employees safe (on-site testing, social distancing, remote work options, floor safety monitors), but your warehouse applicants abandon the process after reading the job post, you’re missing something that your applicant demographic wants to see.
Companies that adhere to the CDC’s national and local guidelines will be more effective at recruiting and retaining talent right now because workers need to feel safe before they can feel good about doing their jobs and being part of an organization.
Quality of hire
Quality of hire measures which source of hire produces the best-performing or most qualified candidates. This can be a difficult metric because it measures the value new hires bring to a company and “value” can be defined in multiple ways. Value usually means how much a new hire contributes to their company’s long term success by completing tasks, improving their work and helping others, but in manufacturing there are other indicators to take into consideration, such as shift work, productivity, skills gap, and performance rankings.
It can be helpful to measure beyond the number of new hires. Consider how many qualified candidates you have hired and how many days from hire it takes before a new hire becomes a productive employee.
Interviews per hire
Interviews per hire is the number of interviews (first, second, final interviews) you need to conduct before making a hire. The lower this number is, the faster candidates will move through your talent funnel. There are two ways to immediately improve this metric. The first is to improve your screening so that you’re only scheduling interviews with candidates that meet your hiring manager’s requirements. The second is simply to conduct fewer interviews.
The real key to leveraging recruiting metrics for talent acquisition teams in logistics and distribution industries is to ensure that you consider the organization’s business plans and strategies using key business drivers to help tell the story of how the recruitment team supports the larger organization.