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HR leaders are busy, busy people with a lot of demands on their attention. There’s nothing new there.

As one of those many demands, the hiring function has so many moving parts that it’s nearly impossible to monitor day-to-day. Unfortunately, that means that it sometimes takes a crisis before it becomes glaringly obvious that the recruiting team is struggling to keep up.

Luckily, there are some simple things that you can keep your eye on that will alert you before a crisis strikes.

1. Sluggish Fill Times

According to SHRM, the national average for time to fill is 42 days. If a position is particularly difficult to fill due to the expertise or skills required, then it’s not unusual for your fill time to be longer. When it’s just a few positions or a one-off, you don’t really have anything to worry about.

On the other hand, if your average time-to-fill is in the 60-90 day range, you have a problem. It could be poor communication with hiring managers, an overwhelmed team with little time to source, an unwieldy process, or may even come down to poorly written job descriptions. Regardless of the root cause, it’s a sure sign that your recruiting team is struggling.

2. Mediocre Candidates

Mediocre candidates sometimes make it through the screening process, or in some extreme cases, mediocre candidates are the only candidates that make it through. If the majority of candidates sent to hiring managers aren’t meeting muster, that’s a pretty serious red flag.

Not only does that frustrate hiring managers, but it also puts them in the position of making an offer to the “least worst”, and no one wants to make a bad hire. It’s bad for the hiring manager relationship and bad for business.

3. Hit or Miss Analytics

Keeping up with hiring analytics and reporting is an important task for the hiring team because it helps you to know what’s working and what isn’t within the hiring function. Unfortunately for some organizations, it can be the first thing to fall through the cracks when the team gets busy.

And it’s even worse if your team has to manually maintain those records. Poor reporting makes it impossible to diagnose problems within the hiring function and results in a lot of frustration and time lost. It’s a sure sign that your recruiting team is struggling and makes it difficult to know how to help them.

4. Candidates Falling Through the Cracks

It’s important to your employer brand to take good care of your candidates. While some aspects of improving the candidate experience revolve around a better application process, more relevant interview questions, or even more descriptive job postings, what candidates want most is better communication throughout the hiring process.

Poor communication with candidates can drive away top talent, damage your organization’s reputation, and even cost you more to make quality hires. Unfortunately, candidate communication is usually one of the first things to slip when your recruiting team is struggling.

5. Unhappy Hiring Managers

Hiring manager satisfaction is really the bellwether that tells you how your overall hiring function is… well… functioning.

Hiring manager satisfaction, when evaluated as a metric rather than a feeling, is an important measure that determines much more than how Hiring Managers feel about a particular recruiter. To get the most out of satisfaction surveys, they should encompass all the hiring elements that they experience. Survey metrics should include technology, process, candidate quantity, candidate quality, and process times.

When hiring managers are frustrated and unhappy with the hiring process, that’s usually the biggest sign that your recruiting team is struggling.

The bottom line…

It can be frightening to see the signs that your recruiting team is struggling with the hiring process, but not as frightening as missing the signs altogether. Waiting until a crisis happens can have a serious impact on your team, the hiring results, and your organization.

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