The very first ANSI (SHRM) HR standard can be viewed here and was published on 8th February 2012 as a result of the work of the SHRM Taskforce. It is a very specific standard of measurement and only looks, as it says on the cover, at the total costs of recruiting employees but reduced down to a single metric of cost-per-hire.
This standard admits that cost-per-hire cannot be looked at in isolation, which is an immediate weakness because it has to be set alongside many other metrics to have any meaning – so it is not a stand-alone standard. If this were a cost-per-widget standard in manufacturing it could not be classified as a standard at all because it says nothing about the quality of the widgets produced or whether they are fit-for-purpose. The most obvious measures that will have to be made in conjunction with the CPH standard are the quality and performance of those hired. Only then would it become a standard for the hiring process – a much more meaningful standard that fits within a total quality system.
The total standard document comes in at 50 pages which, while thorough, is probably much too detailed for most HR practitioners and, if closely adhered to, is likely to add significant costs in monitoring this single metric.
The simplest yet crucial questions are;
- Which way should this metric go – should your costs go up or down? The standard does not answer this question. Higher costs could be associated with better quality recruits and lower costs might reduce the quality of new hires.
- If you use this metric, even just in terms of reducing hiring costs, will adopting the standard itself add any value or could you achieve the same savings simply by closely monitoring costs?
Last updated 30th may 2012