1:1 Hiring: Cinderella Moment, or Compliance Concern?

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Susan Matus,
Director, RPO Center of Excellence

Victoria Zeppi,
Director, RPO Client Services

 When looking at your hiring data, a 1:1 hire reads like a fairy tale. There was a ball, one dance partner stood out, and then, just like that, we knew we had our perfect match. A 1:1 hire is the ultimate happily ever after; the marriage of the perfect person with the perfect job, at the perfect time. Forget Cinderella, and ask yourself: what are the odds that the one candidate you considered was not only the right fit, b ut they loved your o ffer and accepted it , al l in one day? Out here in the real world, a 1:1 hire is a sign that further investigation is needed. A 1:1 hire is defined a s on e c a ndidate c onsidered, on e candidate hired, or 1:1. Should a 1:1 hire appear on your applicant tracking system (ATS) reports, it isn’t time to break out the glass slipper; it is a sign that you need to ask more questions to ensure your program’s systems are working properly. A 1:1 hire could be a sign that you are gathering inaccurate program data, or even worse, have compliance concerns. The consideration of multiple candidates for each open position is simply good business. It means that you are allowing internal resources to be considered, which boosts morale, and that your recruiting efforts were successful enough to attract a wide range of qualified external candidates. Each interview is the opportunity to create a positive candidate experience, which improves your employment brand and builds a pipeline of qualified talent for future openings. Hiring best practice assume a minimum of 3:1 hiring, where at least three qualified c a ndidates a r e c o nsidered f or a n y one opening. For compliance purposes, if there are multiple candidates applying for the same position, and they all meet the minimum qualifications, at least three of them must be considered before an offer c an be extended. Of course, there are cases where the ideal ratio does not exist. Hard to find skill sets and tough geographic markets can mean there are just not enough candidates to hit the 3:1 benchmark. When this occurs, the data will show that a job was open in the ATS for seven days, with only one candidate applying, being considered, and then hired. In this case, 1:1 hiring, while not ideal, it is the right and correct outcome. So how can you know if the 1:1 hire showing on your report is valid or not? You can start by taking a closer look at the processes, people, and technologies that create your hiring experience.

Process: Proper Documentations of Transfers

 It is easy for job title changes and internal transfers to get incorrectly documented in an ATS, since an internal employee is not a true applicant. These internal mobility transactions can look like a 1:1 hire in reports, which can create big problems during audits or when you’re trying to analyze program data. This could also result in delays in your job order approvals. Ask yourself: would these types of changes be better managed outside of your ATS?

People: Data In, Data Out

 Another cause of false 1:1 readings could be an overburdened talent acquisition department. If your team is too busy to properly manage the applicant process, they could be skipping key steps (such as documenting the actual number of candidates considered), and jumping ahead to show the position as filled. If candidates are not properly moved through the system, the story the data tells will be incorrect. Regular internal auditing of the data, as well as continuous training, is an important part of managing the people part of your process.


 The final piece of the puzzle is your technology. Without constant refinement, it is easy for workflows and data collection to get out-of-step with current realities. For example, dispositioning codes need to updated periodically to ensure they are applicable and compliant. Inaccurate, outdated data fields inevitably lead to reporting gaps that make it almost impossible to evaluate your hiring practices, including 1:1 hires. Once you determine what is happening to create your 1:1 results, you will be better able to evaluate whether it is time to go glass slipper shopping, or if your processes, people and/or technologies need further refining. Either way, it is important to understand the realities behind your data so you can ensure each job requisition has an adequate pool of competitive candidates.