The Do's and Don'ts of Data-Driven Recruiting: How to Win with Recruitment Analytics

By Susan Vitale, Chief Marketing Officer, iCIMS Inc.

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Today's recruiters are defined by a variety of responsibilities outside of the traditional scope of talent acquisition. Being a successful recruiter now means being someone who understands digital marketing, can think like a salesperson, and, most recently, can collect and interpret recruitment data.

Why let data drive recruitment? In short: It increases recruiting success rates. It's predicted that, by 2021, hiring success will improve by more than 300 percent due to the use of data analytics in the hiring process. By using data to inform recruitment, organizations will be able to find better candidate matches, more efficiently. It all starts with a better understanding of the do's and don'ts of data-driven recruiting.

Do: Acquire a Holistic View

Organizations should be looking at data for all parts of the recruitment process: recruitment marketing performance, screening efficiency and onboarding effectiveness, as well as the performance of all of their solutions, like those that conduct assessments and background screenings. To maximize use and understanding of recruitment data, however, organizations need their recruiting technologies to be connected, with data from each technology accessible in one organized location, such as a talent acquisition system of record.

Don't: Stop at Data Collection

One of the most impactful ways organizations can move away from simply collecting data to effectively acting upon it -- in other words, letting it drive decisions --  is via predictive analytics. When organizations use data to make predictions about recruitment, they become empowered to not just identify recruitment strengths and weaknesses, but proactively address them. For example, with a predictive analytics approach, existing data can be used to forecast what applicant volume will be next year at a given time, to help companies find ways to either raise or lower it.

Do: Ensure Reporting is Highly Configurable

Without the ability to configure input variables -- as well as decide in which format reports will be generated -- analysis remains less complete and effective. Reports should also be configurable to individual users. Hiring managers will likely have interest in different recruiting metrics than recruiters, and one recruiter will benefit from a specific report more than another. By allowing users to configure reports to their unique needs, and quickly access the reports from an individual dashboard that provides real-time updates, it becomes possible for users to keep a pulse on the metrics they care about most.

Don't: Opt for a Separate Data Analytics Solution

Creating divisions between HR and data analytics, however collaborative the worlds are intended to be, could create inefficiencies, result in misinformation (or lack of information flow between data experts and HR), and create redundancies. Simply put: organizations will be best positioned to leverage recruitment data when they keep the collection and analysis of that data closely tied to HR. That's because HR is best equipped ask the right questions to generate the right reports.

Do: Broaden Your Scope of Analysis

Surface-level analysis, the kind that might just look at average time to fill, is certainly a place to start, but companies seeking a competitive edge will maximize efforts by broadening the scope of analysis. Doing so starts with asking "why" when confronted with each new metrics report. Why did time to fill remain stagnant in the first three months of the year? Why are more candidates engaging with us on Facebook, rather than our paid advertisements on LinkedIn? It's the "why" questions that will expand the breadth of analysis and uncover new, more impactful recruitment components to track.

Don't: Overlook Developing a Formal Strategy

Successful data-driven recruitment includes identifying what's to be learned from data. In what ways do you hope data analytics will improve your recruiting and organizational outcomes? By establishing overarching goals, and breaking those down into quarterly, monthly and ongoing goals, you can build out a formal analytics strategy. This will organize and shape how recruiters use data, how resources are managed to respond to that data, and how information is reported up to an executive team.

In many ways, data will drive the future of recruiting. It currently drives the majority of other business functions; there's no reason HR won't -- or can't -- embrace data analytics, too. Across the board, data is being used by businesses to inform decisions, not replace the people that carry them out. In other words, data-driven recruitment won't be taking the "human" out of "human resources." What it will do is maximize those resources and drive recruitment success.


Sep 19, 2016
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