Here’s a good rule of thumb for recruiters:
Data comes first. Your gut comes later, if you ever need it.
Replacing guesswork with solid data points turns candidate selection into a no-brainer. Plus, it boosts your overall confidence as a professional and helps you fill positions with smooth-running accuracy.
In this article, we’ll go over what data-driven recruitment is, why it matters, and how it can bring unparalleled results to both candidates and clients.
What Is Data-Driven Recruiting?
Data-driven recruiting involves using statistics and facts to make more objective hiring decisions.
Beyond gathering data, you should know how to analyse and interpret this data – so that you can transform your findings into actionable insights.
Your recruitment metrics and the data sources you trust (such as your Applicant Tracking System) will likely provide you with most of the information you need to ace the hiring process. The rest of the information lies in your ability to understand what candidates and clients need from you.
Why Is Data-Driven Recruitment Important?
Data-driven recruiting is essential as it gives recruiters measurable insights into how they can streamline their current process. Here’s how it does that:
Data-Driven Recruiting Dismisses Guesswork
No matter how large an organisation may be, it simply cannot afford guesswork. Guesswork leads to unqualified hires, which can escalate to high turnover rates, customer dissatisfaction, and other potentially business-shutting issues.
Every time you hire a candidate, you’re making a claim: “As a recruiter, I trust that this is the right person for the job.”
Can you back up that claim? What data points can you present to secure your arguments? You’ll need those answers.
It Helps You Hire Faster while Improving Hiring Quality
You don’t have time to speculate on what the best sourcing channels are or what the ideal candidate may be like. Your time-to-hire is ticking, candidates are waiting for replies, and clients want results, pronto.
A data-driven approach will help you accelerate the unnecessarily long recruiting stages. Plus, you’ll be able to eliminate the ineffective and expensive parts of your hiring strategy.
When your process is shorter yet pointed, your time-to-hire and quality-of-hire are bound to decrease and increase, respectively. Because you’ll be focusing only on what will give you the most bang for your buck – and your time.
It Provides a Fair Candidate Experience
A huge part of your job is to decrease friction and increase fairness in your candidate’s lifecycle.
A fair experience puts qualified candidates in line for the job of their dreams. It keeps them updated about their application status across every major touchpoint and kindly lets them know if you aren’t moving forward.
According to 2021’s North America Candidate Experience Research Report, “when candidates feel like their overall experience is a fair one, they tend to rate their experiences more positively regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race and age.”
And rightly so, as the experience respected their time and kept them posted.
What Recruitment Data Should You Measure? And How to Measure It?
In an article for Wired, Michael A. Morell from recruiting services firm Riviera Partners alerts recruiters of the following:
“You can’t just ‘data mine’ your way to the right candidate; you need the right tools to analyse it and the right data that can provide meaningful insight.
An insightful and well-structured hiring process starts by gathering data like:
- Number of total applicants
- Candidate profile
- Applicant drop-off rate
- Average time to hire for a job
- Source of hire
- The duration for each hiring step
- Job offer acceptance rates
- Application conversion rates
Tools like Google Analytics and social media analytics will help you measure your quantitative data. At the same time, surveying and interviewing candidates will give you qualitative data on whether they’re a perfect match for the open position.
For increased productivity, you should keep all that information in a dedicated dashboard. An all-in-one ATS will do most of that work for you, from tracking where each applicant is coming from to unifying high volumes of data in a single database.
Always Incorporate the Data You’ve Found into Your Recruitment Process
“The trick isn’t merely in collecting the data – it’s in interpreting it, and understanding the importance (or lack thereof of) each data point,” says Morell.
When the data tells you the most problematic stages in your process, you can make a convincing case for every decision. Yet, that can only happen if you can interpret your findings.
If your data suggests that candidates are withdrawing from interviews, their expectations might not align with the company’s expectations. Or, they might have had a poor experience in previous stages.
If you need more information, survey your candidates to dig deeper. This will only improve your interactions with them, thus benefiting your entire process.
Recruitment Data Won’t Tell You Everything, but It Can Guide You
Sometimes, you won’t have the data you need to make a 100% confident decision. That’s when judgment or “gut” calls come into play.
What else do you know about your sources? Your candidates? Your processes? When data isn’t enough, it’s time to put your skills and experience to work.
Data alone doesn’t make a process data-driven, by the way. You’ll still need to create a winning experience that involves sleek communication and frictionless interaction across the board.
When you combine data, interpretation, and skill, everyone wins.