How to create a data-driven hiring process

Traditionally, recruitment was much less technical and relied on the ability of the Recruiter to spot the ideal candidate for a given role. There was an element of luck involved, and without data to back up their beliefs, Recruiters could only assume that their method of finding candidates for a clients’ role was effective.

Data-driven recruitment allows Recruiters to analyse a large talent pool, using technology and data analysis techniques to identify candidates with the right skills, experience, and mindset to successfully fill the client’s role.

This is essentially intelligent recruitment and is a relatively new approach that is being driven by the availability of new and exciting HR software like JobDiva’s PaaS technology or SmartRecruiters talent acquisition suite and performance management platforms that allow Recruiters to collect and analyse massive amounts of recruitment data.

The data available to Recruiters above and beyond CVs and cover letters include social media activity, past jobs, and online publications, giving Recruiters a more rounded view of a candidate.

Businesses have been using data to guide their decision making for many years. It lets them know if their marketing messages resonate with customers, how their products and services sell locally and globally and monitor the performance of their teams against targets. Now data is recognised for the impact it can have on the hiring process.

Why is data necessary for the hiring process?

Data is vital to answer the questions you have around the effectiveness of your hiring processes, and it allows you to assess potential candidates based on your understanding of the whole person rather than the bare facts available on a CV.

The data gathered during the recruitment process can give Recruiters valuable insights into the best approach to finding successful candidates for roles and managing candidates through the process.

Tracking candidates

Where did a candidate first see the role advertised? How did they apply? Monitoring their progress through interviews and offer to keeping in touch during the onboarding process to help improve your candidate and client experience.

Analyse the success of different candidate attraction strategies

By understanding where you are sourcing the majority of your candidates allows you to target your advertising budget and tailor the way you present roles on these target sites.

Discover recruitment process issues

Identify if the initial process of getting a candidate registered for a role or the consultant interview is overly cumbersome or restrictive and look at how you can tweak your processes to improve candidate experience and the efficiency of the overall registration.

Benchmark and forecast hiring

Once you know the average number of applicants required to find the ideal candidate, you can look to re-advertise with a revised copy of the job description or other strategies if you have had too few applicants.

Improve efficiency and productivity

Track the number of candidate emails sent during the hiring process, for example, to see if this can be reduced with better candidate information.

Data-driven recruitment is your competitive edge over your competition because your decision making is based on hard facts and not unproven guesswork.

How to incorporate data into your hiring process

When you decide to move to data-driven recruitment, one of the first areas to consider is the metrics or key performance indicators that you want to track. Common metrics used include:

  • Cost per hire
  • Time to hire
  • Source of hire
  • Candidate experience score
  • Job offer acceptance rates

Different organisations may be interested in additional data. To determine what is essential to your business, speak with the in-house talent community and ask questions. These could include:

  • Which recruiting sources/methods do you consider unreliable and therefore not cost-effective but don’t have the data to prove it?
  • What recruiting data would help you build reports for your managers that they could use to improve and streamline the process?
  • What data do you use (or would like to use) to become more productive when hiring?
  • What hiring problems/bottlenecks do you see most often, and what data could help you identify how to remove them?

Getting the data you need can be time-consuming and challenging, but by utilising your recruitment tools, it may be possible to use its inbuilt reporting feature to extract some of the information you need. Additionally, data can be gathered using Google Analytics, such as career page conversion or talent insights from LinkedIn that provides statistics including the number of applicants in a geographical area

The data you collect can then be used to uncover and solve recruitment issues you’re facing.

  • Excessive length of time-to-hire
  • Low offer acceptance rates
  • High turnover of new hires

However, the data you collect can’t tell you everything. Without interpretation, your data can’t tell you why something happened, can’t solve your problems and isn’t always objective.

One area your data can help with is evaluating what has worked in the past and what failed, which will let you improve your hiring and recruitment systems.

What other factors are important when creating a data-driven hiring process?

As the world shrinks because of our increasing digital approach to life, your candidate pool increases exponentially. However, data protection is also vital in whichever country you are recruiting in. Being compliant with these laws and the security of personal information shows your business has behaved ethically and within the law.

This increasing globalism means that you may be in possession of data from people who have used your website to apply for a position you’re advertising. When your company begins using a data-driven approach to hiring, you must ensure that local laws are followed; for instance, European countries follow GDPR rules to ensure data privacy.

Data-driven recruitment will enable you to make decisions based on evidence and not just on gut instinct. However, when you create a data-driven recruitment process, the whole team must be involved; evaluate your options concerning the software and technology to adopt and understand the importance of data security.

The use of data to facilitate effective decision making in business is commonplace and effective. Companies use Business intelligence software, analytics, and other tech to drive their organisations forward and be more profitable.

Recruiters have a wealth of data available to them. Using this data to drive the hiring process will improve client companies’ outcomes, improve candidate experience, and allow Recruiters to refine their processes based on real-world data, not guesswork.