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A data-driven approach to recruitment is important in today's digitized world as it allows companies to optimize their hiring processes and attract the right talent. Recruitment analytics provides insights on how to build a data-driven recruitment process, involving the right voices, finding the right tools for reliable data collection, and understanding the process to maximize data potential. 
Thanks to the omnipresence of the internet, we are living truly interconnected lives. Not only can we communicate across all ends of the Earth within seconds, we have access to all kinds of information at our fingertips. 

And this quality is indispensable for companies who wish to smooth out their processes and drive the best results.

Thus, tracking, measuring and analyzing every operational process is the only way towards a truly optimized business. By making the most of all IT solutions available in today’s digitized world, companies can grow and improve their performance over time.

Data informs the present and helps to guide the future of any business by providing an overview of their performance, systems and customers. With data, businesses can get an overview of:

  • Their sales performance locally and globally
  • All staff performance across locations, departments, teams and company targets
  • How their marketing efforts affect brand perception and sales
  • All their hiring efforts

While it has become the norm for most businesses to measure data points related to the first three points listed above, applying a data-driven strategy framework to talent acquisition is less common.

Yet, a hiring process driven by reliable and transparent data is the future of recruitment. 

What is Data-Driven Recruitment?

A data-driven approach to recruitment is the process of collecting, measuring and analyzing data points across a company’s hiring efforts to inform and optimize recruitment decisions, strategies and operations. 

Data-driven recruitment, or recruitment analytics, equip organizations with information needed to identify patterns and trends in their hiring process, allowing them to make more objective and evidence-based decisions. 

Read More: Top 6 Recruitment KPIs You Need to Track in 2023

Ultimately, a data-driven recruitment strategy aims to improve the efficiency of the recruitment process, resulting in better, faster and cheaper hires, and higher retention rates across all departments.

Why is Recruitment Analytics the Future of Recruitment?

Every successful business in 2023 lives and breathes data. As a vital source of information, tracking and measuring all business operations educates companies on improving and optimizing systems and long-term strategies.

With recruitment analytics, data and feedback collected throughout every recruitment process conducted by the Talent Acquisition teams gives them irrefutable evidence to execute on precise strategic decisions.

Data acquired throughout the recruitment process can help businesses to:

Track every candidate’s progress.

Tracking behavioral data from candidates from the time they see the job advertisement for the first time, all the way through to their onboarding process, can provide businesses with vital KPI metrics, such as time-to-hire or drop-off rates. 

Understand candidate behavior throughout the process.

For example, getting an insight into what aspect of the job advertisement or application infrastructure led a candidate to submit their CV can help businesses optimize the application process as a whole, resulting in more candidates entering the recruitment funnel for each job opening.

Identify optimal ways of reaching the target audience.

Tracking the performance of every candidate source is key in efficient resource allocation. For example, identifying that candidates applying through LinkedIn tend to be most qualified and result in highly productive and satisfied hires can save a business a significant amount of money if they choose to spend less on advertising on other, less effective channels.

Tailor their tone of voice and candidate communication strategy.

Tone of voice and effective communication is part of every business’ Employer Branding strategy. Understanding what kind of messaging attracts the highest number of qualified candidates can directly expand a company’s talent pool.

Cater to larger audiences and spot opportunities for growth

The geographical breakdown of a company’s talent pool can help predict future business opportunities within regions and/or countries. This can also become an indicator for the business to start expanding their presence in the areas. Either by hiring more employees from that location or even opening a local office. This way, businesses can grow their commercial presence and activity more organically.

Regain control of the hiring process.    

Recruitment analytics is key in organizations regaining control of their hiring process. As the job market has become increasingly candidate-centric over the last few years, candidates are often in control. 

With drop-off rates as high as 25% at interview stage (22% at application stage; 24% after screening; 18% at assessment and 9% at offer stage), companies often lose out on best talent due to misaligned processes. 

Data is key to identifying bottlenecks and issues in the process that push the ball into the candidates’ court.

In 2023, businesses must realize that the nature of the market across all industries is rapidly changing. Trends, technology and in-vogue business practices result in constant changes and improvements. 

In order to stay ahead of competition, businesses have to constantly update their operations and search for innovative solutions.

This is no different from a company’s recruitment process. Focusing on an innovative approach and continuously optimized processes gives businesses the competitive edge necessary to attract, hire and retain the right talent.

And a data-focused approach is what gets the most successful companies on top; it provides an overview of their hiring efforts and highlights successes and opportunities to grow, benefitting both the company and its potential hires.

How to Build a Data-Driven Recruitment Process?

If your talent acquisition teams are currently operating in a data-less environment, introducing a new approach will require a lot of changes. Both in the team collaboration and technical infrastructure.

Involve the Right Voices

Critical decisions, such as revolutionizing an entire process that has been ingrained in the company’s operations for years, require a transparent approach. Therefore, it is crucial that all staff involved in the recruitment process in one way or another is part of the planning and executing process. 

This includes recruiters, talent acquisition specialists, employer branding specialists, hiring managers, Candidate Experience leads, IT specialists, legal departments and people and culture representatives.

An open and inclusive approach ensures that all relevant parties and perspectives have a chance to express their feedback on what it will take for the company to completely move towards a data-driven hiring process.

Ask the employees involved in the hiring process about:

  • How are they finding the current process? Is there anything about the current setup that is making them work inefficiently? What would make the process more effective, both in terms of hiring the right talent and their everyday tasks?
  • How do they feel about data? Are they familiar with basic data analytics tools and best practices? Would a series of workshops on acquiring, analyzing and presenting data be beneficial?
  • Are there any differences in approach across all your business locations? It is essential to consider that what might work in one country or region may not be suitable in another.

With their feedback, you can identify key factors that will make the transition possible and what changes your hiring teams are capable of undergoing in their current setup. This way, you will be able to plan the transition in a way that suits your business goals and capabilities.

Find the Right Tools for Reliable Data Collection

There are a number of effective tools on the market that promote and facilitate reliable data collection for recruitment specialists. 

When choosing the right one for your business, you should consider how it will fit in with your current recruitment process and team capabilities by understanding:

  • Is it functional and user-friendly? Can your team easily adapt it into their everyday tasks?
  • Can it easily integrate with your existing hiring process?
  • Does it enable easy data sharing across departments, team members and regions?

It is beneficial to establish a series of criteria when planning your transition to a more data-driven approach in recruitment. This will make it easier to make an informed decision and find a tool that suits your business’ specific needs.

For example, consider your existing Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Most ATS tools come equipped with basic data-gathering capabilities, informing businesses on their average time-to-hire, best source of hire, etc. Often, key data is right at your fingertips – it is just a matter of tapping into what’s there and educating your team on how to interpret and act on it.

However, having a complete overview of your hiring efforts requires inputs from those going through the process: the candidates. Including their feedback in your transition into a data-driven approach to recruitment is crucial, as it often reveals aspects of the process that a one-sided perspective will not. 

Understand the Process to Maximize Data Potential

Whether you’re completely rethinking the hiring flow and starting from scratch, or simply integrating a new tool into an existing recruitment framework, you need to understand the pieces to know how to use all data collected to your benefit.

By understanding the hiring process and the journey the candidates experience, from application to rejection or onboarding, you can identify crucial data points that can maximize your performance.

In this process, consider:

  • How is the hiring process structured? How does it progress? What is the usual time-frame from start to finish? What happens at every step?
  • Which are the critical moments in the process? Where can you get the most valuable data or information from the candidates?
  • What is the best way to acquire the data? Think: questionnaires, surveys or direct communication with candidates through email or phone? Every business is different – find the right way to engage with candidates and the relevant stakeholders in your talent acquisition teams.

Support the Team in the Transition

The people in charge of your recruitment efforts are responsible for acquiring and understanding the data collected throughout the process and implementing any changes accordingly. 

This can put enormous pressure on the entire team and it is your responsibility to give them the right tools and knowledge to perform their best.

Firstly: align on the importance of data by educating the team on how:

  • The data collected will refine the hiring process, making their job more exciting and rewarding.
  • Implementing recruitment analytics into the talent acquisition strategy is a way for the company to gain a competitive edge and – ultimately – attract, hire and retain the right talent for every open position.

Giving employees a sense of responsibility towards the company’s success is key to enhance buy-in and support to the new process. They want to see and feel that their work matters and has a direct impact on business performance as a whole.

Start by educating all team members on any new data-collection tools or systems in place, how to interpret the findings and how to use it to create reports and presentations to drive more informed decisions throughout the process. 

This way, your employees will gain confidence in the new approach and quickly learn how to use it to their advantage. 

Tips to Note when Working with Recruitment Analytics

Collecting behavioral data effectively – whether it’s as general as user click-through rates on your career page or direct candidate feedback from various touch points throughout the process – needs a holistic and nuanced approach.  

In this case, there is no one-size-fits-all solution because every business is different. Depending on size, location, budget, industry and much more, the same data set can yield different results in the long run.

A successful attempt at recruitment analytics is one that embraces those nuances.

Respect and Embrace Global Differences

Companies have seen a number of changes to how they must carry out their operations in the last decades. 

Yet, no change has been as significant as globalization; responsible for the growing interaction and integration of people and countries worldwide.

And to make globalization your friend, you must understand and appreciate the differences between the countries and cultures your business hires and operates in.

Not only to reap the benefits a diverse and inclusive workplace can bring, but also to comply with the processes and hiring practices in your recruiting regions. 

This is where stakeholder engagement comes into play. Those specialized individuals can inspect your hiring framework in relation to any regional differences (both in laws and cultural norms), and provide critical advice on:

  • How do people across your company’s operational regions consume and receive information? How do they search for jobs? This knowledge of the local recruitment markets should shape your business’ candidate engagement strategy, giving you a nuanced perspective on all the data you collect across the regions.
  • The suitability of your feedback collection questions. Are they acceptable, polite or considered rude? This way, you’ll be able to maximize your data collection processes.
  • Language discrepancies. Ensuring all translations are correct, friendly and professional will ensure positive Employer Brand and accurate feedback collection. 

Read More: How to Ensure Your Recruitment Process Embraces Diversity

Data Collection Requires Data Protection

As the digital world expands, businesses must ensure that they behave ethically and comply with information security laws to maintain a worldwide presence.

With the increasing amount of data that companies possess from customers and job applicants, it's important to remember that "with great power comes great responsibility." 

Protecting users' privacy and security is essential, and businesses must comply with legal requirements that differ from country to country. For instance, organizations within EU countries must follow GDPR rules.

Therefore, companies that use data for hiring must accept and comply with these regulatory measures wherever they have a presence in the world. Personal data of individuals who apply for a position at your company must be protected against unauthorized access or threats.

Failing to do so could be catastrophic for your business, leading to a damaged reputation and/or legal fines.

In Short

In today's digitized world, data plays a vital role in all aspects of a business, including recruitment.

By implementing a data-driven approach to talent acquisition, companies can optimize their hiring processes, make more informed decisions, and ultimately attract and retain the right talent for their organization. 

However, transitioning to a data-driven recruitment process requires careful consideration, including involving the right voices, finding the right tools for reliable data collection, understanding the process to maximize data potential, and supporting the team in the transition. 

Additionally, businesses must respect and embrace global differences and ensure that they comply with data protection regulations. 

By implementing these measures, companies can stay ahead of the competition and continuously improve their operations and search for innovative solutions.

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