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Many talent acquisition teams are striving to demonstrate the value of their work while doing more with less. Data-driven recruitment is a key solution, involving using data analysis to optimize recruitment decisions, strategies, and operations. This approach can lead to better quality of hires, increased efficiency, and a better Candidate Experience, ultimately resulting in a more attractive Employer Brand.
Most companies strive to hire new employees efficiently and strategically: lowering costs and time spent on sourcing and assessing candidates; increasing productivity and employee retention; and building a sustainable and scalable hiring strategy. 

The secret to making this vision a reality for most companies can be summarized by one word: data.

Becoming more data-driven in every aspect of running a business must be the norm now. How else do you push any decisions over the line, if not with a strong data-backed argument? 

Yet many recruitment teams are not prioritizing data in their everyday work. As a result, it is often more difficult to make informed strategic decisions, data-backed improvements to their hiring operations or simply demonstrate their team’s value beyond a simple report of new hires. 

Introducing recruitment analytics into your hiring efforts will not only give your decisions more credibility across the organization, but also improve quality of hires, increase operational efficiency and help you provide a better Candidate Experience that will reflect positively on your Employer Branding. 

What is Data-Driven Recruitment?

Data-driven recruitment is the process of using data analysis techniques to inform and optimize recruitment decisions, strategies and operations. 

Data-driven recruitment can help organizations identify patterns and trends in their hiring process, allowing them to make more objective and evidence-based decisions. 

Talent acquisition teams that aim to become more data-driven, collect and analyze data at touchpoints, such as:

  • Candidate behavior on the career site
  • Drop out rates
  • Time to hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Quality of hire
  • Candidate Experience feedback
  • cNPS 

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 the organization.

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

Top 3 Benefits of Data-Driven Recruiting

Improved Quality of Hires

The quality of hires is one of the most important KPIs for data-driven talent acquisition teams. It is the metric that ultimately determines whether all their hiring efforts brought about a happy, productive and motivated new employee – every recruiter’s dream.

This metric is also one that takes a longer time to calculate, as it takes into account factors such as:

  • Job performance
  • Onboarding time
  • Employee lifetime value
  • Productivity

But – if measured diligently throughout every recruitment process at the organization – can give talent acquisition teams an efficient way of hitting their hiring goals every time.

A data-driven approach to recruitment can increase the overall quality of hire by shining a light on everything a talent acquisition team is doing right to attract and hire their ideal new hires.

For example, cross-examining data on the quality of your recent hires with the channel they applied through can help you identify the most effective sources of hire for your company.

You might find that different positions perform better on different channels, or that one source provides significantly better results than another. Having this overview will equip you with the necessary data to make a decision regarding your budgeting and strategy by uncovering:

  • Which sources provide the best results and, thus, which channel you should invest most in to yield the highest return on investment (ROI)?
  • What is it about the channel that makes the largest number of qualified candidates apply? Is it your job ad copy? The ease of application? Use this behavioral data to optimize your other advertising channels and diversify your traffic.

Another way of increasing your quality of hire via data is to introduce a more standardized approach. For example, by implementing a personality and/or skill assessment instead of an existing step in your recruitment process. 

An assessment framework can be more effective in assessing your candidates’ skillset and how it matches the requirements of the position you’re hiring for. It can also be a great way to demonstrate cultural fit.

Once you identify a framework that works for you, choosing the right candidate for the job will become more of a numbers game and eliminate the need for the infamous (and unmeasurable) “gut feeling” from the decision-making process.

Analyzing your quality of hire and identifying relevant patterns in the assessment stage allows data-driven hiring teams to say: a person that scores within a certain ballpark on the assessment is likely to be a great hire. 

Ultimately, keeping an eye on the quality of all your hires will give you the opportunity to retrace your steps to their recruitment process, see what you did right and ensure the talent acquisition strategy is fully optimized to yield the highest quality hires.

Increased Operational Efficiency

Attracting, assessing and hiring the right candidate for a position is often a long and tiresome project. Both for the company and the candidates involved.

In fact, the average time-to-fill (including the process of posting the job advertisement online and waiting for the right candidate to submit their application) is 36 days

Going from posting a job application to identifying the right candidates for an interview alone will take an average of 16 days. This means there is room for improvement at those stages of the process.

And while decreasing the average time-to-fill is not the only metric that contributes to increasing the overall operational efficiency, it has a great overall impact.

By becoming more data-driven, companies can identify specific blockers that prevent the hiring process from reaching top efficiency and providing the best results.

Is Your Hiring Team Collaborating Well?

For example, by tracking data points such as hiring manager and recruiter satisfaction, talent acquisition leads can easily find and resolve any bottlenecks caused by any misalignment in their collaboration.

A recent report has identified the following challenges as the most prevailing in the collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers:

  • Differentiating between “nice-to-have” and “must-have” qualities for the ideal candidate
  • Poor communication during the process
  • Misalignment on the importance of positive Candidate Experience

Giving recruiters and hiring managers a platform to voice their concerns and blockers throughout the entire recruitment process gives you the data necessary to optimize your overall recruitment strategy. 

For example, by educating hiring managers on the importance of good Candidate Experience, or by facilitating a seamless communication flow through access to recruiter notes in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 

Are Your Job Ads Attracting the Right Candidates?

An optimized and efficient recruitment process will attract a high number of qualified candidates. Note the keyword here: qualified.

According to Jobvite, a job ad will attract as little as 26 qualified candidates in 2023. Taking into consideration pass-through rates and drop-off rates, this doesn’t leave the recruiter with many candidates to advance to the interview stage.

By introducing more data-driven initiatives into the recruitment process, you will be able to identify why such a small number of candidates are entering the recruitment funnel in the first place.

Often the answer is simple: the job ad is not explicit enough in listing the job requirements and/or describing the responsibilities for the role. This means you could be deterring potential candidates from applying, as they might see themselves under- or overqualified for the job.

To understand the effect of job advertisement on the overall efficiency of your recruitment process, you should consider tracking data points such as:

  • Drop-off rate
  • Job ad conversion rate per source
  • Career page bounce rate
  • User heat map overview

These data points enable talent acquisition specialists to grasp the behavior of potential candidates and identify reasons why they might not be applying for the job. In return, you will learn how to make the copywriting and technical setup of your job openings optimal, inviting more qualified candidates to enter the recruitment funnel.

Better Candidate Experience (and a More Attractive Employer Brand!)

In order for your recruitment efforts to become data-driven through and through, it is imperative that you involve the voice of the candidates in your analytics. 

Since they are the beneficiaries of the process, understanding how your strategic decisions affect their perception of your company, ease of use or their willingness to accept a job offer at your business is key to a holistic overview of any recruitment process. 

What is Candidate Experience?

Candidate Experience refers to the way candidates perceive a recruitment process. The “recruitment process” includes the candidate’s every touchpoint with the hiring company: from the time they enter the career site, through submitting an application, undergoing screening and assessments, interviewing until they sign their contract. 

It is important to mention that a true measurement of Candidate Experience will include all candidates, including those who have been unsuccessful in the process, even as early on as the initial screening.

Provide Stellar Candidate Experience with a Data-Driven Approach

Making recruitment more data-driven can also help provide a better Candidate Experience. By using data to personalize and improve the recruitment process, you can make candidates feel valued and engaged throughout their entire recruitment journey. 

And – ultimately – this can help you build a positive Employer Brand that attracts top talent to your organization.

Understanding your recruitment process inside-out and working towards optimizing it will automatically reflect on the Candidate Experience you’re providing. 

A smooth and efficient process means that you’ll be making decisions swiftly and with strong reasoning; expressing your expectations accurately; building positive relationships with candidates through personalized communication and providing all necessary information to set candidates up for success from the start.

In other words, a hiring process that is optimized based on data is key to providing a stellar Candidate Experience and building an Employer Brand that makes candidates eager to apply for any position at the company.

To make sure you have all the necessary data to prioritize great Candidate Experiences in your recruitment process, you must reach out directly to the candidates and ask for feedback. This should be done at every step of the process to get a full picture of your performance.

Read More: How to Use Candidate Feedback to Improve Candidate Experience?

Measuring and acting on candidate feedback will not only increase the overall Candidate Experience, but it will also:

  • Help you identify bottlenecks in your process
  • Build a two-way relationship with the candidates, demonstrating that their opinion is valuable to you as a candidate-centric organization
  • Point out areas, locations, departments or staff members that are performing well, giving you an opportunity to standardize processes across the company
  • Together with other metrics, such as time-to-hire, quality-of-hire, cNPS, provide you with an overview of your teams’ performance and data to report on to relevant stakeholders across the organization

In Short

Becoming more data-driven in recruitment is a must for companies striving to hire new employees efficiently and strategically, especially in 2023, a year of doing more with less. 

Data-driven recruitment involves using data analysis techniques to inform and optimize recruitment decisions, strategies, and operations, ultimately leading to improved quality of hires, increased operational efficiency, and better Candidate Experience. 

By collecting and analyzing data at every touchpoint of the recruitment process, talent acquisition teams can identify patterns and trends and make more objective and evidence-based decisions. 

Additionally, involving the voice of candidates in recruitment analytics can help provide a better Candidate Experience and build a positive Employer Brand that attracts top talent to the organization.

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