How Data-Driven Recruitment Can Make Your Hiring Process More Effective
For Employers

February 15, 2024

How Data-Driven Recruitment Can Make Your Hiring Process More Effective

Now, data is king. For talent teams to properly optimize their practices, they are leveraging the data they possess. If you don't do data-driven hiring, you're going to get smoked in this super-competitive market. - Eugene Garla, VP of Talent at Index.dev

Fortune 500 companies, including Cisco, Google, and Deloitte, have effectively improved their hiring process and reduced the chances of mishaps by utilizing recruitment analytics. According to a LinkedIn poll, 77% of talent professionals rely on analytics to plan their workforce.

By embracing data-driven recruiting, companies can save up to 23 hours of manual labor each week through candidate pre-screening and shortlisting. Data-driven recruitment is instrumental in overcoming early-stage recruitment challenges. By automating the process and leveraging in-depth data, companies can make more informed hiring decisions, identify ideal candidates, and significantly cut down time and recruitment costs. Ultimately, this data-driven approach enhances the quality of hires, reduces bias, and streamlines the entire recruitment process.

In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive overview of data-driven recruitment and explore how it can effectively enhance hiring processes. Let's dive right in. 

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What is data-driven recruitment?

Data-driven recruitment is a cutting-edge method revolutionizing the hiring process by utilizing data analysis and insights to make well-informed and objective decisions when selecting candidates. This approach goes beyond traditional recruitment practices that often rely on intuition and subjective evaluations, instead employing quantitative metrics and advanced analytics to identify the most suitable talent for a specific role.

By harnessing the power of data, organizations can gain deeper insights into their recruitment processes, detect patterns and trends, and make data-backed decisions to enhance their hiring outcomes. This shift towards data-driven hiring is a direct consequence of modern HR technologies becoming standard in the workforce, such as performance management platforms, HRIS (human resource information systems), and ATS (applicant tracking systems). These technologies collectively generate an extensive pool of recruitment data that data-driven recruitment can effectively leverage.

Source: HackerEarth

What data should you measure to improve the recruitment process?

To ensure effective outcomes, the data to be measured can be categorized into three main areas: speed-based, quality-based, and cost-based hiring metrics.

  1. Speed-based hiring metrics encompass essential time-related factors such as time to hire, time to start, time to accept, time to approve, and time per stage. These metrics enable you to monitor and streamline the hiring process for faster and more efficient outcomes.
  2. Cost-based hiring metrics focus on financial aspects and include the cost per hire, talent pool growth, applications per channel, and advertisement performance. These metrics help you assess the cost-effectiveness of your recruitment strategies and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Quality-based hiring metrics provide insights into the caliber of your hires and include the source of hire, submission to acceptance rate, candidates per hire, applications per job, and retention rates. By evaluating these metrics, you can gauge the effectiveness of your hiring process in attracting and retaining high-quality candidates.

For instance, if your objective is to reduce overall costs, your teams should focus on cost-based hiring metrics and optimize the current recruiting strategy accordingly. On the other hand, if improving hire quality is your priority, a thorough evaluation of metrics related to the hiring funnel, retention, and employee engagement will be necessary.

By aligning your data-driven recruitment efforts with your specific goals and relevant KPIs, you can maximize the effectiveness of your hiring process and achieve better hiring outcomes.

Examples of data-driven recruitment 

In the recruitment process, data-driven decision-making plays a crucial role. Let's explore some practical examples:

Sourcing:

Monitoring the origin of job applications is a vital recruitment Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and an excellent use case for data-driven decisions. By tracking different channels such as job boards, ads, agencies, social media, and your career page, you can calculate the cost per hire. Allocate more resources to the sources that yield higher-quality candidates. For instance, consider increasing your budget for niche job boards if they produce more qualified candidates. If LinkedIn is not generating qualified applicants, reduce your budget or eliminate it from your plan.

Selection process:

During the selection process, recruiters choose the most suitable candidates for specific positions from a pool of applicants. This stage involves data collection in various ways:

  • Resume screening: Analyzing verifiable historical data from job seekers, such as work experience, certifications, qualifications, and licenses.
  • Skills assessment: Evaluating scores from tests and examinations that measure candidates' competencies, personality traits, and work preferences.
  • Job interviews: Scoring individual responses to questions related to work experience and interpersonal skills.

Candidate experience:

Candidate experience encompasses the overall perception of the hiring and onboarding process. It involves evaluating the time spent between each recruitment phase, from initial contact to the interview and job offer, up to the new employee's introduction to the organization. To measure candidate experience, the Net Promoter Score is commonly used via a candidate experience survey. The results provide valuable insights to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, candidate job satisfaction can be measured to ensure the job description aligns with the role's actual responsibilities, resulting in a higher candidate job satisfaction score.

Recruitment planning:

Address common recruitment challenges by leveraging relevant data and focusing on specific key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • To cut expenses, concentrate on cost-associated metrics like cost per hire, job advertising performance, or the number of applications per source or channel.
  • To streamline the recruitment process, analyze speed-related metrics such as time to fill, time to hire, and time to productivity.
  • To attract highly-skilled employees, pay attention to quality-related metrics like source of hire, candidates per hire, new hire turnover, and new hire retention rate.
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Recruiting KPIs small & large companies track

Best practices for data-driven recruitment

Data-driven recruitment presents significant benefits, but proper implementation is essential to reap its rewards. Follow these best practices to effectively incorporate data into your recruitment process:

1. Select relevant metrics and data sources

When adopting data-driven recruitment, it's crucial to focus on the right metrics and identify reliable data sources. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, pinpoint the metrics that will improve your recruitment process and align with your overall business goals. This blog's recruitment planning section offers ideas on which metrics to prioritize.

Consider metrics like quality of hire, time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, source of hire, job offer acceptance rates, and candidate experience scores. These metrics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your hiring process.

Additionally, identify the appropriate data sources to gather the necessary information. Data can come from your ATS, Google Analytics for source tracking, candidate survey feedback, budget data, hiring manager satisfaction, and more. Choose the sources that suit your preferences and fulfill your specific needs.

2. Build a recruitment dashboard 

A recruitment dashboard is a valuable tool that allows you to visualize data, identify trends, and swiftly address issues in your hiring process. It provides insights on applicants, hires, campaigns, and budgets, helping you make informed decisions.

Investing in a recruitment dashboard enables you to promptly spot problems and opportunities, facilitating a more efficient hiring process. By categorizing data on hires, budgets, campaigns, and applicants, you can focus on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive hiring success.

Creating a data-driven recruitment dashboard can be achieved through three main approaches: using spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, utilizing business dashboard software such as Zoho Analytics and Tableau, or adopting HR software like employee engagement platforms, attendance tracking, and ATS solutions. Choose the method that aligns with your organization's needs and goals to optimize your hiring process.

3. Take actions on data insights

Collecting data in the recruitment process is essential, but it's equally crucial to act on the insights gathered. To fully leverage data-driven recruitment, you must determine actionable steps based on the data you've collected.

Here are some common hiring issues that data-driven recruitment can help uncover, along with corresponding solutions:

  • Longer Time-to-Hire: Analyze recruitment data to identify stages in your hiring funnel that may be causing delays. Conduct necessary fixes to expedite the process. Consider diversifying sourcing methods, incorporating more qualifying questions during screening, using software for seamless interview scheduling, and creating attractive job offer letters.
  • Lower Job Offer Acceptance Rates: If top candidates are rejecting job offers, research competitive salaries and benefits on platforms like PayScale and Glassdoor to create more compelling offers. Communicate with candidates early on to gauge their interest and address concerns during interviews or phone screening. Prioritize a positive candidate experience by responding promptly and ensuring a comfortable interview process.
  • Higher New Hire Turnover: Address high new hire turnover rates by ensuring clear communication about job roles, duties, performance expectations, and requirements during the hiring process. Establish an effective onboarding process that makes candidates feel comfortable in their new roles. Welcome them with an email, offer appropriate training, introductions, and meaningful work opportunities from the beginning.

4. Acknowledge data limitations

While data-driven recruitment offers valuable insights, it's essential to recognize its limitations. Harvard Business School's survey revealed that 88% of executives are aware that HR tools may reject qualified candidates, indicating the imperfection of data in the hiring process.

Data limitations in recruitment include:

  • Inability to provide the "why": Although data analysis offers in-depth insights, it may not always explain the underlying reasons behind certain trends or outcomes. Interpreting the data is crucial to understanding the hiring process fully.
  • Limited problem-solving capabilities: Recruitment metrics offer valuable indications of areas for improvement, but deciding how to act on this data is at the discretion of the recruitment team. The data itself cannot provide direct solutions.
  • Potential lack of objectivity: When team members prepare recruitment data, it may introduce biases that affect objectivity. Using software for candidate assessments can provide more reliable and unbiased evaluations.
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Benefits of data-driven recruitment

Top 4 benefits of data-driven recruitment

Data-driven recruitment offers numerous advantages that transform the hiring process. Let's explore the key benefits:

  1. Improving the Quality of Hires. By leveraging recruitment analytics and candidate data, data-driven recruitment enables more objective and informed hiring decisions. Traditional reliance on resumes and cover letters may overlook promising candidates with poor interviews. However, data-driven hiring considers personality testing, skill assessments, and other indicators to identify top talent, resulting in higher-quality hires across various industries.
  2. Predicting the Speed of Hire. Data-driven recruitment addresses a common challenge of accurately estimating hiring timelines. Through comprehensive analysis of recruitment analytics, you can confidently predict how long it will take to fill a specific role. Furthermore, data helps identify potential delays in each stage of the hiring process, allowing for optimizations to expedite the overall recruitment process.
  3. Enhancing Candidate Experience. Only 17% of companies ask for candidate experience feedback in multiple stages of the recruiting process. Candidate experience is crucial in attracting and retaining top talent. Data-driven recruitment offers insights into areas that impact candidate experience the most, such as communication timelines, interviewer interactions, and time between hiring stages. By understanding these factors, organizations can implement strategies to improve candidate experience, reducing the likelihood of skilled candidates withdrawing their applications.
  4. Mitigating Hiring Bias and Promoting DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging). Data-driven recruitment fosters objective candidate selection, creating a legally defensible hiring process. It also supports Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives within organizations. By using standardized pre-employment assessments and work sample tests, biases in candidate selection can be reduced. This ensures each candidate is treated fairly, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, or age, leading to a more diverse and inclusive workforce that enhances business performance and decision-making.

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