From Insight to Impact…
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Gabriella Steed

**The following insight has been published using a bionic method, aimed to provide a more inclusive experience for all our readers. If you would like to gain access to this article in a non-bionic format, please contact [email protected] who will happily provide this for you**

As humans, we are hardwired to seek out ways to improve, boost productivityand in turn achieve better results. For instance, to prepare for sporting events, athletes will continuously track their intake of nutrients to ensure they are fuelling their bodies correctly to maintain peak performance. Content creators will consistently track their engagement rates using social media analytics to help plan for future content that is landing with their desired audience. Healthcare professionals will use data to analyse patient outcomes to help create effective treatment plans to prevent further illness.

You get my drift… it all boils down to data. Gaining insights to create impact!

If you’re within the world of talent acquisition, you’d have noticed that the market is becoming increasingly complex and competitive. The famous ‘war on talent’ still remains as employers are constantly seeking new ways to attract and retain top tier talent to support their business growth, without compromising budgets, time, and resources!

Now although countless companies are leveraging the use of an insight centric approach, some are yet to reap the rewards of using analytics to improve their talent attraction and in turn acquisition efforts, which could be the missing trick!

Whether you are simply talent obsessed or you are a talent professional looking to make improvements to your hiring process, stick around and let’s explore the pros of obtaining a data driven approach within recruitment.

Pro #1: Identify top sources of hires (SoH)

If you’re a growing business, you would have most definitely made some significant hires to help support your growth. To make offers, you would’ve been motivated by the candidate’s clear set of skills, experience, and potential to help move the business forward. Ever heard the saying, ‘if it’s not broke, why fix it?’ Well, the same applies to sourcing talent! By tracking the sources of successful hires, organisations can better understand where to focus their recruitment efforts and allocate their resources more effectively, saving cost and time, whilst holding onto quality!

So, for example, if you run an employer referral system and data from your applicant tracking system (ATS) suggests that a majority of your successful hires have come through recommendations from existing staff, then you can create further impact by analysing the motivating factors to drive employee referrals, that’ll increase the use of this cost effective hiring method. Alternatively, if you’re struggling to fill a particular role and your data suggeststhat you successfully utilised third parties (i.e. a specialised recruitment agency), in the past for a similar level or job role, then you will have the confidence to re engage with them to support your search within a saturated job market.

Tracking SoH also allows you to drop or adjust consistently lagging sources. If you regularly run a careers fair and the data signals that zero or little traction is coming from this source, then you can either scrap the use of this method and reallocate this budget or rethink the ways in which you are screening and engaging with candidates from these events. At its core, it comes down to identifying where the successful hires are coming from and re connecting with these methods while re evaluating the use of other methods that aren’t as successful!

Pro #2: Measure your candidate experience

This is crucial for any organisation because it refers to the overall perception a candidate has of a company during the hiring process, from initial contact to the final decision. Let’s also not forget the power of word of mouth or reviews plastered on various social media platforms, which could deter other candidates away from applying to your open roles. So, if you’re not tracking analytics detailing the effectiveness of your process from a candidate’s perspective, you’ll struggle to compete with other organisations who are on their A game in this respect!

Data analytics are extremely effective when measuring candidate experience because they can provide companies with objective and measurable insights into how candidates are interacting with your recruitment process. If hiring is on the horizon, these insights can help you to identify previous pain points forcandidates and areas that have worked well to create lasting and more positive impressions of your employer brand. Your aim here is to attract top talent as well as keeping them engaged within the hiring process, improving your offer acceptance rates. For instance, many organisations are now implementing the use of talent acquisition platforms, like JazzHR or Lever, which can provide real time data on candidate engagement, helping talent teams to identify areas where they can improve within their recruitment process. There are several metrics that can be explored with regards to candidate experience, which these platforms can regularly report on:

Time to hire (TTH): The length of time it takes to fill a position from the time a job opening is posted to the time an offer is accepted.

Measuring TTH allows you to identify bottlenecks that may be causing delays and in turn negatively impacting the candidate experience. Perhaps delays occur when screening CVs or when providing feedback to candidates post interview. Regardless of the area of improvement required, obtaining these insights will allow you to target the area of concern and create action plans to mitigate these delays in the future. Not only will this have a positive impact oncandidate experience, but will also support with filling high priority roles that, once filled, will have an immediate impact on your company’s growth.

Candidate drop off rate: The percentage of candidates who start the application process but do not complete it.

Again, similar to TTH, when measuring this metric you can identify areas of the application process that may be causing candidates to abandon their application and allow you to adjust your strategy. If your data signals that you actually do have a low drop off rate, then you know you are doing something right! These insights are equally as valuable as you’ll save time making improvements when they may not necessarily be required.

Candidate feedback:

More and more companies have decided to gain both quantitative and qualitative data from candidates about their recruitment process. A few examples…Amazon use candidate surveys to collect feedback in order to gain insights into various pain points such as TTH and personalisation of feedback. Airbnb also jumped on the bandwagon, by asking candidates various questions surrounding the clarity of job descriptions, the overall interview process, and areas they feel could be improved upon.

Feedback of this nature creates actionable insights, providing talent teams with clear areas that require urgent attention. Again, it’s all about gaining the insights to create further, positive impact.

Pro #3: Assess your recruitment content

Recruitment content refers to any materials an organisation uses to attract and engage potential candidates. This could be anything from job postings, career pages on your company website, employee testimonials, social media posts on LinkedIn and so on. But again, if you’re not gaining insight into the effectiveness of these methods, it’s likely that you will be unable to create the impact you require in order to successfully resonate with desired talent pools.

For example, if you regularly update your company LinkedIn page with relevant posts surrounding your company benefits, life at your organisation, testimonials, etc. best practice would be to utilise social media analytics to understand which types of content are driving increased engagement, so youwaste less time creating content that is not drawing as much attention. The same applies to job postings. Data can effectively be used to measure click through/conversion rates, to assess how enticing your job adverts are to prospective employees. For example, if a job posting receives a high number of clicks but a low conversion rate, it may indicate that the job description or application process needs improving. It’s all about trial and error. Make a few tweaks, assess the analytics, and you are on the right path to creating effective recruitment content to attract the right talent to your organisation.

Pro # 4: Meet DE&I Hiring Efforts

If your company is paying attention, then DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) should be a huge topic for you right now. This is a major initiative for those who are looking to attract and retain talent, especially as it stands alone of the key motivators for expressing an interest in working for prospective employers. Planning your DE&I hiring strategy will not work unless you have the data. In fact, analyzing the data should be your starting point. Why? Because you’ll want to know how diverse your current workforce is with regards to gender, ethnicity, race, age, and disability, and then plan, plan, plan to create improvements. Once a strategy is in place, whether it be to educate existing staff surrounding the importance of DE&I or tweaking yourrecruitment content to articulate your DE&I efforts, etc. data can be used to track the progress you’re making. Again, like we’ve seen, tracking these metrics will help you to identify which initiatives are working and which areas require further improvement.

Data can also be used to identify bias within your recruitment process. For example, you may notice that certain groups of candidates are consistently being rejected at a higher rate than others. By creating a narrative, it’s this exact data which will then instruct strategies you can undertake moving forward, i.e. training your talent team and hiring managers to prevent bias, including unconscious bias. Alternatively, you may decide to use blind recruitment methods or work on a strategy to appeal to a wider and more diverse talent pool.

Key Takeaway:

Regardless of your industry, it is very likely that you would benefit from using a data driven approach when hiring. Whether you wish to improve the quality of your new hires, decrease costs, or improve the reputation of your employerbrand, there are various strategies that could be derived from using actionable insights to streamline your recruitment process. Remember, it’s all about trial and error…using data to inform decisions, making tweaks, and measuring the impact. Once you eliminate the gut instinct decision making mindset, you’ll start to notice significant improvements within your process, eventually empowering your talent teams to grow the business successfully using measurable insights for further improvements.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, contact me on [email protected]

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