Data-driven recruitment: Making it work better for you

24 Feb 2021 by Stuart Hunter

In recruitment and HR, data is something we should be very comfortable with. Collecting and using it to find the right candidates is at the heart of what we do, but with so much data at our fingertips, it can be hard to know where to start. Your data can add significant value to your recruitment process and help you make better hiring decisions, but only if it’s used right.

Data-driven recruitment: Making it work better for you

Here are our top tips for making the most of your HR and recruitment data.

#1 Start with your problem

With technology running so many parts of your business today, you can track pretty much anything and it’s easy to get carried away focusing on the wrong indicators. If it’s an important metric, you should be willing to invest in the right solutions, but it all starts with a clear understanding of what you want to track.

Common recruitment and HR examples include:

  • How long it takes to fill a role (time to hire)
  • How much it is costing you to find the right candidates (cost per hire)
  • Where you are finding the best candidates (source of hire)
  • How recent hires are performing against role KPIs (new hire performance)

#2 Reverse engineer your solution  

Once you know what you want to track, it’s essential to look at your processes to make sure the way you are doing things (your input) will give you what you need (your output). For example, cost-per-hire is essentially calculated as external hiring costs + internal hiring costs divided by the number of new hires in a given timeframe. 

It might sound simple, but to do this, you need a system that quantifies internal and external costs and the number of hires by timeframe and can report on this, or you need to be willing to invest the people resources to manually calculate it. 

This could require an update to your tech stack, or it can be about making better use of the tech you’ve got, but however you approach it, the focus should remain on solving the problems you’ve identified. 

A couple of common pitfalls to look out for here are:

  • Complex processes: If your processes are difficult or time-consuming, it’s likely even the most well-intentioned team members will get it wrong and eventually give up on it altogether. This will lead to patchy data, which will ultimately steer you in the wrong direction. Don’t overcomplicate it – make it easy for your team to capture the information in the system from the outset.
  • No way to visualise and communicate data: To make best use of the data, your solution should include a clear and easy to interpret way to visualise it so there is no ambiguity.
  • Too many separate data sources: If you have several different systems tracking your data with little or no integration, data will be challenging to locate and time-consuming to report on, which might just be creating new problems and bottlenecks.

#3 Use technology to increase efficiencies  

In all industries, there are tasks that eat up a lot of resources but offer little value. A common example in recruitment and HR is chasing references and leaving messages for referees.  There’s no doubt the resulting reference provides value (as long as you know it’s genuine, of course) but the inevitable phone tag just eats up time and causes frustration.

It’s one of those areas where best-in-breed solutions, like Referoo, can step in, increasing efficiency and ensuring you can get back to doing the things that really add value to your business.

#4 Security and compliance are key

Data security is a critical issue for businesses today, but it can be challenging with so much data and ever-changing legislation and requirements that vary by region. Make sure any tech that enables your data collection also offers compliant practices and best-practice security features, so you don’t have to worry about it on top of everything else.

Tools that help you verify your data are also important. For example, Referoo’s fraud detection features help you determine that a referee is genuine by checking IP addresses and verifying against the referee’s LinkedIn profile.

Ultimately, data-driven recruitment is about solving recruitment challenges using data. If you start with a focus on the problem you want to solve and use it to reverse engineer a solution, you can leverage your data to improve recruitment processes and make stronger hiring decisions.