How to Create a Culture of Data-Driven Recruiters

In a world that is becoming increasingly dependent on data, it is apparent that HR will have to follow suit. Data is important for all facets of HR, but extremely important for recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. With Deloitte reporting that 56% of HR is reporting at a “Reactive-Operational” level, it would stand to reason that most of HR practitioners are operating blindly day-to-day with no lens for what works or doesn’t work. I won’t bore you with the reality of how this approach seldom works with CEOs, CFOs or any other executive leadership; but if we must start somewhere to shift our mindsets about data – let it start with recruitment.

Do your recruiters know where candidates are dropping off in application process?

If the answer is “no”, you have an opportunity for data. Not only should they be running reports to see where candidates are dropping off in the application process to identify potential hurdles or bottlenecks – they should be monitoring things like referral sources to understand which sources are actually allowing them to find and attract the candidates they need. In fact, if you a recruiter working for a federal contractor it is imperative that you look at referral sources since the OFCCP is now scrutinizing contractors who are “spraying and praying” job openings without evaluation of ROI.

Forget “Time-to-Fill”!

If there is one metric recruiters hate it is “time-to-fill”.  It is the sole metric in many organizations by which a recruiter is deemed effective or ineffective. What does “time-to-fill” tell us:

  • The time between someone inputting the requisition into your ATS to the date the recruiter filled the requisition with a person.
  • It took the recruiter some increment of time to fill a position.
  • The time it took the recruiter to fill the position under the pressure of deadlines, coupled with the time needed to find said rockstar, multiplied by the many instances where the hiring manager neglected to respond to inquiries for reviews, interviews etc.

In effect, “time-to-fill” is a flawed metric, but still revered by Talent Acquisition Managers everywhere because it is delivered by every ATS known to man and that’s what they have always measured recruiters’ effectiveness by. I say: “forget time-to-fill” and start having your recruitment teams look at referral source to hire metrics that allow you to look at the referral sources driving your hires. Look at time-to-start metrics to evaluate any bottlenecks in the hiring process preventing new hires from getting vetted and acclimated quicker. Moreover, use data to take a deeper look at trends pre and post-hire to ensure that hiring process and talent management lifecycle for the organization aligns with you intention.

Like everything else in HR, it is clear we have to evolve and do some tweaking to how we operate. It has always been my belief that no other facet of HR needs to exist if we can’t first get candidates through the door and ultimately retain them. No employees means, no HR. This is why it is so crucial that organizations train and empower their recruitment teams to be proactive with reporting and data analysis. Act Two for recruitment teams is being able to illustrate the hiring story with data that allows you to effectively partner with the rest of the organization to ensure success.



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