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Data-driven recruitment: Leveraging analytics for smart hiring decisions

Symphony TalentDecember 19, 2023Analytics

Who’s your ideal candidate? Depending on who you ask within your organization, you might get different answers, from specific skills to their attitude, to prior experience, and beyond. Your ideal candidate is an amalgamation of many data points — even those you’re not necessarily thinking about.

When the time comes to pitch your organization as an employer of choice, data-driven recruitment can take the time and guesswork out of attracting and identifying top talent. More specifically, it can help you zero-in on the right talent for the roles you’re trying to fill.

What is data-driven hiring?

Traditionally, HR departments have relied on everything from intuition to prior experience to make hiring decisions. Unfortunately, qualitative assessments aren’t always right — and when they involve hiring, they can lead to less-than-optimal outcomes.

The growing accessibility of data and advanced analytics techniques has made it easier to facilitate a more objective, evidence-based approach to evaluating candidates. Data-driven recruitment is the collection and analysis of various data points throughout the recruitment lifecycle. For example, a company might scrutinize job prerequisites, candidate resumes, interview evaluations, talent assessments, and historical job performance data.

Data-driven recruitment offers talent teams valuable insights into a candidate’s suitability for a specific role. It also can offer a better understanding of the candidate pipeline, which allows organizations to identify bottlenecks and streamline their hiring process.

How does data-driven recruitment work?

There’s a misconception that data-driven recruitment boils down candidates and hiring to a purely quantitative process. But that’s simply untrue. Instead, data-driven hiring uses several analytics techniques to shape recruitment strategy and pave the way for better qualitative assessments of potential hires:

  • Descriptive analytics. This form of analysis focuses on scrutinizing historical data to uncover insights into past recruitment campaigns. It helps recruiters understand what has been effective and where improvements are needed.
  • Predictive analytics. Predictive models employ historical data to predict a candidate’s potential success in a particular role. This aids in the early identification of top talent in the recruitment process.
  • Prescriptive analytics. Prescriptive analytics optimizes recruitment strategies by providing recommendations for improvement. It identifies areas where a company can enhance its hiring process for better results.

Benefits of data-driven recruitment

Data-driven recruitment offers plenty of benefits to organizations hoping to attract the right talent. Through informed evaluation of how you’re positioning your brand vs. the audience you want to attract, it becomes easier to hone-in on your ideal hire. Some of the benefits include:

  • Efficiency. By relying on data-driven insights, companies can streamline their recruitment processes, reducing the time and costs associated with open positions.
  • Improved quality of hires. Predictive analytics helps in the identification of candidates with the highest potential for success, resulting in improved quality of hires.
  • Mitigated bias. Data-driven recruitment minimizes human bias in the decision-making process, fostering diversity and inclusivity within organizations.
  • Long-term strategy. Companies can develop talent acquisition strategies that align with their long-term objectives, ensuring they find (and hire) the best individuals.

What kind of data should employers collect?

Employers can collect a wide range of data to power data-driven hiring campaigns. This may encompass both structured and unstructured data, derived from various sources. When analyzed properly, it can provide insights into candidate characteristics, job performance, and potential cultural fit. Examples include:

  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS) data. ATS data can include the stages at which candidates drop out, time taken to fill a position, and other recruitment process metrics.
  • Assessment results. This includes data from skills assessments, personality assessments, cognitive tests, or any other pre-employment tests.
  • Background checks. Criminal background checks, credit checks (if relevant to the role), and verification of educational and professional credentials can be used for analysis.
  • Behavioral data. This is information about a candidate’s behavior, work habits, and interpersonal skills that might be collected through reference interviews.
  • Candidate feedback. This data is from candidates who have gone through the recruitment process. It provides insights into their experiences, both positive or negative.
  • Candidate-sourced data. This is data voluntarily shared by the candidate, such as cover letters, portfolios, and personal statements.
  • Culture and values assessments. Data related to a candidate’s alignment with the company’s culture and values, gathered through interviews, surveys, or assessments.
  • Demographic data. This includes information on gender, age, race, and other demographic factors. This data should be handled with care to avoid discrimination/bias.
  • Employee feedback and surveys. Leverage information from current employees about what qualities or attributes they believe are important for a new hire to succeed.
  • External data. This is data from external sources, such as industry-specific databases, market trends, and competitor analysis. It’s typically used to assess the candidate’s fit.
  • Interview notes. Interview notes are structured data collected during the interview process, such as scores, feedback, and subjective interviewer impressions.
  • Performance data. Insights into a candidate’s past job performance, including sales figures, project completion rates, or any other relevant key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Reference checks. This may include data from references provided by the candidate, including past employers and colleagues.
  • Resumes and applications. These are traditional sources of structured data that include candidates’ work history, education, skills, and qualifications.
  • Social media and online presence. Publicly available information on professional platforms like LinkedIn, personal blogs, social media profiles, and online forums.

It’s important to remember that the collection and use of data in the hiring process should be conducted in accordance with applicable data privacy laws and regulations. Above all, ensure data collection and analysis are done ethically and without perpetuating bias, discrimination, or invasion of privacy.

How to analyze and leverage data for hiring choices

Collecting and analyzing the data needed for data-driven hiring campaigns involves a structured process that integrates various data sources and analytics tools.

Start by identifying the specific data points and attributes that are crucial for your hiring goals. This could include resume information, interview scores, skills assessments, or other information. Determine what data is relevant to the roles you’re hiring for.

With support from advanced technology providers, like Symphony Talent, recruitment and talent acquisition teams can easily standardize and analyze the most relevant data, enabling them to make smarter, faster decisions.

Use your chosen data analytics tools and techniques to process and extract insights from the data. This may involve using statistical analysis, machine learning, or data visualization to consider candidate performance, cultural fit, or general performance.

Finally, be sure to regularly assess and improve your data collection and analysis process. Update your data sources and analytical models, as necessary, to stay aligned with your company’s current needs.

Power data-driven hiring decisions with Symphony Talent

Data-driven recruitment is reshaping the way companies approach hiring. By leveraging data analytics, companies can efficiently discover, attract, and retain top talent with a sense of confidence and certainty that transcends a purely qualitative approach.

Find out how Symphony Talent’s recruitment analytics platform can empower your company to make better hiring decisions. Schedule a consultation today!

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