Use data-driven recruiting to outpace the competition


When times are good and business is booming, companies can afford to make a few mistakes and sweep a few imperfections “under the rug”. And that’s fine. No process is perfect. However, when business slows down and it’s time for spring cleaning, what’s been swept under the rug comes to light.

In other words, during times of rapid growth, companies tend to sacrifice quality of hire for speed. The effects of these decisions appear more clearly when the rhythm slows down. It can be a moment of reflection for companies to stop and take stock of the decisions that worked for them and those that worked against them. Recruitment effectiveness is an area that is quickly and clearly exposed when this happens. Inefficiencies and the lack – or absence – of good hiring practices show up in cost per hire, turnover and retraining costs.

To find improvements in any process, companies look at data.

Data, data, everywhere

We’re not talking about boiling the ocean, but there is meaningful information that can be collected and used anywhere in the recruiting process. Hiring managers who don’t operate with this mindset leave money on the table, which again is easy to measure in terms of increased cost per hire, decreased retention or unsustainable conversion costs.

Without data measurement, organizations cannot optimize their “all-weather” efficiency.

Lori Sylvia, Chief Marketing Officer of Smashfly, stresses the importance of measuring talent data when she says, “If you can’t measure it, it didn’t happen. »

This is not a call for recruiters to build fancy data models, but rather to think critically about how data can help determine who they should hire for and how. they can best attract them.

Knowing that data is all around us, the question to ask in order to use it is: “What is the most meaningful data for me in this process? Here are some tips for recruiters — of all skill levels — to make data mining easy, impactful, and second nature.

Ask yourself who is in your company’s talent pool

The last part is important here. Someone can tick all the boxes in the job description and not be successful in your organization. This can depend on various factors, such as culture, level of training, ability to multitask, or teamwork. Whatever the reason, the success of a recruitment depends on a more in-depth analysis of the candidate’s profile rather than the CV.

Let’s take an example where the goal was to reduce the number of conversations and increase the quality of conversations with candidates. Brendan Browne, vice president of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, was looking for candidates to fill an engineering position. They adopted a quality-affinity approach that measured the qualifications of the candidate (their quality) and the esteem they gave to the company (their affinity). The affinity criteria included asking three yes/no questions:

  • Do they follow the company?
  • Are they sharing relevant content on their profile?
  • Do they have a significant first-degree connection?

By reaching out to candidates with higher affinity, the team saw a 57% increase in response rate.

There was nothing very technical about the process. It was simply a matter of the team determining which data points from each candidate were useful to collect. This is a simple exercise that can be applied to any business and any role.

Bring a microscope to your outreach

Keep track of your messages. Recruiters should feel free to experiment with new copy, subject lines, and times of day to engage their candidates. This is the most obvious, yet overlooked, metric to gauge the effectiveness of your outreach. By doing this enough, you will have an idea of ​​the tone that resonates the most with your pool of candidates.

To have reliable data, a cardinal rule is to test one thing at a time. For example, measure how two different groups respond to a different subject line or call-to-action rather than changing both at the same time.

If your message has reached a point where you think it’s well and truly optimized and still isn’t achieving your goals, focus on identifying weak spots in the candidate’s journey. There may be times when engagement wanes for a sufficient number of candidates, signaling a tendency to approach with an alternative approach – and then measure the success of that one.

Think about who else is talking to your dream candidate

There is a good chance that the competition will also be aimed at the same candidates as you. Keeping tabs on competitor hiring activity can help inform your hiring strategy. Think about the candidate’s hiring experience when talking to you, versus the competition. Look at the job descriptions of competitors and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do they communicate the employer value proposition to potential candidates?
  • How upfront are they about the salary and benefits they offer?
  • To what extent are the culture and values ​​of the company reflected in the description?
  • How simple or intuitive is the application process?
  • Are they showing the prospect genuine gratitude for their consideration?
  • What would I be looking to improve in this experience?

Doing this, even once in a while, helps ensure you don’t fall behind the competition and gives you the opportunity to raise the bar by thinking through and implementing improvements to your candidate experience.

Being a data scientist is simply knowing how to answer your biggest questions

For recruiters, useful information is everywhere. The easiest way to benefit from a data-driven mindset is to not overthink it. Just start asking questions about any aspect of your recruiting process, then take action to uncover answers.

The more confident you are in the data you have about talent, their affinity for your business, and the practices of your competitors, the better your process will be for finding and attracting the best candidates.

Shannon Pritchett is the community manager for both locationEZ and Evry1 (which she co-founded in 2021). As a leader in talent acquisition, she remains passionate about connecting businesses with their most valuable asset: people.


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