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Big data comes to recruitment: 7 ways diagnostics and analytics can improve recruiting at every stage

Posted by Travis O'Rourke, Head of Hays Talent Solutions Canada on Friday, Nov 17, 2017

Use data and analytics to improve your recruitment processData and analytics are top of mind for most business leaders, and recruitment should be no exception. The phrase “big data” gets thrown around a lot, but at its core it means using all the information that is now available to us to help drive better decision making. From spend and time to hire, to turnover and performance reviews, HR has access to a wide range of workforce data, but how can you use it to better inform your recruitment programs?

1. Build a business case
Analyzing your historical data is still the best way to estimate future spend and usage. Whether it’s securing internal buy-in for a new program or helping your suppliers understand why are you making a change, having data or assessments to refer back to provides you with objective evidence to reinforce your point or suggestion. Without data your business case won’t hold up to scrutiny and you may struggle to prove ROI.

2. Learn from the past
It’s often said when hiring that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Something similar is true of your recruitment programs. Assessing your past programs and efforts, you can look at what worked – what drove results in your target areas – and increase use of those approaches. This requires time and resources invested in data analysis. Having the information isn’t enough, you need benchmarks, comparators and context to draw conclusions. Working with a third party supplier can also help you benchmark not just internally, but against other companies so you have a better understanding of whether your programs are as efficient and effective as possible.

3. Align your program with the goals/needs of the business
What does a successful program look like for your company? Key to assessing your program is identifying and defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will make a difference to your organization.
As Sarah Sandbrook, from T-Systems told us: “If you don’t have visibility, you don’t know where to focus your effort.” However, it’s important to align your measurement with your business goals, because otherwise “you can end up measuring things for the sake of it if you’re not careful,” she says.
Whether it is cost savings and efficiency, workforce quality, or reducing risk and increasing compliance, every company is different. That’s why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for recruitment challenges. Using the right resourcing diagnostic initially, and knowing what metrics matter most as you assess and adjust your program, will ensure you find the best tailored solution for your company. This approach also ensures continual improvement because as you reach specific KPIs you can introduce a new target or new indicator.

4. Be proactive, not reactive
When you know what your target is, and you have regular diagnostics or evaluations, you gain clear visibility on what is working – and on what is not. These early insights provide your organization the time to pivot as needed to ensure you can still achieve your goals within set timeframes, instead of being surprised when you’ve missed a target by the end of the year. An expert outsourcing partner can help you determine the right metrics and timing for check ins, which might be monthly for some areas and quarterly for others depending on how long it takes to see results.

5. Assess and address risk in implementation
Managing the risk of change is a challenge whether you are looking at recruitment outsourcing for the first time or looking to change your existing provider. By identifying focus areas and benchmarks you can assess your risks against these and decide which ones are risks you can take, and where you really need to step in first or address.

6. Incorporate feedback and insights from all stakeholders
You could have regular in-person meetings, or call all your stakeholders for feedback, but these methods of gathering information take a lot of time, and the insights are often subjective. With the right diagnostic and data-gathering tools you can get all stakeholders to enter their results for a holistic view of program performance. Different functions and geographies can have very different needs, so this approach gives you a birds-eye view of the program across multiple teams and regions, and reduces subjectivity and bias in the evaluation process.

7. Determine the right KPIs to give your organization and your suppliers clarity
Having the right metrics in your SLAs is critical to make sure your suppliers understand your goals, but they can also highlight new approaches and innovations to try. Expect KPIs to change over the course of a contract, or even between different roles and functions. Context is important. For some roles you may want to increase the number of candidates overall, but in other roles where you need specific skill sets time to hire may be more important. Even within an organization a solution is usually not one-size-fits-all. Question the data, don’t assume that moving the dial in one area will be equally successful in another.

Data and analytics can improve your program immensely, but only if you are using the right metrics in the first place, regularly checking in so you can pivot as needed, and have the flexibility to know when a particular data point is not relevant to a team or situation.

Want to start your program right? Take our free diagnostic to identify areas of improvement, or contact a member of our team to talk about your recruitment process.

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