You want the best talent? Use the right data!

14th Dec 2017 by Manuel Engelbrecht
5 minute read

The majority of firms entered the "new age" of HR Analytics. Bringing a data-driven approach to recruiting is essential, but the implementation of arbitrary tools is often followed by more uncertainty than not measuring at all. To find the right talent you need data. Reliable data. 

Collect it, translate it, understand it, apply it. 


Use a holistic approach -  Capturing the whole recruitment funnel it is essential to make sound decisions. Many applicant tracking systems (ATS) are not able to track all incoming sources and are limited to already known sites. On top of that, there is a gap between the company website and the actual application form, which makes tracking even harder. Gathering just a fraction of the application activity is dangerous: Conclusions are drawn based on an ineffective recruitment strategy, which leads to unsatisfactory results. Make sure that your current set-up is not prone to one of those common mistakes.

Pro Tip: Get in touch with your technical department and figure out exactly which data is measured during the recruitment process. If you find out that there are inconsistencies or data is not regarded, press for a better solution.

Don't stop at hireAfter the candidate is hired, 95% call it a day and do not use the valuable data that arises during the employment. To assess the quality of a candidate, however, it essential to track the development after hiring, too. Does the employee leave in the first months, or is he performing well and gets promoted quickly? Use the retreived information to detect patterns where your most valuable candidates originate from. 
Then put all your focus on those sources.

Focus on already available metrics - then act on them

Convert from mobileWe at analyzed over 12 million job views that led to almost 900k applications and were astonished: The application conversion rates for mobile devices are over 9x lower than for conventional desktop applications
Why is that the case?
Most companies do not optimize the application process for non-desktop applicants. But who has their CV ready to upload on their smartphone? It is far better to implement a intermediary landing-page where 3-5 brief and relevant questions are asked. If necessary, additional documentation can be requested from the applicants which they can upload from a desktop later, when they are already in the recruitment funnel.

Application Conversion Rate - Recruitment Funnel


Number of hires is a bad metricStop measuring recruitment success solely on number of hires. Different positions require different effort. That senior engineer your company is desperately looking for will require 10x the time, sweat and tears to persuade than a top-noth intern.
Furthermore, making fast decisions for the sake of matching the numbers often leads to a long-term recruitment of not suitable candidates and higher attrition. Then, the dwindling recruitment spiral starts and you have to hire even more candidates in a shorter time. Focus on setting up the right tools to target the suitable candidates instead.

Don't use the right data in the wrong places

 Sweden is not the UK and the UK is not China. A sales guy is not an engineer. Nowhere near. 

Measure globally, analyze locallyIn an organization that operates globally, you have to be extra careful. Talent acquisition channels and marketing strategies differ significantly based on which location you are regarding. Make sure to have the right tools in place which let you break down the recruitment data by country / region. 

Scope out an effective candidate-specific stragegy  - Sometimes, breaking down by position isn't that easy and only gives you a limited amount of data to work with. Try to get a feel for similar groups which require the same strategy.  Merge them to get a broader and more valid understanding of the effective recruitment tactic to use. 

Pro Tip:  Make use of your internal knowledge. If you do not comprehend why some positions aren't working for you, survey employees of the same or similar positions in your firm. Where did they find the job? Which sites do they frequently use? This can be gold to have a starting point on which sources to target.


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