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Data-driven Recruitment: A Step Towards Smart Hiring

4 months ago by Vishalee Bikoo

​Data is the new oil, analytics is the refinery, and intelligence is the gasoline which drives growth.

—Tiffani Bova

In the late 20th century, the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data as the new world order, amongst others, has caused disruptions in several domains around the globe including the recruitment industry. In fact, data analytics is envisioned as a ground-breaking tool that has paved the way for HR professionals to attract the right candidates by providing them a seamless hiring experience.

Traditionally, the recruitment process was considered slow, time-consuming, and labour-intensive to review all applicants' resumes and conduct a series of interviews to fulfil jobs in Malta and beyond. Subsequently, recruiters would rely heavily on gut feeling or luck in selecting final candidates due to lack of reliable data that often resulted in poor hires.

With the traditional recruitment approach, which has mainly been based on guesswork, nearly 75% of all hires turned out to be a bad hire.

—IXceed Solutions (2020)

Today, technological advancements have enabled candidate and employee data to become an organisation's most valuable asset, providing an effective alternative to the traditional approach. Data and feedback acquired throughout the recruitment and selection process gives businesses irrefutable evidence to improve on existing processes and make better hiring choices, transforming our understanding of HR jobs altogether.

If we build trust and use people data ethically, then we can unlock significant value both for the organisation and for the people who work for it.

—David Green

What is data-driven recruitment?

Data-driven recruitment relates to the ability of collecting a large amount of information about individuals, organisations, and procedures in order to utilise it to render the hiring process more efficient, benefiting both employers and job applicants. In other words, data-driven recruiting eliminates the guesswork in applicant selection and substantially increases the chance of selecting the appropriate individual for the in-office or remote job.

Most companies are currently gathering copious amounts of data about their employment process; nonetheless, the problem is that they aren't converting that data into actionable information. Getting a grasp on existing data may add a new dimension to the hiring process and HR jobs, with favourable consequences that will most likely influence your company's overall success.

What are the benefits of data-driven recruitment?

The use of data and analytics will help HR jobs and professionals alike better understand their employees and the actions necessary to create outstanding work experiences. Let's take a closer look at the key benefits of using data-driven recruitment as per below:

1. Increase quality of hires

Organisations finding it difficult to source the right candidate for their job vacancies is due to the increased competition and demand for qualified applicants to suit evolving job positions. Data-driven recruitment provide metrics that help identify sources that are bringing the best candidates and the highest number of turnovers. Sources can be a particular job board and social media channels like LinkedIn or referrals. These statistics help better allocate budget by investing in recruitment sources that yield the most significant number of top talents. For instance, if referrals are the best source of top talent, the company can research ways to boost employee referral programs.

2. Decrease costs and time per hire

Cost per hire involves the internal recruitment costs such as the total time and effort spent by recruiters in hiring, as well as the external costs like advertising budgets. A data-driven recruitment strategy may reveal the total time taken to fill open job vacancies and help identify solutions for bottlenecks across the recruitment process. As a result, the substantial decrease in the total time to hire will ultimately assist in reducing the cost per hire as well.

In another instance, recruitment metrics might show that some advertising channels are increasing the cost per hire while failing to produce potential candidates. Hence, by tracking the sources of candidates and hires, the company will be able to find out which advertising partners or job boards are yielding the best return on investment (ROI).

3. Improve candidate experiences

Reviewing and improving a candidate's journey is an ongoing process that can help businesses in implementing cost-saving strategies to attract and retain people for their jobs in Malta and abroad. Analytics brings forward factors that influence the candidate’s experience from the first moment they see a job post through the onboarding process and onwards.

Data includes external factors that are either driving the candidates to view and apply on-the-job positions or making people leave the website as soon as they arrive. This data will enable companies to better understand their target audience, applicant's regions, learn which content works/does not for prospective candidates and, hereafter, make adjustments to the job postings and content accordingly.

Final thoughts

Recruiters fear that the emergence of software developer tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) might replace the human element in recruitment. However, as quoted by Andy Baggage, "using data in your hiring doesn’t have to equate to robotic, soulless interactions with people." Instead, data analytics, if mined carefully, bring to the forefront the variables that influence candidate experiences—from sourcing through hiring and beyond—and help HR professionals to tie these into strategic workforce planning. With this comprehensive image at their fingertips, recruiters can add value and boost efficiency in the hiring process.

Nevertheless, the development and execution of a data-driven recruitment strategy necessitates a continuous process of testing, measuring, and improving recruiting efforts. But, with the utilisation of the right tools, data-driven recruitment can help companies create a smart hiring process and eventually exceed their finance and IT recruiting goals.