The Use of Analytics in Recruitment

How long does it take for your company to find the best candidate for a newly open position?

As it turns out, this task can be a lot more challenging than you would imagine. While there are lots of people actively looking for work, it is difficult to find several candidates that fit the employee profile your company is seeking.

But how exactly do companies put together the profile of the ideal employee for a specific job? And how do they know when they found the perfect candidate?

There was a time when the recruiter held all the cards, as it was all about his or her instinct and experience. As a result, the hiring process could go either way. Luckily, nowadays we have data-driven recruiting and HR analytics to provide accurate results and take the guesswork out of the equation.

What is Data-Driven Recruiting

Most companies have detailed files on their employees, but they also have access to professional networks (LinkedIn usually comes to mind), job boards, national workforce statistics, and social media. Now, using technologies that are similar to the ones used in the world of sales and marketing, companies are able to compile the available data.

This allows recruiters to create detailed candidate profiles for specific jobs, predict candidate behavior, and asses the result of a job interview. This allows hiring managers to reduce the time it takes to hire the best candidate for the job, thus reducing the total cost to hire.

Furthermore, data-driven recruiting leads hiring managers towards those candidates who will become loyal employees and high achievers in their positions.

How to Find Talented Candidates using Data

According to 52% of talent acquisition leaders, the most difficult step of the recruitment process is identifying the best-talented people for the position from a large pool of candidates.

After all, the person with the best set of skills may not be a good fit for the culture of your organization. On the other hand, it is difficult to pinpoint the full personality spectrum of an applicant from just a few meetings and discussions. 

But you can learn a lot about a person by analyzing their social profiles, learning about their reading preferences, and checking their overall online activity. So, by using big data and Artificial Intelligence tools, it becomes easier to find the people that may be the best fit and have the skillset you want.

In the end, the decision will still be made by a human hiring manager, but the Analytics software helps filter the database and highlights the best possible candidates. This reduces the search time to several minutes and frees up HR teams schedule to cover other important tasks such as training and accommodating new employees.

Reshaping the Hiring Process

When you base the hiring decision on reliable and quantifiable data, new trends emerge.

A good example to cite here is the JetBlue Airline experience.

This company used to hire their flight attendants based on their niceness since they thought nice people will be more in sync with customers. However, after using data-driven analysis on its customers, the company learned that helpfulness should be the most valuable skill.

Customers felt better-taken care of when a helpful person attended their needs and they could oversee some lack of niceness. In conclusion, this discovery changed the way JetBlue Airline hired their flight attendants.   

Using data analysis in their hiring process, Google also learned that there is a huge difference between the data provided by a standard CV and the information they needed to know. For instance, they learned that GPAs didn’t reflect the performance of a future employee. The company has now reshaped the way they hire people and try to identify what’s called ‘soft skills’ (adaptability, openness to learning and re-learning, leadership, and more).

Dealing with A New Workforce

Recruitment Analytics tools available today (Aspire, OutMatch, LinkedIn, and others) may still need some fine-tuning. Still, they are advanced enough to accurately identify things like:

  • The best hiring channels
  • The most accurate data sources
  • Best candidates for a specific position
  • Employees desires
  • Performance and future career paths

However, hiring managers today face a different challenge. The workforce environment is changing, with more and more millennials interested in freelance. Not to mention, people have more options on the way they work due to the development of communication technology.  

As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the best people for the offered position and work conditions. Due to data-driven analytics tools, HR people learn about these changes and can adapt the conditions to enrich the employees’ experience.   

So, these tools do a lot more than just identifying the ideal candidates in no time! They also help managers and companies adapt to a new workforce; one that is no longer motivated by financial gains alone.

How to Use Predictive Analytics for Hiring

Sadly, not all companies have access to recruitment analytics, and those who try it without expert advice may fail to see its effectiveness.

Just like with any big data project, predictive analytics for hiring only works when it has a solid foundation, based on your company’s profile and aspirations. So, to get started, follow these steps:

  • Identify deal-making skills you want from future employees (high-performance, motivation, efficiency, collaboration, and so on);
  • Start collecting data that could be useful for your quest. Make sure to filter out useless information (algorithms need clean, high-quality data to provide the best results).
  • Run the analysis and discuss the results with hiring managers and other decision makers. They can use these results and provide feedback on the accuracy of your analysis.
  • Optimize the data collection process and the algorithms – this is not a process that can be set once and then used forever and ever. It’s a process that requires constant fine-tuning, updates, and supervision, especially with new data coming in.

Wrap Up

Even though there are some algorithms that can replace some of the human jobs, people are still an organization’s most valuable resource. Still, the modern work environment is transforming and the only way a company can survive is through accepting and adapting to change.   

Using Analytics in the recruitment process is one way to face the new world, but it’s also a fantastic growth opportunity for companies of all shapes and sizes!

Danielle Canstello
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