Are You a Data Dinosaur?


How do you recognise a data dinosaur within Talent Acquisition?

Being a dinosaur means believing that you are collecting and using information that informs and measures but, in reality, the world has moved on. You have been left behind and are no longer evolving. You are marking time, probably keeping everyone happy until that moment when your organisation realises that their competitors seem to have an advantage, they don’t seem to have the recruitment and attraction problems you do, and they take a look at why!

A really good example of a data dinosaur is someone holding up ‘cost per hire’ as a key measure. The negative effect of making your recruiters focus on ‘cost per hire’ with its tiny marginal savings (over the employment costs of the successful hire) is huge. Success in the role should be measured in the size of impact you have on the organisation and that means focusing on the activity that selects high performing, impactful hires.

Great people drive great performance and you want your organisation full of them – including the recruitment team- so stop being a data dinosaur and start thinking about the information you need to create a huge return on investment. It's not the ‘cost per hire’ that is important but rather the ‘value per hire’.

Focusing on value drives a whole set of more relevant behaviours. It causes recruiters to think about the quality of the sourcing and attraction activity and not the speed or cost of creating a mediocre talent pool. Focus on ‘value’ doesn’t mean spend, spend, spend and it doesn’t drive total costs up at all - often it’s the reverse. 

It does mean that you will see recruiters acting a lot more strategically. Rather than wasting time assembling and reporting on measures which drive the wrong behaviour, they focus on data that gives them a competitive edge – how well do you know your market? Do you know where your competitors are hiring? Do you know the availability of talent and do you know its diversity?

Getting higher quality into the recruitment process will mean more certainty of making a hire, you’ll need to take less candidates per offer through the process and you will be more likely to retain the appointed candidate longer.

Many times an agency would pitch to me with the promise that they could deliver the whole of the golden triangle: adrianblogimage

Unfortunately, the promise was never delivered. Picking two out three seemed to be the best that could be achieved. Trying to achieve all three just meant falling to focus on the data that could really make a difference. 

How do you even measure them?

Cost per hire depends on what you include in the calculation and relies on others using the same formula.

Time to hire also relies on using comparable start and finish points. Just when does the recruitment process start and end.

Quality of hire – does anybody have a consistent measure of this!

Supply and demand chart

So to stop being a data dinosaur and start using Talent Analytics strategically -  stick the old measures in the bin and start thinking about (and these are just a few high level examples): -

  • Labor Market Insights 
  • Candidate (or rather skills) availability – where they come from and where you lose them to
  • Competitor recruitment activity
  • Attraction and selection performance (relevant candidates per stage of the vacancy)
  • Adherence to recruitment schedules
  • Supplier performance
  • Retention rates
  • And so on...

Talent analytics is a high-priority topic, but readiness is still low. This trend is rated among the top five priorities in every region of the world, yet only 4% of organisations surveyed believe they have the predictive talent analytics capabilities today. Only 14% of companies have any form of talent analytics program in place, yet more than 60% want to build a plan this year. (Deloitte)

If you would like to know more about using data that you can actually measure and use in your performance measures then do give me a shout.

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