The Best Companies are Embracing Data-Driven Recruiting. Are You?

July 28, 2020

With unemployment rates hovering at historic lows, it’s natural to assume that employers are experiencing a challenging recruiting environment. While it can certainly appear daunting, taking this assumption at face value misses an equally important recruiting metric. 

The other key market trend to consider is the continued decrease in employee tenure. As the chart below illustrates, median job tenure continues to decrease across all age cohorts. The 20-30 year old cohort is hovering at one year, and the 30-40 year old cohort sits at three years. 

The combination of these two data points tells a much different story. The volume of employees moving jobs has never been higher, but the competition for those employees has also never been higher. 

So how are the best companies winning in this environment? What they’re NOT doing is relying on passive or reactive recruiting tactics like posting on job boards or marketplaces. They’re investing heavily in data, AI, and analytics to develop proactive, predictable recruiting programs. 

Dr. John Sullivan’s recent ERE post does a great job highlighting where the top 10 most desirable companies are investing their recruiting dollars. Here’s a hint, even the most in-demand US companies aren’t relying on reactive recruiting strategies. They are investing in data-driving capabilities and strategies. In fact, the first 6 of the top 10 areas highlighted are all focused on data: 

1. Shifting to data-driven recruiting 

Commit to making all major TA decisions based on data. Candidate supply, sourcing strategy, hiring manager funnel, applicant quality, etc. Focus on optimizing weak conversion areas.  

2. Business-impact recruiting 

Understanding how recruiting execution directly ties to business performance. Measure how a reduction in time-to-fill or an increase in quality hires drives increased revenue (through marketing, sales, service) and product timelines (through engineers, product developers, etc).

3. The application of AI/machine learning 

Using the latest data-driven technology to identify more relevant and diverse candidates faster, expand diversity, increase engagement, and ultimately increase candidate pipeline conversion rates. 

4. Other technology applications beyond AI

Explore opportunities to leverage technology like automated interview scheduling, video interviews, candidate nurturing, and assessments to enhance the recruiting process. 

5. Pipeline continuous recruiting 

Getting away from a cold start to a continuous candidate nurturing approach, leveraging AI and automation to help drive the process.

6. Targeted and diversity hiring 

Moving away from human bias and leveraging data-driven candidate identification techniques.

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about data-driven recruiting. The heavily attended Greenhouse customer conference that took place this past summer featured an entire track on data-driven recruiting for the first time. We attended each session and summarized the highlights, which included sessions on forecasting/planning, sourcing, and screening. 

If the most desirable and heavily resourced companies are investing in data-driven recruiting, how can the rest of us compete? There are a few simple steps you can take:

  • Go on offense. Don’t rely on job boards and hiring marketplaces. Get proactive by identifying and engaging relevant candidates, leveraging data-driven AI tools to improve productivity and success. 
  • Focus on funnel metrics. Develop a clear understanding of how many candidates you need to engage at the top of the funnel to deliver the end hiring results, and measure how they convert throughout the hiring funnel. Connect these results to actual business outcomes to show ROI. 
  • Leverage your biggest asset: time.  Focus on high-value activities like talking with candidates and use technology to automate the more repetitive tasks like sourcing, screening, and scheduling. 
  • Test, Test, Test. Establishing a strong analytics process creates the ability to test and improve the lower-performing stages of your recruiting funnel. Focus on trying 2-3 different strategies in stages with the lowest conversion rates. 

With the right strategy, companies of any size can win big and build amazingly strong teams. That winning strategy will rely on adopting data and a proactive approach to competing in the market. With a few key focus areas, any company can get there. 

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