How do you define "analytics"? Is it just a technical term for analysis or a valid scientific term for the science behind the analysis? For HR organizational purposes, it doesn't matter, because analytics or analysis – whatever you call it – is critical to HR's impact on the business.
According to Bersin, HR analytics apply to a wide range of business challenges: Recruiting remains the number one area of focus, followed by performance measurement, compensation, workforce planning and retention.
The key people analytics category of recruitment analytics is the practice of evaluating and measuring the efficacy of hiring and hiring processes, usually through digital technologies and computer algorithms. Typical recruitment analytics might involve measuring where qualified talent is sourced, which recruitment steps are taking the longest, how long it's taking to hire good employees, and what constitutes a good hire.
The more specific your recruitment analytics, the more effective your organization can get at optimizing its hiring processes for success. This way, you're not boiling the ocean (aka trying to find answers in a sea of results) when you go to make improvements to the talent acquisition process.
Five reasons to leverage recruitment analytics
Recruitment analytics is part of a more comprehensive measurement discipline known as HR analytics and metrics (which assess things businesses need to know about their people, such as employee turnover and cost per employee). Recruitment analytics is also a data-driven way to attract and manage the rock star-level talent in today's employee market, which measures more than those things related to the hire, including ongoing engagement levels and methods in the candidate pipeline.
The proper collection and analysis of recruitment data are crucial to understanding and then managing what makes for a stellar candidate-to-employee experience. Here are five specific ways to leverage your recruitment analytics today:
1. Tackle the "big three" recruitment metrics
The most cited and focused upon talent metrics are:
- Time to hire (TTH)
- Right hire
- Measured quality of the candidate experience
These are largely recognized as the "big three" in recruitment metrics, and your analytical capabilities need to be able to address these faster, more efficiently and qualitatively over time, with reportable improvements.
Are you getting your job requisitions out to the right audience without the limitations of manual distribution? When candidates respond are you able to rapidly collaborate on assessments, interviews and decision-making? Are you finding and attracting the most qualified candidates and then nurturing high performance and engagement like you might nurture loyalty in a valued customer? It's not just a war for the best talent – sometimes it's actually more of a race, and allowing a candidate's CV/resume to sit in a recruiter's inbox or interoffice mail awaiting processing can cause you to lose.
2. Measure and optimize talent sourcing
Talent sourcing has evolved from the days of placing an ad in the newspaper or magazine, participating in live recruiting events and then hoping for the best. Many companies today (hopefully, this includes yours!) are proactively using social networks and online digital networks to search, find, engage and assess talent, including passive candidates who have not previously expressed interest in a job at your organization.
It is important then to measure and review the performance of these networks in terms of the number of applications and ultimately new hires. Those network sources that statistically provide the best quality and number of candidates can then be prioritized during future searches.
3. Make sense of the data
But once you connect to the Big Data universe, the data can become overwhelming and understanding the surfeit of data coming into your talent database can be challenging. Advanced applicant tracking systems, also referred to as a candidate relationship management system or talent acquisition platform, make it far easier to categorize and understand the data you collect.
By making sense of the data points, you can then formulate additional recruitment metrics that matter, such as offer acceptance rate, cost per hire and diversity hiring metrics. Meanwhile, multi-tenant solutions allow you to hold the data at a local level to comply with regional privacy laws while capturing overall business intelligence and aligning it with your more central talent acquisition efforts.
4. Develop and share insights in real-time
Don't let data languish unused in spreadsheets or email folders. Use the data for real-time analysis, reporting and informed decision-making. You need to be able to flexibly conduct searches and uncover previously hidden data, which can then guide talent decisions.
Recruitment analytics can also represent a way to reduce unconscious bias in hiring decisions by finding candidates according to prioritized criteria and assessing them according to balanced and calibrated key metrics.
5. Spark candidate engagement
Get insights into the talent you source, want to engage and whose skills will drive your future using social and professional network analytics. Interact with this talent and improve your candidate experience and engagement through person-to-person listening as well as machine learning, which helps you build relationships based on what candidates like. Offer video-based interactions and content for those candidates who wish to use this channel.
Sparking and growing the flame of candidate engagement is all about relationship building – between the candidate and everyone representing the company who is also interacting with the candidate. Ultimately, cultivating a strong candidate experience sets up the new hire to transition into a strong onboarding experience and beyond.
It's not just about recruiting metrics, it's about people
You want a system in which you can visualize these recruitment analytics, including dashboards, comparison columns, and customized reports. But you also want to be able to visualize the aforementioned broader HR metrics, such as turnover, return on human capital, cost of labor and expenses per employee.
But even the most comprehensive, holistic, connected system isn't worth anything to you without a strategy. You need clarity on what metrics you want to measure and why. Start by setting some talent acquisition goals that would be supported by the collection and analysis of recruitment metrics. Only then will you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish without drowning in that ocean of data.
Above all, remember: It's not just about metrics, it's about people.