The hiring process is a multi-step process to pick the right person for the right job. It involves various steps, right from receiving the resume of the candidate to screening, interviews, background checks and the new hire paperwork. With the Darwinian Evolution of Big Data and Analytics in the last couple of years, data has become the new currency. The recruitment space is not untouched by this new trend. In fact, data science will soon become central to hiring, and it would be foolish to overlook data-driven recruiting.

Ian Cook, Head of Workforce Solutions at Visier is of the opinion that if you are looking away from analytics, you competitor will take advantage of your lax attitude and hijack all the talent you were looking for!

Today most of the recruitment happens based on gut feel and habit. This happens because there is a lack of complete data related to the candidate available to the decision makers. By making the data available to the people who actually need it and making decisions based on the data, helps the company find better candidate matches and makes the whole process more efficient, effective and fast.

For example, while evaluating a candidate, the interviewers mostly opt for qualitative feedbacks. They provide interview notes or may be a simple numeric metric to rate the candidate on a scale of 1-10. But a better way would be to collect all the data required by the team to judge the candidate. A feedback form with the essential traits, skills, and strengths can be given to each interviewer.

They can thus fill the form as the candidate goes through each round. This would give a lot of insights about the strengths, weaknesses and cultural fit of the candidates. So at the end you have a considerable amount of data, which the team can sit around and discuss; it helps them narrow down on the best of talent from the list.

The game of metrics

Adopting a system to track the pipeline metrics is helpful to evaluate the efficiency of the hiring process. Metrics could be related to the response time to the applicants, conversion percentage from one stage to the next, the time taken for each stage etc. These metrics help to implement an SLA (Service Level Agreement) across the hiring teams. It helps ensure that the recruitment team is rising up to the expectations with regards to the business requirements. These metrics also help in understanding where to source the talent from, ensure timely sourcing and appraising the recruitment process as a whole. It also provides insights regarding the areas that need improvement to enhance the entire talent acquisition experience.

A must have for business success

It is found that with the use of data, the talent acquisition teams can improve their recruiting efforts while reducing the cost. A huge percentage of the HR leaders are game for analytics. Most of CEOs feel that data analytics is imperative for business success, and it is important for the HR to incorporate this technology into their recruitment strategy. In spite of recognizing the importance of data analytics in recruitment, the percentage of organizations which actually implement data science and use recruitment data for decision making is quite small.

The primary requirement to become data-driven is, of course, data. So the first step is to collect the recruitment data, which is not captured by most of the companies. The second requirement is the availability of the data in a centralized location, from where it could be connected to and accessed by different departments and technologies.

A brief on ATS

The basic thing you need to start using data science is implementing an applicant tracking system (ATS) and make sure it is a modern one with all essential features. An ATS helps you capture the recruiting data and also automating this process, saving you the time and effort. Also, the system helps you access the data from a centralized location which is important when it comes to reporting and decision making across the teams. Once you have access to the data, the gut feeling recruitment method can be eliminated.

It has been presumed that with data analytics, the need for humans will be replaced with technology. But the truth is – the data is used to make more informed decisions and not to substitute the ‘human’ from the ‘Human Resources’. The whole purpose of data-driven recruitment is to take a holistic approach towards hiring, making it much more efficient, less time consuming and thus ensuring the acquisition of nothing but the outstanding talent.