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How to Use Data-Driven Recruitment to Transform Your Hiring Process


Data can be a transformative tool for business. Data helps businesses plan objectives, learn more about their processes, and inform decisions. Although recruiting is considered more people-centric and was a less data-intensive function within companies, for many years, data-driven recruitment is changing that. Now with more access to recruiting metrics, data can inform your hiring process.

What is Data-Driven Recruiting?

Data-driven recruiting is making informed decisions on your recruiting process, including; sourcing, hiring, and onboarding by using recruitment metrics.

Benefits of Data-Driven Recruiting?

Reduce "Gut Feeling" Decisions

For many years, interviewing relied on the people in the room and their opinions (and often biases) of the person they were interviewing. Finding a "good fit" usually meant looking for a "gut feeling" on someone whether they were a good fit. But here's the thing- the gut feeling is not backed up by data. As Forbes details, perhaps the most dangerous part of going with a gut feeling hire, is the potential bias. Chad Biagini explains, "There may not be malicious intent, but the result is the same: In the absence of a standardized process and thoughtful evaluation of a candidate, all sorts of biases creep in."  

The other risk, aside from bias, is the actual performance of the hire. SHRM has found that gut feeling doesn't mean good performance within the company once they arrive. Having a data-driven recruitment process helps you avoid this common pitfall and make better hires.

Improve Quality of Hire

Similarly, data-driven hiring decisions can help you improve your overall quality of hire and the recruitment process. With metrics like the cost of hiring, performance of hires, and more, you can track across the employee lifecycle what makes a particular hire effective and not effective. By learning about the levers that make hires effective or ineffective, you can change your processes to try and maximize qualified candidates and new hires.

Decrease Hiring Costs

Because hiring can become such a costly function, yet is so necessary, using data driven recruitment to determine how much you are spending, where you are spending the most, and what investments are paying off. This can help you decrease hiring costs. In addition to that, data can help make the recruitment process more efficient, ultimately reducing the cost.

Decrease Time Per Hire

Data-driven recruitment can highlight where you are spending the most time and how much time you are spending to make changes and become more efficient. These efficiencies will ultimately help improve your time per hire.

Improve Candidate Experience

Although recruitment metrics often aid the businesses that use them, it's not just one-sided- candidates can benefit as well. Data-driven recruiting is a more efficient and pleasant experience for the candidate. It also means that the company has taken the time to evaluate their hiring process and hopefully is at a better spot to find the right fit, which will help the candidate experience.

Eliminate Hiring Bias

As we've mentioned, hiring by using gut feeling can be one biased recruitment process process. However, in general, data-driven recruitment can help with overall biases. Data can help expose where bias issues exist, so you can more actively work to confront those biases.

Contact us to learn more about transforming your recruitment with data.

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Types of Recruitment Data to Measure

Recruitment data or data-driven recruitment is typically centered around talent acquisition metrics- giving you insight into the hiring process from start to finish. We've broken down these metrics based on the type of data you can gather from them, being speed, quality, and cost.


Speed Based Recruitment Metrics

Speed-based recruitment metrics show you how long hiring decisions take and highlight potential issues within the candidate experience related to time.

Time to Hire

The time to hire measures the amount of time it takes from the application process to acceptance. This is measuring the overall hiring process and the efficiency of your recruitment process. You should consider looking at industry standards or typical times as a base metric. If your recruitment process is much slower, you may want to use further data and analysis to determine what points are slowing you down. On the other hand, if your recruitment process is much faster than average, you may want to look at the data on the quality of hires.

Time to Acceptance

The time to acceptance is the amount of time a candidate takes from the offer to accepting. What is interesting about this particular speed-based metric is that you get a sense of the candidate's experience. For example, if you have a much longer time from offer to acceptance, what does that say about your hiring process or those hiring managers? Some time to evaluate, negotiate, or analyze offers is quite normal — however, more recruiters try to limit the amount of time, as more time could mean more likely to reject an offer. On the other hand, if there is no hesitation from offer to acceptance, there could be a chance your offer is more competitive or more appealing to applicants (which isn't necessarily a bad thing by any means but can give you more insight).

Time to Start

After a new hire accepts the position, you may want to track the time to start. Given the investment in recruiting the best candidates, you want to be wary of large lags in times to start. The sooner your new employee starts — the sooner they can become productive! Data-driven hiring with help provide you answers to these problems.

Time to Approve

Another time metric that can speak to your overall recruitment process is the time to approve. This is tracking the time it takes for candidates to move through the funnel. Often the time to approve is referencing the time it takes for a hiring manager to submit a role to the company approving that role. However, this also could be referencing the time it takes for a candidate to send in their general application to be approved for an interview. Either way, approval and the time that approval takes on either end of talent acquisition can be telling on how to improve efficiencies or manage responsibilities.

Quality-Based Recruitment Metrics

Quality-based recruitment metrics are used to track the general quality of your hiring. These metrics can give leadership and hiring managers a data-driven recruitment approach to make changes as needed.

Submission to Acceptance

You may want to consider two different metrics when it comes to submissions and acceptances. The first being

  • How many candidates are submitting? 

This can be a good pulse on your general sourcing, and how attractive the role you are hiring for is.

  • How many candidates get accepted to interview? 

This is the typical submission to acceptance metric, measuring how many applicants apply vs. are accepted to interview. Of course, the more applicants you have, the more choices you may have for an interview. However, if the rate of an interview is very low, it could indicate a quality issue. On the other hand, if it’s very high, it could be a good indication of the strength of your sourcing, or it could indicate that you could be pickier and potentially are wasting interview time.

Source of Hire

To better understand your sourcing efforts, you'll want to gather data. First, you should consider,

  • Where are candidates coming from? 

For example, do you have candidates coming from social media, a job board, directly on your website, or through referrals? Tracking where candidates are coming from is a best practice for talent acquisition.

  • What source are candidates being hired the most? The least? 

Building off of that best practice, using the data available, track what source candidates are being hired, or interviewed the most from. Learning which sources are your strongest and your weakness helps with decision-making on where investment in sourcing should go. For example, if social media yields the most hires, you could consider investing more in sourcing from it.

Candidates per Hire

Lastly, to give you a general sense of the quality of candidates is the candidate's hire ratio. This simply measures the number of candidates per hired candidate. Once again, using industry standards can help you get a base metric. If you have more candidates being hired than industry-standard, you may want to look at metrics further down the road, like the overall performance of employees. If you have fewer candidates being hired, you may want to consider making sourcing improvements, interview process improvements, or other functions of the recruitment funnel.


Cost-Based Recruitment Metrics

Lastly, there are recruitment metrics that help you monitor the overall cost of your data-driven recruitment.

Cost Per Hire

The cost per hire is simply taking the total cost, both internally spent ( so hiring managers time, employee time, etc.) and external costs (sourcing, advertising) per hire. If your cost per hire is expensive, you will want to find different ways to improve that investment or decrease your investments.

Applications Per Channel

This is specific tracking for how much you are spending on channels for sourcing, and how many applications come through on each of those channels. As we mentioned before, identifying your strongest marketing assets and channels can improve your sourcing efforts.

Talent Pool Growth

This is tracking your general growth in the talent pool and the overtime change in the talent pool. If you haven't already, you may consider an ATS (applicant tracking software) to help monitor this growth.

Understanding the importance and benefits of data-driven recruitment is key to a good hiring process.

Learn more about applicant tracking software & talent pool here. 

We specialize in working with teams of all sizes — your talent management tools can be personalized for your company.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.