Anyone who has experience with recruiting and hiring talent of late understands that talent acquisition is as much a science as it is an art. The exciting potential behind talent analytics is that it has fueled the science side of power recruiting and hiring – using data, metrics and analytics to understand who you should be sourcing and from where, for example, instead of making decisions solely on gut instinct.
Yet the potential of analytics, in power recruiting and hiring in particular, is still in its infancy. Consider that many companies are still just trying to get their data house in order to have a single source of truth that better informs their metrics and reporting. Getting to true talent analytics that help decipher the why of what’s happened and what’s to come has only just begun.
In fact, according to a recent Deloitte University Press article, most organizations consider themselves “weak” in using analytics for recruitment and staffing. With payroll typically a company’s largest expense, there is incredible potential for businesses to realize a greater return on their people investment by using the right HR data and analytics to optimize their talent acquisition processes.
Today’s constantly changing business world requires hiring top talent at the speed of light. With 50% of organizations citing “filling key positions” as an urgent talent challenge, companies need to be assured that they are hiring the best people who can quickly drive revenue and have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. From tracking new hire turnover rates to long-term job performance ratings, they want a configurable yet high speed of transactions and the recruiting efficiencies to make more informed recruiting decisions and improve their talent acquisition strategies.
Using Talent Analytics to Drive Business Outcomes
Companies amass a tremendous amount of data about their people – whether data on candidate sourcing channels, general demographic information like age and gender, information about degrees and universities attended, data on compensation and benefits, or key employee performance scores. By analyzing this information in real-time, a company can directly improve critical HR functions and ultimately link those results to desired business outcomes. This is how talent analytics fuels the science of accurate power recruiting and hiring.
These analyses can be applied in myriad ways for talent acquisition, from evaluating sources of the best candidates to determining the quality of hire. For example, companies can analyze where their talent acquisition budget is going and whether it’s being spent on recruiters, job boards, traditional advertising on billboards and in print publications, social networks, etc. Or, they can measure total time to productivity based on onboarding activities, learning activities, engagement measurements, etc.
With this insightful information in hand, an organization can determine where their most qualified candidates are coming from and where best to focus their limited recruiting budget. Insight also can be gleaned from tracking how much time candidates spend on a company’s career site, and adjustments and enhancements can be made to attract better candidates to the site and keep them coming back for more.
But, the power of talent analytics doesn’t end when a candidate transitions to an employee. Analytics enable companies to use the business intelligence gathered during the talent acquisition period as well as performanceand development data throughout the employee lifecycle to determine the overall quality of a hire to the organization, retention trends, succession slates, leadership development programs, all of which can be invaluable to a company’s understanding of their recruiting processes.
As an example, a recruiter can use a pre-defined ideal candidate profile to find the best fit candidate for a position. Throughout the employee’s career, performance data then can be gathered that either reinforces or contradicts the employee’s selection. By investing in talent analytics, the company can adjust its selection process and better identify its top performers and their shared attributes. Over time, these analytics can transform a company’s hiring practices and ensure it focuses its talent acquisition efforts in areas that deliver the best candidates.
The key to using analytics in talent acquisition, however, lies in the HR practitioners’ ability to interpret the data and make informed decisions. Talent data is most useful when it can be easily consumed and acted upon. Most HR professionals do not have PhDs in statistical analytics, but even with data scientists on staff, technology and software that illustrate sourcing and recruiting data in a manageable and actionable way should be a critical component of a company’s talent acquisition strategy.