Data-driven recruitment

How to Design a Data-Driven Recruitment Strategy, Without an ATS

4 min read · Advice & Insights / Data-driven recruitment · Published 3 years ago

Traditional in-house recruitment has been reliant on already established relationships, reputation, and location. However, the new age of recruitment is heavily driven by data, which can allow talent teams to devise intelligent ways to hire and enable them to save time, money and resources on future recruitment efforts. 

We’re going to outline the importance of a data-driven recruitment strategy, as well as give you some tips on how to start using data in your recruitments even if you don’t have an applicant tracking system!

Why is a data-driven recruitment strategy important? 

It increases productivity and time-management

Hiring and retaining talent is a challenging task, and often recruitment teams are managing more than one role simultaneously. When we spoke to the University of Cologne’s Personnel Manager, Dr. Maria Schmitz-Hüser, she highlighted that, “Data is especially important for positions that need to be filled within a short period of time or that are difficult to fill. It’s also important in the cases where we are pressured to find someone.” Having this knowledge can allow you to delegate and prioritise tasks based on their importance, as evidenced by the data you acquire. 

It identifies weaknesses in your recruitment strategy

Each talent function will have weaknesses, and this shouldn’t be seen as negative. For example, your data may show you that a position that on average takes 4 weeks to fill is currently taking 9, in which case there is either a difficulty with candidate management or a training issue. 

It helps with attraction and retention of candidates

Data can clearly pinpoint how many candidates you are attracting at the initial stage, as well as how many you’ve hired. Data can also show you how many candidates are still within your institution in 3, 6, and 12 months time. You can then use this data to assess and improve your retention strategy. 

It allows you to forecast your recruitment drives 

Having data on when you last hired and how many people you hired can be a great metric to track, especially if you know when you can expect to receive the funding you’ll need to hire again. You can also forecast your recruitment drives based on headcount estimates and upcoming retirements. 

It helps with budget management and allocation

In 2020, the average agency cost can be between 10% to 30% of a candidate’s salary, which can be expensive depending on the seniority. The recruitment lifecycle is a costly one, and if measured incorrectly, it can eat into your budget quicker than you’d think. Having data can help you allocate enough budget at the right time for specific actions, rather than operating on guesswork.


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4 steps to designing a data-driven recruitment strategy, without an ATS

An ATS, also known as an Applicant Tracking System, can be a time-saving and easy-to-use piece of technology that uses qualitative and quantitative data to improve your recruitment efforts. 

However, for some, an ATS isn’t attainable, which leads many talent teams to believe that they can’t benefit from a data-driven recruitment strategy. They’re wrong! There are data points you can log and track yourself, without having to invest in an expensive ATS.

Here are 4 steps we’ve created to get you started.

Step 1: Start tracking your interview conversion rate

This will allow you to see the number of candidates you need to interview on average to make a hire, as well as segmenting how this differs based on role seniority. For example, PhD positions may have a higher interview to placement conversion rate than an associate professor.

Step 2: Collect feedback at the end of the interview process

Create a short form that has 5-7 questions about the interview process, with a 1-10 score rating, 1 being “poor” and 10 being “excellent”. This can assess multiple data points such as campus visit, interview questions, and overall candidate experience. This information will allow you to refine and improve your interview process based on facts from candidates who have been through the experience, rather than updating it based on a hunch. 

Step 3: Make a note of where your hires are coming from

Understanding the source of your hires can be a great indicator of where you’re getting the most success, but also where you may be wasting money. If a specific supplier or partner hasn’t given you any hires in the last 6 months, you can reassess how you work with them, thus saving you time and money. It’s also useful to implement a routine of asking candidates where they found your job advert for the same reason. 

Step 4: Create monthly reports of all the above

Organising your data is crucial, otherwise, it can be difficult to make any sense of it. Creating monthly reports analysing all the areas you’re measuring can give you clarity on what you want to achieve the following month, as well as indicate areas for improvement. You should also ask your recruitment partner to share their data with you as part of their service. The more data you have, the more streamlined and strategic your recruitment can be.

In conclusion, a data-driven recruitment strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or cost the earth. Instead, it can be a two or three-point analysis to ensure that you can operate in a sustainable and results-driven way.

Do you want the full guide on how to design a data-driven recruitment strategy? Click here to see our comprehensive guide. 

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Download your free data-driven recruitment guide

Whether you're new to data-driven recruitment or you're a seasoned pro looking for new KPIs to track, our guide will help you take your recruiting to the next level.

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