The hiring process sets the stage for the level of talent that flows into a company. The talent profile of a business plays a critical role in its long-term success. As such, recruiters have a responsibility to create hiring strategies that incorporate emerging trends such as workforce analytics and big data.
Properly harnessing and employing data is an engine for business growth. Recent technological advancements to software platforms have shaped the way analysts and recruiting professionals leverage data to source and retain more qualified applicants. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Your business can access and utilize data for workforce planning, no matter how large or small your organization is.
Big data’s role in hiring
Big data refers to a collection of data from a variety of sources across a business, from sales and logistics, to employee acquisition and marketing. It is created on a daily basis, and although its sheer volume, velocity, and complexity can be extremely intimidating, this data is one of the most powerful tools at a business’s disposal. Businesses can use data analysis to drive strategies across all areas of their business, including building up their workforce.
Recruiters are responsible for a wealth of candidate data. Automated solutions help to track against internal data, as well as the changing labor market. This enables your business to respond quickly to hiring trends that emerge, alongside organizational changes that happen over time.
Insights are best derived once the data has been collected in one place. Modern software tools, such as talent management systems, house data in a common location, enabling employees across the organization to access pertinent data from different business lines. From there, a unified reporting dashboard helps recruiters make smarter hiring decisions and offers a more precise understanding of the “ideal candidate.” Best practices and standardized processes like the ones below can be incorporated along the way.
Putting big data to work for your organization
1. Offering a better benefits package
Companies have to be realistic when it comes to benefits. Offering too little in the way of healthcare or paid time off can repel candidates, while offering too much can minimize your ROI. Successful benefits packages are aligned with the lay of the market, taking into account what other companies of a similar size are offering in similar industries. It’s always good to offer an attractive benefits package, so taking a closer look at market data can keep you ahead of the competition.
Recruiters often have to adjust their offerings in order to remain compliant with current labor laws and regulatory standards. They also have to intimately understand the fluidity of industry and region-specific standard salary brackets, as well as trends in employee benefits such as healthcare coverage, paid time off, and flexible working arrangements. These are especially important as the workplace ecosystem begins to shift and companies begin to place a strategic focus on building a remote workforce.
2. Honing in on factors that impact strategic retention
When an employee leaves, it can be for a variety of reasons. The qualitative, case-by-case nature of voluntary turnover is incredibly hard to manually track. Whenever your business receives ongoing feedback, or when an outbound employee gives their exit interview, your company should view these instances as learning opportunities.
Feeding the data points into a platform, as referenced above, paints a clear picture of your organization’s retention metrics. Factors like employee position and tenure can be measured against more qualitative aspects such as specific referenced pain points or feedback. For example, does your onboarding process need work? Is there something wrong with workplace culture?
Your retention rate matters when compared to the average retention of your competitors. It’s not just about competing for consumer market share; it’s also about competing within the talent pool. Thus, it’s vital to identify and document common themes. This can point to a systemic organizational issue that needs to be addressed. Ultimately, bettering the employee experience ensures not only that qualified candidates stay, but that you also attract them in the first place.
3. Identifying and addressing skills gaps
A skills gap is the delta between what employers need their workers to be able to execute on when they come into work and the skillset those employees actually possess. It doesn’t mean that your workers aren’t talented or hard-working; rather, a skills gap means there are certain hard and soft skills that would be advantageous for your employees to possess, and it’s your job to identify and train to those gaps.
Data analysis can help solve the skills gap issue by providing avenues to upskill your existing workforce, as well as screen incoming candidates for desired specializations. Resume information from past hires can be mined for keywords and traits, and measured against the outcome of each hire. From this, recruiters can find a correlation between certain skills and real-time outcomes as they relate to overall performance and employee ROI. Recruiters can extend a skills audit to include prospective candidates, screening for predetermined hard and soft skills underscored by your executive team. As always, this should be an opportunity to gain a competitive edge. Are there any skills other companies are hiring for that you’re missing? How about trending skills in your industry? As more companies embed digital tools into their day-to-day work, the need for more specialized roles will evolve in concert.
Innovation is everything in the world of business, and innovation should be part of your recruitment strategy. If your business wants to thrive, it has to be able to embrace change and invest in the areas that most significantly impact productivity and growth. Draw inspiration from your competitors, because what is considered innovation today will become standard practice tomorrow. Staying sharp means staying profitable, especially as it relates to your people strategy.
Recruiters today are leveraging talent management systems with increasing frequency in order to access dynamic, comprehensive data. This ultimately empowers your recruiting team to leverage relevant insights to more efficiently power your sourcing, hiring, and onboarding processes. Additionally, a well-rounded approach to measuring common hiring metrics can outline ways to optimize the employee experience for everyone involved, from current to future employees.