Hiring can make or break an organization. A staggering 74% of companies say they’ve hired the wrong person for a position — a mistake that can be incredibly costly and time-consuming. According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.
Instead of just hiring to fill a role, the most successful organizations use data-driven recruitment strategies to hire better and find the right person for each job. These teams hire better candidates, have lower attrition, and save money in hiring and turnover. Backing your hiring decisions with facts and critical data points can ensure you’re matching the right candidate with the right position and help you feel confident in your hiring decisions.
Here are five tips for using data to hire better:
The first step is identifying the data points you need to find the right person for the job. Knowing what to look for can help narrow your search to only select pieces of data. Common data for hiring includes:
Years of work experience
Consider the data points and attributes you want in the ideal candidate, such as a specific resume keyword or a certain amount of experience.
Once you know the key pieces of data for your hiring approach, identify the best ways to collect those metrics. Many organizations do this through resume review and screening questions to pull out key pieces of information that match your hiring goals (e.g. looking for someone with at least 10 years of experience or who majored in a particular subject). Assessments can provide data around skills and personality to ensure the person is a good fit for the job responsibilities and company culture.
When making a plan, be sure to think about how you’re going to capture and record the data. Collecting data is only half the puzzle — storing it and being able to track and sort it easily is the other part of hiring the right people. Software and technology can be a major benefit in this area, whether you track data in Excel or with a more robust hiring software tool.
Most recruiters and hiring managers know they need to focus on data collection, but this step is often the hardest because it can be time-consuming. Collecting data from numerous sources and getting all candidates and references to supply their answers is challenging. But the benefits of prioritizing data collection far outweigh the challenges. Having a full view of each candidate can ensure you are making a confident hiring decision.
During this process, it is crucial to follow up with everyone involved in the hiring process so that the data is collected promptly and recorded correctly. Rushing data collection and entry can lead to gaps or mistakes that can unfairly affect a hiring decision.
Data collection and analysis don’t end once someone has been hired. To know how to hire better, you need to know what part of the hiring process helped select the right candidates. Knowing what did and didn’t work to find strong employees can improve the process in the future. Was the experience you collected from resumes different for top and bottom-performing employees? Was a particular interview answer different from the top and bottom-performing employees?
Comparing hiring data to actual job performance provides a treasure trove of information to continually improve the hiring process and ensure you’re hiring high-performing employees who are a good fit for the job.
Leveraging data in the hiring process can seem overwhelming, especially if it hasn’t previously been the foundation of your screening. But remember that using data is an iterative process, and doing something is better than doing nothing. Pick something small and get started. As long as you’re consistently collecting data and comparing it to the performance of your new hires, you’ll continue to improve.
Data-driven talent acquisition is a modern and scalable approach to ensure you hire not just skilled candidates but people who are the right fit for that exact position. Identifying the data you need, creating a plan, and following through to collect and store all the needed data is just the beginning. After hiring employees, compare their job performance to their hiring data to continually improve the process and hire better.
But the most important part is to simply get started with one or a few pieces of data and grow your data-driven recruitment strategy from there. Over time, you’ll see tremendous improvement in the quality of your hires and the efficiency of your hiring process. And it’s all thanks to data.
Data does more than help you hire better — it can also help you hire faster. If you want to learn about using data to hire faster, check out this article, How a Data-Driven Recruitment Strategy Can Drastically Improve Your Hiring Process.