How People Analytics Can Improve Recruiting

Part of a series  |  People Analytics Series

A business leader reviews people analytics

People analytics can improve recruiting by giving you clues about what's working and what isn't, so you can get to the bottom of any challenges more quickly and spend your time and resources in the right places. Here's a look at the problems to watch for and the metrics to keep an eye on.

Recruiting can feel like an infinite loop of process, people, and predictions. How many people will we need? How can we recruit in ways that help us hire great people? How can we avoid processes that take too long, don't add value and lose good candidates?

We talked to Brent Weiss, ADP's Senior Director, Product Management for DataCloud, about how people analytics can improve recruiting processes, track what's happening and see how to do more of what works for you.

Q: What makes an effective recruiting process?

BW: Recruiting is always a balance between the needs of the organization, the candidates and time. Both the organization and candidate want a chance to learn about each other and decide whether it will work. But if your recruiting processes take a long time, you risk losing candidates. It also puts stress on your existing teams who needed the help yesterday.

An effective recruiting process is one where you can quickly find qualified candidates, connect them with the right decision makers, and bring people onboard with the fewest bottlenecks as possible.

Q: What are some common problems in recruiting?

BW: The biggest one is hiring the wrong person who either leaves or you end up firing after a few months. Then you are back where you started after spending a lot of time and resources. And the person you hired is out looking for another role after having a bad experience at your organization.

The next biggest problem is missing out on the perfect person for the job because they got frustrated with your application process, you took too long or your offer wasn't competitive.

The way to address both issues is to make your process more efficient and track what is happening along the way so you can resolve issues faster.

Q: Tell us how people analytics can improve recruiting processes and efficiency.

BW: There are seven key data points to review. Within each are specific items you can measure and evaluate. You want to know how all the pieces are working together and be able to identify where the challenges are.

1. Recruiting process effectiveness: This is where you assess the overall outcomes of your recruiting process. Some key things to review:

  • Source of hire - Where are you finding the right people? Where else should you look? Are you spending time looking in places that aren't effective?
  • Application completion rate - Are people dropping out before hitting submit? This could indicate the application is confusing, too long, or just gives the wrong impression.
  • Submittal to interview ratio - If you are getting lots of submittals but aren't interviewing the people applying, it's time to look at the job ad and initial communications in the application process and figure out why.
  • Interview to offer rate - This shows where there may be glitches in how you choose people to interview or the interview process itself. Maybe someone is focused on the wrong qualification or attribute. Maybe you have an interviewer who doesn't like anyone.
  • Offer acceptance and decline rates - You like them, but they don't accept. Did they go somewhere else? Is your compensation too low? Did someone they talk to give them a bad feeling?
  • New hire turnover rate - Is it working out or not? If it's not, there may be a disconnect between the recruiting process and the job. Maybe a particular manager is not good at choosing the right people.

The above basic metrics will help you focus on where there are issues so you can get to the solution more quickly and effectively.

2. Recruiting process efficiency: How long does it take to go through the application process? See where there are bottlenecks. Look at time to fill, which measures a candidate's time from application to start date. Then look at the time it takes candidates to move through each stage in the hiring process and the time it takes between offer and acceptance. Check average times, but also look by role, department, recruiter, and hiring manager to see where the process is going well and where there are hang ups.

3. Recruiting costs: Do you know how much it costs to recruit someone, what it costs if they leave quickly and how long it takes to get people onboarded and working effectively? This involves tracking information that you may not currently collect but knowing how your recruiting processes affect the bottom line can be a powerful argument for change or a strong validation of what you are doing.

4. Recruiting impact on diversity: Are you tracking how recruiting affects your overall diversity and diversity by category, location, and roles? Tracking gender, ethnicity, and other factors like veterans, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ are all possible. There are pros and cons of collecting this data and whether to ask people to self-identify. But knowing your demographics is the first step toward learning where you want to focus your DE&I efforts.

5. Recruiter and team performance: When there are issues, you want to address the real problem. Sometimes it's an individual recruiter that is struggling. When it's an entire recruiting team, that can tell you about the difficulties in filling a type of role or a particular location. Look at time to fill by recruiter and team, requisition summaries and status by recruiter, offer acceptance rate by recruiter and location. You may also want to assess new hire turnover by recruiter.

6. Open requisition activity: This will tell you about your recruiting process and where work in progress may be getting bogged down. It can also tell you whether your recruiters are inputting the data you need along the way. Look at your requisition summary status, aging requisitions, and percent of open requisitions. Then look at where the problems are. If it turns out that people are being hired, but the system is not reflecting reality, then you need to work on helping your recruiters understand why they need to track progress in the system.

7. Future recruiting needs: While people analytics can't give you a crystal ball, they can tell you where you have been and what to expect if nothing changes. We've all been in an everything-is-changing environment because of the pandemic. We are starting to see how turnover has shifted, where the most churn is and how our recruiting processes have been affected over the past couple years. Look at how time to fill, number of new hires, new hire turnover, have changed during the pandemic. See if you can identify trends and what is driving them. Then you can figure out where you may want to make changes.

Q: Any words of wisdom as someone digs into all this information?

BW: Don't lose sight of what you're trying to do — get the right people in the door in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

People analytics will give you clues about what's working and what isn't so you can get to the bottom of any problems more quickly and spend your time and resources in the right places.

Meaningful insights about your people and processes are hidden in your people data. We'll help you find them.