If you’ve been to a HR conference the past few months, you more than likely have heard analytics and big data mentioned at least once or twice (and probably more than that.) And for good reason. Analytics represent a way for organizations to perform better on what they do every day. Providing the insights and knowledge that they don’t have today to improve tomorrow.
Makes sense right? The major problem for organizations is not determining that they need analytics but moreso how to capture and most importantly use analytics in their processes and strategy. As Jason Averbook mentioned in his HR Technology Conference Keynote, ‘the reason organizations don’t use big data is they don’t know what they should be measuring.’
And while that’s a topic for another post, what’s abundantly clear is that the marketplace is making it harder and harder for organizations to understand the proper way to capture analytics in order to make them usable to the organization. Every technology provider now sports some sort of analytics component to their solution and explains why the data captured is integral to making better decisions. The real confusion here is you have solutions across the recruitment spectrum all saying the same thing whether they cover social, mobile, CRM, job distribution, SEO, Career Sites, etc. And they can’t all offer the same analytics as everyone else.
So here’s my attempt at ironing out the recruitment analytics discussion. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Say No to the Check Box Mentality
The “check box” mentality to investing in technology is over. By this I mean no longer can you just rely on staying on the surface when talking about solutions you use and ask questions like “do you do mobile?” and accept 1 word answers. As an industry, we have to move past marketing speak and making sure that it touches every aspect of what we’re looking for and really drill down into how we use tools to accomplish the initiatives we need to get done.
And with this, we go back to Jason’s point. We need to go into discussions understanding what we really want to achieve first and foremost across all our initiatives. For instance, let’s look at social recruiting. Why are you looking to integrate social in your strategy? There can be a number of answers to this including better engagement, improved branding, customer service or increased applicant flow but knowing the answer for your organization is key to finding and implementing a process and solution to meet your goals for social recruiting and whether there may be a better fit.
So when we look at analytics in this vein, it’s really about understanding what we want to be able to measure now and tomorrow in our strategy. We can’t just buy a single analytics technology separate from our other technology and have it go on auto pilot to provide us with all the recommendations we need to make winning decisions. It doesn’t work like that. But we can figure out the questions, methodology and technology we need to follow in measuring our strategy so we can begin to capture data to help us better analyze what’s working and not work in our strategy across all of our initiatives. One that works today and tomorrow.
A Foundation of Analytics
When you look at your recruitment strategy today, you don’t want to look at it and know very little about it. As you speak with senior executives and request budget for next year, you need to intrinsically know the levers and reasons behind the decisions you made with the resources you had available. You need to explain not only what you need but convincingly why you need it to be successful. And this only comes by measuring and analyzing across the entire strategy.
THIS is why a foundation of anlytics is important and why everything in your strategy needs to start with analytics in mind not with execution (although important). And the question you should ask yourself with any solution investment is “how does this fit into our analytics foundation?”.
3 Keys to Analytics Foundation
When I look at the analytics that we want to have for our organizations from a recruitment standpoint, here are the 3 key attributes that I would be looking for when building your foundation.
Comprehensive: Recruitment strategies are becoming more and more complex by the year with a ton of moving parts. From using mature methods such as job boards and sourcing to newer trends such as SEO, social and mobile, you have resources committed and deployed at a number of different activities and initiatives. All with the goal to find and attract quality talent.
And it’s integral that your analytics capabilities reflect this. So the first question I’d ask myself in terms of analytics is “Am I able to measure ALL of the initiatives we do to find quality candidates? And do I measure based on similar criteria to be able to make decisions?”
Centralized: Being able to measure everything is first and foremost but this data is not as impactful unless you can bring this data together side by side so you can compare and contrast. You should be able to measure all your initiatives such as job postings, sourcing or social side by side based on key performance metrics. The importance here is that all these initiatives require budget and resources to execute and measuring them on their own merits alone discounts the huge opportunity cost that exists of potentially diverting these resources to something that performs better.
You may also be capturing metrics for every initiative today via separate point solutions, which may present the problem that these solutions more than likely only give you a siloed, fragmented look at the specific actions it helps you execute. Bringing together all the data in a usable format is key here and can be difficult if you use multiple point solutions. And this is the reason why comprehensive solutions like Recruitment Marketing Platforms that do this in a single solution are seeing growth in the space.
Actionable: If you have your analytics across the entire strategy and in a central location for side by side comparisons, you are in a great place as an organization. However, the last key is to make sure that your analytics are actionable and remain actionable as you build upon your strategy.
A few things are key here. First, you need an analytics foundation and toolset to pull data at any time and historically. Having data available across your strategy in real-time provides you with the tools to make the most of your data and make better quicker decisions. Second, you need to be able to share analytics across the organization. While more important decisions will come from the top-down, sharing and providing access to analytics across your team can lead to great benefits in performance and create a culture of better decision-making. Third, you need to be able to manipulate the data easily. Data is not one size fits all for each organization and the decisions you made on what is integral for you to measure may evolve as you look at the data overall. Therefore, data relationships and reporting need to be flexible from a functional standpoint.
If you make your recruitment analytics foundation comprehensive, centralized and actionable, you will have a great advantage over your recruitment counterparts and a strategy that has a great story to tell candidates and senior leaders.
Analytics for a Sustainable Strategy
As you look to build out your recruitment analytics capabilities it’s important to have the future in mind. You need to make sound investment decisions today to ensure your analytics and what you need to measure grow as your strategy does. Think about scalability today as you don’t want any blind spots in your recruitment marketing strategy down the road.