We have written over 500 blog posts on the SmashFly blog and many remain as relevant today as they were when we wrote them. On occasion we will share these posts to show how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go with recruitment marketing as an industry.
Talent Analytics is one of the biggest trends in today’s HR. The need to understand your employees and what drives their performance for your organization is critical for companies to be successful. And while I could write more about this, I think it’s a better use of our time to point to Josh Bersin’s great article before we begin, “Big Data in Human Resources, Talent Analytics Come to Age”.
With the term Talent Analytics, we are focused on not only ensuring that we are capturing accurate and timely data across the entire HR function but more about how we use this data to gain insight into our strategy and deliver actionable knowledge to those executing it. And while a lot of the focus is on current employees or core HR (and should be), recruitment marketing and how you effectively and efficiently find your employees is just as critical.
This article will focus on where Talent Analytics fits in your recruiting strategy and some insights into what you should be looking for.
Why Recruitment Marketing Analytics?
Just like Talent Analytics for Core HR, the need for analytics can be explained pretty quickly. We need analytics to:
- Understand today: Analytics give us a tremendous snap-shot of where your strategy stands today. It helps us understand what we do well and just as important do poorly. And take action to improve today.
- Improve for Tomorrow: With analytics, you will start seeing the picture of the future so you can begin planning for important trends you see in the data (think % of candidates that visit your site via mobile devices vs. computers.) With this actionable knowledge, you can align improvements and new initiatives toward the bottom line goals you need to be successful. You can also garner support internally (and financially) by supporting these new ideas with relevant data.
- Go as Deep as you need: As you are working with data, analytics can help you identify key trends based on a variety of key factors. If you are really using analytics correctly, you don’t learn just one or two insights from the data but 100’s of insights into different scenarios and circumstances.
- Test Assumptions: Not every initiative or strategy you employ will work. However, it’s only through having data and analytics that you can quickly determine the success or failure of new initiatives. Understanding this early and it helps you make the best use of your resources (time, budget, people) to optimize your strategy.
Talent Analytics are critical to ensure your organization is not left behind other organizations and maintains a competitive advantage in your talent strategy.
Capture data across your recruitment marketing strategy
When we think about Talent Analytics for recruitment (and talent acquisition), we first need to figure out how we are going to capture the data needed to make intelligent correlations and comparisons.
The tough part is if you are like most organizations, you have a very diverse recruitment strategy and this data is often all over the place.
You are posting to job boards (and niche sites). Doing a little social recruiting. Have SEO initiatives through your Career Site. Conduct separate employer branding campaigns for Military and Veterans. Go to Career Fairs and recruit on Campus. Are experimenting with mobile recruiting. Asking employees to refer candidates for jobs. Have your sourcing team proactively finding candidates with specific skill-sets. Email marketing to candidates that opt-in to your Talent Network. And a whole host of other initiatives.
There’s a lot of moving parts here and most likely a lot of different technologies (and vendors) you are using to conduct these initiatives. And as you already know, this means having data in multiple places and getting them into a single database is extremely difficult. So what can we do?
So first, it’s starts with evaluating the technologies you use and the integration options they provide especially in terms of data. And in many instances, this means looking to consolidate the vendors you use. In general, you are asking your vendors, how can we take all the data from these individual initiatives and put it into one database where we can pull data?
Second, you may want to look at more comprehensive recruitment solutions such as Recruitment Marketing Platforms. This growing category enables you to execute all of your recruitment & sourcing campaigns from a single solution. Because it manages the full gamut of (pre-applicant) recruitment marketing, it ensures accurate and integrated data capture across all initiatives and into your ATS. Something that cannot happen when combining metrics from multiple point solutions.
Either way you do it, you want to make sure that not only is the data comprehensive and all-inclusive but that’s it’s accurate across all your recruiting & sourcing channels.
Making data consumable
Once you have the data captured (which is no small problem as seen above) now you need to find a way to make it readily available and consumable. Cause let’s face it, big data is just a bunch of numbers and data points until you begin to analyze it and make it useful to make decisions.
However, the only way to do this successfully is having the data in a system that easily enables you full access in an intuitive and easy to use interface. So as you evaluate the solutions you use to house and utilize your recruitment data, it’s important that the correct people in your organization have access and can slice and dice the data to get real insights into your strategy and process.
And the key here is that whatever solutions you have shouldn’t expect your team members to be data scientists to get value out of. It should be intuitive enough so intelligent team members, senior leadership and others can have access to truly leverage this data to do their jobs better.
It should also provide value in the short term while enabling you to plan and strategize for the long term success of your recruitment strategy.
Creating a Culture of Insight
With recruitment marketing analytics, you are able to provide your recruiting team with the information necessary to be better and faster. There are a number of ways to use the data but here are a few of interest:
Optimizing your Recruitment Mix: Every recruitment source from job boards to social networks to your Career Site needs to be tracked and evaluated on a consistent basis and tied back to recruitment quality. “How many qualified candidates are coming through these channels?” is one of the main questions you should be asking. Once you are able to evaluate all these initiatives side by side, you will be able to make meaningful decisions on what channels you should use and what you should pull back on based on driving qualified candidate flow. This helps you to better utilize your overall recruitment spend and get more out of this budget.
Understanding Candidate Interactions: While you might be tracking the last “Source of Hire” for recruitment sources today, it’s also important that you expand your metrics capabilities to measure all the interactions you have with candidates. Your team is executing a number of initiatives to influence a candidate to apply and all of them should get credence once an application is submitted. Did the candidate visit certain Career Site pages, interact on social media, meet your team at an event, etc.? Understanding all the investments that influence candidates to apply can help you better allocate your limited resources and budget.
Improve your messaging: Whether it’s your job title, your job description, your Career Site language, Talent Network communications or your online application, you need to be testing your messaging and ensuring your communications are hitting the mark in terms of attracting the right talent. This data is available in real-time and can help you improve these communications and your job ads on the fly for greater success.
Evaluating your Recruiting & Sourcing Teams: Not only should you be capturing data on your sources but also capturing data on your recruiting team as well. By setting up defined workflows and recruiting process in your technology such as a Recruitment Marketing Platform or CRM, you have the unique ability to track actions back to the end results. This helps you to identify and realize not only what actions and initiatives provide the most value but who your top performers are in the organization.
By leveraging analytics you will impact your every day recruiting goals and actions to begin making recruitment marketing a competitive advantage for your organization. It’s just about finding a way to accurately capture and analyze this data across your entire recruitment marketing strategy in an easy to use way. Data in and of itself is not the advantage, although it’s a nice first step. It’s making that data consumable and actionable that is unique, that’s where the value is.