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As recruiters today are constantly challenged to do more with less, “post and pray” is no longer a viable strategy. But while Forrester reports that 74 percent of organizations say they want to be “data-driven,” only 29 percent are actually successful at connecting analytics to action. The problem is that data in and of itself delivers very little value; the holy grail of analytics is the business impact that comes from turning data into actionable insights.

According to one study, the average return for analytics investments is $13.01 for every dollar spent, and companies that invest in analytics realize 33 percent higher revenue growth. Investing in insight can have the biggest return of all for your organization. Understanding where your top talent comes from, which sources are producing the highest quality candidates, and where your messaging and branding is most successfully influencing candidates are all critical insights that will help you maximize the return on your recruiting spend.

So in reality, while you’re looking for the ROI (return on investment) of your recruiting initiatives and technology, you really need to be looking one step further: what’s your return on insight? If your current investments don’t drive insights that enable you to change, grow and optimize—you’re looking for the wrong ROI.


Investing in Insight to Optimize ROI

Recruiters today need mature insights that go beyond metrics like time-to-fill or cost-per-hire. These metrics might tell you a bit about the overall health of your recruitment strategy, but you can’t confuse them with insight: they offer no prescriptive guidance on what you can actually do to improve anything. Data, metrics and analytics are not synonyms.

Despite the fact that talent acquisition teams invest a great deal of time and money into their recruiting initiatives, many lack the insights they need to examine the impact of those efforts on anything more than a superficial level.

To drive ROI, you have to first focus on investing in the people, strategies and technologies that will deliver insight. When evaluating any recruiting technology investment, you should make sure it can give you the analytical insights you need to shape and guide your recruiting strategy. 


Recruiting Analytics Across the Talent Lifecycle

So how can you capture insights that will help you do this?

One of the more powerful functions of a Recruitment Marketing Platform is that it integrates with your ATS, allowing you to track every interaction throughout a candidate’s journey—from the first point of awareness (say a click on a tracked link in your Glassdoor profile or even a tweet) all the way through to application and even hire. This provides analytics that offer a holistic view of how your recruiting strategy is performing and what you can do to optimize it: quarterly, monthly … even weekly. For example, if a paid job board ad is driving more clicks but less applicants than your organic listings, you know to stop throwing money out of the window.

Accurate tracking = clearer visibility = on-the-spot insight = quicker changes = better results.

By integrating technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform with your ATS, you can:

  • Analyze behavior data on your career site to understand what candidates do, what they are interested in and what they click on
  • Understand how nurturing talent over time can drive quality hires
  • A/B test different job titles, content and CTAs to see what drives the most results (it’s not always what you think!)
  • Centrally track, in real time, the sources that provide the best, not just the most, candidates
  • Track and measure your target personas (say military veterans, female engineers, current employees or students) across their unique journeys to your brand, across every potential recruiting channel

Data for data’s sake isn’t helpful … it’s actually just more noise to sort through. By extracting actionable insights from your data, you can maximize the impact of your recruiting efforts on the talent pipeline—and your organization’s bottom line.

In the new talent landscape, ROI (return on investment) needs to be synonymous with the new ROI (return on insight).

5 responses to “The New ROI: Return on Insight”

  1. As I approach my leadership about implementing analytics, I couldn’t explain it better than- “Accurate tracking = clearer visibility = on-the-spot insight = quicker changes = better results.” Great read.

  2. Karen – appreciate you sharing this! Sounds like we are of the same mind. 🙂 I think it’s incredibly important to differentiate between data and insights. “Shiny object syndrome” is prevalent in talent acquisition, but acquiring more data isn’t the answer – it’s being able to optimize and act based on the insights you gain from the data.

  3. Love that you agree with that Katie! We need more simplicity in talent acquisition and HR – hope you can use that with your team. 🙂

  4. Appreciate your valuable time for writing such in-depth article. Thank you for making us aware of the difference between data and insights or you can say that analyzing data.

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