7 Ways to Promote a Data-Driven Recruiting Culture

7 Ways to Promote a Data-Driven Recruiting Culture

Emily Smykal

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the importance of data in talent acquisition strategies. But simply collecting and reviewing this information isn’t necessarily enough to make better decisions. Recruiters who build a data-driven culture within their talent acquisition team will be best placed to not only utilize key metrics, but also stay on top of changes as data collection evolves.

So if you don’t already have a recruiting culture with a proactive approach to data, you’re certainly not alone. But now’s the time to develop one. In this post we’ll explain seven steps to getting on the path toward making data and informed decisions part of your talent acquisition strategy.

1. Get Executive Buy-in

Your data-driven team won’t get very far if you don’t have the backing of your organization’s senior leaders. Executive buy-in is key not just for exploring data initiatives, but securing the funding to get them off the ground. Provide your colleagues at the top with a clear explanation of the tools you’ll use, the analytics they’ll provide, how you’ll act on that data to benefit the company, and the cost of the entire project.

We’ve spoken before about how data can help talent acquisition leaders secure a seat at the table when company-wide decisions are made. The same idea applies for recruiters who need to build a data culture in the first place. Consider letting your executives test-drive new software, and share with them your slickest metric dashboards. If you can demonstrate the importance of investing in data, and provide the training to use it, you’ve already won half the battle.

2. Equip, Enable, Empower with Technology

As you’re working on executive approval, pay attention to what you’re asking for. Are you adopting whichever analytics software is cheapest? Will your recruiters need additional training to use the new tools? A true data-driven culture will include the right technology for your team without fear of losing it to budget constraints. And your team members will need the knowledge and training to make the most of those tools now and going forward. Otherwise, how can you expect them to accurately measure and analyze their recruitment efforts?

3. Run a Pilot Program First

Launching a new set of recruitment tools system-wide while tossing out your old methods may sound revitalizing, but don’t assume everything will work as planned. Consider deploying your new system in small doses or among a subset of applicants. That way you can start gathering feedback and analyzing results without the risk of disrupting your entire talent acquisition strategy. This is also a great opportunity to share early results with senior leaders, to cement executive buy-in.

4. Hold People Accountable

Someone needs to be monitoring your data-driven efforts–otherwise the culture that develops may not be so useful. Before you launch any new analytics initiatives, establish clear goals and assign responsibilities. Then review your results on a regular basis, to see what’s working and what’s not. When goals are missed or projects don’t work as planned, it should be clear who can find a solution and make improvements. As a result, talent acquisition leaders should be able to respond to “show me the data” with accurate and timely answers.

5. Empower Analytics “Champions” to Lead the Charge

One way to build a data-driven culture is to find the most eager technology users among your team. An early adopter or super-user is someone who is already plugged in to the latest advances in tech, and they’ll adapt quickly and positively to your new data tools. Take a moment to review the attitudes towards new technology among your team (and across your organization) to find people who can help drive the changes you need and act as champions for your new methods. Their excitement will generate interest in your data-driven efforts and help encourage others to get on board.

6. Take a Change Management Approach

Change is hard, and you’re likely to meet some resistance. But the cost of not changing has become so great that recruiters should be prepared to overcome any reluctance. As you’re launching your data-driven initiatives, also have a plan in place to address concerns and outright refusals. It’s likely you’ll be taking resources away from one project to support something new, and you may even change the structure of your team. Be sure to provide onboarding for everyone that’s affected, and offer continuous support for your team as they transition to new tools and new goals.

7. Don’t Forget About Continuous Improvement

Speaking of ongoing support, don’t forget the model of “plan-do-check-act” or PDCA. The technology you use is constantly improving, and user expectations are always evolving. So your approach to collecting and analyzing data will need to transform over time. Gather feedback from your team, your executives, and your users–remember candidates are using your software on the other end. Demonstrating a capacity to adapt based on results will further solidify your data-driven culture and produce better recruitment results over time.

Interested in data and analytics in recruiting? Check out our new eBook, “An Exploration into the Depths of Recruiting Analytics.”

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