Research: 76% of Recruiting Leaders Think They’re Underutilizing Data

Research: 76% of Recruiting Leaders Think They’re Underutilizing Data

Mike Roberts

recruiting-research-dataRecruiting is a field replete with subjectivity, and for mostly good reasons. Although a candidate’s skills may perfectly align with the job description, talent acquisition professionals can save lots of resources by moving onto the next one if they think there’s no cultural fit. But as data analysis takes on a more prevalent role in business and that trend carries over into recruiting, reliance on gut decisions seems to be fading—at least slowly for the time being.

A recent study from LinkedIn highlighted the current state of data use in recruiting. Based on survey responses of 4,125 recruiting decision-makers from 31 different countries, it showed that only 24% of recruiting leaders think they are effectively using data in their roles. That means almost three in four feel the opposite—a somewhat concerning number—but one that’s expected at this stage in the talent acquisition field’s data use and analytics maturity.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the research from LinkedIn, and also investigate what it’s going to take to accelerate a more effective use of data in recruiting.

How Are Recruiting Organizations Using Data?

Although many recruiting leaders feel that they’re underutilizing data, about a quarter of all respondents from across the globe believe they are using it effectively. LinkedIn broke down these numbers further based on different countries. 29% of U.S.-based respondents say they use data effectively, while at the top and bottom of that pool Germany and India have very different results, with 9% and 53% reporting effective data use, respectively.

LinkedIn dug a little deeper into this issue, though, beyond just whether or not companies are getting the most out of their talent data. They looked into how data is actually being used. Four different areas stuck out:

  • 57% of recruiting leaders are using data for long-term workforce planning
  • 54% of recruiting leaders are using data for leadership development and succession planning
  • 45% of recruiting leaders are using data to identify urgent needs for specific types of talent
  • 42% of recruiting leaders are using data for internal mobility purposes

Of these results, one that’s most interesting is the fact that 45% of recruiting leaders are using data to identify urgent needs for specific types of talent. The word “urgent” is really indicative of the overall status of data use in recruiting, because as we’ve discussed in the past most talent acquisition organizations right now seem to be stuck in the reactive state on the recruiting maturity journey.

If we take lessons from the experts at Carnegie Mellon University who developed the Capability Maturity Model, moving forward in the recruiting maturity journey means becoming less reactive (looking less at “urgent” needs) and more proactive. Doing so will be a matter of adopting standardized methods for data analysis as well as incorporating the use of technology into the mix—in this case, recruiting analytics.

The challenge lies in the process of moving from ad-hoc, one-off reactive spreadsheet use to proactive next-generation analytics. This is closely tied to both how fast companies can make IT investment decisions and the utility and accessibility of the solutions actually available.

Fast-tracking More Effective Data Use With Recruiting Analytics

With analytics taking on a more central role in our everyday lives, it’s interesting to think a large proportion of Millennials and just about everyone younger are starting to consider it normal to let data guide their decisions. An analytics-based perspective is taking over. The “consumerization” of analytics, and the resulting spillover from this mindset is accelerating analytics use in the business environment, and also impacting how solutions providers develop their tools.

In the past, professionals dedicated to data analysis were needed to glean actionable insights from data. But analytics are making simple analyses more accessible. Now someone saying “show me the numbers to support this decision” is more applicable than ever to different roles and business functions. Relative to other fields, recruiting is a bit behind the curve in analytics adoption but signs are pointing toward a data-driven future.

It is with the use of data analytics and business intelligence tools that recruiting organizations will be able to become more proactive with their data and consequently accelerate their status on the recruiting maturity journey. LinkedIn’s biggest takeaway from its research was that “Recruiting leaders need to strengthen their talent analytics capabilities to stay ahead,” and that statement couldn’t be more spot on.

Many ahead-of-the-curve companies are already equipping their talent acquisition teams—not just leaders but recruiters, too—with the tools needed to make informed decisions. This is an area to keep an eye on and resist hesitation in. If you’re stuck in the reactive state of recruiting maturity as the average company becomes more proactive and data-driven, it’s going to be a rude awakening in the not-too-distant future.

The first step toward making any data-driven decisions is to get a better understanding of analytics in recruiting in general. To learn more read our whitepaper, Analytics in Talent Acquisition: The Hype, the Reality, and the Future.

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