Today’s Labor Shortage Calls for More Data-Driven Recruiting

Organizations are desperately seeking skilled professionals to fill their open positions and the war for top talent is at an all-time high. While this isn’t new news, let’s take a look at some of the stats. As much as 69% of companies globally have reported a talent shortage, and during 2021, employers added an astounding 3.8 million job openings. There’s currently fewer than one available worker for every available job opening (0.75 to be exact)—the lowest ratio ever recorded. So, how can talent acquisition teams combat these troubling numbers? By tapping into data they likely already have at their fingertips, that’s how.


But first, what is Data-Driven Recruiting?

Indeed defines data-driven recruiting this way: “when HR professionals, including recruiters, use data analytics to plan and execute hiring processes.” There’s no question that leveraging tangible facts, statistics, and metrics will better inform decision-making throughout the hiring and recruitment lifecycle—fortunately, technology has made it easier to gather them.

Related Resource: Q&A With Randstad’s Graham Trevor, Building a Data-Driven HR Function

So, how can recruiting data help me right now?

1. Effectively allocate your hiring and recruitment budget.
There’s no doubt that an organization’s recruitment process as a whole can be taxing on budget. When the stakes are high and financial (and people) resources are minimal, leveraging insights from your recruitment data to determine the most rewarding aspects of your hiring strategy is a must. By identifying your most successful talent pools by lead growth, lead quality and conversions to hire as well as your most responsive recruitment sources, you will start to gain clear visibility into which recruitment marketing strategies should be prioritized, duplicated, or quite possibly eliminated. This is especially helpful when allocating and reallocating your budget spend quarter over quarter and year over year.

2. Unearth issues, bottlenecks, and inefficiencies in your hiring process.
Though the labor market is undoubtedly challenging for talent acquisition teams right now, it may not be the sole reason for your recruitment woes. A bottleneck may also exist in your company’s recruitment process that’s hiding in plain sight. By looking closely at your data, you’ll be able to uncover latency. RetailData’s HR Director, Terri Shiffer shares a great example. Terri had her team zero in on funnel status to critically assess their hiring process steps with the goal of speeding up recruiting for her organization’s high-volume part-time openings. By looking at their drop off and close rates, they realized fewer steps would lessen candidate “fatigue” and streamline the process for hiring managers at the same time. Terri further shared, “Combining a two-interview process into a single hybrid interview was a big, but impactful, decision. Honestly, we had some worry that the interview consolidation might result in not being able to truly assess candidate fit and we’d see that impact in higher turnover. We’ve monitored our turnover data and are not seeing any red flags, just faster hires.”

3. Increase productivity and efficiency.
Among the biggest drains on recruiter productivity is the time spent—sometimes as much as 50% of the day—trying to source qualified candidates for essential roles. An efficient recruiting function will eliminate this redundant work by implementing AI-driven solutions that can immediately uncover exceptional talent across internal and external databases as soon as a job is opened.

Ways to measure the benefits derived through AI-driven sourcing certainly include gains in both a faster time to slate and an overall reduction in time to fill. But you should also try to quantify the productivity gains that are realized when this largely administrative function is removed from the team’s workload by tracking hours saved, as well as the more meaningful work (like building relationships with candidates and advising hiring managers on their talent strategies) that is now being done in its place.

What are some of the most important metrics to measure?

Determining the right metrics to measure is part of Data-driven Recruiting 101, but to get started, here are three metrics to keep top of mind that should be easy to gather with your current technology:

1. Funnel Throughput Percentages
The goal for any hiring team is to get candidates moving through the pipeline as quickly and efficiently as possible. You’d be surprised at the number of systems that struggle to distinguish top-tier talent from their moderate (or mediocre) counterparts. Analyzing the data can allow you to track conversion rates throughout the process, giving you valuable information such as the source that has the highest throughput for candidates and the quality of those candidates.

2. Average Days in Funnel Status
Reducing time-to-hire is a no-brainer in a competitive hiring market. By measuring the number of days a candidate spends in different parts of the funnel, your talent acquisition team can find out where talent may be sitting for too long. It could be that candidates are stalled in the screening process because hiring managers are “slow” to respond. (Automated reminders could alleviate that!) However, it is important to remember that the benefit of having good data is that you will also be able to drill down to determine what’s truly going on with your hiring managers as well as build valuable benchmarks over time.

3. Candidate Source by Offer Versus Hire
Taking the time to compare the source of candidates that have been extended an offer versus those that convert into hires is a crucial metric that can prevent wasting valuable recruitment dollars. By narrowing your focus to top channels that produce more hires rather than offers, recruiters can spend more time putting effort and spend into strategies that work and eliminating those that don’t.

Realizing Greater Outcomes

There is a treasure trove of available data to be gleaned from your technology about the recruitment process. Leveraged strategically, actionable and accurate data can quickly transform your hiring outcomes. The candidate experience will be enhanced as you streamline your hiring processes. And recruiters will be able to verify your organization’s most valuable source of talent to stay agile and adjust their recruitment marketing strategies for ongoing success.