The Way You Are Measuring Recruitment Data Is All Wrong

Neil Morrison

They say that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. We’re all pretty clear that’s now a dumb statement. The most important thing to me? Those that I love (go put a balanced score card on that). But at the same time we’re all slapping each other on the back and being smug about our liberation, we’re also ingesting the “big data” pill and drinking the proverbial analytic Kool-Aid.

Don’t get me wrong: I love numbers. I love data and I love analytics. Only the other day I was having a conversation about regression analysis and one of the people present had to tell me to calm down. But I’m crazy about measuring the right stuff — and that requires thought before data.

Nowhere is this more important than in measuring the recruitment and hiring process. The simple fact is that most metrics are built around the hire: How quickly have we done it, how cheaply have we done it and how many open vacancies do we have left? These are great — if you want to know about the efficacy of a recruitment team to follow a piece of string. But do they really tell you the effect you’re having on your business?

More complicated is to measure the expectations of candidates versus the reality when they join; the tenure post-hire; the career path; promotions; advancements; development. It’s hard to identify whether you’ve put a square peg in a square hole, because it takes longer and requires more thought. But if we are really interested in conveying our value, aren’t we better off defining the value as something more than process? If we are just about speed and cost, I can guarantee that someone else, somewhere else can do it a whole lot faster and cheaper.

Technology provides us with the opportunity to have better data. Better data means that we can have more accurate analytics. But it requires thought, consideration and true partnership with the business to make sure that we’re optimizing this opportunity to deliver better, value-adding data, insight and analysis.

So let’s come back to love. Would it really tell you anything if you knew how often I said “I love you,” or how expensive the presents I bought were? Would you be able to judge it if I told you the last time I went out for dinner, or to a movie, or for a walk? My guess is, probably not. You’d be more interested in seeing what my partner thought, how my kids rated me and how long and happily we were together.

Likewise, we need to think more creatively and more intelligently when it comes to the workplace.

Measuring in itself is not a value-adding activity, but good measuring is key to being a successful, commercial partner to your organization. But, that also means that not only do you need to know how to handle and think about data — you need to be able to argue the relevance and purpose of it to the business and the leadership team. If you can get the both together, you’ve found the sweet spot that we’re all trying to get to.


Find your own sweet spot at the intersection of critical thinking and value-adding metrics: Recruitment Analytics Suite can help you tell a compelling story with your recruitment data. Learn how.



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