5 Tips for Incorporating Data into Your Talent Program

In the present Age of Information, business leaders are making important decisions based on data rather than following their intuition. In Phil Simon’s The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions, he explains “Today more than ever, professionals are being asked to argue their cases and make their decisions based on data,” he says. “A new, data-oriented mind-set is permeating the business world.” It is crucial that business leaders rationalize their decisions with data. Simply going with your gut isn’t cutting it anymore.

Outside of decision making, a data-driven approach sets benchmarks and defines successes; encouraging employees to understand high-level business goals and creating transparency within the team.


In the world of Talent Acquisition, recruiters are uniquely integrated within the business, acting as a strategic partner while gaining a deep understanding of business objectives. Recruitment’s varied involvement positions them on a data gold mine, and applying this data to strategy gives recruiters an advantage in today’s increasingly competitive job market.

Below are 5 tips for incorporating data into your Talent Program:

1.       Predictive Analytics

Recruitment is a dynamic industry, impacted by hiring spikes and freezes, requiring a quickly adaptable model and mentality. Identifying seasonal patterns in hiring spend, volume, and source will prepare your recruitment program to pivot rather than sink.  

For instance, mapping bonus payouts internally and externally allows recruiters to predict large volume internal resignations and the best times to recruit competing talent. Additionally, identifying top candidate sources allows recruiters to modify their searches to match the preferences of the business.

2.       Identifying Correlations in your KPI’s

Recruiting metrics, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), are a standard set of measurements used to evaluate the hiring process. From time to time KPI’s become inflated or misleading due to the varied influences and moving parts involved in the hiring process. That being said, investing the time and resources into analyzing these numbers is essential to the maintenance and continuous improvement of your program.

The key to utilizing KPI’s is to find the story they tell. Rather than viewing KPI’s as a single representation of success or failure, they should be used as a tool in identifying and resolving process gaps & inefficiencies.

Noting that your ‘time to hire’ has increased is a nice observation, but what caused this? Is the ‘time to interview’ slow due to lack of administrative resources or space? Is the ‘time to select’ lagging because there isn’t an interview feedback process in place? Is the ‘time to sign’ slow due to a manual offer letter process?

To further eliminate any hesitation around the validity of KPI’s, consider measuring by hiring group to identify any outliers.

3.       A Data-Driven Culture

Research proves that companies fail to achieve strategic goals 70% of the time, often because people aren’t committed and engaged in achievement. Within Recruitment, communicating achievable targets and creating a transparent culture will empower your employees to succeed.  Managers should consider regular touch points to align overall program objectives and track progression.  

Adopting a data-driven culture also supports informative decision making and promotes critical thinking and analytical skills, enabling recruiters to utilize these techniques in their day to day practices.

4.       Data Visualization

It’s easier for the human brain to process visualized information (charts or graphs) rather than spreadsheets. Using data visualization, we have the ability to consolidate large data sets into clear and concise graphics emphasizing patterns and emerging trends. Graphics also highlight areas that need improvement and clarify which factors influence results.

In the RPO world, putting strong information in front of client decision-makers can boost business performance. Demonstrating progression and successes through data visualization is instrumental to the support of your program from the client.


5.       Market Data

Many businesses invest in Market Data Providers for compensation benchmarks each year. While this data is still relevant for hiring, Recruiters also have access to real-time data collected during their sourcing efforts. Documenting sourcing observations and details will build a strong base of real-time market data within your company’s space.

Encouraging recruiters to document and understand these numbers from a broad perspective allows them to confidently provide knowledgeable advice to hiring managers.

This post was written by Melanie Macchiaverna