How to make the most of recruitment data

GARY TOWERS • 06 Jun 2022

1 - What is meant by recruitment data?

2 - What is Management Information?
3 - Why is Management Information useful?
4 - What skills do I need to make the most of recruitment data?
5 - What information is useful?

What is meant by recruitment data?

Recruitment Data is information gathered during the hiring process. It covers where candidates come from, demographic information, your average cost per hire, and more. Most applicant tracking systems should have a reporting dashboard, and if you have an advanced system, they should provide Management Information.


A basic dashboard will likely include: 


  • Number of live vacancies
  • Current candidate volumes at key stages of the process 
  • Number of vacancies filled
  • Average Time to Hire
  • Average Cost per hire

What is Management Information?

Management Information is recruitment data that goes beyond your standard candidate information. Where recruitment data would give you a quick report on the number of live vacancies you have or your average time to hire, Management Information would give you deeper, more customized reporting.


For example:

  • Ratios of applications to interviews to hiresthis helps you understand how many applicants you need to attract to apply, in order to get a sufficient number of hires
  • Average timescales for processing candidates through key stages of the process this helps you identify and tackle ‘’bottle-necks’’ within your process
  • Source of candidates versus how many apps, interviews and hiresthis will help you work out where to concentrate or reduce efforts to attract candidates
  • Candidate diversity data versus how many applications, interviews and hiresthis will help you understand the diversity of the candidates you attract, and how they fare through your selection processes

Why is Management Information useful?

This deeper level of insight should give an indication of the type of action required. It may inform tactical and strategic action, over the short, medium and longer-term.

The simple nature means dashboards are often produced automatically or appear live or on-demand within the platform where the data is stored. For example, your ATS should have fixed or slightly configurable dashboards. available to some or all users on demand.


Management information blends information from multiple sources and deeper insights may more likely produce manually, on a regular schedule to a defined audience.


What skills do I need to make the most of recruitment data?


There are certainly some obvious skills that would help!

  • Research & Statistical analysis
  • Data processing & manipulation
  • Graphical and written report production

But as is so often the case, the devil is in the detail, and there are some less obvious skills or qualities you’ll need.

  • Problem diagnosis
  • Problem-solving
  • Questioning and interrogating
  • Visualising things in One’s head
  • Creativity
  • Communication – written, oral, visual
  • Project Management
  • Customer or stakeholder management
  • Resourcing and wider HR experience
  • Understanding the interactions between inputs outputs variables
  • Conceiving and articulating solutions
  • Strategic thinking. The ability to conceive and articulate a strategic vision will really help when working with exec level individuals.

Watch our webinar on recruitment data & Talent Intelligence

Of course, these skills and qualities can be spread across the team, with each bringing different strengths! HR teams do not have a data specialist. For the few that do, we often find that the data specialist is great with your Management Information tool, but they don’t understand enough about the recruitment process. This is where we come in!

What information is useful?

As with all recruitment data, it will vary. A good starting point can be "what do I want to solve?" or "what do I want to achieve?" or redirecting those questions at your customers and stakeholders. 


Be wary of a common pitfall with this! Many things will be requested, but what is their purpose and value. Be prepared to challenge, and ask:


  • Why is it needed?
  • What benefit will it have?
  • The impact of not having it
  • The justification for the depth or frequency of information. 

JobBrain EDI-2Focus on what will help improve your organisation or your team, we've got a market report which will help. Agree a vision of where the team or organisations want to be, and from there you can define the gap and set in motion the plan to close that gap.

 Data can be used as part of this diagnostic process, the forecasting and projections for the planning, and the ongoing measuring to assess progress and success.  


At Jobtrain we came up with a simple approach that can work operationally or strategically, called the 3 Ps.


Approach – the 3 As 


  • Promptwhat needs to be done, and when:

Operationally, this is ideal for helping to achieve SLAs or targets, by prompting the need to perform a task, often linked to a deadline or piece of compliance; for example a daily report of candidates who are due to attend interviews.  Or a list of candidates who have documentation missing that will delay their start date.


At a strategic level, this might be more qualitative than quantitative, for example preparing for a legislation change, or anticipating a future demand for skills (perhaps identified through a report on how many workers are due to retire and when). 


  • Processingwhat has happened

This allows you to measure what has taken place, why and what it means; for example: this can be used to monitor compliance or standards, simply to manage resources and expenditure, understand timings. These will inform projections.  


  • Predictionwhat is planned or expected

Using your analysis of what has happened, and any other known or potential factors you can create projections that predict outcomes or potential against a target. These may update regularly for periodic monitoring and review.


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In summary

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