Updated on July 12, 2021 by Ivana
Employee recruitment and talent acquisition have become one of the last professions of adopting digital transformation in their workflows.
Other industries, such as marketing, sales, accounting, etc. have already learned how to harness Big Data and automation. And they’ve been using it to ease the gathering of data, improve the quality of information and make better decisions.
But for some reason, Recruiters & Talent Acquisition professionals resisted this trend for a while… Luckily, not anymore.
The last few years, the HR sector has acknowledged the ability of data-driven digital solutions to transform the human resources industry and the overall modern organization for the better.
“The old-fashioned fuddy-duddy HR department is changing. The Geeks have arrived. Today, for the first time in the fifteen years I’ve been an analyst, human resources departments are getting serious about analytics. And I mean serious.” Says human resources expert, Josh Bersin (floridatechonline.com)
Before we continue further down the road to data-driven talent acquisition and recruitment, let’s first define and distinguish these terms for the sake of better digestion of the concepts.
Recruiting vs. Talent Acquisition: What is the Difference?
While many people see the terms recruitment and talent acquisition as synonyms, the more experienced in the niche understand the crucial difference between the two.
Yes, they both share the same main objective – hiring people to fill open positions. But they are comparable to short-term fixes (recruitment) versus long-term planning (talent acquisition).
In a nutshell, the job of the recruiter is to solve an immediate problem by filling the vacant position in the organization with the best current applicant.
On the other hand, Modern Talent Acquisition is an ongoing strategy to attract the top human talent in the industry for a C-level job position by simultaneously building the employer brand to improve the quality of candidates applying.
Of course, both approaches can be used depending on the circumstances. The main difference is that recruitment is more tactical in nature whilst talent acquisition is more strategic.
And oftentimes, they overlap for the greater good. For instance, the hiring managers can improve their overall recruitment strategy by incorporating some of the basic understanding of the strategic nature of talent acquisition.
However, the role of modern talent acquisition professionals has become even more important now as organizations incorporate digital solutions and human talent together into their working business environment. This concept is known as augmentation.
Tom Davenport during his presentation at the Human Capital Institute’s “Strategic Talent Acquisition Conference” said that he believes that “Human capabilities may even be amplified as a result of this combination” of digital and human talent.
What is Data-Driven Talent Acquisition?
Talent acquisition is defined as a process that applies Human Resource Management (HRM) techniques to search and track down top candidates capable of filling a gap in a company. Contrary to the traditional hiring process, data-driven talent acquisition is the process of using data to source and attract the top talents in a specific industry. And then again, optimizing the “candidate’s journey” by leveraging the data you have on the candidates you want to hire. Moreover, it is different from the usual hiring method as it basically focuses on the applicant’s talent and skills. Instead of their academic performance and obtained certificates. This strategic approach helps talent acquisition professionals select the best candidates that meet the specific requirements for the given position.
The beauty of data is that it assists you to make informed and strategic hiring decisions.
It also helps you yield better results for the following metrics:
- Candidate experience scores;
- Job offer acceptance rates.
Needless to say, the higher the quality of data, the better the results will be. A high-quality data is as accurate as possible, regularly checked and updated, and is continuously improving.
How Big Data assists Modern Talent Acquisition?
Big data proved to be a great turning point for talent acquisition professionals as it brings together new regulations in the hiring procedure. The analytic tools now shift their role from making a hire to making a strategic hire.
In 2018, big data was positioned as the best hiring method by 50% of the professionals, according to the Global Recruiting Trends survey. In addition, big data plays an important role in data-driven talent acquisition as it increases the retention of employees by 56%. Also, skill gaps are better determined, as reported by 50% of the recruiters, and 50% of the hiring professionals mentioned that they made better offers.
It was also revealed that 45% of the experts were better able to understand the candidates’ needs, whereas 41% of the candidates gave a better performance in the workforce planning. Also, 69% of talent acquisition professionals believe that big data can greatly improve their job.
Of course, there are also financial aspects of recruiting that goes into hiring, onboarding, inducting, employee training, and offboarding a candidate, all of which put a financial weight on the company. Therefore, talent acquisition experts tend to find cost-effective recruitment methods, which is where big data comes into play.
How Businesses rely on Big Data for Data-Driven Talent Acquisition?
Any business can gain a better insight into the job market, applicants’ behavior, and other key factors that influence the hiring decisions, thanks to big data.
Xerox, for instance, managed to cut down the turnover of employees by 20% using a pilot program that detected hard data on candidates’ behaviors. This helped the company to find a pattern of specific traits in candidates who were more likely to stay in the company. One of the common factors, that had a great impact on the company’s recruitment decisions, was the proximity of the applicant’s residence to the workplace.
IBM used consulting firm Kenexa to gain access to data of 40 million employees. Meaning, data of workers at every level, from job applicants to managers. This helped IBM to identify the best possible personality traits to look at in a salesperson.
Do you want to know what were their findings? Persistence. Being persistent is the most valuable trait in a salesperson.
Juniper Networks used LinkedIn analytics to keep track of the professional path of their best employees. Also to note where they continue their career after leaving their company. They then developed strategies using the acquired information which helped them retain their employees.
Following the footsteps of big companies, small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are starting to use big data for talent acquisition.
Step by Step Data-Driven Talent Acquisition
- Sourcing and Lead Generation
- Attracting and connecting with top candidates
- Engaging and Interviewing
- Making final selections for the best candidates
- Hiring and onboarding your new talents
Having a reliable source of data, that you can tweak and adjust according to your preferences, comes quite handy.
However, where to find all that data information, and more importantly, how to collect it efficiently?
Data collection is time-consuming for a fact. Besides, searching for the data and collecting it manually may result in outdated, unreliable information. Not to mention, later you will have to parse through all that data and make a sense out of it. You will have to connect it piece by piece, in order to make it meaningful.
This is where the technology steps in.
Sales.Rocks is a business intelligence database, constantly upgraded with various automation tools to help you grow your business and assist your Talent Acquisition process during:
Step 1. Sourcing and Lead Generation
With access to business information worldwide + a powerful filtering system, you can narrow down your search and find all the ideal top human talents you are looking to attract or hire to work at your company.
Filter by demographics. Track down the top talents in a specific profession in your region filtering by location and job position.
Spice up your search with additional data points such as job experience and voilà. You have just created a list with all the leaders and professionals in your target industry.
Additionally, you can use sales triggers to monitor employee’s spikes and drops within a company. This way you can catch your top talent at just the right time when the opportunity arises.
Food for thought: It’s now more important than ever to ensure your company doesn’t lack diversity in your talent acquisition. Be sure to check out Kickstart Careers when sourcing leads, a job board that focuses on empowering the advancement of women in technology.
Step 2. Attracting & Connecting with Top Candidates
Now that you have found them, we can agree that there are two “safe” and comfortable ways to approach your candidates for the first time:
- Via social media channel (read: LinkedIn)
- Via email outreach
The contact search module doesn’t just give you their names, the company they currently work for, their active email addresses & phone numbers. It also gives you their LinkedIn profiles.
What’s more, you can create an automated sequence in your Talent Acquisition campaign, reaching every lead on your list that has a LinkedIn account to:
- Connect with them;
- Message them;
- Like their latest post;
- Divide them into groups for A/B testing your message copy, and more.
All of this automatically.
Having LinkedIn available in the Company and Contact Search Modules on Sales.Rocks, you can focus your efforts on the right social media platform for optimal results in talent sourcing.
However, if you go with email outreach, you will have to write a recruitment proposal email template that will win your candidates at first sight. Since this can be quite a challenge, you have to make sure you have written the perfect email template or everything will be lost. But no worries – here you can find a proven recruitment proposal template that won over $38,000,000 of business for recruitment customers in 2020 alone. Just do a little editing to suit your own business offer.
When it comes to attracting your top candidates, use the hyper-personalization tool to make a unique experience for every candidate! Get them excited by creating a personalized landing page sharing more information about the role, your team, the company, or the recruiter. The landing page tailored to the interests of each of your candidates can feature rich and exciting visuals such as photos, videos, or even slideshows.
Step 3. Engage your candidates
Talent acquisition professionals have a challenging task to hunt down the right people for the job who have the right skills and talent to meet job’s requirements. This is where social media steps in, being the doorway for talent pursuit.
For those who had shown interest via the landing page and clicked on a CTA button or replied to your email, the recruiting team or hiring managers can follow up directly with Career Pages. Use the software to help you effortlessly schedule a phone call or video conference for the interview across multiple calendars.
Step 4. Making final selections for the best candidates
You can also implement a data-driven approach to your final decision on who to choose. Software that are integrated with your data tool can give you scores of a candidate, based on the signals you set up. In this case, you can have an AI do the preselection for you, and assign scores to help you make the final selection.
Use Predictive Analytics for Better Hiring Decisions
The decision-making process is the culmination of the recruiting process so if you want to make better decisions, you should have a comprehensive understanding about the situation in hand. Being part of the recruitment team, you need to have all the required data to assess the human capital in your company along with the finances.
Big data can help you detect the skill gap in your company, analyze current market trends, track the financial KPIs of hiring, and demographic traits. This data is important for determining the hiring quota of future hires, make a financial planning beforehand, and identify the key talents and skills to look for in candidates.
Additionally, make sure to use pre-employment assessment tests which can be incredibly useful for giving additional insight into potential employees. When used properly, they will assist you to narrow down the candidate list to make the final selection for the best candidate that perfectly fits your business organization.
Step 5. Create an effective onboarding process
Welcome your new employee with an automated (but personalized) email drip campaign to make sure your new hires receive all the essentials for successful onboarding.
An example would be:
- 1st email: feel welcomed into your company and get to know the team!
- 2nd email: receive and sign all needed documentation;
- 3rd email: get access to the knowledge base and training materials;
- 4th email: log-in details for all the platforms that they will be using.
Also, once you finalize the onboarding process, do your business a favor and do not forget to conduct a risk assessment – because they are required by law (in most countries). In the United States, for example, you are required to document anything if your business has more than 5 employees. Risk assessments must be conducted before employees go to work on current or new work processes, and here is a perfect Risk Assessment Tool that will help you go through this process smoothly and efficiently, and avoid your company from unnecessary penalties.
Talent acquisition is a multilayered job that includes the execution of various tasks at different levels. Talent acquisition professionals work in data-driven environments, hand in hand with AI for the execution of daily tasks. Data-enabled systems and processes help synchronize candidates’ application status, filter the candidates, track the applications, onboard new hires, and make future decisions based on the data of former employees, all of which make the job easier and less time-consuming.
Big data has unlocked a whole new level for talent hunters to attract promising candidates based on strategic goals such as skills gap, financial factors, and demographic metrics trending on the job market. The emerging big data methods and resources significantly facilitated the selection process of hiring potential candidates.
Given the huge impact of big data in today’s corporate culture, the future looks very promising for talent acquisition professionals. Now go get your talents!