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Utilizing data to form successful recruiting strategies

My colleague Alison Citti recently shared with us an article she found on CareerBuilder's The Hiring Site called A Recruitment Strategy Without Data Isn't a Strategy At All. The blogger, Jason Lovelace, wrote about the need to ask questions about your employment brand, compensation, job candidate location and diversity, etc. and use that data to create better recruiting strategies.

Jason's recommendations are spot on. Understanding where successful candidates found you, how they perceive your company, and how pleased they were with the compensation package are crucial factors in deciding how to find future quality candidates. When we look at the data, however, we should also refine how we define a successful candidate.

Is it enough that they simply beat out the competition to land the job? What if they got the job but didn't work out and had to be let go? What if they took another position within the next few weeks of hire? The data is crucial, but it is best to focus not just on successful candidates, but on successful employees.

There are several ways to determine who the successful employees are in your organization:

  • Tenured employees. Determine which employees have been with your organization for more than five years. This factor might not be 100 percent reliable, since some employees might have simply slipped under the radar over years. But given the nearly universal downsizing that occurred throughout the challenging economy, employees who have remained with the organization are likely key personnel. Another factor to consider with this group is that, depending on how long your recruiting processes have been in place, you might not have tracked crucial information when they were hired, so data might be limited.

  • Employee award programs. If your company provides awards for performance in specific areas, the winners of these awards are generally people who possess the traits for which your recruiters should be looking. Seeing what processes helped obtain this talent is an excellent way to determine how to find similar talent.

  • Overall evaluation data. If you have access to the overall evaluation scores or rate increases over time, you can determine those employees with higher scores or who have received more than cost of living increases over the years. Obviously, this is sensitive data and you will need to work with your HR department to determine how to properly access it and ensure confidentiality throughout the process.

  • Hiring manager surveys. If these other factors are inaccessible or do not provide a significant enough sample, it might make sense to conduct a survey that simply asks managers who their more successful employees are. Again, you will want to be sure to work with your HR department, but the results should provide you with actionable data that includes not only tenured personnel, but recent hires as well.

Once you've determined who the quality performers are, you can review the data collected through their hiring processes. From there, you can tease out the common traits, experience and education that they share. This selective and focused information will feed your recruiting strategies, allowing you to further hone the recruiting process and find the next great employee.

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