Not relying on data for TA? Why that’s a ‘recipe for disaster’

Change is inevitable–and it’s going to keep coming, said Jobvite’s Peter Clare at a Wednesday session of Spring HR Tech.

The senior vice president of operations at the ATS and recruiting software company noted that, while some talent acquisition professionals may be looking to take a breather after all of the changes ushered in over the last year, there likely won’t be a respite, even once the pandemic subsides. And that means they need to be prepared.

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“Talent acquisition needs data to be resilient and pivot,” Clare said. However, few companies are truly prepared to make TA decisions driven by data.

While talent acquisition comprises about 7% of the total overall operating budget at most companies–and the average cost per hire is $4,000–only half of organizations are really measuring the success of their TA programs, Clare said.

“Talent acquisition needs data to be resilient and pivot.” Peter Clare, Jobvite

That lack of attention and lack of data visibility by hiring managers is a “recipe for disaster,” he added, outlining four key reasons TA leaders need to embed data in their strategies:

Outcomes: Companies that measure TA processes and results are more likely to report TA success. “If you’re not doing a good job of measuring what’s going on in talent acquisition today, you can be twice as successful if you start measuring and start getting that clarity,” he said.

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Performance: Leveraging analytics allows the TA team to become a true business partner to other functions within the organization, Clare said. For instance, generating comprehensive data on diversity hiring enables the company to benchmark against other employers and “start driving for improvement that will help you achieve those changes you’re looking for.”

Adaptability: Being data-driven means that talent teams can adapt and pivot in uncertain times, which Clare noted is not relegated just to 2020. “You can see and read the signs of change that are coming and adjust business strategy accordingly and deliver for hiring managers,” he said.

Relationships: When TA leaders can provide hiring managers with data–and have mastery of that data–they can foster better relationships that allow them to “build partnerships, build bridges across the organization to drive success in talent acquisition and bring in great hires.”

Despite these benefits, many companies continue to lag when it comes to TA data. The average company is using 10 different systems throughout the TA process, and more than 40% of that stack involves new tech–which can create a mess when it comes to generating accurate, consistent, quality data at the right frequency.

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“A lot of times, we talk to companies that have the best intentions and a clear understanding of why data is so important, but they simply don’t have the resources to be driving a consistent weekly, monthly, quarterly cadence of looking at data effectively,” Clare said. In fact, of those that do measure TA data, half only do it once a year.

“That’s a real missed opportunity to go and drive meaningful change in talent acquisition,” he said.

To view the full session, click HERE.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].