Improve the hiring process by using data
How to Implement Data-Driven Recruiting in Your Talent Acquisition Team
In this how-to article, we’d like to transform the way you think about how to implement data-driven recruiting in your talent acquisition team. With data-driven recruiting you can hire the best people to fill the real skill gaps at your organization, writes Tigran Sloyan, CEO of CodeSignal.
If you look at the statistics behind data-driven recruiting, it’s pretty clear how it can transform not only your HR department but the entire organization.
With data-driven recruiting, you can hire the best people that can fill the real skill gaps at your organization. It allows you to go beyond resumes and hiring based on proxies like education and previous employers while reducing bias at the very top of your hiring funnel.
So…what is data-driven recruiting? More importantly, how do you actually get started with data-driven recruiting?
What is Data-Driven Recruiting
In a nutshell, data-driven recruiting means using data to improve and optimize your hiring process. But… it doesn’t just mean looking at the stats throughout your funnel like time to hire, pass-through rate, and quality of hire.
The most important piece of data in your hiring process is the measurement of skills and abilities. Without the ability to actually measure skills in an unbiased, non-adverse way, you’re optimizing a broken funnel. That sounds harsh, but it’s just reality.
You want the highest quality, most skilled candidates at your organization…right? Well, if you’re only looking at proxies on resumes or using tests created in-house, chances are you’re actually introducing adverse effects into your recruiting process.
Measuring skills in the recruiting process must be at the heart of your data-driven recruiting process. While the benefits of data-driven recruiting are clear, what are the actual steps for introducing non-biased assessments into your hiring funnel?
Learn more: Unifying Data Insight to Build Dream Teams
How to Get Started with Data-Driven Recruiting
Most how-to articles either don’t go deep enough or are so granular you’re half asleep by the time you’re done reading.
We hope to go just deep enough into getting started with data-driven recruiting that you’re dying for more information so you can transform your recruiting process.
In fact, we hope you’re so hungry that you download our brand new guide, How to Apply Data-Driven Recruiting to Hiring Engineers. Most organizations across industries are hiring engineers – from contractors to full-time employees. By reading the guide, you’ll learn how to implement data-driven recruiting to hire the real technical talent your organization needs to succeed.
Anyway! Back to getting started with data-driven recruiting. Here are the basic steps in how to get started with data-driven recruiting at your organization.
Step 1: Understand Which Team Can Most Benefit from Data-Driven Recruiting
What type of organization do you work for? What are the most important roles at your organization that must be filled by highly skilled and qualified candidates?
That’s usually a good place to start implementing a data-driven recruiting process.
For a lot of technology-powered organizations, that tends to be the engineering team. You need to ensure you have the technical talent to build solid products efficiently.
Step 2: Map Out Existing Recruiting Process
What’s the traditional recruiting process for the team you decide to focus on your initial data-driven recruiting efforts?
From identifying the actual role to posting the job description and reviewing candidates, you need to document every process.
Here are some things typically found in recruiting processes, so you don’t miss them when mapping your own recruiting process:
- Role identification– What is the role? Not just the title but the responsibilities and expectations. What skills are highly correlated with the high-performers in this role?
- Job description – Who writes the job description? What’s the process?
- Job posting– Where does the job get posted? Are you missing out on candidates by not posting in every potential place?
- Candidate application– What’s the process for applying?
- Resume review– Does your hiring process start with a resume review? (we’ll talk about that in a second)
- Screening call– Who does the first screening call? What skills or qualifications are evaluated at this step?
- In-person interview – Who is all involved? Do you administer tests? Are you able to measure consistent results?
- Reference checks– Do you still do reference checks? What’s the process?
Map out each and every step in your hiring process and as much detail as you can about it. This is a critical step in getting team buy-in, which happens to be the next step.
Step 3: Get Team Buy-In & Develop New Data-Driven Recruiting Process Together
Once you’ve mapped out your existing recruiting process for the team you’re starting with, it’s time to get their buy-in. Set a meeting with everyone involved in the hiring process for that specific team and show them the existing recruiting process you’ve mapped out.
Then, pitch them. Show them all the benefits of data-driven recruiting including how it opens the top of funnel, reduces bias, saves them time, and truly fills the skill gaps within their team.
It honestly shouldn’t be too hard – it’s truly that amazing. Once you’ve pitched them, it’s time to design your new data-driven recruiting process together.
You can optimize the job writing and posting process pretty easily. The step you’re really going to want to focus on is the candidate application and the very first step in their process. Instead of having the organization review resumes and select candidates to then phone screen, your organization should look at sending every candidate a skill assessment immediately.
The assessment should qualify or disqualify candidates based on their completion. Let’s dive a little deeper into what makes a good assessment and your various options.
Step 4: Understand Your Assessment Options
Many organizations already use some sort of assessment in their technical hiring process. This might be a take-home test, whiteboard exercises, or even a coding assessment.
But… there is a pretty high chance these might be introducing adverse impacts into your hiring process. This could actually end up biting your organization later on if the EEOC starts sniffing around and finds that your tests show bias. This could be as simple as having a topic in your question that a marginalized group might not have the same level of familiarity.
That’s why it’s important to ensure your assessments are unbiased by working with experts or organizations who specialize in assessments.
Typically, you either work with a platform that features certified assessments, CodeSignal’s framework-based assessments are one example, or you partner with an expert to develop a custom assessment that passes a validity test and produces consistent results. You really shouldn’t need a custom assessment unless you’re hiring for a very specialized position.
You might think you can develop the test in-house, but I really can’t recommend this. While your team is probably great, they’re not experts at designing tests that don’t introduce bias – which is the real goal here. If you cut corners on how you implement assessments, you might as well not even implement data-driven recruiting!
Step 5: Implement Assessments
Once you have your certified test created, it’s time to introduce your brand new data-driven recruiting process. How exciting!
You can roll out your new recruiting process one position at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. This way you don’t get overwhelmed and can actually take the time to assess your new process.
Candidates aren’t yet used to data-driven recruiting. They kind of expect to be judged by their resumes. Advertise how awesome your data-driven recruiting process is and how it eliminates bias and allows the best candidates to shine! This should excite them.
You’ll need that excitement because they’re going to have to take a test. Let’s be honest… who *really* likes tests? Candidates will typically have to dedicate 60-90 minutes on an assessment, so you want to ensure they feel incentivized to do so. Keep open communication and follow standard recruiting best practices on creating awesome candidate experiences.
Step 6: Analyze Results
By rolling out your new data-driven recruiting process slowly, you can analyze the results and optimize where needed.
For example, you might find that you’ve cut down a lot of noise from the inbound channel with the new process and decide to expand the channel even further by posting the job on additional job boards. Or you might notice that a particular job board is bringing in the highest quality candidates based on their assessment scores. You can then reduce spending on other job boards and focus only on the high performing one.
You may also want to assess whether your initial hiring bar is producing an optimal result. If the bar is too high, you may be eliminating great candidates who just missed the mark but could make up for it in their grit or personality. If the bar is too low, you may be inviting candidates who will more likely to be rejected in the later stage. Take a look at your conversion funnel metrics and see where you can find the right balance.
Ready to Get Started with Data-Driven Recruiting?
If you can’t tell, I’m really passionate about data-driven recruiting. I’ve seen so many organizations completely transform after implementing it successfully that I want to spread the gospel. In this article, I’ve used an engineering team’s recruiting process as an example, but this method works well for other teams.
By being able to fairly, consistently, and accurately assess skills at the very top of your recruiting process, you’re entering the future of recruiting and setting yourself apart in your candidate’s minds.