Picture it: the recruiting industry, 2012. There are now 5 billion people with internet access. Instagram finally releases its Android app, giving at least half of those folks a new distraction for the sake of “social recruiting.” LinkedIn suffers a massive hack exposing the passwords of nearly 6.5 million user accounts. There’s a debate raging around “mobile-friendly” versus “mobile-first.” Talent Board announces the first winners of the Candidate Experience Awards. And everyone’s looking at “Big Data” to solve the ongoing issues of time to hire, cost per hire, quality of hire and the like.

We read countless articles, sat through webinars and attended endless events about how the availability of Big Data would be like “drinking from a fire hose,” giving us more than enough information to improve outcomes and capture more accurate metrics. 

Fast forward: the recruiting industry, 2022. There are now six billion people with internet access. Instagram changes its feed with such frequency that it’s become one long stream of ads, rendering it useless for social recruiting (if that was ever really a thing).

Today’s LinkedIn hacks are about hacking the algorithm to increase visibility amid career experts, resume writers and influencers espousing their latest thoughts about “quiet quitting” and other buzzwords. The mobile debate is moot, with smartphone usage outranking other devices. The Candidate Experience Awards are still trucking. And everyone’s trying to figure out how to be “data-driven” and make all the information they’re capturing usable without the help of a full-time analyst. 

It’s striking how much the more things change, the more they stay the same, particularly in recruiting data. Hiring trends come and go (look at you, Great Resignation-cession). Recruiters get laid off and hired back en masse. Told to do more with less. And keep coming back for more. With that said, there *is* a lot of data available these days, and some of it is actually helpful – if you know what to do with it. Here are a few things to note: 

If You Don’t Know What It Means, Don’t Try and Measure It

Some metrics are relatively straightforward. Time to fill = how many days it took, from the req getting approved and posted to the day you received an accepted offer. Time to hire = how many days it took from when the candidate entered your pipeline to the day you received an accepted offer.

On the other hand, quality of hire is a bit more nebulous. How can one determine the value a new hire brings to a company? How long do you give that person to demonstrate value? How does your probably subpar onboarding experience impact their ability to show value? Define your metrics before you start to measure. 

You Don’t Need to Measure Everything

If it were up to most executive teams, every aspect of recruiting would be quantifiable, but it’s not. We’re talking about a human-based function – far too many variables are at play. Rather than measure everything, determine what matters to your organization and stick with a few key metrics.

Are you involved in high-volume hiring? Seasonal? College recruiting? Executive search? You wouldn’t try the same recruiting strategy to fill these different types of positions. Likewise, you cannot, nor should you, try to fit all of these into the same boxes. Pick a few metrics to focus on. 

You Don’t Have to Be an Analyst to Analyze

Seems obvious, right? But not everyone in recruiting is comfortable with numbers. If you were, you might have picked another profession. Luckily in today’s world, there are technologies that can do most of the recruiting data computations for you without needing to build out a complicated formula in excel or stand around like the confused math lady meme.

You don’t even need a huge budget; you just need to know how to make your solutions work for you – and trust me, most of what you’ve got already does more than you realize. So, call up your friendly customer success rep and ask them to walk you through your analytics functions. I’m sure they will love to hear from you. 

Here’s the thing: whether it’s big data or regular data, it’s only useful if you can use it. If it’s just there, with no one looking, or too messy to navigate, it’s not helping your cause. Few organizations outside the enterprise have the option to bring on analysts, which means the vast majority of employers have a slew of numbers collecting dust in the recesses of their tech stack.

Stop trying to do everything, start trying to do something and slow down the fire hose. No one asked for that terrible idiom, anyway.  

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.