Five ways data-driven recruitment can help HR teams add more value to their business

Although HR teams have important role in businesses, research tells us less than one-fifth of line managers rate HR as an effective partner.  That’s alarming given HR teams are tasked with a critical role – finding and retaining talent.

So, why are HR teams failing to rate high in the effectiveness ranks?

It’s a tough question to answer given every business is different but in our experience it’s often because recruitment fails to meet business expectations. By that I mean recruitment takes longer than planned, fails to un-earth high performing candidates, costs too much, and/or results in placing people into roles they aren’t suitable for.

HR teams have a strong defence – recruiting is tougher than ever.  At the same time however, developments in data-science and technology means there are quicker and more effective ways to recruit.  Tools are available that enable HR teams to recruit from a wider pool of people and get smarter in seeking out the talent they need.  We call it ‘data-driven recruitment’.

As the saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words’ so with that in mind, here are five ways a ‘data-driven’ approach to recruitment can help HR teams deliver greater value to their business:

Agile HR1. Create agility 

‘Slow and steady wins the race’ was once true but in today’s business environment there’s a lot to be gained from being one step ahead.  Given recruitment can be a huge time-drag for businesses, anything HR teams can do to speed up the process can have a huge impact.  As a first step, businesses should be regularly reviewing how long recruitment is taking so they can spot opportunities to make improvements.  

Shifting HR

2. Enable change 

No one that keeps doing the same thing survives for long, which is why it’s essential there is a continual flow of fresh-thinking and alternative view-points within a business. In many cases the reason this doesn’t happen is because organisations continue to recruit the same type of people, who share the same of views and opinions.  This happens because the way people are being recruited remains unchanged.  An important question for HR teams to regularly ask themselves is therefore ‘how often are we trialling new ways to recruit?’  

Cut Costs of HR

3. Cut costs

Identifying and acting on ways to create efficiencies is a sure-fire way to keep senior executives happy.  Recruitment remains a huge cost for many businesses so HR teams have a huge value-add opportunity by implementing new tools for recruitment that deliver a tangible cost-saving.  Given these cost savings can be thousands of dollars per new hire it doesn’t take long for the business to feel the positive impact.

 Reduce Risks of HR

4. Reduce risks 

In an increasingly knowledge-driven economy, people are businesses’ greatest asset but also their greatest risk.  Anything that can be done such as getting smarter on how you leverage data to match a large pool of candidates with roles you have open can help reduce the risk of hiring candidates that aren’t right.

HR Patterns

5. Predict patterns 

No business knows what’s coming around the corner but there’s a lot that can be learnt from the past.  As people are at the heart of business growth, HR teams can add big value by using past hiring data to predict everything from which type of candidate is most likely to succeed to likely individual career progression.


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Ben is the Chief Executive Officer of the The Search Party, responsible for our global operations and strategy. He's a marathon swimmer who swam the English Channel solo in July 2014. He's an Ambassador for Opportunity International Australia, a supporter of The Hunger Project and is passionate about ending world poverty.

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