If your answer is no then you are likely to be part of the group of 99% of hiring managers who don’t either. A recent study pointed out that 90% of companies believe that finding and hiring the right staff remains one of their biggest corporate challenges. Companies are increasingly spending millions on new ways to attract staff through targeted online campaigns or through progressively larger in-house recruitment teams. However, you may already be in possession of the critical missing piece of the jigsaw - the data you already have!
Huge corporations like Google and Facebook have already figured out that the most effective way to decrease employee turnover and hire the best staff, is to focus an equal amount of time on employee attraction as on analysis of the data behind what makes a good employee. Without this data, your attraction strategy will inevitably lead to a constant circle of hiring and re-hiring.
“Ok, so analysing hiring data is great but I’m not a huge company like Google?”
True, but it really doesn’t matter. There are many cost-effective ways that you can improve hiring using your existing data. You need to ask yourself some basic questions:
1. What is your average employee retention rate? What is the average tenure of your employees?
Are there any trends that appear? Do the majority of employees leave after a certain point of working at your organisation? Is there a reason for this?
2. Why did your current employees join you?
Was it your product/service offering? Was it your culture? Was it your development and progression opportunities? Understanding the “selling points” and USPs for working at your organisation can make it clearer what to highlight when trying to attract employees.
3. When someone leaves, don’t ignore exit interviews - why did they want to leave you?
Exit interviews can often proffer very valuable insight to what it’s like to work at your organisation “on the ground”.
4. What is the “personality” of your employees? Why do they do well? What was their employment background?
Is there a winning combination to working at your organisation? Understanding what makes up your workforce and what culture they prefer to work in can help you to nurture that environment.
5. How often are they in the office? Do they get immersed in the culture of the organisation?
Look at the achievement of home workers vs office workers. Are there links to performance?
Once you have asked yourself these questions, you can then start to look at ways to integrate data analysis into your recruitment strategy. 3
Take a look at your candidate screening criteria
Don’t just focus on work history; look at their personality and characteristics. Compare this to what you currently have in your company - what personality traits work well for you statistically and which ones will “fit in” with your current company culture?
Don’t rule someone out for looking 'job hoppy'
Traditionally (and I’ve been guilty of this) it is drummed into you when hiring that frequent job changes meant they lacked skills or loyalty. Recent research of 7,240 employees found that candidates with many prior positions did not perform any better or worse than employees that had long term employment.
Don’t focus on simply what you believe to be the perfect “match” of experience for the role
Look at who has done well in this role previously - what backgrounds were they from. What background are you from? Chances are, when originally hired, they would not have been a “perfect” match but instead had the drive and determination to learn and succeed.
Some of these points may seem very simple, however, by looking at the data you already possess, you can drastically improve hiring and retention. Don’t just focus on what you believe to be the perfect candidate - Focus on what your past data tells you is the perfect candidate; to help you to inform your selection and decision process.
By Chris Brooks, Managing Consultant at Finlay James who provide global, world class IT sales recruitment solutions. Chris partners with business intelligence and professional services companies to find top performing senior sales talent to increase profitability.