How HR Uses Data to Recruit Talent


If you think that a career in HR is just about working with people, then we have an unpleasant surprise for you. Unfortunately, there are lots of numbers involved. Long gone are the days of looking through a few CVs and then calling candidates in for a face-to-face interview. Though we heartily agree that meeting people and a chat to see their personalities is a great idea, today's recruiters have much more sophisticated tools at their disposal. The ability to collect and correlate lots of data is designed to make the whole recruitment process more streamlined and better for both the employer and the new employee. 

Using Data to Help You Recruit Successfully

Today most medium to large businesses will have some sort of HR Information System (HRIS) in place. For even more data, you might even have a Human Capital Management Solution (HCMS) for greater reach. These tools are designed to help you predict coming employment needs. So they will take into account growth as well as turnover. This way as a recruiter, you can plan on how to fill your talent pipeline. 

Because soft skills now account for a lot of the requirements from would-be employees, it's become more and more important to build relationships with possible recruits. This doesn't mean you're posting fake ads for jobs that don't exist and then having fake interviews. What it does mean is getting to know people by networking. This way, when a position becomes available, you already have possible candidates waiting in the wings. On another level, by networking, you'll have a better understanding of the job market in those particular fields. It also allows you to spot gaps within your company where having a new pair of hands could be advantageous for the business.

More Internal HR Data That Can Help You Recruit Successfully

Two other pieces of HR data that can be hugely helpful are the internal survey and the exit interview data. Essentially asking your employees what they value and asking would-be recruits what they want? Another very important question is to know the real reasons why people are leaving their jobs at your company. Is it for more money, better prospects or for something negative, like a boss they can't stand or having too much responsibility without recognition? Whatever the reasons, you'll need to get to the bottom of it as without fixing, these problems could possibly affect the company's bottom end. 

Using External Data That Can Help You Recruit Successfully

Money matters. Whatever your company is offering it needs to be within the general vicinity of the general market rate. No one is going to work for less, unless there are enough massive perks to make up the difference. So it's important that you have a handle on what other companies are paying for the same position within the same industry. Check out salary surveys and take a look through aggregator sites like You need to be able to offer either the same or more than the competition if you want to attract the best talent.

You must be aware of the market value of any jobs you're offering. You might well have a candidate who says they're looking for a minimum of $75 per annum. No problem you say and offer him $80. But later he discovers that the market rate for his job is $90. So he's out the door. For the employee, such a deal would leave a horrible taste in the mouth as they would assume you were trying to low-ball them. People talk, so that is never a good optic.

You should let the client data help you perform a better job. For example, if you know your customer's strengths and weaknesses, or their likes and dislikes, it'll ensure that you hire people who will actually make a difference by solving the problems alluded to. By taking note of the data, you're more likely to hire the right person for the right job.

Data for Evaluating Candidates

Traditionally, HR would trawl through data from an applicant's previous education. This means a deep dive into schools, colleges and universities. Also, spending time going through their past work experiences. Though this is all well and good, collecting relevant data today is a totally different kettle of fish. Today HR can set aptitude tests or skill tests to ensure that the candidate can do as they claim. Or they could take the next step and embrace the gamification of the interview process. This is a form of inspection whereby the applicants are put under a microscope in a situation that means they will have to show the person behind the mask. 

To a degree, interviews can be planned for. Scripts are written in preparation for the regular interview process. But what if the candidate had to play a complex game, with any number of puzzles and physical questions and all played against a clock?

Welcome to the recruitment tool of escape room games. Playing an hour-long game, with other recruits or team members will allow HR to see exactly how someone acts under the stress of finding and solving completely new clues in completely new situations. This is a test one cannot prepare for. Even better, the game itself can be completely designed around a theme or company or business, to feature important points along the way. In other words, a custom-made tool to see how applicants deal with new and challenging situations. 

As the game will be tailor-made for aspects of your business, the data you gain from this will be that much more focused than if you obtained it via traditional sources. These games show many more sides of the candidate than you could ever hope to witness in an interview. Escape room games encourage those who want to rise, to do so and take on the responsibilities they see fit. There will be plenty of interaction with other players. You'll be able to see first-hand whether this particular person is a team player. You can see how calm they remain under pressure. Leadership qualities will shine through very quickly as well.

When the game is complete. everyone will sit down and there will be a thorough debrief. You'll be able to ask any questions concerning the game-play, bits they got stuck on, and anything they would do differently. And because the game element involves having fun, you can see the personality of the subject and have a better idea of whether they will fit in with your existing teams. Finally, we should point out that applicants love this way of performing an in-depth interview. The process shows that your business is the kind of forward-thinking entity everyone would feel happy and excited to work for. In other words, you get to keep the first choice out of all the interviewees.    

As your job is HR, it would be a pleasure to see the real "human" side of Human Resources!

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