5 Talent Acquisition Mistakes Data Helps You Avoid

Talent acquisition plays a key role in the success of organizations. However, finding and keeping the right people for your business isn’t easy. In fact, 65% of recruiters report that the biggest challenge in hiring is a shortage of talent. Often, this leads recruiters to scramble and make the best hire they can to fill positions in a short period of time. The problem is that when recruiters rush to find talent, bad hires happen and making a poor hiring decision comes at a high price. On average, a bad hire can cost 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings

Now, the question is, how does your organization stop this cycle and overcome hiring challenges? Getting more data and perspective from sources beyond your ATS is key. This is what allows you to avoid common pitfalls in the talent acquisition process.  Below, you’ll find five talent acquisition strategy mistakes you should avoid.

1. Prioritizing short term efficiencies over long term answers 

Recruiters are always focused on filling the position. However, simply pushing more people into a bad process is a mistake. While it’s tempting to just get things done, it is often more effective to take a step back and learn from your processes in order to bring long lasting improvements to your results. 

In the long run, slowing down to analyze hiring and what you can improve will help you make better business decisions. In contrast, if you design the recruiting processes to churn out requisitions and bang out interviews, you won’t develop a good sense of where the business is going.

To build a better long term talent acquisition process, think about what you want to accomplish in your organization. For example, let’s say your organization is having issues with applicants dropping out of the interview process. Often, businesses respond to this by recruiting even more applicants and pushing candidates through until they find one that’s the right fit. However, figuring out why applicants drop out can save your business time and money. 

You have to consider what you need to know more about and what problems you see on a regular basis. Maybe candidates aren’t getting followed up with enough. Maybe you’re seeing a lot of candidates get through part of the recruiting process without the right skill sets for the position. If you can identify these things and adjust your process, your team can make the right hires much faster. When you understand the root of the issues, you can create your process to eliminate those problems in the future.

“…how does your organization stop this cycle and overcome hiring challenges? Getting more data and perspective from sources beyond your ATS is key.”

2. Treating data as a byproduct of the process

When we focus on executing and forget about the data points, we lose opportunities to make organizations better. Remember, everything you do produces a data point you can leverage to create business impact.

Once you’ve identified data that you want to capture, you need a system in place to make gathering that data part of day-to-day business operations. Know that there’s a purpose in capturing information that didn’t exist before. Having more data points allows your organization to explore more questions, which will ultimately help recruiters make better decisions. 

With a people analytics solution, your organization can analyze data and find the answers they need to make quality hires. This completely transforms the talent acquisition process. When your team regularly uses data to support your efforts, they can work together to move the business forward.

3. Gut-based posting and hiring decisions

Traditionally, hiring is a subjective process. We all have biases and naturally, we gravitate towards people who are like us. However, recruiting this way can result in low diversity inside your organization. According to Mercer data, current female hiring, promotion, and retention rates are insufficient to create gender equality over the next decade.

Gut-based hiring decisions can also lead to more bad hires and productivity can significantly drop as you rush to fill an opening. One survey shows that 37% of organizations experience a decrease in productivity as the result of a bad hire. 

To solve this problem, organizations need to start looking at data to make hiring decisions based on fact. When we factor in real numbers instead of relying on our gut, we challenge ourselves to push down biases and link diversity efforts to business priorities. It only takes a few months to have enough information to make better hires. 

“When we focus on executing and forget about the data points, we lose opportunities to make organizations better. Remember, everything you do produces a data point you can leverage to create business impact.”

4. Hiring managers who don’t know how to hire  

Sometimes, the people inside your company who are in charge of hiring don’t know exactly how to make a good hire. Instead, they focus on making a hire fast and crucial parts of the process get lost in the shuffle. This is an issue because it has a negative impact on the candidate experience. In fact, a survey found that 58% of job seekers have a negative impression of a company if they don’t hear back after submitting an application. This is how good candidates fall through the cracks. Most organizations don’t gather enough information about the hiring process and what’s effective. 

For example, one metric a company may track is who has the longest or shortest hiring cycle. However, these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Is the person with a short hiring cycle bringing in candidates who perform well in the company or are they rushing to fill roles? Are those with a long hiring cycle struggling to assess candidates? You can answer these questions with data by analyzing your candidate journey. 

5. No line of sight past hire 

Many organizations don’t have a way to analyze the success of their hires. The standard measure of success you have for a recruiter is how many hires they’ve brought in and how people on your team feel about those hires. In some cases, this can lead to companies relying on a recruiter who closes candidates fast but doesn’t actually bring in the most quality hires. 

To improve the talent acquisition process, organization have to connect candidate IDs and employee records. Then, you’ll know which recruiters are bringing in quality hires. This helps your team avoid hiring employees that aren’t a good fit. It also helps you attract and retain employees that perform well. Using data, you can track the candidates that look great on paper throughout their journey with the company after they’re hired. 

“When we factor in real numbers instead of relying on our gut, we challenge ourselves to push down biases and link diversity efforts to business priorities. It only takes a few months to have enough information to make better hires.”

Bottom line: Go beyond your ATS

Using data for tracking candidates and employee success is key to managing your most important asset—people. 

To make great workforce decisions, you need to go beyond applicant tracking and analyze the entire employee lifecycle. Pulling your HRIS and ATS systems together will empower your organization to make better hiring decisions in a faster and more accurate way

Author Photo
Ian Cook |
Curious about the differences between gaussian and pareto distribution? Ask Ian. Want to know what it’s like to kite ski North of the Arctic Circle? Ask Ian. Not only is he an expert in statistical analysis and HR metrics, he’s also an avid cyclist, skier and runner. At Visier, Ian helps customers drive organizational change through linking workforce analysis to business outcomes. He is responsible for the workforce domain expertise within the Visier solutions.