Data can be leveraged in a multitude of ways for SMEs looking to acquire and retain talent.
By Zee Johnson
Today, it is commonly known and agreed upon that the best organizations rely on data and technology to stay ahead of the game. No matter the company size, leveraging data is critical to conquering industry-spanning problems like recruitment, retention, learning and development, and more.
Felix Mitchell, founder and co-CEO of Instant Impact, says that data should be prevalent throughout the entire acquisition process, from start to finish. “Data is becoming fundamental to the deliverables of any successful talent acquisition function, whether that’s in a smaller business or whether it’s in a huge company,” he says. “So, looking at data throughout the process is really important.”
Take, for example, an organization looking to hire a software engineer—a highly skilled role that is difficult to fill. He would first advise the organization to leverage data insights tools to help understand where top talent is located, how they operate, and what motivations drive them. The results will allow companies to properly position their opportunity to candidates’ needs in a competitive market.
“The right data allows you to pull insights on the elements of the role that candidates find most appealing, whether that’s remuneration, flexibility, the ability to work from home, benefits, or whether it’s the mission and vision of the organization as a whole,” Mitchell says.
Further, data can remove bias from the recruitment process in order for all eligible candidates to be considered. “You can use it to ensure that your assessment process isn’t unfairly discriminating against people from certain demographics,” Mitchell says. “The right technology will allow you to collect demographic information at the point of application and store it anonymously. You can then see what happens to those ratios through the pipeline, helping to identify problematic aspects of a recruitment process. You can also make sure that, for example, your second-round interviews aren’t unfairly disadvantaging women by the ratio of candidates at each stage.”
While analytics have become an essential part of recruitment, they shouldn’t only be leveraged for that, and Mitchell says that this is where a lot of TA teams miss opportunities. “One thing that we are doing with our clients is using data to understand their internal talent pools. Uncovering aptitude from employees in a particular department to do jobs in other departments really opens up career progression,” he says.
And in the end, this will boost retention. “If you can fill a role with someone from within the company who needs to be trained on a couple of aspects of the hard skills of the role, rather than the softer aspects of understanding how a company works, that’s a real win,” Mitchell says.
By analyzing data all the way around, the insights that are generated can be leveraged to solve almost any problem for businesses.