Gem recently ran a survey of more than 500 talent acquisition professionals to better understand priorities, pain points, and goals as recruiting teams head into 2022. One consistent theme in responses concerned the importance of data to the recruiting function—perhaps now more than ever in the face of “The Great Resignation,” talent’s shifting priorities in recent years, and the number of competing offers that top candidates now have at their disposal.
Over and over again, respondents stressed a renewed need for speed in their hiring processes, thoughtfulness around diversity hiring, particular attention to the top of the funnel, and an emphasis on employer brand and candidate experience to keep talent in process—and ultimately, accepting their offers. All of these demand data to optimize, and to get right.
“More data-driven recruitment practices” was ranked as the fourth-most-important 2022 trend for our respondents in aggregate, falling only behind diversity, passive talent sourcing, and embracing remote work. When we broke out the data by demographic, talent leaders at enterprise organizations in particular stressed the importance of data for their teams this year. 73% of enterprise talent leaders said data would be critical to staying competitive as the consequences of COVID continue to unfold:
“All about the data in 2022.” - VP of Talent, enterprise org
“Hitting hiring targets is becoming increasingly difficult in the war for qualified talent. TA teams have to present data to back up both their performance and requests for additional budget for innovative solutions.” - Recruiter, mid-market org
“Our recruiting team needs data to advise our hiring partners on the market. Our RMs need hiring data to capacity plan to inform our 2022 headcount planning. Our exec team needs data to clearly see progress-to-goal.” - Talent Acquisition Manager, enterprise org
“Data is king now. All talent teams are moving towards leveraging the data they have in order to properly optimize their practices.” - Talent Acquisition Manager, mid-market org
“Anyone not doing data-driven hiring at this point is going to get smoked in this super-competitive hiring market.” - Recruiter, mid-market org
87% of talent professionals say they track data on candidate outreach. How they collect that data is split: 44% of teams have ICs track their own activity, while 43% use automated solutions that track open/click/reply rates (and, if they use a solution like Gem, content stats) for them.
One advantage to automated solutions, of course, is team-wide visibility: sourcers and recruiters can see what messaging from their peers resonates most with passive talent, and develop and share best practices from there. They can also A/B test and track the efficacy of specific strategies, such as sending-on-behalf-of hiring managers or executives.
Fewer talent teams—just over ¾—use data to track sourcer/recruiter activity at the top of the funnel: number of prospective candidate profiles viewed, number of candidates sourced, number of first messages and follow-ups sent, number of prospects converted to candidates, and so on.
82% of ICs say they track ToF sourcer/recruiter activity, while only 72% of talent leaders say their teams track this data. This suggests either that some talent leaders don’t know exactly what their teams are tracking on the ground, or that they don’t think that data is being tracked well enough.
¾ of talent teams use data to track funnel activity, so as to identify bottlenecks in the hiring process and optimize for speed and candidate experience: where is talent dropping out of process or sitting in a stage for too long? Once again, ICs are more likely to say they track this (78%) than talent leaders are (72%), suggesting there may be a disconnect between the data that’s being tracked and the data that talent leaders are aware of (or how clean they think it is).
Diversity Recruiting Data
The majority of talent teams track specific demographics through the hiring funnel to ensure they’re either tracking toward meeting diversity goals, or—if they don’t have goals in place—that they’re trending equitably. However, there’s a gap between smaller orgs (999 FTEs or fewer) and enterprise orgs: 54% of sourcers and recruiters at smaller organizations say they track diversity through the hiring funnel, while 68% of ICs at enterprise companies say they track it.
The Most Important Recruiting KPIs
Regardless of company size, talent leaders say they’re tracking the same top-three KPIs: time-to-hire, source-of-hire, and funnel passthrough rates. Across the board, enterprise companies are more likely to track each of the below KPIs than smaller organizations are… but the biggest discrepancy (once again) is in diversity: 59% of enterprise talent leaders say their teams track diversity through the funnel, while only 44% of of leaders at smaller orgs say they do.
Sharing Recruiting Data with Leadership
More than ¾ of talent leaders (77%) say they bring data to executives and leadership regularly. When asked to elaborate, many said they’re still trying to figure out which data to share and to determine best practices for sharing it (“We are immature in our talent data practices,” one enterprise talent leader put it). But the vast majority of respondents spoke to the importance of sharing data in partnership with the broader business:
“These metrics are essential. It becomes easy to come up with new strategies or tweaks in process when you have solid data handy.” - Talent Acquisition Manager, enterprise org
“Without the metrics mentioned here (plus others), it would be hard for me to demonstrate to our execs/board/investors why hiring isn't happening as fast as it could be, or why we need to invest in certain resources, or whatever other critical questions need to be answered.” - Director of Talent, SMB
“Data drives decisions, and we need even more real-time data to support the business.” - Talent Acquisition Manager, enterprise org
For more about how recruiting teams are leveraging data for things like forecasting and capacity planning, what their current pain points are, and how they plan to use data and metrics better in 2022, take a look at our 2022 Recruiting Trends: Data-Driven Recruiting. And if you want to know more about how Gem can offer you full-funnel visibility—from first outreach to hire—and data-driven insights for strategic guidance into your recruiting and hiring process, reach out to us. We’d absolutely love to hear from you.