16 October 2019
People, Performance and Profit: Using Data in Recruitment
People are at the core of any recruitment consultancy; in fact, the performance of any recruitment business is directly related to the performance of its consultants. From sourcing new clients to finding new candidates, interviewing, negotiating terms and tracking candidate progress, every action of a recruitment consultant has a big impact on the entire placement process - from start to finish - and therefore the entire business.
The process is clearly working, as the UK recruitment industry is continuously growing. In 2017/18, the industry grew by 11% to £35.7billion, with over 1.1 million people placed into permanent jobs. However, in such a competitive industry, it’s essential for recruitment consultancies to not just focus on the people they are placing into jobs, but the people within the consultancy itself. With a strategic view of data, recruitment consultancies can see who their star players are and ensure these people are focused on the right areas of the business to create the biggest impact. Additionally, taking a deeper dive into the data will better place recruitment consultancies to spot growth opportunities as they arise and shift the focus on which metrics they’re measuring to gain a more accurate perspective of success.
The right person for the right job
Successful recruitment consultants will be engaged, motivated and eager to place the right candidate with the right company, in the right role. But how can recruitment consultancies ensure each consultant is playing the appropriate part in the recruitment machine? It all starts with the right data.
Having a strategic view of data will not only enable consultancies to see their best performing consultants - in terms of which team members are successfully placing the most candidates or securing the most interviews - but it will also highlight which processes could be automated and which still require the human touch. Searching for and screening candidates, for example - which 52% of recruitment professionals cite as the hardest part of recruitment - can be significantly automated. Technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is now able to do a job that would take a person 10 minutes, in mere seconds. Not only is the time saved valuable for the business in terms of cost-savings, but it also leaves far more room for other activities such as closing deals.
In turn, as well as determining which tasks can be automated, consultancies must also examine which tasks are suitable for which team members. Junior members of staff, for example, can be empowered to interact with clients, hosting video interviews and securing dates for face-to-face interviews; whilst top-performing staff can be tasked with conversion and closing - arguably the most important part of the recruitment cycle. A quick glance at visualised data on staff performance will quickly show a consultancy which staff should be in each role; and in turn, guide each team member to use the data at their fingertips to be more efficient and effective. With this approach, consultancies can not only drive the performance of each employee, but they can also drive significant business changes that will put the organisation in an agile, more competitive position within the industry.
New measures to drive success
Furthermore, effective use of real-time data analytics within a recruitment consultancy will highlight which metrics and KPIs the business should really be examining. Traditionally, data has been used to measure the amount of activity in specific areas, such as call volume. Now, however, consultancies are shifting the focus to results at key milestones, striving for quality over quantity and looking for metrics that will make a real difference to the profitability and performance of the business.
Gaining value from data is all about asking - and answering - the right questions. After switching to conduct initial interviews by video rather than phone, does the data show a correlation between the number of video interviews conducted and the number of candidates successfully placed? Additionally, is the consultant using the data effectively to understand not only how to improve candidate engagement, but to improve their own performance to ensure they are on track to meet their targets?
Surviving in the recruitment industry is a challenge, with many consultancies competing for the same business and working from the same talent pool. Using, analysing and reporting on the right data, at the right time, will give recruitment consultancies the edge they need to put their star performers in the best position and meet the all-important metrics and KPIs.