Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Analytics, data changing way employers recruit, hire college graduates

Matt Krumrie AvatarMatt Krumrie
September 2, 2016


Workforce analytics are transforming human capital strategy, said Mark Schmit, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, executive director of the SHRM Foundation. That’s why it’s more important than ever for employers to understand how analytics and data will drive recruiting and hiring decisions. Schmit’s comments were part of the Society of Human Resource Management’s release of the Use of Workforce Analytics for Competitive Advantage Report in June of 2016.

Analytics in hiring enables HR professionals to be more strategic

Analytics in hiring helps HR do better businessThe report stated: “For HR practitioners, it will be increasingly important to understand analytics and to be able to present the findings to senior executives. In a data-driven world, organizations will establish specialist HR teams and recruit data-oriented personnel.” In that same report, Schmit highlighted a 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit survey that found 82 percent of organizations recognize the importance of talent-related data in managing recruitment, retention, and turnover, and increasingly see workforce analytics “as a critical tool to shape future business strategy.”

That’s no secret to Ian Cook, Head of Workforce Solutions at Visier, a company that develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions.

“If you don’t dive into analytics, then you are increasing the likelihood that your competitor will be able to scoop up all the great talent that you need,” says Cook.

College Recruiter has been using analytics and data for years, providing employers with specific and organized reports to help achieve their recruiting and hiring goals. Active in industry organizations and events, the team at College Recruiter helps employers identify strategies that leads to  success recruiting and hiring recent college graduates and entry-level employees.

Important analytics for college recruitment

Remember this: Analytics aren’t just used to make decisions on executives. Forward-thinking organizations are already using analytics and data to drive campus recruiting efforts and to recruit and hire recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers. For example, Visier delivers a workforce intelligence solution that makes the management of data, the formulation of analysis, and the sharing of business insights simple. And it can be customized. If campus recruiting is important to your organization, analytics and data can be used to identify which schools deliver graduate hires that stay with the organization the longest, and that progress upward in the organization.

Related video: Average cost-per-hire for on-campus recruiting is $3,582

Analytics in hiring is critical to be strategic“We understand that campus hiring is a unique process and have analytic content specifically related to this type of hiring,” says Cook. “We enable organizations to track the true costs of their campus work and then relate this back to the successful – and not so successful – hires that come through this channel.”

Cook points out that it is becoming more common knowledge for employers to move away from hiring from specific schools and to instead look more broadly at the profile of the individual. Cook knows of some organizations that did a longitudinal study of the performance of their graduate hires. They found that work experience prior to and during school time, athletic achievement, and extracurricular activities, such as committees or volunteering, were more predictive of a future good hire than the specific school or the candidates grade point average (GPA).

Related white paper: Fix Talent Acquisition Mistakes to Avoid a Bad Candidate Experience 

“This completely changed their approach to campus recruiting,” says Cook. “Previously, they over-spent to chase the students with the top GPA’s from the best schools. Now, they would source more broadly, and reduce the weight given to school and GPA in their overall selection process. This has increased their retention of graduate hires and reduced the overall cost of their campus recruitment program.”

The SHRM report also noted that “Organizations wanting to exploit ‘big data’ to gain a competitive advantage are setting up small specialist teams of data analysts, training their existing staff in the use of big data, and recruiting college graduates with skills in workforce analytics.”

Employers should focus on finding recent college graduates with a background in analytics, perhaps through an internship, and start implementing analytics as an important part of their recruiting and hiring plans.

Data supports, not replaces, decisions made by humans

Data, and more specifically, analytics, should be seen as a decision support mechanism, says Cook. “No analysis can remove the need for a decision, nor replace the human judgement within the decision,” he says. “However, analytics has been shown to improve the speed and quality of the human decision-making process such that substantial business value is gained.”

And, the benefit of analytics over intuition or ‘gut-instinct’ is the removal of bias, indecision, and all the other factors that are known to cloud human judgement.

“This is no longer a nice to have,” says Cook. “Everyone knows the game has changed, and if you are not using analytics to play the best you can then you will be left behind.”

For more advice and tips on how employers are using analytics to drive hiring decisions, stay connected to College Recruiter. Check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Ian Cook of Visier

Ian Cook of Visier

About Ian Cook: Ian Cook heads up the workforce domain for Visier, which develops cloud-based applications that enable HR professionals to answer workforce strategy questions. Ian has been involved in driving forward the datafication of HR and is a speaker and blogger on the subject. Prior to Visier, Ian built Canada’s leading source of HR benchmark data. His expertise has also been developed through years of international experience solving strategic HR problems for brands in the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100.

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