6 Steps to Analyze Post-Hire Data and Improve Your Recruitment Marketing Efforts

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Apr 29, 2016
This article is part of a series called How-Tos.

Recruiting doesn’t end once you’ve made your hire. Valuable post-hire data exists if you know where to look and what to do with it. It’s not enough for companies to spend thousands of dollars investing in an applicant tracking system. I see companies missing out on key data opportunities all the time.

To get the most out of your investment, dig into your data. Doing this will provide the most valuable information on how to target candidates, which will improve your employer brand and messaging. To get started, follow these six steps to help identify and understand your post-hire data.

Identifying the Data Point to Collect

The first step is to identify what data points you want to collect and how you will use them. Only use data points you are going to actively use so that your recruitment team can see the results of their efforts and continue to see the value in entering this data.

Pro Tip: Post-hire data points such as past employment name and address are helpful in ensuring you can track what industries your hires are coming from.

Making Data the Recruiter’s Friend

The people entering the data are your most important allies, since the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” holds true and you don’t want to make assumptions on trends with incomplete data.

How to Teach Your Team: Hold a meeting with all your recruiters and explain to them the importance of entering all the data that you have requested. Show them what the data will do for them by demonstrating how their jobs will be easier if you can improve the quality of the resumes and lessen the amount of time they need to screen resumes and interview candidates.

Defining Your Application-to-Hire Ratio

Now that you’ve got the data, what should you do with it? Ensure you have a sample size that is significant enough to start making decisions on. Remember from statistics class that more data improves the statistical significance of what you’re measuring. Due to seasonality of hiring, you want to make sure you have at least six months to a year of hiring data points, and this timeframe includes your peak hiring times.

The first measure you want to analyze is an application-to-hire ratio; this number tells you how many applications you need before you make a hire. Calculate what your average application-to-hire ratio is and start looking more deeply at those position types that have more or less than the average to determine how you can more effectively manage your hiring campaigns.

What to Look for in Each Situation:

  • Overabundance of Applications to Hires
    • Look at your media allocation and pull these positions from your media campaigns since you’re getting plenty of resumes. There are several media sources that are great at generating resume flow, but the resumes are poor quality — so in essence you’re paying an advertiser to bury your recruitment team in resumes that aren’t going to convert to a hire.
    • Look at your job descriptions and talk to your recruiters about the quality of the resumes coming in for those positions. Adding additional qualifications and details about the job may enable people to better determine if this job is one they want to apply for.
  • Low Application-to-Hire Volume
    • There are some positions that may have a low application-to-hire ratio, and that is acceptable for positions that have a high skill level or specialized education. This is where you want to take a look at your average time to fill: if the time is below or average, then this position may just get lower resume volume but difficultly of hiring is low.
    • If you have low application volume and a long time to fill, these are your main focus for your media allocation and content creation on key benefits of why a candidate should consider a position with your company.

Identifying Travel Time for Your Candidates

When you are hiring people across the country, it is very difficult to effectively identify drive time patterns from city to city. A lot of times recruiters will provide you with directions that sound more like a scavenger hunt than geographic targeting: “We hire people from the right of I75 but not past the river and down to the Target.” Or you’ll get the ever-familiar response, “Let’s do a 50- or 100-mile radius.” The essence of demographic targeting is that birds of a feather flock together, so apply that same theme in your geographic targeting.

Intern Project: If you’re looking for a project to give to your intern, this is a great one. Ask them to pull the home zip code data from your hire reports and start analyzing how far people are willing to drive to work at your locations from city to city. It can be as simple as having your intern type the data into Google and providing the city and distance from the location where they are working. Or if your marketing team has mapping software, they can update the data and determine drive time in a matter of minutes.

This data gives you the ability to target media by zip code with much more precision, and your recruiters can schedule hiring events in high-potential areas to target candidates where they live.

Reviewing Past-hire Industries

Having your recruiters collect data on where the candidate worked before being hired by your company can provide you with invaluable information on how to target your recruitment efforts. This data, at times, has reshaped the messaging for my entire recruitment campaigns.

Case Study: After reviewing past hire data for a client in the security business, it was determined that they were actually hiring a large majority of individuals who did not have security experience. Due the strength of the training program they had developed, a new hire could come from an hourly position and transition into a security career that had great growth potential. We developed a campaign that spotlighted other employees who had successfully transitioned from an hourly job to the company and created content around that messaging that spoke to individuals who may not have otherwise considered applying for a position.

Surveying Candidates After the Interview

And last but not least, conduct post-interview surveys. A quick e-mail survey can be developed to send to all candidates who were interviewed to get impressions on your application process, interview experience, and perceptions of your employer brand. This is a good litmus test on how your brand is delivered and how it can be improved. Always ask questions that are open ended and that can provide actionable initiatives internally.

Sample Survey Questions:

  • How was the company positioned to them?
  • Did the job description give them a good understanding of the position?
  • What information would they have liked to have prior to the interview?

Positive interactions with candidates are undeniably the most important component of your recruitment efforts. Being able to use the data that is sitting in your applicant tracking system can provide you with invaluable knowledge to improve the candidate experience and maximize your recruitment advertising dollars.

This article is part of a series called How-Tos.
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