Get Strategic! How to Use Data in Recruiting

As a recruiting professional you’ve probably seen a variety of trends come and go over the years.  Whether you’ve been in the profession 6 months or 6 years, it doesn’t take long to pick up on the natural cycles of wax and wane when it comes to a quality talent pool and the number of open positions looking for top-notch candidates.  In today’s job staffing picture, unemployment continues to drop while companies are seeing a steady to slow increase for the highest quality candidates.

Another trend recruiters are painfully familiar with comes in the form of industry and company-wide pushes towards leaner business models.  Fewer HR professionals and support staff and less physical resources can make a recruiter’s job more difficult than ever come crunch time.

Proactive recruiters know that this combination of high demand and low capability can create a nexus for disaster in the employment game.  When times get tough, as our mother used to say, it’s time to improvise. While these trends have been, well, trending, tech and access to valuable candidate information has also been on the rise.  As the old saying goes, why work harder when you can work smarter? Read below for how to get strategic with your process utilizing data in the hiring process.


Just as no two jobs are created equal, so are no two job locations remotely the same.  Some states continue to face high levels of unemployment, while others may be exceptionally low.  Similarly, factors such as the cost of living, average commute times and access to public transportation can all make a difference when it comes to the type and quantity of candidates you can expect to see for a new job opening.

Savvy recruiters can use this information to their advantage in order to help make the interviewing and hiring process smooth and efficient.  In some competitive areas, you may need to go directly to candidates via online networking platforms such as LinkedIn. If you have multiple offices and flexibility in the physical seating of a candidate you may be able to shift the office location of the opening to meet local or national hiring trends and find better quality talent.  Keep your location in mind and get to know the market in the specific area for the best chance at recruitment success.

Industry Trends

Another data source effective recruiters should be paying close attention to are industry wide trends for the position they are staffing.  No two industries are created equal so it would only make sense that the contact and recruitment approaches you would use for the individuals practicing within them would vary as well.  Some industries, such as healthcare and compliance, are sorely in need of quality candidates and you can expect to have to search out top notch talent. Look at the overall hiring statistics for your given industry to decide everything from how many preliminary interviews you’ll need to whether you can expect to have to screen numerous candidates to help streamline the hiring process.

Occupational Category

Maybe the individuals you’re looking for work in high stress positions or in roles that require odd work schedules or long hours.  Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other in demand professionals will often have schedules that make immediate call backs difficult.  This is exacerbated if you’re the recruiter doing the cold calling. Those in the education professions often are home earlier and up earlier, making contact in late afternoon idea.

Recruiters can use complex data regarding trending demand, average start times, response statistics and more to help reach the right candidates at the right time.  In some cases you may need to follow up repeatedly and via multiple communication methods or perhaps schedule interviews at odd but accessible hours in order to make the staffing work.  Smart recruiters pay attention to industry trends in data and tailor their approaches to the specifics.

Company Priority

The last piece of data recruiters should employ is the utilization of the right resources for the job.  A firefighter needs a water hose to put out flames much like an accountant needs a calculator to crunch the numbers.  It would only make sense, then, that the exact resources needed to staff the director level position at your company would vary from those needed to fill an entry level analyst role.

Use the return on investment data, salary numbers and overall impact figures of the position you’re recruiting for to help decide which resources to deploy for which search.  A high end recruiter with specialty experience may command a premium referral rate, but the results they’ll have in helping find the next CEO of your organization can be monumental.

The bottom line is that data is king in today’s modern recruiting scene.  If you’re a hiring professional looking to provide efficiency and value and deliver quality candidates, a few minutes spent pouring over trends and statistics could make the difference between a hiring home run and a first year flop.

Article Updated from the Original on May 1, 2018