One truth: managing data in your recruitment business

By rotide
Created 12/08/2019 - 12:35

By Peter Linas, EVP of Corporate Development and International, Bullhorn [1]

The recruitment lifecycle contains a treasure trove of data that, when mined carefully, reveals important client and candidate information that can dictate a firm's strategy, its tactics, and even its overall philosophy.

Using automation

Organisations that have up until now been too slow to incorporate automation into their data management process run the risk of losing the best candidates to their more forward-thinking competitors. Data management should, therefore, be automated as much as possible to free up valuable consultant time, get the most out of organisational resources, and generally maximise efficiency.

The rise of digital recruitment, combined with a burgeoning range of online channels through which talent can be connected with recruiters and employers, has seen customer relationship management (CRM) software become the preferred tool for attracting, engaging, and nurturing candidates. Modern CRM systems can store and process information in a way that simultaneously eases the burden on the recruiter and makes it easy for them to nurture and maintain awareness of their most important candidate and client relationships.

A well-selected CRM can also integrate with other critical recruiter tools, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS), which can help you access candidate information and application progress in one place. That's why top recruiters rely on a solution that offers both CRM and ATS in one platform, as each focus on specific functions within the recruitment lifecycle.

However, recruiters should be mindful not to spend too much time on the actual process of managing data - the value lies in the insights and how they translate to meaningful action, not the raw information itself. It's up to recruiters themselves to use insights to drive smarter decision making.

Maintaining compliance

With the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) now firmly in place, organisations have little option but to take some responsibility for their data management processes. Regulations around customer information (EU residents in particular) are more restrictive than ever, so each member of a recruitment organisation must guarantee that all personal data is used in the correct way.

Some key GDPR directives that affect the daily work of recruiters and hiring teams include:

●        Legitimate interest to process candidate data: You can source candidate data as long as you collect job-related information only and you intend to contact sourced candidates within 30 days.

●        Candidate consent to process sensitive data: GDPR requires you to ask for consent when you want to process data like disability information, cultural, genetic or biometric information.

●        Transparency in processing candidate data: Companies must have clear privacy policies and recruiters are obliged to make those policies available to candidates.

●        Assume responsibility for compliance: Your company (including contractors) need to be able to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR.

Standardising processes and reporting

Any good manager understands that you cannot guarantee quality without a standard procedure in place to ensure consistency.  That's why standardised work, one of the fundamental building blocks of lean manufacturing, should be the initial building block of a successful hiring process too. 

Standardising the ways in which consultants present and use information is, however, not an easy task. Before beginning, consultants must become familiar with the best practices for data gathering and reporting. The first step in building a standardised process is to define the goals or standards of the process. For example, what are the types of information that are most important for building candidate profiles? Soliciting the input of the job content experts and documenting those competencies is the first step of standardising the hiring process. 

Establishing and implementing standardised hiring and reporting processes provides control and guidance for hiring managers, and can help avoid the negative consequences of random, inefficient, and inadequate uses of data.

Establishing a single source of truth

Finally - and perhaps most crucially - make sure everyone in the company has access to the same real-time data by establishing a ‘single source of truth'. In other words, make sure that all consultants can access key information within a unified software system to avoid being isolated. Navigating the recruitment lifecycle can be lengthy and complex, requiring recruiting, back office, and sales teams to all work together in unison. If they can't communicate effectively, it can and will have a direct negative impact on the bottom line.

For example, poor systems and data integration cause inaccurate client billing and candidate payments, unnecessary paperwork for your teams, and lack of visibility into gross margin rates. Essentially, having siloed insights will have a negative impact on how quickly you can turn over client work, and ultimately your profits.

To ensure enough transparency around how data is used and shared, businesses must be conscious of how data is disseminated within a business. When data is obscured, it's easy to for work to be doubled up on and opportunities missed. Sharing knowledge empowers the whole firm - and with the right technology available, there's no reason for recruitment firms to miss out.

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