The Critical Role of Data In Talent Acquisition

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As seen on Visier by Josie Sutcliffe. 

According to Dr. Sullivan, Human Capital is the #1 global business challenge facing CEOs for the fourth year in a row. This is because few CEOs are confident in the quality of their Human Capital metrics. Often what is shared with the C-Suite is what Sullivan calls the “So What” metrics, which elicit a “Why Should I Care?” reaction from executives. To capture the C-Suite’s attention, Talent Acquisition needs to become more businesslike and begin to calculate all standard business analytics. The more Talent Acquisition professionals are measuring what matters to CEOs, the more value they can provide to the business.

Sullivan illustrated this with an anecdote about a referral program at a retailer that was cut in order to save each retail store a few thousand dollars. The cut led to lower quality of hire and customer service, as well as unintended consequences in other departments from decreased customer loyalty and amount spent per visit. The resulting financial loss after a year was well into the six figures!

Recommended Read: 6 Reasons Recruiting Doesn’t Measure New Hire Failure Rates (But Should)

Your CEO expects every function to have a measurable impact on business results — and within HR, recruiting has the most impact on revenue and profit. So what kind of data should Talent Acquisition be analyzing, measuring, and sharing with the C-suite? These are the six highest impact talent acquisition data actions, in Sullivan’s view:

  • Hiring innovators
  • Prioritizing jobs and hiring top talent into revenue impact jobs
  • Calculating the dollar impact of quality hires
  • Calculating the dollar impact of hiring top diversity talent into “customer and product impact jobs”
  • Calculating the cost of “excess vacancy days” for revenue and high-impact jobs
  • Shifting to a metric model that is designed to influence executives

Insights and actions in these areas can measurably improve business results. They’re the kind of metrics that gain your CEO’s immediate attention, especially if they they meet these criteria:

  • It impacts a strategic business goal
  • It impacts at least 1% of revenue
  • It includes a future trend line and the cost of a delay
  • It includes benchmark comparison numbers
  • It includes the root cause
  • When they see it, they think “Oh my god!”
  • It drives them to demand immediate action
  • It highlights the recommended actions
  • It includes a just-in-time alert reminder

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About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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