Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of tripling the size of a team over the course of only 8 months. This was the first time in my career I had ever done something like this, and I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. In fact, it was straight up overwhelming at first; how could I possibly find so many talented people who not only knew the work, but fit in with the company in such a short time frame? I’m incredibly attached to my work and this company, so I refused to allow myself to compromise on quality. This meant I needed to figure out how to recruit smarter, faster and more efficiently than I ever had.
At first, I tried phone-screening anyone with a pulse. I needed to build a large pool of available talent so I could then sort through it and find better candidates. But when I looked at my pipeline analytics, the numbers told a clear story: my phone screen-to-interview ratio was incredibly steep, and my interviews-to-offers ratio was almost flat by comparison.
This made the entire process incredibly inefficient, and this was because, like many hiring managers, I didn’t have a set definition of what I was looking for. I told myself I knew it when I saw it, but this didn’t alleviate the number of unqualified candidates I was interviewing. Sound familiar, recruiters? It should — 75% of applicants for a given role aren’t qualified to do it.
Are you wasting time on unqualified candidates? 75% of applicants for a given role are not qualified!
The needle-in-a-haystack approach wasn’t feasible. I could expand my talent pool all I wanted, but there simply were not enough hours in the day to interview every candidate, and I was spending too much time on candidates whom I knew weren’t going to make the cut later on. If I was going to meet both my deadline and my own expectations, I needed to refine my search and hire efficiently.
The answer hit me like a football to the head. In order to set the proper expectations and understand what I needed for every role, I had to analyze top performers already in the role and use them to define the characteristics of an ideal candidate. By taking the results of last year's performance reviews and running a correlation analysis, I suddenly had a must-have list of skills and traits for the jobs I needed to fill, which helped me know what to look for when screening and interviewing candidates.
I felt like I had found the light switch after stumbling around in a dark room. Some of the skills I had been weighing heavily in the hiring process didn’t seem to matter after all; some skills I hadn’t even considered bubbled up as key drivers of success. After redefining my standards, I found myself connecting sooner with incredible candidates on a stronger level.
It’s been a few months since I adopted a data-driven hiring process, and the results speak for themselves. My time-to-hire has dropped by more than 50% and the quality of hires has been amazing. And thanks to this data-driven approach, we have even more performance data to feed back into the correlation analysis as the team grows, creating a positive feedback loop that allows us to continually improve our standards.
Information is one of the most important things any business can have, and when you use data to drive your hiring process, there’s no telling what you’ll learn.
Want to have all the information you need to accurately gauge performance at your company? Then try ClearCompany — our software suite helps you track performance on every task, employee and team, meaning you always make the right call. Sign up for a demo today!