Data is a wonderful thing!
Last week I was walking home, and an unfamiliar green bus drove past me with ‘A bus from CityMapper’ written on the side. Upon further investigation, I discovered that this was the result of some excellent use of data.
For those unaware, CityMapper is a mobile app that provides recommended public transport routes through major cities across the world. All you need to do is input a destination and the app will provide a variety of options of buses, trains, trams or walking routes. CityMapper have now used all the data they have been collecting to change the face of public transport. Monitoring popular user journeys, CityMapper have identified points within these cities that users regularly travel between but are poorly served by current transport systems. They have now begun running their own bus services between these points to provide more direct travel between them.
Now, you may be wondering what CityMapper and their buses have to do with you. For me, this put them on a whole new level – from ‘app I quite like’ to a true innovator in their field. I’ve told that story at least 20 times since I came across it, singing CityMapper’s praises at every turn.
I’m not saying that we all need to be looking to do something as head-turning and news worthy as this. However, we should definitely be thinking – what data do I have, what data can I get and how can it help me?
When collected and analysed well, your data is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Whilst many still consider data to be a daunting prospect – when used in the right ways, data can improve your recruitment strategy and save you both time and money.
The first step is taking a close look at how we are collecting our data. CityMapper couldn’t do what they did without an app that millions use on a daily basis. None of us can hope for those levels of data so, thinking realistically, what is available to us?
Recent studies have shown that contemporary job seekers are using up to 18 different sources to look for jobs.
Without media tracking data, this can quickly become a matter of blindly throwing money on platforms that are wholly ineffective. Media tracking on an application tracking system (ATS) enables you to build data on, not only where your applications are coming from, but also the source of those you interview and ultimately appoint.
Being able to see that one media platform has consistently provided volumes of applications however, none have ever been suitable for interview means that you could justifiably drop that particular platform from future campaigns. You may also find that whilst another platform may provide fewer applicants, those that do come through that platform are regularly taken through to interview and often appointed. In this instance, you could decide that this is a platform to invest in more in the future.
We regularly use our media tracking data (collected through the Jobsgopublic ATS) to inform the advice we give to our clients – always recommending the platforms that we are confident will produce the best possible results.
Your site and vacancy analytics can be extremely valuable sources of data. These allow you to track how many people are visiting your site/vacancy and what they do once they’re there. Those willing to put the time into testing and measuring their content will be able to determine exactly what it is that their prospective candidates respond to most.
Your analytics data will allow you to identify pages that are most regularly visited and those that candidates spend most time on. For the less popular pages, you can then test different ways of signposting them on your site and the content that features on them to see if this improves engagement. Whilst results might not always be immediate, this process can help you ensure that your content is engaging your target audience.
Without this data, we have no way of establishing whether prospective candidates are responding to our content – other than application numbers which don’t always tell the full story.
Time to hire
A candidate complaint we are still hearing is that overly long recruitment processes are all too common in the contemporary job market. Some report it taking as long as six months between applying for a job and being appointed – if they in fact make it that far. In a candidate-driven market where job seekers are often spoilt for choice, employers need to be doing whatever they can to get ahead of the competition.
Identifying areas in which you can improve your recruitment processes can help you stand out as an employer of choice, whilst reducing the risk of losing candidates during the process.
With the right systems in place, employers can track the time that each stage of their recruitment processes take. The more you recruit, the more data you will have on the aspects of your recruitment process that consistently take the longest. This will then help you identify opportunities to speed up this process – ensuring that maximum numbers of candidates continue with their application.
There can be no doubting that data is going to be a big part of the future. Those with the resources and sample sizes available to them will continue to do incredible things that change the areas they operate in.
However, it doesn’t need to be this grand. Simply using the data available to you to ensure that the decisions you make are informed can reap significant rewards. Identifying opportunities for further data collection, whether its implementing a new ATS that enables this or delving into your analytics, can take this to a whole new level. Moving forward, we will likely see that, in the most competitive markets, those with the better data, or those using their data in the best ways, will come out on top. And, as with so many things in life, it’s always better to be out in front than trying to play catch up.