Hiring in the information age: how can data improve recruitment?

According to Experian, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. By next year, the same amount will be created every minute. We’re living in an Information Age, where technology means that information is processed faster and is more readily available than ever before. A trade-off involving consumers sharing their own data in exchange for a more tailored, personalised customer experience is seen as a given. As a result, we’re more aware than ever of our own digital footprints and how businesses engage with audiences across multiple touchpoints.

These changes are also reflected in the recruitment market. Data is driving businesses to change the way they recruit. Industries such as social care have to be creative when it comes to recruitment drives , with data showing that a third of carers expect to leave the sector within 5 years. Social care providers can use recruitment insights to reach out to retail, hospitality and healthcare candidates, making the most of the transferable skills people have already built in these sectors to create new talent pools.

Much like the challenges that come with a candidate-led market where employers are vying for the attention of potential candidates, advertisers are trying to cut through the noise to get consumers to notice them. We took a look at how data is currently being used in advertising to see what we could learn from these methods.

Data in advertising

For their latest ad campaign, Spotify utilised data from their listeners that shows once a user reaches their thirties, they return to music that was popular when they were “coming of age”. Spotify know how to make the most of the behavioural data they have from their audience, not just to power their product, but to engage with their target audience.

This inspired their ‘Listen like you used to’ campaign:

Spotify’s ad campaign proves how well they know their audience. Similarly, we wanted to make the most of our own insights when creating the Totaljobs outdoor ad campaign back in January 2019. To ensure we got our messaging right, we delved into the data to get a better understanding of what the people on our database were looking for in a job:

  • 35% were aspirational jobseekers, likely to be looking for a better salary, a job closer to home, or career progression
  • 26% had recently lost their job, or will lose their job in the near future
  • 14% wanted a career change
  • 7% were looking for their first job
  • 5% were looking for a contract role

This allowed us to understand what message to serve across our different channels. For example, we shared aspirational-style messaging on buses and trams in Manchester, so those on their morning commute would see messaging that would be more likely to resonate with them.

Along this line of thinking, there’s opportunity to get candidate buy-in before they even see a job ad.

Changing HR

According to Sage, 82% of HR leaders predict their role will be entirely different within the next decade. This highlights that the scope of HR is ever-changing, powered by the need to drive strategy and growth, rather than the more traditional view of HR acting as a cost-centre.

This is reflected in the way HR are using data. 42% of HR leaders note their wider team is already using data to drive their decision-making. However, 57% are facing resourcing restrictions, meaning they cannot invest in the technology they need. Within the year, half (51%) plan to have access to data in real-time to make use of this in mapping out their workforce and identifying trends.

What are the key focuses for businesses?

Embrace change

To be successful, employers need to understand the context of the changing landscape – and embrace it, learning to leverage data and insight rather than be overwhelmed by it. To enable this, teams need to be skilled in data analysis to ensure stats are interpreted correctly.

Maximise brand touchpoints

Likewise, understanding your audience continues to be essential. In the case of potential candidates, considering your brand touchpoints to aid engagement ahead of the application process can be the key to widening your talent pool.

Consider the wider jobseeker journey

Move away from thinking of jobseekers at the point of them reading a job ad – how else do they come across your brand, what other touchpoints in the jobseeker journey can you make use of?

Map out the market

This helps you know your audience – both internal and external – if you don’t know competitors, retention, how to map your workforce, you can’t create a strategy

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