The Future of Business Is Data

Public opinion is slowly returning to something resembling a pre-pandemic “normal,” but in some ways, things will never be the same. While the number of consumers returning to restaurants and shops is on the rise, calls for workers to return to the office full-time have met resistance. The truth is, recent advances in technology, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have changed the way we work to the point that our previous definition of “normal” is now outdated.

What does this mean for business and HR leaders? It means a need to adapt and embrace new technology tools that leverage data to improve recruitment efforts and increase retention in order to achieve success.

Technology tools can help organizations increase employee retention

You already know about the Great Resignation: A tidal wave of resignations spurred on by the pandemic. But where many pundits get the Great Resignation wrong is when they assume it was an abrupt, unexpected change to employee behavior that can be solely blamed on the pandemic. While there has been a sharp increase in the number of people quitting their jobs in the last two years, zoom out a little bit, and you’ll see that the number of workers quitting their jobs in the U.S. has been steadily on the rise since the close of the Great Recession in 2010, with the exception of a momentary dip at the very start of the pandemic. The data tells us that retention is not a new challenge. Instead, it is a problem that started over a decade ago and has been accelerating ever since.

The reason headlines about the Great Resignation captured the imaginations of so many leaders is that turnover is a big deal. Replacing employees is expensive and time-consuming — it’s just not good for business. So stories about historically high quit rates spread like wildfire among HR and business circles because our greatest fears seem to have been realized.

The good news is that new technology solutions that can help organizations respond to the retention crisis that’s been gaining steam over the years. These tools allow employers to use data-driven processes to attract and retain the best talent available.

Here are three ways data analytics can help you create a recruitment and retention strategy that’s designed to confront high turnover rates and respond to the “new normal” of today’s talent landscape.

Ensure a fast and engaging process

Traditional methods of recruiting resulted in most organizations having access to only a fraction of the candidates who could excel in a given position. Additionally, these practices often required HR professionals to manually sift through applications or resumes and contact prospects, resulting in slow, costly, and ineffective processes. This kind of recruiting fails to help organizations hire the best talent, and it doesn’t scale well as the number of hours required to hire more than one candidate at a time can easily become prohibitive. What’s worse, in addition to failing to meet the organizations’ needs, these processes also result in a bad experience for applicants who must endure a slow hiring process with little communication from the employer.

Today, these slow, costly processes simply don’t work. Part of the reason for this is that the U.S. is in the midst of a labor shortage, so competition for talent is fierce. Organizations that take too long to hire will lose out on top talent. Research suggests that the hiring process averages about 24 days, but top candidates are typically snatched up in just 10 days. All of this means that the pressure is on organizations to provide a fast, engaging hiring process.

But that may feel easier said than done. How can organizations ensure a fast and engaging experience for candidates? The answer is through technology tools that leverage data. With a job candidate management solution, you can recruit the best candidates by using multiple touchpoints with each individual, nurturing them through the recruiting process, ensuring they’re fully engaged and getting the information they need in a timely manner.

In addition to helping you engage candidates, these technology solutions also provide data insights that help you prioritize candidates that are most qualified. Technology tools also optimize reference checking, providing you with feedback on every candidate on the important soft skills that lead to success. Hiring managers typically receive detailed analytics in just over one business day. Additionally, on the back end, your recruiting and hiring process can be streamlined even further by integrating your software solution with CRM, ATS, and more.

These tools and processes save your people time by helping them identify, assess, and connect with the candidates who are the best fit, ensuring a fast, efficient process.

Reach more highly qualified candidates

As we’ve already said, traditional recruiting processes fail to produce enough highly qualified candidates. Organizations may get lucky from time to time and make a great hire. But luck is not a sustainable business strategy. With digital sourcing solutions, organizations can be equipped with the tools they need to expand the number of prospects available to them, resulting in higher quality hires.

Technology tools assist in helping organizations reach more candidates by leveraging touchpoints with references. Each time you perform a reference check on candidates, those references can become potential future prospects. When new positions become available, your organization is a step ahead with a qualified talent database and can use technology tools to reach out to these individuals, who are already familiar with your brand and invite them to apply.

Engage and retain employees using post-hire data insights

Recruiting and hiring top talent is only beneficial if you’re also able to retain those employees. Employee engagement software solutions can help you ensure your employees are engaged in their work and getting the support they need to succeed. With the right technology tools, you can give your employees a better post-hire experience. Here’s how it works.

First, collect employee feedback at every stage of their workplace journey. With automated processes facilitated by your technology solution, you can send surveys to each employee after they’re hired and then after they’re onboarded. This automated feedback collection can continue through each employee’s first 90 days at your organization and concludes when they ultimately leave their job with an exit survey. Adding automated steps to collect supervisor feedback at similar intervals can complete the post-hire picture. In addition to survey implementation being fully automated, software tools can provide dashboards so you can analyze the data, saving you even more time.

Second, once you have data analytics from employee feedback, take action. Armed with data, you can take an evidence-based approach to the employee and candidate experience. Often this means you’re able to catch people’s concerns before they become bigger problems that lead to higher turnover. When you make data-driven decisions that authentically address your people’s needs, you’re more likely to see increased employee engagement and retention.

Data is the new normal

The future of business is data. With the right technology tools, your organization will be equipped to make decisions based on data. When it comes to recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent, technology solutions save time and help you improve candidate and employee experiences. When you do, your organizations will be better equipped to compete for top talent, engage those employees, and retain them for the long term. In other words, you’ll be primed for business success no matter what the future holds.

Ray Bixler, SkillSurvey

Ray Bixler is an expert within the human resources, talent acquisition, and management marketplace and has contributed to a number of HR and business publications providing advice and tips for job-seekers and employers. Ray is President and CEO of SkillSurvey, an HR technology provider with talent intelligence solutions for digital online reference checking, talent sourcing, and employee feedback.