How to Use Data to Drive Your Recruiting Efforts

By Elana Goodwin on June 29, 2017

If you are not already using data in your recruiting efforts, you are only making your job harder for yourself and allowing your competition to get ahead of you. According to UndercoverRecruiter, 75 percent of recruiters do not use data to make knowledgeable hiring choices.

However, with recent developments and advances in technology, data is playing a bigger part in the recruitment process than ever before and for good reasons. Here is why you should use data to drive your recruiting efforts and how to do so.

Photo Credit:

To gain insight into job applicants and hires, a great tool is implementing an applicant tracking system (ATS) which can store candidate information, weed out unqualified candidates, and evaluate and create reports on costs per hire. Additionally, an ATS can find great resumes that may otherwise have been passed over by utilizing keyword searches and pre-screening questions.

The data an ATS can provide is invaluable to both recruiters and the companies they are recruiting for as it can help reduce turnover and better find the right applicants for specific positions. Thinking ahead, an ATS will also create and keep a talent pool, so even if an applicant was not a good match to a job you are recruiting for now, you can revisit them as a potential candidate for jobs in the future and save yourself some time.

Throughout the recruitment process, you gain access to a huge amount of data — and if you use it and extract it correctly, it can help you gain insight into whether a candidate will be a good fit for a company or not. Data-driven recruitment is crucial to getting the right applicants to apply to the job and recognizing which applicants are the best for the job.

Beyond an ATS, which is a great tool to help weed through candidates, track them through the hiring process, and get report breakdowns on how much time it took to fill a specific job and the cost of that hire, recruiters should be trying to gain access to data only employers have once the hiring process has concluded.

Much of the data that can be useful to recruiters’ hiring efforts are kept on different systems that recruiters do not have access to — but that information can help with future hiring processes and allow recruiters to gain a better understanding of the company. Therefore, in addition to an ATS, using a data-driven recruitment approach that combines HR analytics and strategic workforce planning is crucial in getting the most inclusive data to use in your recruiting efforts.

“Big data is the future of recruiting, but you can’t just data mine your way to the right candidate,” said Ali Behnam, co-founder and managing partner of Riviera Partners. “You need the right tools, the right combination of external and internal variables and — most importantly — the right people who know how to analyze all of it.”

Workforce analytics will allow you to more accurately estimate how long it will take to hire for a specific job and also measure how effective each step in the job process is and how that impacts a candidate’s experience with the company. This data will help you then better an applicant’s experience so they are more likely to want to move forward with the application process.

Additionally, data can also aid you in figuring out what qualifications to include in job listings to yield the best job candidates. Using data and metrics, you can discover which skills, experiences, and values will result in a hire who is going to be a good fit for the company and stay there long-term. Data can also give you insight into which sites and sources are the most cost-effective and beneficial to your recruiting efforts.

Living in this plugged-in and social age, the amount of personal data available to you as a recruiter is significant as well. With just Facebook and LinkedIn, you can reach out to applicants, learn more about them, and gain a deeper understanding of them. Based on various social network activity, you can see what candidates are interested in, predict which employees may leave the company in the near future, etc., all of which can be instrumental data you can use in your recruiting process.

Big data can do a lot — but even with all the amazing crunching and parsing of candidates it can do, it will not be replacing your job as a recruiter anytime soon, just help you in your recruiting efforts. Analyzing and using the data available in a new process called “people analytics” will make you a more effective recruiter and lead you to select better candidates for open positions than ever before.

So if you’re not already using data in your recruiting efforts, it’s time to step into the more technological and data-driven future and embrace the use of big data in your recruitment process.

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
Ohio State
I am currently serving as the Director/Managing Editor for Uloop News. I've been part of the Uloop family since 2013 and in my current role, I recruit writers, edit articles, manage interns, and lead our National Team, among other duties. When I'm not writing or editing, I love being outside, reading, and photography! I have a Bachelor's degree in English with a double-minor in Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. If you have questions or just want to chat, don't hesitate to reach out! Email me at

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get College Recruiting News Monthly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format