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Industry Insights | 5 minute read

3 Steps to Begin Your HR Metrics and Analytics Journey

August 15, 2017

HR metrics have advanced far beyond the traditional time-to-fill key performance indicator (KPI). Knowing how long a job stays open is of course still important – however, truly understanding the candidate experience and its impact on your business is even more critical, especially with advancements in social media and websites such as Glassdoor becoming more prominent.

Companies can no longer afford a poor candidate experience as it has exponential impact. At WilsonHCG, we monitor the candidate experience by tracking how long a candidate spends in the recruitment process from initial outreach to start date; we breakdown how many calendar days lie between each stage; and when we see delays, we look at the candidate fallout and identify trends. For example, we may find that candidates are spending 30+ days interviewing in a competitive market, and that the number one reason they’re withdrawing from an opportunity is because they received an offer from another company over this period of time. This enables us to consult with our client partners and recommend the business need for a more timely interview process.

Ultimately, HR metrics and recruitment analytics are the foundation for change. Great stories can be told based on data, stories that inform important business decisions. But how did we get here?


Before you replace or implement a new, expensive applicant tracking system (ATS) – a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs – read the following. Ask yourself, do you know why you need that ATS with advanced analytics? Do you know what type of analytics you want to assess and how you plan to measure them? Throughout this article, I will outline the journey of establishing a foundation for analytical success, discuss why recruitment metrics are important to achieving true competitive advantage, and how to leverage that knowledge when assessing new technologies that might benefit your talent strategy.

1. Research and Plan Your Journey

Pull together a diverse group of individuals including senior stakeholders, hiring managers and recruiters. Outline what type of analytics would help you make business-impacting decisions. This may include measuring recruiter activity to better support training and hiring manager expectations. Or, perhaps you want to assess the return on investment (ROI) of a job board that your organization spends a significant portion of the budget on.

Understanding metrics helps an organization make sound business decisions. You want to understand what type of decisions need to be made and what type of data would support you in that process. Here at WilsonHCG, we wanted to see what the candidate experience looks like in comparison with fallout trends. Once you know the ultimate destination and how you plan to use those metrics, you know where you are headed and where you need to begin.

2. Compose your packing list and planning your route 

Next, you want to identify how to measure those metrics and what technical capabilities are needed. This may include time-stamping statuses, customized fields and/or a drop-down menu of sources or disposition reasons. Is your ATS capable of capturing the information needed to calculate the preferred metrics? If so, you will want to be sure to remember your ultimate goal and the method of calculating those metrics when assessing and implementing a new technology. If the answer is no, it may be time to start looking at a new system or working with your vendor on customizations.

The most common shortfall in reporting is when there are inconsistent practices in how the system is used; what fields are filled in, what statuses to move a candidate through and when. There should be a standard format used when inputting data. This may include more of a behavior shift within the organization. When putting together your “packing list” for the analytics journey, you will also want to document the best practices that should or need to be used. It’s recommended to provide regular training, audits and communication to end users. The more they understand why you need them to fill in that source field and how it can benefit them (perhaps the ROI assessment tells leads to spend more), the more willing they will be to support the effort.

3. Enjoy the journey! 

Having an impressive technology isn't impressive if you don't know how to use it, or if you are using it inconsistently. If that’s the case, it’s nothing more than a cost to your business. Before you spend money on a new ATS, take the time to assess what metrics would most help you make informed, business-impacting decisions. From here, plan out your packing list and what route you will take to get there. Analytics isn’t just about what ATS is used; it’s how the people you have in place use the technology, why they use the technology… it’s a journey!

We just recently released the interactive WilsonHCG Talent Blueprint, a graphical "ecosystem" that connects you to relevant case studies, articles, reports and presentations focused on specific pain point areas (in this instance, HR metrics and recruitment KPIs). We built this piece around the idea that talent acquisition and management is an ecosystem, an interconnected community of always shifting parts. For an organization to thrive, all pieces of talent strategy need to function as one integrated ecosystem.


About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent workforce solutions, talent consulting and talent intelligence.