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Recruitment’s Relationship with Market Research and People Analytics

June 16, 2016

HR departments need a specialized kind of analysis team, one that can go beyond familiar metrics to provide genuine insight. That's a role that recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) teams can perform. Consider RPO professionals to be market researchers, with their fingers on the true pulse of recruitment and hiring. The information they capture can be as valuable as ratios and percentages. 


HR data and value-based metrics have improved during the years, and organizations have developed strategy based on this data through workforce science. However, it is still seen as a “soft” business science. I argue this should not only be embraced but fully used. What's more, HR data needs to be supplemented with qualitative insights that lend real, on-the-ground feedback from RPO professionals. These professionals capture what's really happening in the talent acquisition space: candidates’ previous work experiences, motivations, concerns and even how candidates understood the role for which they were applying. Taken together, metrics and observations provide a comprehensive and holistic picture than either source of information alone.

Historically, market research for recruiting has been evaluated based on compensation, competitor analysis, applicant experience, top performers, supply and demand and a variety of other factors. There are HR technology tools that pull this information from a database, and consultants who offer to interpret the data. But RPOs have the opportunity to provide unique recruitment and hiring insights, beyond typical market research metrics and people analytics, for specific industries and roles. Similar to professors who have worked in the field in which they teach, RPO professionals are able to provide depth and breadth insights because they're immersed in the information daily.

RPO professionals speak with candidates and compare notes with coworkers. Documenting these discussions and discoveries, combined with numerical talent analytics data provided through the applicant tracking system (ATS) and other tools, equips RPOs with deeper insights to enhance clients’ recruitment efforts. The research that sourcing specialists and recruiters conduct is a vital element in the hiring process. Spending every day immersed in talent analytics databases, social media and resumes, and speaking with candidates, provides a constant interpretation of the hiring market.

The recruitment and hiring processes and strategy must be consistently assessed and redefined. Don't ignore talent and people analytics to refine the recruitment process. And while big data has its uses, human input in analytics makes recruiters’ talent pools more effective and efficient. Conduct quarterly focus groups with sourcing specialists and recruiters to re-evaluate the initial market research and continue to perfect recruitment strategies. These sessions and the statistical data collected, coupled with the diversity of clients, position RPOs to be an organization’s HR fully holistic analytics team.

Interested in the topic of talent and people analytics in HR? Tune in to our webinar next Thursday, June 23, at 1 p.m. EDT!

[WEBINAR] Build A Sustainable Workforce Strategy Through Talent And People  Analytics.

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 talent solutions and talent consulting. TALENT.™ It’s more than a solution, it’s who we are.

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