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Traditionally, businesses used to base their recruitment decisions on instinct and gut feelings. Organizations simply gathered as many resumes as possible and reviewed them to filter out the best candidates.

They relied on personal interviews to gather insights into the best candidates. However, the problem with this recruitment approach is that it used to require a lot of time, effort, and resources. Even with heavy investment, businesses still weren’t satisfied with the quality of talent.

Nowadays, that’s not the case anymore. Modern HR departments and hiring managers now have several ways to approach recruitment and attract top talent. One such approach is data-driven hiring which involves gathering accurate information on top talent to make more strategic recruiting decisions.

Recruiters and HR managers rely on data to better understand their recruiting and hiring processes and the things they can do to improve them. Strategic recruiting decisions help improve your entire hiring process.

Let’s talk about what data-driven recruiting is, why it matters, and how to use it to improve your HR hiring practices.

Data-driven recruiting explained

The easiest way to explain data-driven recruiting is to say that it’s a process that involves gathering job-relevant criteria and specific metrics on the latest skill sets to make more informed and accurate hiring decisions.

It’s a strategic approach to gathering ideas, insights, and facts from your previous and current hiring practices to develop a more candidate-centric and on-point hiring method. Some of the most important driving factors for data-driven recruiting include:

  • Average hiring time;
  • Conversion rates (time to hire, offer to hire, candidate interviews);
  • Resources provided by the best candidates;
  • Your current rental price.

Many big companies such as Facebook and Uber rely on data-driven recruiting to make strategic hiring decisions, review resumes, and achieve the highest level of consistency regarding acquiring top talent according to the skill sets that the best candidates possess.

Benefits of data-driven hiring

Making strategic hiring decisions requires your HR department to rely on HR management software, data, techniques, and technologies to gather and process a vast talent pool and filter out top candidates with the best ideas, experience, and skills that match your business goals.

Aside from the most obvious advantage of improving your recruiting process and the quality of hires, data-driven hiring offers a range of benefits for companies.

Budget allocation

Strategic recruiting decisions allow you to make the best use of the budget you have. For example, instead of breaking your budget on covering every recruitment channel on the web, you can select the ones with the most qualified candidates.

Increased efficiency and productivity

According to some studies, more than 68% of businesses claim they need more advanced technologies for gathering the most accurate recruiting metrics. Metrics like the amount of email traffic your HR team exchanges with potential candidates can help you expedite hiring by identifying areas for improvement.

Increased diversity

Modern candidates come from various ethnic groups and backgrounds. The design of your career page can attract talent of all races and allow you to tap into a vast pool of candidate demographics. Therefore, gathering as many candidate metrics as possible allows you to develop inclusive recruiting practices to increase your conversion rates.

Gain control over the recruiting process

You can make your recruiting process more effective if you have a deeper understanding of the market. Your ROI on hiring can go up if you assess the exact number of candidates it takes for one hire.

Strategic recruiting decisions

A data-driven approach to recruiting allows you to make more legally sound and objective hiring decisions. It also allows you to develop unique and effective hiring methods such as evaluating talent based on individual results of structured interviews.

Managing data when recruiting

Though data-driven recruiting may appear simple, it isn’t. It requires a lot of time and effort to find the best ways to use the information you gather on your applicants.

Since gathering as many candidates as possible leaves your HR department under a mountain of data, they need to find the best ways to embed data into their workflow. Here are a couple of ideas to get your HR managers started.

Select the right metrics

You can’t use the power of data-driven recruiting if you don’t have the right metrics. Here is our comprehensive list of the best metrics for data-driven recruiting:

  • Source of employment;
  • Cost per hire;
  • New hiring results;
  • Job offers rates;
  • Qualified applicants;
  • Careers page conversion rate;
  • Application conversion rate;
  • Candidate feedback;
  • Time for hire.

Gather candidate data

The next step is to think about how to gather candidate data most effectively. Our best recommendation is to tap into the immense power of website analytics, as this data collecting method allows you to see how many applicants view your general careers page and how many candidates view individual job positions.

Gather candidate feedback

Analyze both negative and positive candidate feedback to see how effective your recruiting process is and identify areas for improvement. Use the insights you get from their feedback to plan your next steps.


Data-driven recruiting helps modern business organizations track each candidate’s progress, from the first interview to onboarding.

It allows HR teams to better understand job applicants and find the best ways to convey the brand message to their target audiences.

If your HR team provides each applicant with a personalized experience, your business should be able to expand your brand presence in the new talent market.