A path to better decisions: The power of meaningful data in recruiting

"Data alone does not make us happy." - Many will probably either agree with this sentence without hesitation or ask in amazement - data makes us happy? Recruiting expert, author and blogger Tim Verhoeven would probably answer with a resounding "Yes!". At least when data is used effectively. But what exactly does that mean? In his presentation at the TALENTpro Online Conference 2024, Tim Verhoeven focuses on the recruiting analytics hype

Accuracy, consistency, validity, completeness and correctness - who doesn't know the criteria for "good data"? But when does data really help us? And how do we use it correctly?

People in business discussion at a table

Tim Verhoeven uses a number of examples to show that it is not necessarily advantageous to simply collect data. For example, the question "How did you hear about us?", which is often used in application workflows, can also be misleading. Studies of German data show that when tracking sources, there can be deviations of up to 50% between the actual source and the candidate's answer. Not only because people cannot remember all their decisions exactly, but also because response behavior is often shaped by social norms, not all data is the same. With this in mind, companies should always ask themselves first: What is the goal we are pursuing with the data we collect? After all, it only really makes sense if it can be classified as meaningful. An important criterion for this classification is the question of specific success criteria. According to Tim Verhoeven, data is particularly useful if it can be used to make decisions and influence actions. Tim Verhoeven emphasizes: "However, data should not replace the gut feeling that your team has acquired over years of professional experience. Rather, data and gut feelings should form a unity and be supported by each other.

If you want to work with data in a meaningful way, you can always ask yourself:       

  • Which decisions should be supported by the collected data and which options for action should be evaluated?
  • What specific success criteria do you want to achieve and measure with the data?
  • Which of the data can be collected in a meaningful way?
  • How can you effectively link the data points with the know-how in your team?

According to Tim Verhoeven, you should never forget that "data is the journey, not the destination". In other words, just because there is a recruiting analytics trend doesn't mean you suddenly have to collect data without a plan.  Nevertheless, data should play an important role in any new project from the outset - even if it is up to you to define what "good data" means in your decision-making context. Our team at talessio can only agree with Tim Verhoeven and are happy to support you in the development process.