According to a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the ability to successfully deliver on recruitment has the largest impact on revenue growth when compared to all other HR functions including onboarding and retainment, managing talent, and developing leadership.

Yet despite the rising importance in talent acquisition, recruiters continue to rely on analytics from their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for data they need to make decisions on evaluating and hiring candidates.

As mentioned in this article on the critical limitations of the ATS, these systems are not without problems: none of the analytics they produce are built using data from the complete employee lifecycle, which prevents recruiters accessing information on hire performance and progress, and thus hinders them from making consistent quality hires.

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It is also apparent that many ATS fail to provide a range of information on another important part of the hiring process: the candidate lifecycle.

The 4 stages of a candidate in your talent pipeline

Just as your employees will move through different stages over their time at your organisation, a candidate will go through different states as they move through your recruitment process. To your ATS, a candidate is but an entry with a name in your pipeline and ends with them either passing and given a job offer, or not.

But an candidate is never “just” a candidate. There is a lifecycle that candidates in your pipeline that each person goes through and changes state as they progress. Each state in this lifecycle tells you a different data-rich story about your recruiting process. These states are:

New — These are new candidates who have just been added to your system for the first time.

  • This state contains information such as when they entered the system, where they were sourced from, etc.

Current — These candidates are assigned to a vacancy that the organisation is currently trying to fill. They could be a possible hire or part of a volume of candidates that you’re evaluating.

  • This state contains information such as which vacancies receive the least amount of applicants, what attributes applicants share, how long it takes to fill the vacancy, who the hiring manager was, where applicants get stuck in the process, etc.

Past — These applicants are attached to a closed vacancy.

  • This state contains information such as who was the successful candidate, when they were hired, if applicants abandon the process, etc.

Rejected — These are candidates who are allowed back into the talent pool for various reasons.

  • This state contains information such as why these candidates were removed from the process, who sourced the candidates, what opening they had applied for, etc.

As you can see, every state in the candidate lifecycle provides useful information that allows you to understand what is working and what you need to do to drive towards success. Unfortunately, most systems are not capable of processing an applicant to this level of detail.

The need for a more complete picture

hiring manager study in 2016 found that despite increased investments that organisations are making in talent acquisition, a large number of hiring managers believe that in order to increase the quality of people they hire, HR needs to improve the recruiting process.

So as long as your ATS is only looking at candidates from one angle, you won’t be able to get all the information you need to improve talent acquisition. At least, not with your ATS alone.

Connecting this system — as well as other transactional HR and business systems — to a HR ecosystem such as Talent App Store enables you to use pre-integrated apps to communicate with each other and analyse every state of the candidate lifecycle, allowing you to extract a full range of insights from your data.

With this information, you can create strategies to hire better and faster next time a vacancy comes up.

Whether the candidate falls under the New, Current, Past or Rejected state of their journey, all the information collected from these states can be connected together to provide in-depth answers to questions such as:

  • Which hiring managers recruit the fastest? Who is slowest?
  • What are the common attributes of rejected candidates? Or successful ones?
  • When do candidates get stalled and when do they start flowing through again?
  • Where do candidates abandon the process the most?

As analytics are explored in additional depth, keep in mind that this is not a process to be a one and done process. There may have a need to use analytics today, but providing a friendly candidate experience and a successful recruiting process to recruiters takes continuous work — and using the right technology will ensure you can do this as swiftly and efficiently as possible.