At most HR functions, the atmosphere is usually far too politically charged to even consider the prospect of asking: “Which function within HR has the highest impact on the critical success factors of revenue growth and profit margins? Well, thanks to multiple studies over the past few years, its safe to say we finally know the answer.

Sitting among hot topics such as diversity & inclusion to onboarding & retaining staff, it has been revealed that the ability to deliver on recruiting has the largest impact on revenue growth among all other HR activities.

Yet despite the importance of the talent acquisition function, recruiters are still relying on the basic analytics provided by their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for the information they need to make decisions on recruitment.

While this may provide sufficient information to make informed decisions on certain roles, these systems have one major shortcoming: none of the analytics provided incorporate information from the full employee life-cycle, preventing a recruiter from readily accessing information on metrics such as hire performance and recognition, instead only giving you a view of someone before they become an employee.

It has also become apparent that modern ATS’s neglect to provide information on another important life-cycle associated with the hiring process: the candidate life-cycle.

The 4 stages of the candidate life-cycle

Just as your employees will go through different phases during their time at your organisation, a candidate also passes through different stages as they filter through your recruitment pipeline process. To your ATS, a candidate is but a name attached to a entity that goes through a linear process in your hiring funnel and ends with an employment offer or declined.

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But a candidate is never “just” a candidate. There is a lifecycle that a person in your pipeline goes through that lines up with the stage of the entry. Each person goes through a different stage as they progress through the candidate lifecycle and each stage provides insights about your recruiting process. These stages are:

First timers: These are candidates who are being added to your ATS for the first time.

  • This stage contains information such as when they entered the system, source medium, etc.

Current: Candidates here are attached to a process that is currently open. They may be a possible hire or part of a workflow of candidates that you’re screening.

  • In this stage information such as what requisition receives the highest amount of candidates, what qualities candidates share, how long it takes to complete assessments, who the hiring manager was, etc.

Past: These candidates come from past openings and roles.

  • This stage contains information such as which candidate was employed, hire date, etc.

Rejected: These are candidates who have been blacklisted and removed from the talent pool.

  •  From this stage, information such as why candidates were removed from the talent pool, who removed them, etc.

While you may be able to obtain a reasonable amount of information from any one stage, in order to gain an in depth understanding of whether your recruitment process is successful you need to supplement it with information all the other stages too. Your ATS may be able to list out candidates in a quantifiable format, but it fails to provide meaningful qualitative analytics in detail, something very few are capable of achieving.

The need to avoid tunnelvision

In a hiring manager study conducted by Visier, it was found that despite an increase of investments in talent acquisition, a significant proportion of hiring managers believed that in order to increase the quality of hires, HR needs to improve the recruiting process.

So as long your ATS looks at candidates through a single lens, you won’t be able to get all the information you need to improve talent acquisition. At least, not with your ATS alone.

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Connecting your system — as well as all your other HR and business systems to an integrated platform that overcomes traditional marketplace challenges such as Talent App Store, where you have the ability to connect different services and seamlessly share information between different HR activities will enable you to analyse and drill down to every stage of the candidate life-cycle and extract a full range of insights from your information.

Available through a variety of niche technologies in an open marketplace, information collected will allow you to assess the difficulty in filling a role so you can hire better and faster the next time you need to.

Whether the candidate sits in the New, Current, Past or Rejected stage of their process, all the information collected from these stages can be connected together to provide in-depth answers to questions such as:

  • Who was the quickest hire? The slowest?
  • What are the attributes of a successful candidate? Or one who has been rejected?
  • When do candidates get stuck?
  • Where do candidates abandon the process?
  • Why would candidates choose to apply and then abandon the process?

As you dive into the world of analytics, keep in mind that this is not a one-off process. You may have a need to use analytics today, but providing a quality candidate experience and successful recruiting process takes continuous thought and work — and having access to the right technology will ensure you can do this as swiftly and efficiently as possible.