What’s Really Happening in Recruiting Operations & Analytics

CareerXroads Analytics and Operations Research

This year at our Recruiting Operations and Analytics Colloquium meeting, the discussion with 50 Talent Acquisition leaders started with determining the key responsibilities of both Operations and Analytics team members.  After a day and a half of collaboration among participating members, it became increasingly clear that the realized value of these specialized roles continues to grow and that input from these functional segments within their organizations is increasing across the board.  As it was our first time consolidating the Analytics and Operations themes into a single meeting, one question was obviously in need of addressing…

Has Analytics within Talent Acquisition become part of Operations or does it remain separate?

[Listen to the full version of this headline podcast here.]

Perhaps the most interesting discovery when breaking down the skills required to be successful in recruiting operations and analytics was in regards to whom is being hired to perform the duties found within the analytics roles inside of enterprise-sized organizations.  What was once a splintering of Excel savvy recruiters or recruiting coordinators pushed into stretch assignments has become a small army of professionals with data and analytics backgrounds and degrees.  Some of those soldiers were even stolen straight from other departments, off of unrelated (to Talent Aquisition) requisitions, or brought into recruiting with minimal if any, talent acquisition experience.

Top Operations Responsibilities: The back-end of successful recruiting operations

The logical question arises as we move into 2018 and see the scope and scale of “Operations” expanding within Talent Acquisition: Is Operations a catch-all category?  The answer isn’t quite as obvious and comes back to us with mixed responses.

Operations does continue to be the location where all things that nobody else wants to pick up comes to rest.  However, the work and expertise coming out of this functional group show evidence of transforming not just the recruiting department, but the overall business as well, with its output.  Just within our membership as late as last year, we saw a foreshadowing of this in our Operations Colloquium meeting (reminder: no Analytics) when our participating members highlighted these areas as points where they felt they were making the most impact:

  • Measurably improve business results
  • Deliver consistent quality hires
  • Generate insights on market supply
  • Provide competitive intelligence

Today, there’s a definite impact on those business influencers where TA Operations professionals are spending their time:

  • Systems technologies
  • Vendor management
  • Best practice business process
  • Implementation changes/training
  • Scheduling
  • Internal mobility “transition assistance”
  • Everything that doesn’t get picked up by other departments in recruiting – the “catch-all”
  • Transformation: identifying what TA needs and then drive those processes regardless of where they sit in the business.
  • Project management
  • Compliance
  • Market research

[Competitive Practices Survey and Benchmark Reporting | CareerXroads.com]

Top Analytics Responsibilities: Doing more with data

As the discussion continued it became clear that the responsibilities of the Analytics teams were to showcase where the company is at within that data and analytics process.  When discussing the focus last year, small groups were speaking from an experienced perspective: a company that has sound data practices in place and is ready to use them.  We found that this year there are more companies just starting the process and paying much closer attention to their data which made for an interesting and insightful mixture of professional and relatable experience within the colloquium discussions.  One thing was constant across the board however; the Analytics teams as a whole now realize that they are no longer just constructing dashboards and presenting data but instead are fully tasked to read between the lines and pull together insights from business metrics that will allow the company to answer tough questions intelligently as well as anticipate related needs of various hiring functions.

  • More experienced teams: Develop the narrative around the data to help leaders make decisions
  • Newer analytics teams: Setting the stage to evaluate data – defining the factors and behaviors
  • All analytics teams: Testing the story and managing data integrity

In 2017, the analytics group defined themselves as “data storytellers” and this year it was evident that this expectation is even more prevalent as data takes on increased importance within talent acquisition operations and even beyond.  While it’s always been clear to leaders that an analytics team must be proficient in spreadsheets and analysis, it’s more vital than ever that they can accurately and concisely interpret the data they’ve collected and scrubbed.  As dashboards and technology get more sophisticated and even easier to implement, some of the data work will be done automatically, increasing even more, the expectation of analysts to do much more than prepare and distribute standard time-to-fill and recruiting funnel statistics.  And while some teams are already there, spinning fantastic insights and predictions, others are doing their best while still waiting on buy-in from their senior leadership.

Whether it’s managing the systems and processes that handle the data or determining the narrative around that data to make better decisions, Operations and Analytics teams are taking on larger and larger roles in talent acquisition.

What’s next in Recruiting Operations & Analytics?

When considering what they’ve done over the past year that is noteworthy, the practices that rise to the top, in fact, touch on the hot topic of recruiting automation.  The big-ticket items and polling results were as follows…


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