How to use data to drive operational excellence and improve over time

HM guidance blog hero data driven decisions

2 mins, 19 secs read time

Climbing the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity™ curve

Once you’ve understood the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity™ curve and taken the assessment to see where your team currently sits, what happens next? This is the time to start taking action. The great news is that no matter where you fall on the Hiring Maturity curve, there are changes you can make now to start improving your hiring process. This article outlines many actions you can take – remember to start small and pick just one or two focus areas as you start driving significant change in your hiring efforts.

We’ve identified four important competencies within hiring to work on as you move up the Hiring Maturity curve:

  1. Identifying and attracting the best talent for your organization
  2. Owning every moment of your hiring experience
  3. Making confident, informed hiring decisions
  4. Using data to drive operational excellence and improve over time

These four competencies represent the foundation of excellent hiring. By focusing on these specific areas, you’ll be honing in on the essential skills and behaviors that your team needs to develop to become more strategic at hiring.

This article focuses on using data to drive operational excellence and improve over time. We’ve outlined recommendations to help your team move the needle and become more sophisticated in this particular area of hiring. Your company may not progress up the curve from Chaotic up to Strategic in a linear way, and that’s completely okay. Read through each section and take the most relevant next step based on your organization – every small step is a move toward hiring excellence and achieving your business goals that much faster.

Use data to drive operational excellence and improve over time

What does it mean to use data to drive operational excellence and improve over time? Why should you focus on it?

Being great at hiring requires that teams critically evaluate their workflows on a regular basis and can accurately report on key data. The goal is to get to a place of operational excellence where your company is continually improving on its hiring, just as it does with other functions like sales, marketing and product development. With a strong knowledge of talent acquisition best practices and benchmark data on previous process performance, you can develop rich expertise in hiring for a wide variety of roles.

The most strategic companies think of hiring as a dynamic process where they are constantly learning and changing based on past successes and failures. The key to success is effectively using accurate and well-managed (clean) data to measure, iterate and improve on the entire hiring process. Focusing on operational excellence ensures you can trust the data in your system and rely on it to make decisions.

Data transparency

  • Chaotic: Consider using tools like an applicant tracking system to help you track and report on hiring efforts. Actually measuring and iterating on your process as you scale is impossible if you are operating out of spreadsheets – you need a central source of truth.
  • Inconsistent: Audit the tools your team uses to make sure they are as integrated as possible. If you use an HRIS, it should be connected to your hiring software. Explore the integrations your current tech stack has with other systems.
  • Systematic: Start proactively sharing essential data with every key stakeholder. Whether they’re executives, hiring managers or on your finance team, everyone who needs it should consistently have access to all the data they need. Here’s more information on building a reporting cadence.
  • Strategic: Conduct process retrospectives regularly. Gather key stakeholders involved in the hiring process to discuss what’s going a) well, b) just okay and c) poorly. Be sure to identify action items and next steps for improvement.

Measuring KPIs

  • Chaotic: Start measuring your recruiting efforts with operational metrics. This mostly involves reporting on pipeline metrics and volume of activity metrics.
  • Inconsistent: If you’ve already laid the foundation for good reporting by reporting on operational metrics (pipeline data and volume of activity for recruiting), take it a step further by aligning on KPIs. Here is some guidance on where to start.
  • Systematic: Consider building a recruiter capacity planning system to become more predictive with team capacity. A points-based system is a great way to set this up for the first time.
  • Strategic: The most strategic companies use data to build a predictive recruiting machine. Start with measuring recruiter performance, reporting on interviewer efficacy and planning for new headcount – all with a robust data set.

Data integrity and improvement

  • Chaotic: Document the core processes for your team, including which team members should have access to what information and onboarding/off-boarding processes for the talent acquisition team, among many other areas. By recording and storing these workflows in a central place, you’ll be able to scale your operations.
  • Inconsistent: Identify the key actions and data points that have to be collected in order to report on hires properly. For example, you need a clear record of who has been hired, along with data such as source, recruiter and application date. Plan your process so you collect this data in the same place every time.
  • Systematic: Ensure the key actions required for data integrity are now non-negotiable for your team. Make maintaining clean data a competency for performance reviews and implement an auditing cadence to guarantee consistency.

  • Strategic: With complete confidence in the data, you can continue upleveling your reporting. Add a Recruiting Operations Specialist or Data Analyst function to your team to own this process.

It’s time to put these recommendations into practice at your organization so you can start effectively and measurably making smarter hiring decisions. Work with your internal team to decide what you should tackle first and then start making step-by-step improvements to help you move up the curve. No matter where your company stands on the curve, you’re not alone – thousands of other companies are working through the same challenges and successes. Looking to learn from like-minded organizations that have already started on this journey? Check out our Hiring Maturity podcast to hear their stories and advice.

Discover how Talkdesk moved up the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity curve from Chaotic to Strategic in just one year.

Rosa Gandler

Rosa Gandler

is a Senior Operations Manager at Greenhouse. Rosa has honed her expertise in the talent acquisition space initially as a recruiter and then through direct work with hundreds of Greenhouse customers. Now, she focuses on making the Customer Success team as strategic as possible with streamlined, efficient processes.

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