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What Data Handling Tips Can HR Learn from Marketing?

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HR and marketing are like siblings, similar yet different.

Marcus Tgettis, Vice President of Global Talent at Endurance International Group nailed the similarities in his description of customer lifecycle management - how marketing follows the progression or phases a customer goes through. In the simplest terms, he says, it’s how a business attracts, acquires, on-boards, engages, grows, and retains customers.

Sound familiar?

While marketing promotes the business to consumers, HR is responsible for selling the organization to potential recruits.

Finding value in data

Marketing’s measurements of multiple customer-related metrics, when tracked and analyzed for trends, indicates business performance. Using data to demonstrate achievements in this way, has valuable applications for HR teams too.

In his musings, Tgettis talks about modern technologies and platforms allowing marketers and HR teams to tap into innovations that drive engagement, create great experiences, and collect hordes of data and metrics. In turn, he says, this lets us better understand our prospects, our candidates, our customers, our employees.

The question is, where to start and maybe more critically, where to stop. There are hundreds of data points that can be measured in marketing and HR, so how should you tackle them?

So what, who cares?

In my first marketing position, I learned the importance of pausing to ask, “so what, who cares?” This is important when we have infinite amounts of data at our fingertips.

What should we be analyzing, what do people care about, what are we learning, and what impact is it going to have on the business?

In marketing, we define meaningful metrics by having a detailed discussion with our C-suite team. It’s a time to clarify business goals, marketing’s role and what numbers the executive team needs to see each month. They’re too busy to look at pages and pages of numbers, and reams of reports. They just want to know marketing is supporting overall business growth and the trend line is moving in the right direction.

Ditto that when it comes to HR and people analytics.

Look at your cost per source

When you look at any multi-channel marketing or HR recruitment campaign there are myriad sources involved. Job board postings, LinkedIn ads, and email campaigns are just the tip of the iceberg. The total cost of your campaign is often what leaders are concerned about.

Look at how much was spent and how many candidates a campaign attracted. While the campaign cost is important, you’ll also want to look at what each ‘source’ cost you and their attraction rate. Start drilling down to determine, for instance, what your LinkedIn ads are costing and returning. Compare these findings with your other sources then continue to track future initiatives.

Over time you’ll see trending patterns that indicate the best sources from an ROI perspective, or by candidate skill set, geographic region, and so on.

Add conversion rates into your metrics

Sales and marketing talk a lot about “filling the funnel.” In layman’s terms, the funnel is the journey a customer takes towards the purchase of a product or service (check out our recent guest blog from Keryn Paviour-Smith for more on this!)

No marketer wants to spend money filling the top of the funnel but never moving prospects through the rest of the stages to “convert” them into a purchasing customer.

To hit my conversion targets, I like to work backward. HR teams might want to consider doing the same:

  • How many jobs do you need to fill?
  • Based on experience, past metrics, how many prospects do you need to formally interview to fill those jobs?
  • How many applicants do you typically need to attract to find a suitable number of prospects to interview?

Start from the goal at the bottom, and work your way up to the top of the funnel.

This information gives you an idea of the conversion rates you need to hit. The funnel also serves as a red flag if conversion rates aren’t being met. In these instances, it’s time to dig deeper. Are your messages not resonating? Is there an issue with your candidate journey? Maybe the process is taking too long and prospective recruits are being hired elsewhere.

Ultimately you need to tailor your metrics. Measure what matters to your organization and your HR team’s success. Dig deep. Use metrics for the kinds of insights that lead to action and outcomes. All that holistic, high-level data might be interesting, just remember to ask yourself – so what, who cares?

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