There’s no way to predict the future of HR. But intelligent talent analytics can take HR leaders from guesswork to a firm grasp when it comes to steering their organizations to success.
That’s what the talent acquisition team at enterprise software company Micro Focus found after implementing Phenom’s AI-powered Talent Experience Management (TXM) platform that transforms raw data into real-time insights.
Sharing their experience during our virtual IAMHR conference, Mitch Schwartz, former VP of Global Talent Acquisition and Gemma Cuff, Head of EMEA Talent Acquisition, walked us through how Micro Focus leverages analytics across the recruiting lifecycle to strengthen decision-making, hiring strategy, KPI management, and job advertising ROI.
Why All Analytics Are NOT Created Equal
Micro Focus — recognized as a 2020 Forbes World’s Best Employer — is 12,000 people strong with locations in 48 countries. When searching for a talent experience management platform, Schwartz knew that strong analytics capabilities were a top priority for taking TA and recruitment to the next level.
“One of the reasons we chose Phenom to begin with as a partner was really about their data capabilities. This was a significant differentiator for us,” he said. “[Previously,] while we’d get reports on open jobs and more, it was often out of date before we even received it — it basically was just a data dump. Now with Phenom Analytics, we have access to a wealth of real-time data and analytics that we can use for just about everything.”
With sophisticated artificial intelligence baked into the platform, Phenom is able to offer a granular level of meaningful detail that truly differentiates its data. And since putting their data capabilities to work for 2021 planning, Phenom Analytics has become integral to how Micro Focus recruitment leaders do their jobs on a daily basis.
Data That Transforms Recruiters Into Talent Advisors
When recruiters can go beyond filling a job role to educating and advising managers and other stakeholders, everybody wins. The organization is better poised to compete for top talent and the TA team demonstrates its value.
That’s what specific, real-time data insights have done for Micro Focus recruitment and TA team members — empowered them to act as true talent advisors for all stakeholders in the recruitment process, according to Schwartz and Cuff.
“Having real-time access to our data means that we don’t only use data to see the status of a job,” Cuff said. “We use it for everything within recruitment and talent acquisition — from kicking off a search and even more so to inform what we do as a TA team, to inform our managers and HR, and to continuously educate both our teams and stakeholders that are involved in our hiring,” Cuff said.
Before recruiting for a specific role, the team turns to talent analytics and data to better understand essential aspects of the talent landscape including:
Previous roles (the number of applications it’s taken to fill a role)
Where job seekers are coming from
Where future employees can be found
“So before we’ve even started, we know where to look, we know what to expect, and we know what we need,” Cuff said. “This is especially useful for us when we’re hiring some of the niche roles.”
Using Research Insights To Guide Sourcing Decisions
With insights derived from data on current and previous roles, the team can make informed decisions when it comes to hiring ramps, headcount planning, and more — all of which guide sourcing strategy.
“This has become especially useful during 2020, when we’ve all had to change how and where we work,” Cuff noted. “Looking at our job data, our applicant data and everything else Phenom gives us, we’ve been able to support the business in making decisions around our usual hiring and our hiring ramps.”
How exactly? By deriving invaluable insights that address the following key elements:
Geographical location. Being able to easily see where candidates are located geographically is instrumental to the sourcing and recruitment process. “We operate in 48 countries, so it’s always an interesting conversation that we have to have with managers,” Cuff noted. Now, the conversation centers on using talent analytics to assess where job seekers are in relation to the position and determining if remote working is an option to widen the pipeline of candidates.
Job postings. “Let’s be honest: Post and pray just really doesn’t work,” Cuff emphasized. “So how do we recommend where we need to post our roles? We leverage analytics right at the start of the process to ascertain where job seekers come from, and judge the best channels to post the role on.”
Cuff's team consistently reviews analytics throughout the process to see how the job is performing, looking at these insights:
Number of views for a post
Number of click-to-applies
Number of completed applications
“If there's a lot of people looking, but there's not a lot of applications, we know that we need to make some changes and we can do that straight away with the analytics. So it’s priceless data for us,” she said. And it's a strategy other leading companies are implementing to separate themselves from competitors.
Internal mobility and referrals. With agility the name of the game in 2021, internal mobility is emerging as a top way for organizations to tap the talent and skill sets already in-house. Now, with analytics to illuminate efforts around it, the TA team can advise managers on internal job post performance and employee engagement — including views, applies, internal referrals, and shares.
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Campaign insights. Talent marketing campaigns to reach new talent pools or nurture warm leads are now fueled by access to detailed recommendations on timing and focus, including:
When to run a campaign — even down to the hour
The number of applicants needed to fill a role
When an additional campaign is indicated to boost applicant numbers
Success metrics on audience and response rate (opens, clicks and applies)
“The information we have and the level of insight we have as talent acquisition teams means that we can consistently work as informed and educated talent advisors to our business — not only while hiring, but importantly, before we even start,” Cuff concluded.
Analytics-Driven Optimization of KPIs and Budget
According to Schwartz, the power of analytics has opened up new avenues leading to a more holistic approach to the TA function. “We have access to a wealth of talent analytics to use across all phases of the recruiting lifecycle with our team, and with all the various stakeholders involved in talent acquisition,” he said.
Assessing recruiter utilization and engagement. With a data-driven view of how recruiters are using the system, Schwartz and his team leads can better manage KPIs. They gain clarification on the effectiveness of recruiters — and of the platform overall — through tools like the CRM Usage Report, which Schwartz and other team leaders rely on to gauge recruiter behaviors and actions.
“Beyond seeing whether recruiters are logging into the CRM, the data shows actions like sending a profile to a manager, so we can also see which recruiters are really stepping it up as talent advisors by creating campaigns, lists and sending emails,” he said.
Determining advertising channel spend ROI. In the past, decisions on channel spend were limited to data on numbers of clicks or impressions for a job posted. “For the positions we’re hiring for, we don’t want quantity — it’s about quality, which was missing for us in previous analytics,” Schwartz said. With insights that emphasize candidate quality and fit over sheer numbers, he’s able to really assess the value of various channels where jobs are posted.
The other historical challenge? Data received was from the prior quarter, which meant a missed opportunity to pivot advertising strategy for specific roles or regions. “Now, I can understand and drill down to what job boards, what sources are generating the job candidates we’re ultimately hiring. I can use this data to make informed decisions with my team,” he said.
According to Schwartz, access to these analytics has become paramount to his TA planning, guiding key decisions on where (and where not) to allocate budget for 2021. “And there's even more that we know we can do and progress on our journey with Phenom.”