big data is as good as gold

In the staffing industry, data is as good as gold

Jeremy Data, Staffing

Data plays a huge role in business today. According to a recent report from Cap Gemini, 65 percent of businesses agree that organizations that don't embrace data risk becoming irrelevant or less competitive than peers in the coming years. Data sets offer great insights into all areas of business, from staff productivity to customer behaviors. By collecting and harnessing all this information, companies can often see patterns they wouldn't have noticed. In turn, this can drive positive changes in the business. Overall, data can save money by helping companies increase productivity, cut costs and more effectively target audiences.

Each industry gains unique benefits from implementing data analytics strategies, including staffing firms. In an industry that relies on keeping in touch with talent and clients, as well as improving placement strategies over time, staffing companies need a way to effectively gain greater business intelligence.

Here are just a few of the ways data can help staffing firms improve operations:

"Data helps companies save money and improve efficiency."

Like any other business, staffing firms need a consistent stream of new clients to keep operations moving. While this may have involved significant guesswork in the past, data now streamlines the process. Business forecasting not only gives companies the ability to see where revenue is coming from, but where it will come from in the future. It's important to document new business and placement opportunities. Businesses can also compare and contrast the sales forecast versus actual amounts to determine where gaps are forming.

Recruiter productivity
Recruiters are key players in the staffing process, so it's critical to have data that provides insight into their performance. How many new candidates are individual recruiters bringing in? How many placements do they make and what is their average margin? While one recruiter may make more placements, another may actually drive more revenue for the business. Which one would you rather have serving as a model for other recruiters? Keeping track of productivity data allows employees to learn and improve over time.

Return on investment
Data can help companies determine which activities, candidates and types of assignments lead to the greatest ROI. Paying attention to these details helps firms focus their business on what yields the best results. Do you gain the most revenue from placing Web developers or from working with healthcare companies? Analytic tools help uncover these crucial details so you can drive greater profitability.

Candidate communication
High-quality talent is the lifeblood of any staffing organization, but if you can't keep in touch with your best contacts, you're losing out on precious resources. In many ways, recruiting is like marketing. Recruiters rely on data to keep in touch with contacts through email, phone and other methods.

Staffing software data High-quality CRM data helps recruiters keep in touch with candidates.

Like other marketers, recruiters often struggle with the hygiene of their contact databases. According to a recent report from NetProspex and Dun and Bradstreet, which analyzed more than 223 million company records, 62 percent of businesses rank their email deliverability as "questionable," while 41 percent of contacts in business databases lacked a phone number. Since these are the primary methods recruiters use to get in touch with prospective candidates, it's worrisome how inaccurate these databases can be.

Staffing firms gain their competitive edge through their their ability to find top talent and make placements quickly. Without an active roster of candidates ready to go, staffing firms will find themselves on the losing end.

The need for better software
One thing that holds many organizations back from taking advantage of data is not possessing the right tools.

While half of respondents to Cap Gemini's survey have already implemented some type of big data strategy, only about 27 percent of executives describe their efforts as successful. Moving forward, companies need to invest in better tools and approaches to take advantage of their data.

The best way to gain access to these types of data is to utilize a staffing software platform that offers analytics. However, not all businesses have data scientists and other talent who can easily review a data set and glean insights from it. That's why many companies invest in tools that will deliver these insights in a user-friendly way.

The right applicant tracking platform will automatically generate reports based on the data recruiters and other employees enter into it and create visualizations that make it easy for business owners to make decisions based on the results.

Data has already transformed companies in all kinds of industries, and staffing is no different. Keeping track of crucial data and using it to move business forward will be a key force in the success of staffing firms in the coming years.