Data-driven decision making image

How dirty data can harm your staffing firm

Jeremy Data, Staffing

We've already talked about how high-quality data is a crucial resource for staffing firms today. Now let's take a look at the other side of the coin. What happens when you don't have access to good data? While good data can lead to increased efficiencies and gains in revenue, dirty data does exactly the opposite. It muddies your analytics and makes it hard to reach key stakeholders. In other words, bad data is simply bad for business. According to a report from Experian, the average company estimates 27 percent of its revenue is wasted due to inaccurate or incomplete data.

Poor business intelligence
Companies frequently rely on data to make important decisions. When their information is inaccurate, their decision-making is weaker. If your staffing reports are off, you may be investing too much time in positions that don't generate adequate revenue for your firm. After all, some positions come with a higher margin than others. While you may focus on placing one type of candidate, you may actually earn more profits if you focus elsewhere. If your data is inaccurate you will continue to make poorly informed decisions that will prevent your organization from reaching maximum success.

For instance, if your reports say a specific job site is the best source for engineers, there's no reason to try a different approach. In the meantime, a competitor might discover the best placements tend to come from referrals and will grab up all the best available talent before you can. If you blindly trust reporting mechanisms without checking up on data quality, you could be making poor decisions that are costing resources rather than making you money.

"The average company loses 27 percent of revenue due to bad data."

Reaching candidates and prospects
Whether you need to get in touch with candidates or business prospects, the fundamentals are the same: You're using marketing strategies, and for that you need thorough contact data. If you don't have it, you will have a hard time staying in contact with these individuals. Experian found 92 percent of companies that indicate their contact data is essential to marketing success admitted to having inaccuracies. In fact, these companies estimate more than 20 percent of their data is incorrect in some way.

There are numerous ways this has a negative impact on communications. The first and most obvious result of inaccurate data is that your messages won't reach their targets at all. One small typo can prevent a recruiter from emailing their top candidate for a position.

Lead and job qualification
Additionally, dirty data can also mean you may not qualify contacts correctly. Your placements may be ill-suited for the positions you put them in, and your leads may not be right for your organization. If you lack up-to-date information on candidates, you may overlook a perfect candidate in your database in favor of someone who doesn't have all the requirements the client is looking for. Similarly, when your sales reps go after leads that aren't right for your firm, they waste valuable time and energy on businesses that will never work with your company. Meanwhile, they have less resources to spend on the accounts that will generate business for you.

Thorough data helps you segment your database and send out more relevant messages to recipients. This helps you send the right message to each candidate. For instance, candidates on the West Coast won't receive messages about job openings in New York City or Philadelphia.

Bad data image. Bad data has serious consequences.

It makes you look bad
There are other, less obvious ways poor data hygiene affects your company. For one thing, it makes you look bad. If you attempt to place a candidate that is simply wrong for the position, the client may think twice about using your agency again. When you send out marketing or candidate nurturing messages that are irrelevant to the majority of recipients, they will start to question your business's insight. Rather than being a helpful partner, you could start to be seen as a nuisance, with candidates unsubscribing from your messages. Once this happens, it's hard to win them back.

It holds you back
Finally, poor data quality can reduce the return on investment of all your platforms, whether that means your staffing software or marketing automation tools. For instance, more than one-third of companies believe that insufficient data quality holds them back from maximizing success of marketing automation tools, according to a report from Ascend2. CRM-based staffing software offers serious benefits when companies ensure data quality. If agencies don't take steps to consistently clean their data, they are wasting the opportunities to grow and improve.

Companies need to invest in data hygiene strategies to ensure their data quality doesn't degrade over time. Take advantage of the tools available to you by powering them with fresh, clean data.