People Analytics in the Recruitment Process

April 2, 2018

hands using people analytics

One of the largest growing trends in the HR world today has become known as “people analytics,” or the data analysis techniques applied to understanding and improving processes that affect employees, job-seekers, performance management, and everything human capital.

A recent Deloitte report found that high-maturity organizations, or those using people analytics appropriately, report 82% higher three-year average profit than those who have not yet adopted data analytic strategies or who are not using them correctly.

Whereas there was an initial avoidance of data analytic techniques in an inherent person-centered field, many recruiting and HR departments have now begun to adopt these tools. In a 2017 survey, Bersin found that 69% of participating companies are integrating data to build a People Analytics database. That number was only about 10-15% in earlier years.

So– what can one do with people analytics?

People analysis techniques are a reliable way of looking at large sets of data to find inconsistencies, patterns, superfluous spending, etc. For instance, a study by Deloitte showed that one specific healthcare organization was losing money by overstaffing during hours that staff was statistically not needed. The healthcare company then used this data to staff more efficiently to save 4% of their payroll.

That’s just an example of one of the dozens of ways people analytics can boost efficiency in your company. Here’s what else properly-used data analysis can do:

  • Optimize for business model conversions. That is, identify the type of company that is most likely to convert and use that as a profile. This can help you choose which companies to pursue.
  • Identify which employees are most at risk for leaving the company, as to minimize turnover rates.
  • Measure compensation changes by department.
  • Keep track of employee turnover over time and note which employees could be considered for future rehiring.
  • Measure the efficacy of employer branding.
  • Analyze employee satisfaction (or lack thereof) to determine which areas of your company can be improved upon.

According to a Zenefits 2018 survey, 93% of SMB owners think their employees are satisfied with their communications and policies around compensation practices, while only 55% of employees report the same.

Identifying this disparity is the first step to opening a conversation, rethinking company practices, and ultimately lowering employee turnover.


People Analytics in Hiring

When specifically applied to hiring, people analytics can help save you money, increase efficiency, and cut down on wasted time on recruitment efforts. Here are the highlights:

  • Assess which talent pipelines are most successful, so you can appropriate allocate spending to optimize successful recruitment.
  • Identify recruitment cycles to help determine when to spend money actively searching for candidates and when to slow down.
  • Analyze market rates to remain competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent.
  • Keep a pulse on your current employees to examine racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in your existing workforce to ensure you’re offering equal opportunities to all.

Related: Recruiting for Diversity in the Workplace

When applied to the hiring process, data analytics can remove human biases by isolating objective traits in applications and identifying candidates with appropriate backgrounds. And beyond just minimizing prejudice, proper analysis tools can actually promote diversity within your company by finding applicants with appropriate skill sets, but atypical backgrounds or work experiences. This is along the lines of hiring for a “culture add” rather than a “culture fit,” but using more direct techniques to ensure you’re finding the best candidate for the job.

Want to learn more about the Zenefits Business Intelligence capabilities and pricing? Check out more here.



After working in the field of psychology research for years, Bella loves sharing what she's learned in a more directly impactful context. She's interested in the intersection of people and business, and wants to promote conversations about HR. She's an amateur ceramicist, pro dog walker, and produces podcasts on the side.

Category: HR Tips & Trends, Zenefits

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