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    Data is king. In some cases, it quite (literally) makes the world go around. It can enable businesses to perform better, research to be more accurate and ultimately, should make your tasks a lot easier. So, when it comes to recruitment data – how can you use this to your advantage rather than a disadvantage? 

    Firstly, let’s address the issue of over-use or over-reliance on recruitment data: 

    “While data and the insights gathered from HR analytics can result in increased efficiency, better business outcomes, and answer questions around diversity, equality, and inclusion, there is often a missing piece HR leaders tend to ignore. The human angle. HR teams use numbers to identify patterns and trends, but quite often, due to the nature of this task, many miss out on the stories hidden behind the numbers.” Economic Times

    Using recruitment data correctly is a fine balancing act – both spectrums (overuse or underuse) we’ve witnessed here at Apsida – so we wanted to break down the data points that really matter, and how you can harness them for a better process, better performance, and a more cohesive talent function.


    Why is recruitment data important?

    Let’s start with the basics, the “why” of recruitment data: it’s simply – recruitment data is important because it gives you insights into what you are (or aren’t) doing correctly. It gives you a deeper understanding of your process and how good it is, your retention and if you can truly retain your people, as well as where you’re having the most luck with hiring candidates. It enables you to keep your internal Talent Team accountable, whilst also giving you important metrics that you can share with your external talent partners. 

    Finally, recruitment data is crucial because it’s personalised for your business. Particularly in Life Sciences – where talks of data are embedded into each team, every day – the online sphere of articles and studies can feel like a melting pot of information, all of which isn’t going to be accurate. 

    Purely using generalised online data as a means to measure yourself isn’t going to be detrimental – but the bottom line is that it won’t be as wholly accurate as using data from within your organisation.


    What areas should you look at? 


    CV to placement ratio

    How many CV’s are typically being shown to a hiring manager before some are selected for interview? And, how long does it typically take to source these CVs? Naturally, for some roles you’re going to have higher ratios of CV to placement – especially if it’s a junior position or very niche, as it’s likely that you’ll have to look outside of the assigned brief to find similar candidates. 

    However, if you can see that you have poor CV to placement ratio across all roles – then you’ll understand immediately that your internal team, as well as your external recruitment partners need to be briefed more thoroughly by hiring managers on what they want. Communication is key – especially this early on in the process. 



    From all of the people you’ve hired this year – how many of them have stayed? And, what has their reasons been for leaving? A lot of organisations often let retention sit on the back burner, especially if they’re in scale-up mode and focus on mass hiring. A “revolving door” can start to happen before you know it and very quickly damage your reputation in the market if not mitigated correctly. But, how can you do that without looking at the data?

    Retention data can look slightly different for each organisation – you could view it as tenure and look at it in 12-month chunks, or you could do a round-up of leavers each quarter and look for common patterns on when people are leaving. People choosing to move on doesn’t necessarily indicate your business is a bad one to work for, either. 

    There can be many reasons why – but until you measure and understand this, you won’t have the insights you need to move forwards. With retention data, you want to ensure that you have a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data – which can be sourced from conducting an Exit Interview. 


    Agency spend vs results

    If you use agencies for the majority of your recruitment, measuring the amount of money you spend vs the results of that agency is a great way to see which recruitment partners are performing. 

    Now, this is a data point which does require some nuance – as agencies post-placement will only have a certain amount of influence on candidate retention. Ultimately, they don’t work within the four-walls of your organisation, so measuring agency spend data vs your retention data may yield some strange results. 

    Instead, you want to focus on how much you’re spending vs the types of talent they’re bringing in – mostly specialist talent. If they’re a search firm, how many searches did they undertake, and how much did it cost you? 


    Agency performance

    Along with agency spend, you should couple this data up with agency performance – and this is where you can focus less on the numbers and more on the opinions within your organisation. 

    What were the interactions like with consultants? Did they go above and beyond? What was their communication like? Do you like working with them? Agency performance is measured beyond who they’re bringing in and instead how they’re representing you in the market.


    Tech and tools performance

    You should aim to review your tech and recruitment platforms annually – from the job boards you use through to the actual CRM or ATS that you use. Having a specific data point for this may be difficult – but particularly from job boards, you want to ascertain how many hires you’ve made from them and whether the spend is worth the outcome in relation to the candidates generated. 


    Creating a plan of action

    Knowing where to start with recruitment data can be overwhelming – and you might have read the above and still feel unsure about how you’d start to implement these data points. Particularly in smaller Biotechnologies who are still establishing themselves in the market, prioritising data can take time, especially when in scale-up or even start-up mode. 


    Figure out your goals first

    Hiring goals will largely determine what data points you need to look at first. You may be in a position where mass hiring isn’t important – and instead, you may be focussed on 3-5 key hires for the year. So, work out your top line goals first and from there work backwards – what data points are key to making the goals achievable? Then, you’ll have a better steer on what (and whom) you need to be measuring. 


    Split them into quarterly and monthly targets

    An annual target is great – but the metaphorical mountain that you need to climb won’t feel achievable without quarterly or monthly goals. 


    “Trim the fat” and realign with agency partners

    We can’t stress this enough – as an agency that is specialised, we have worked with hundreds of companies over the years who haven’t reviewed their agency partners in years. Their PSL is overwhelmingly long, terms of business aren’t clear and this simply creates problems for both parties and will hold you back from hiring great people. 

    Instead, realigning with your agency partners once or twice a year keeps both parties accountable, and ensures you have a “little black book” of core agencies that you can rely on to show up and represent your business well.


    We are partnered with a number of incredible Pharma, Biotech and Medical Device organisations globally – to learn more about how we can help you with your hiring strategy and recruitment data, contact one of your specialist consultants.

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