5 Ways to Use Data Analytics and Talent Management to Reduce Recruitment Costs

Ben Barton

The Importance of Being Informed

Recruitment is not a new issue within the schools sector, yet the growing number of pupils and declining new entrants to the profession means it has never been more important to tackle. Senior Leaders are faced with the difficult task of saving money under already strained budgets whilst attracting and hiring new staff into their teams. In a lively #SLTChat one Sunday night, those in schools performing this near-impossible balancing act discussed the key issues they are confronted with.

Both advertising companies (the TES in particular), and recruiters came in for particular criticism for taking money out of schools for recruitment fees. With fees between 15% and 30% for recruiters plus thousands of pounds to advertise with National newspapers for education, there is no doubt that something needs to change if schools are going to keep recruiting at levels they need to.

However, other than general comments, the majority along the lines of ‘’that advert cost me thousands of pounds and I only received 3 applications’’, there doesn’t appear to be a clear understanding of the metrics around recruitment and talent management.

If schools want to reduce their spend in these areas it’s essential that they begin to use the strategies and tactics that inform decision making in order to make better and more efficient recruitment decisions.

Starting Points

a) Spend more time on the recruitment and talent management process. Doing more of the recruitment process (writing adverts, checking CVs, responding to candidates promptly and setting up efficient systems for managing recruitment) is a way of saving money. These tasks are what you pay recruitment agencies for, so being able to bring his in-house will help you keep costs down.

b) Appointing an internal Talent Manager or Chief Human Resources Officer will ensure that essential aspects of talent management such as strategic workforce planning sits at the heart of the SLT. This role should be focused on recruitment and retention of staff, at all levels.

c) Test and measure responses and success to advertisements by making changes to the advert copy and design.  Small but significant changes to adverts could be the difference between 1 and 20 applications. Is the salary bracket too wide, and therefore seems unauthentic? Have you described the true culture, rather than just stating the Ofsted rating? Look at which adverts generated the most suitable responses and replicate it.

d) Analyse the recruitment pipeline metrics. For each advert or vacancy, record the following information: applications (total), applications (suitable) interviews granted, interviews held (these can often be different if people don’t turn up), offers made and appointments made. Look at the ratios across the pipeline, which will help you identify the areas that might be impacting your hiring. For example, you may have a high number of good applications, but a low number of actual interviews, which could suggest that applicants are not hearing back quickly enough.

e) Investing in an analytics suite (to get better understand on how people arrive at your website, how they view adverts and how they respond will enable you to build a better interface to recruit staff. Analytics suites generally have a free version so you don’t need to spend money to become better informed (Google Analytics is free).

f) Finally, reviewing your staff lists including; how long they’ve been with you, where they leave to and what your ‘shortage’ roles are now and in the future will enable you to target your retention and talent management strategies as well as looking for your next wave of staff.