Data-driven hiring is the current big thing in recruiting, and with good reason. When you can collect a lot of information about your candidates’ qualifications and use it strategically and predicatively, you can do a much better job of hiring the right people to fill your jobs.
But if you think that data is all you need to find and hire the right new employees, you could be falling for “the flavor of the day” and ignoring another asset that smart recruiters have been using for years . . .
Intelligence can be defined as inside information that people give you about people you might decide to hire.
It is similar to the information that spies collect for their governments, which is called “intelligence” too. It is inside information about job candidates that must be gathered through one-on-one observation and research.
Strategic Intelligence to Use in Hiring
There are many kinds of intelligence. Here are some that can play a big role in your hiring process.
- Inside information about internal candidates. You don’t have to fill all your positions with outsiders. You can promote strong candidates from the ranks of the people who already work for your organization. The key is to create ways for your employees to alert you to your strongest internal candidates.
- Referrals from your current employees. Because trustworthy current employees can refer you to company outsiders they know who might be interested in working for you, be sure to let them know about the jobs you are currently trying to fill. You might consider offering them a small bonus for each employee they recruit who stays with you for six months or a year. But if your employees like working for you, it might not be necessary.
- Your former employees who are now working elsewhere. The fact that they have moved on makes them a more valuable resource for referrals, because their network of contacts is expanding. And remember, you can always rehire good employees who used to work for you. Because they are known commodities, they can be excellent candidates to fill current vacancies.
- Management development and internal training programs. If you don’t have robust training programs for your employees, you could be missing the opportunity that helps you identify your best current employees for development and promotion.
- Referrals from customers, clients and vendors. You can often identify strong candidates by calling these outsiders and saying, “I have a job to fill . . . who is a great candidate you can recommend?” Plus, there is the added benefit that if you hire a person in this way, your perceived value to your client or vendor could increase.
- Strong candidates who worked for you in internships and summer jobs. Those high-potential youngsters have a way of growing up to be among the best potential hires. Because you have seen them at work and you know their strength and potential, you can make a smart hiring decision.
Is It Intelligence, Or Is It Data?
As you use more intelligence in your hiring, be sure to capture what you have learned intelligence and using it as intelligent data. Because if you can’t find that information, how will you use it intelligently?
In sum, data plus intelligence can lead to greater success in hiring the right people. Make use of both to hire more strategically and wisely.
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