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Analyzing Candidate Data from Beginning to End

Posted by Dominic Barton

10-Jun-2015 11:00:00

Collecting mounds of data about recruitment trends, employment tendencies and candidate behavior is fine and all, but it’s what you do with that information that matters. As Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly), CEO of O'Reilly Meida, said, “We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software.

As a company focusing on big data and job posting, we agree, but also think analyzing the data itself is important, especially when it comes to bettering your recruiting and hiring process every step of the way.




Analyze Early and Often

When should you begin looking at candidate data? Before you ever start hiring, of course. When beginning your newest round of recruiting, you need to know where candidates are looking for work.

If you’re posting jobs on Facebook and the candidates looking for jobs in your industry aren’t there, you’re going to put too much effort into something that won’t offer much of a return. As you begin your preliminary exploration of how you’re going to hire, you need to suss out information about your potential candidates. Check out these recruiting analytics examples:

broadbeantwitter-01 56% of professionals start their job search on social networks.

broadbeantwitter-01 Did you know 50% of job seekers rely on word of mouth to find jobs?



broadbeantwitter-01 80% of professionals like to hear from recruiters even when they’re not actively searching for jobs?



broadbeantwitter-01 Did you know 40% of candidates first look for jobs on company websites?

These are general stats and you may find numbers more relevant to your particular field as you dig deeper. But with these kinds of numbers in mind, you can tailor your recruiting efforts so you don’t waste time and energy chasing unfruitful avenues. Use stats like these to change your channel or subchannel. Are your candidates looking for jobs on job boards? If so, are those job boards specialized or broad? Find out and then focus your efforts there.

Better Interviewing Through Data

Once you have your recruiting outlets established, have a number of candidates ready to talk to you, and are about to start your first round of interview, there’s even more data to sift through. Interviewing candidates can be tricky; interviews in the professional world are rarely candid, and it’s hard to know the difference between an attempt at breaking the mold and violation of privacy. Sounds like an easy distinction, but 1 in 5 employers ask illegal interview questions, such as asking for a candidate’s age, their religious affiliation, or even if they plan on having children.

broadbeantwitter-01 1 in 5 employers ask illegal interview questions… yikes!


Here, too, analyzing data can help you find a good middle ground. One thing to remember about candidates as you interview is that no two are alike, but while it’s difficult to get solid data on which interview questions are most effective, you can easily get a glimpse of the most popular interview questions.


Analyze the data; picking the top 10 from that list and making those your interview probably won’t work. Instead, comb the list for interesting questions, and use them to inspire new ones. Even jot down what you current superstar employees would say if you asked them those questions today!

Hire Smart, Hire Once

So now you’ve reached the end of your hiring process, and are (hopefully) making the difficult decisions of choosing among several qualified candidates. How can data help here? By giving you a great swath of information about what traits can more easily separate great candidates from good ones. The data gets a little more complicated, but that only makes its interpretation all the more important.

Take, for example, a recent study revealing how managers should hire for ambition. The study has several numbers attached to it (94% of top performers believe they can accomplish anything they set their mind to, 70% of them regularly learn new skills, etc.), but how should a recruiter looking to make a final decision use this information? Instead of trying to find metrics that will highlight the best candidate, they should distill the study down into its essential information. Which candidate demonstrated the most ambition during the interview? What benchmark do you use to measure that?

We only reach the conclusion that ambition is an important distinction after seeing the data. This is what makes data valuable. Sifting through candidate information can reveal valuable insights into how to create a better hiring process, but only if we know what to do with that information. The data is important, but insight is what counts.

Broadbean’s Big Data Analytics Suite (BDAS) can help you get more valuable information to create a better hiring process. Take a tour of our incredible software by signing up for demo below.

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Topics: Big Data Conversations with Dominic