Visualize your team's performance at a glance with a recruitment dashboard.

How to Build the Perfect Recruitment Dashboard

Across the board, companies are coming to understand the importance of data-driven decision-making, and recruitment is no exception. Good experiential knowledge and intuition are irreplaceable components of success, but data can provide both an anchor and a guide to ensure consistency, replicability and objectivity. 

It’s one thing to philosophically embrace data driven recruitment, and another to practically implement it. Many recruiting managers can get stuck at the stage of data collection. Between applicant tracking systems, candidate surveys, workforce management software and other tools, you’re likely swimming in data points. To take that sea of information and turn it into actionable insight, you may want to consider creating a recruitment dashboard.

The purpose of a recruitment dashboard is to distill recruitment analytics into easily digestible, visual representations. It should provide you with an at-a-glance view of where your recruitment strategy is succeeding and where there’s room for improvement. It should help you build goal alignment within your team and communicate that to the wider organization. Finally, it should summarize the overall health of your work.

So where to begin? Creating a recruitment dashboard can feel daunting, so it’s best to break this big goal into small tasks. We have listed them below. 

Identify Your Goals

Data can be used both to analyze past behavior and to make decisions about future actions. This distinction can be thought of as reporting vs. analytical, as outlined in the chart below.

Data for your recruitment dashboard can be categorized reporting or analytical.
Data can be categorized as reporting or analytical. Chart by Josh Bersin, Deloitte.

Many in the industry advocate for an analytical approach when it comes to choosing a recruitment dashboard. However, it’s important to think about the specific needs of your team before making a decision.

For example, reporting or operational data is crucial for interdepartmental communication. A recruitment dashboard that highlights this type of information can help your team quickly update stakeholders on the status of open roles, overall budget questions and general performance.

Analytical data, on the other hand, is important for internal decisions and evaluations, such as choosing which recruitment sources to prioritize, improving the candidate experience and identifying problem points in your recruitment strategy.

Most teams will want a recruitment dashboard that includes a hybrid of both kinds of data visualization.

Ask the Right Questions

For this step, you’ll want to bring together your key stakeholders. Smaller teams may want to include all recruiters, while larger ones may bring together just the leaders from recruiting and other teams.

Once you have your group together, brainstorm the top questions that you would like to have readily accessible answers for. At this stage, don’t focus on how you’ll find those answers. Just put together the questions that will help you do your job best.

Here are some examples that include both operational and analytical goals:

  1. How many positions are currently open?
  2. What is the average time-to-hire, as defined by your organization?
  3. How many applications do you receive by department?
  4. How many applicants are selected for an initial screening?
  5. How many screened applicants become active candidates?
  6. How many candidates receive offers?
  7. How many candidates accept or reject offers? 
  8. How many successful candidates remain employees for at least one year (or other unit of time)?
  9. At what stage in the pipeline do candidates drop off?
  10. On average, how many candidates are required per filled position?
  11. What is the average cost per hire by department?
  12. What recruitment sources lead to the most applicants, candidates, and successful hires? In other words, which have the biggest conversion rate?
  13. Which recruiters have the most successful hires? Are you achieving your diversity goals? After you’ve created your own list of questions, you’re ready to start thinking about answers.

Identify Key Metrics and Inputs

For each of your questions, the key metric will be the data that you ultimately want to visualize on your recruitment dashboard. To get you there, you’ll also need to identify the input metrics. Hackerearth has a useful chart illustrating this for its list of top questions.

For example, to answer how many qualified candidates applied for a role, you would input the number of applicants to the position and the number of applicants who passed the screening to arrive at the qualification rate. To answer what percentage of roles your team successfully fills per quarter, you would input the number of open positions and the number of closed positions to reach the success rate.

Identify Your Data Sources

After you’ve made this list, you can move on to identifying your data sources. In many organizations, you’ll have access to a rich pool of data. This will include both quantitative data, such as metrics from your ATS, and qualitative data, such as information culled from candidate experience surveys.

To help you think through your options, RecruitingDaily encourages teams to use their full stack of HR software and tracking documentation. This will give you the ability to combine insight throughout the hiring and employment journey.

To focus on the talent acquisition process, pull data from your company website, job board postings, ATS, onboarding and training, candidate experience surveys and team notes. For employee success data, look to your workforce management tools like attendance tracking, performance reviews, project management software and payroll.

Choose the Tools You Want to Use to Build Your Recruitment Dashboard

Now that you have a sense of the questions you want answered, the metrics that will do it, and the sources of your data, you can make an evaluation of how to build your recruitment dashboard.

In general, there are four options for creating your dashboard

1. Purchase dashboard software

Many companies offer standalone dashboards that pull in data from a variety of sources. Some options are Geckoboard, Tableau and Datapine

Pros: Highly customizable and make use of a wide variety of data sources
Cons: Can include monthly service fees

2. Purchase or download a pre-made template

A template, whether offered for free or as a one-time purchase, can take out some of the legwork in building a dashboard. Hackerearth and Adnia are two places to check out if you prefer this option.

Pros: Plug-and-play approach cuts down on work for your team
Cons: Less ability to customize to your individual goals

3. Use the built-in dashboard from your ATS or customer relationship management software

Chances are that the software you’re already using – Greenhouse, Zoho or Harver, for example – has some form of dashboard available.

Pros: Professionally styled, easy to implement
Cons: May not be able to pull in data from as many sources

4. Build your own

Using Excel or Google Sheets, you can pull together data from as many sources as you’d like to create a completely unique recruitment dashboard.

Pros: Fully customizable, no subscription fees
Cons: Requires more team labor

Create Your Visualizations

Whichever tool you choose to bring your data together, the next essential step is presentation. The goal of a recruitment dashboard is to take complex information and make it easily digestible, and visualization is key. Whether you’re using a spreadsheet or a customized tool, you’ll have plenty of options for displaying your key metrics.

Time to put on your designer hat! Here’s a helpful chart as you think through each of your metrics. Taras Bakusevitch of UX Planet created this breakdown to help you get the best results.

The goal of a recruitment dashboard is to take complex information and make it easily digestible.
Identify the best chart for each of your metrics. Chart by UX Planet.

Put Your Recruitment Dashboard to Use

After you’ve followed all these steps, you should have a dashboard that helps your team keep track of the present and plan for the future. You’ll also have a crucial new data analysis tool to help your organization understand the strategic importance of good recruiting.

How does yours work for you? Do you have any tips for other data driven recruiters? Let us know @TextExpander and on Facebook.

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