Recruitment Research: Finding Data, Common Missteps, and Successful Hiring

JANUARY 25, 2022 3 min read

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“Candidate research.” 

“Competitive intelligence.” 

“Recruitment analytics.” 

“Recruitment market research.”

Over the past few years, you’ve likely heard these terms more and more in recruitment conversations. 

Yet, much of the talent acquisition world is still trying to answer some basic questions about research, like: 

1. Why is research a valuable component of the recruitment process?

2. How do you get the right data to make hiring decisions?

3. What do successful research and its results actually look like? 

To answer these questions, hireEZ brought in two recruitment veterans with over 30 years of collective research experience: Kay Kelison, Principal of Talent Intelligence at Zillow, and Dan Harris, a researcher at an enterprise technology company. 

If you’d like to view their conversation in full, click here

Here’s what they had to say 👇

Understanding the Value of Recruitment Research 

Research and its use cases can vary within the recruitment process. 

Dan Harris highlights two benefits of recruitment research explaining that it allows teams to:

⚡️ Unpack what the talent market looks like for a given role, industry, and beyond

⚡️ Uncover hidden information about candidates that provide a competitive edge during the rest of the recruitment cycle (i.e. candidate qualification and outreach) 

Kay adds two more use cases for research, including: 

⚡️ Recruitment marketing, which uses a lot of data to understand audiences and attract talent to open positions 

⚡️ Competitive intelligence, where teams can analyze the hiring practices and trends of competitors to improve their own strategies and approach 

If data can be a critical component for informing hiring and business decisions in a competitive talent market, why isn’t it a more significant investment from recruiting teams?

Kay explains that it all comes down to one thing: time. 

This lack of time is yet another reason why Dan and Kay believe recruitment teams should look into having a dedicated researcher that can support teams with the data necessary to secure top talent and achieve hiring goals.

Finding the Best Data Available 

If there’s one word that researchers are painfully aware of when acquiring data, it’s incomplete.

From missing contact information to outdated candidate profiles, incomplete data can easily stifle accurate talent assessments, candidate outreach, and productive hiring. 

So how can you make sure you get the best data available? Dan Harris explains his multi-channel approach to acquiring data. 

Whether it’s forcing yourself to go a couple of pages deeper on LinkedIn or visit unconventional sources, Kay Kelison added that the key is to keep on digging. 

What a Successful Research Partnership and Results Look Like

Another key to getting the right data is ensuring that you understand the needs of your partners and communicating your findings in an easy-to-understand way. 

By doing so, you’re on track to see an increase in hiring productivity. For example, Kay highlighted how she was able to work with a recruiter to fill an executive role and increase diverse representation during the process. 

If you haven’t already, start assessing the role of research in your process. If you’re not sure where to start or what you could be missing, talk to our team today!

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