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4 steps to get team buy-in for a new reporting system

December 5th, 2023 4 minute read
Marissa Wilson
Talent Acquisition Consultant
Find the way to a world beyond Google Sheets.

“Data-driven recruiting” is an obvious mantra heard at almost every recruiting planning meeting, and it continues to be a hot topic of conversation because there are many barriers to making this a reality. However, bringing this much-mentioned dream to fruition comes down to a willingness to invest in and incorporate the tech that TA teams need.

Recruiting teams need accurate, real-time data at their fingertips, one way or another. They need to be able to:

  • Plan proactively
  • Have visibility into what’s happening in real time
  • Look across roles, teams, departments, and industries to spot trends and pain points
  • Use data to bolster credibility and gain the trust of leadership

Many recruiting leaders have accurate instincts and appropriate anecdotes but they’ll always need access to data to fully claim their (rightful) place in strategic business discussions.

Recruiters are very scrappy. TA teams get their data the hard way when they don’t have the right systems in place. Most recruiters use their own spreadsheets because their existing tools don’t provide easy access to the data they need, or have a confusing interface that makes it hard to build reports from scratch.

However, relying on patchwork manual systems like Google Sheets increases admin time, heightens risk of human error, and limits the ability to roll up data for broader analyses. It’s one of those things we all do when in a pinch but we know there’s a better way.

But transitioning to fully automated TA reports can be daunting. It often feels like a chicken or the egg scenario: To have useful reports, you need accurate data, but to have accurate data, you need people paying attention to reports.

For anyone struggling to envision how to get from their current state of Google Sheets to the dream state of automated recruiting analytics, the 4 step framework below will hopefully serve as a helpful guide through this critical evolution.

Step 1: Collaborate with leadership

Work closely with stakeholders to identify their top reporting priorities: What data do they need to make decisions and inform strategy? You will likely want to start with company and TA leadership and then expand to include recruiting managers and recruiters. Involve all stakeholders in the process from the beginning so they feel ownership over it and know that their input is heard.

Ask them questions to help build better reports:

  • What are the key metrics you use to plan and strategize?
  • What levels of data are most important and helpful? By recruiter, team, department, role type, companywide, etc.?
  • What data do you need to troubleshoot issues in real time?
  • What data do you need to gain insights from past activity?

Incorporate stakeholders’ answers into your plan for rolling out reports and get sign off from leadership so you can move forward with confidence.

Step 2: Make recruiting reports instant and easy

The foundation of this transition is user-friendly reports from a single source of truth about your recruiting activities. Ideally, you will also have the ability to pull in data from all of your HR tools for a complete picture of what’s going on with talent at the organization.

Reports must be easy to access for everyone involved. If you’re relying on data analysts to prepare reports, it will always be difficult to be data-driven. Analytics need to be self-serve with an easy user interface. Resources like a data dictionary and sample reports can help align all stakeholders on the key terms and expectations for reporting.

Step 3: Set up a system to fit your team’s needs

Build templates for daily, weekly, and quarterly reports that will work as the standard across various recruiting teams and role types. This will create consistency across recruiters and recruiting teams while giving everyone access to the data they need to make decisions quickly.

Step 4: Incorporate recruiter feedback

Solicit feedback on how to adjust recruiters’ day-to-day processes to improve data hygiene, without creating too much of an admin burden. Coordinate dialogue between the recruiters and the people who manage your ATS to adjust processes as needed. There always has to be a balance between making the system easier for recruiters and ensuring important data is captured in the system.

Provide training and resources to recruiters so they feel confident accessing recruiting analytics. Emphasize how it can help them:

  • Provide quantitative evidence of search roadblocks to hiring managers
  • Analyze active searches to identify challenges
  • Set and track goals with their manager and colleagues

Some Pinpoint customers host office hours where recruiters can bring their reporting questions to SMEs (often the analytics or TA Ops team). Hopefully, your ATS also has strong customer support so your recruiters can go directly to them for fast service and helpful answers.

When you first start rolling out reports and reviewing them in meetings, recruiters will likely say “Oh, I haven’t updated that yet in the system so that’s not accurate.” These kinds of accountability conversations will drive change as recruiters realize the importance of keeping the ATS up-to-date in real time.

A better way

There’s no good reason TA teams should have to suffer through tedious and limited reporting. A whole new world of automated recruiting is within reach. It’s just on the other side of this transition. Just keep swimming.

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About the author
Marissa Wilson
Marissa Wilson is a Talent Acquisition Consultant with 10 years of experience recruiting for management consulting, ecommerce, and tech companies. With a passion for knowledge sharing, she has built out resources and delivered trainings on talent acquisition to hundreds of recruiters over her career.

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