How To Create an Actionable Recruitment Dashboard

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Data is an invaluable tool when it comes to the hiring process, and more organizations are using data to drive their recruitment activities than ever before. But unless that data is accurate and easy to understand, it becomes redundant. That’s where a recruitment dashboard can help.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all your recruitment data organized in one place? A place where all those separate metrics are transformed into actionable intelligence? The Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) found that 50 percent of TA practitioners already have a dedicated dashboard at their organization, while 38 percent are actively planning and/or building one.

If you are looking to get started with creating or want to improve a recruiting dashboard, read on.

What is a recruitment dashboard?

A recruitment dashboard is a visual collection of data-driven metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and reports designed to tell you how your recruitment funnel is performing. This includes data on applicants, hires, campaigns, and budget.

These metrics can help your organization improve the sourcing of the best candidates for roles, reduce recruitment costs, and develop new talent acquisition strategies that have a positive impact on the entire business. 

Why should you have a recruitment dashboard?

There are multiple questions to ask yourself when analyzing the hiring efforts at your organization:

  • How long does it take to hire employees?
  • How much money are you spending on the hiring process?
  • Where are candidates looking for your job postings?
  • How well new employees perform in their role?

The answers to these questions alone don’t tell us much. But using recruitment metrics to analyze all this data together can generate a wealth of insight into the entire recruitment process. 

Here are four reasons why you should invest in a recruitment metrics dashboard.

1. You can “see” problems

One of the biggest benefits of a recruitment dashboard is its visual nature. Data can be difficult to look through and scout for patterns, and creating your own tables and charts every time can be laborious.

With a dashboard, you can easily see trends, insights, and potential problems.

2. Analyze your hiring funnel

A recruitment KPI dashboard will give you a clear picture of your hiring funnel. You can see how many applicants pass from one stage to the next, and know which stage you need to focus on to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your process.

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For example, if you have a low conversion rate from the number of applicants to those who reach the interview stage, then that means you’re attracting a high number of unqualified candidates. Alternatively, there may be a chart that shows you the source of employees who quit the most, or in the shortest amount of time. 

Recruitment Dashboard
This recruitment dashboard example shows different metrics that help you analyze your hiring funnel.

3. Refine your recruitment strategy

What if you analyze your hiring funnel and notice an issue like the above?

You can then look at where most of your qualified applicants are coming from, and refocus your efforts. 

For example, you may be more selective with where you advertise vacancies in the future, or stop working with a particular recruitment company. This will save you money, and help you find more qualified candidates.  

4. Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your recruitment 

Having all this valuable data in one place enables you to make informed decisions to continually improve your recruitment process.

Any alarming issues can be spotted and immediately solved, or investigated further.

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Over time, you’ll be able to create an efficient recruitment process that is tailored to your organization’s needs.     

What metrics should you track on your recruitment dashboard?

There are many metrics you can track in a recruitment dashboard, including:

  • Time to hire
  • Time to fill
  • Quality of hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Applicants per opening
  • Recruitment funnel effectiveness
  • Candidate satisfaction
  • Candidate source

Here are some of the most important ones to consider including:

Time to hire (in days)

Time to hire (also known as time to accept) means the number of days between when a candidate is initially approached and the moment they accept the job. Essentially, it’s the time it takes to move a candidate through the hiring process once they’ve applied for a job. 

The shorter your time to hire rate is, the better, as this indicates that your recruitment process is efficient and your recruiting team is performing well. This enables you to hire the strongest candidates, preventing them from being snapped up by a different company with a shorter time to hire. Plus, it provides a better experience for your candidates because nobody enjoys a recruiting process that drags on.

However, there may be instances when the job in question requires a longer time to hire. If the process has several stages—a phone interview, an assessment, and then a couple of rounds of interviews with different stakeholders—your time to hire will be longer. So make sure you take this into account when interpreting the data.

Time to hire is one of the most popular recruiting metrics, which should also be included on your recruiting dashboard.

Time to fill (in days)

Time to fill refers to the time it takes to locate and hire a new candidate. It’s often measured by the days between when a job opening is published and when the candidate has completed any necessary background checks. 

This metric depends on the supply and demand for a particular role, along with how quickly your recruitment department operates. It’s valuable for business planning. For example, if John quits his job today, John’s manager can get a good idea of how much time it will take before they can fill that role. This is vital for promoting stability within any organization.  

Applicants per opening

This metric is the number of applicants per job (or per hire) and is great for judging how popular a job is. However, many applicants could signal a high demand for a job, or a job description that is too broad. 

If you find you receive a lot of applications for one role but many unsuitable applicants among them, you may want to consider making the job description more specific, and adding more stringent criteria. This can reduce the number of applicants, thus saving you time spent on screening, without reducing the number of suitable candidates. 

Recruitment funnel effectiveness

One of the most valuable metrics on a recruiting dashboard is the overall effectiveness of the recruitment funnel. This means the number of people at each stage in the funnel, as well as the pass rate between stages. 

This ratio is based on the number of applicants that have successfully completed each stage of the funnel—or the number of hired candidates—over the total number of applicants for that stage.

When you understand this metric, you can discover which stage of the funnel needs the most attention. Once you’ve refined your efforts, you can maximize the effectiveness of your recruitment funnel.  

Let’s say you consistently find you have a low ratio of candidates moving from the phone interview stage to the face to face (virtual) interview stage of your funnel. This could indicate a need for a more detailed job description to reduce the initial number of applicants, or a stricter sorting process when deciding which candidates qualify for the phone interview stage. 

Candidate source

The candidate source (or source of hire) metric refers to tracking the sources your new hires come from. This enables you to gauge the effectiveness of different recruiting channels, including agencies, different job boards, your careers page, and social media. 

You may notice a recurring pattern of consistently hiring employees who have applied to your job after seeing an advert on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, you continue to advertise on job boards, but these sources fail to convert. 

A recruitment dashboard shows you the best place to hire talent for your organization. All you have to do is look at the data and do less of what’s not working and double down on what is. Cutting spending on channels that aren’t bringing you the best, most qualified candidates will save you money and allow you to spend more on the most effective sources.  

Best practices for your recruitment dashboard

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to setting up your recruitment dashboard, and getting the most out of it. 

1. Choose the right tools

There are three categories of dashboarding tools to choose from.

Spreadsheet programs

Programs like Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc, and Google Sheets all have data visualization capabilities. Plus, there are free and premium recruitment dashboard templates to choose from to get started. Once you’ve filled in the sheet with data, you can view it visually in the dashboard. 

If you decide to create your recruiting dashboard on Google Sheets, this post will help you get started.  

HR software

This includes cloud-based HR tools like ATS, attendance tracking, and employee engagement platforms. These applications come with built-in analytics features that allow you to analyze data. 

It’s possible to integrate your current recruitment tools, so they speak to each other and exchange data. But this will require a third-party integration software or custom development; both of which can be expensive.

Business dashboard software

Software such as Smartsheet, Klipfolio, Zoho Analytics, Tableau, and Datapine all enable you to analyze data and can bring multiple sources together. However, they can take a while to find a way around and are generally quite expensive. 

Always remember, if you want to combine different data sources, make sure the tool you select allows you to do this.

2. Make it visual

Charts, graphs, and simple fonts and color palettes will make your recruitment dashboard easier to navigate. For inspiration on colors and formatting, check out this dashboard collection by Muzli.

Keep a summary at the top of the page. As you progress down the page, each point should build on the last one, creating a logical, fuss-free presentation of the data. 

The key is to use the appropriate chart for the data in question. For example, a pie chart is great when showing gender or ethnic ratio. A bar chart is great for showing trends. If you want to understand how your candidates view your job postings and/or your career page, a heat map would be effective. And a funnel chart would be best to demonstrate how candidates move through your recruitment funnel.

Types of charts for a recruitment dashboard
Taras Bakusevych from UX Planet provides a practical overview of different types of charts that help you understand when to use each of them.

If you need help with the design, ask your in-house design team for assistance, or consider hiring a freelancer. 

3. Keep it simple

While it may be tempting to include as much data as you possibly can on your dashboard, this may be counterintuitive. Focus on the most important metrics; the ones that bring value. 

Less is more here. Even if you understand it, remember that it needs to be clear to other people outside the HR department.

4. Keep it accurate

Real-time data can be too chaotic and overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of data. At the same time, it’s important that your recruitment dashboard is accurate. So think about how often you want to update it. Different data will need updating at different times. 

Metrics like traffic to your careers page could be updated once a month or once a week, depending on how much traffic you’re getting or campaigns you’re running. Whereas metrics on open and hired positions should only be updated as and when they change. 

Many applications (like Google Analytics) can be integrated into your data and set to update as frequently as you like, depending on which tool you’re using. But if there are some that need manually updating, create a checklist for them to ensure they are regularly updated. 

5. Act on your findings 

You could have the most sophisticated, valuable dashboard in the world. But this means nothing unless you make time to look at it, understand the insights, and act on them accordingly.

This is the purpose of a recruitment dashboard. It’s there to help you create a more efficient recruitment process. Pay attention to what you find.

A final word

An effective recruiting dashboard is an indispensable tool for anyone working in recruitment today. It may take time and money to initially set up, but this will pay dividends in the long run. And it’s critical if you want to hire faster and cheaper, without compromising on talent. 

Your recruitment dashboard will become your go-to place for everything you need to know about your recruitment funnel, so you can create more effective processes and strategies for the future.

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