Combining Tech and Touch

By Graham Trevor, HR & Corporate Services Director, Randstad UK&I and HR Director Randstad Sourceright EMEA

Graham Trevor, HR & Corporate Services Director, Randstad UK&I and HR Director Randstad Sourceright EMEA

With technology continuously evolving, the HR landscape is transforming at pace. Whilst many business leaders are hungry to adopt the latest HR tech in a bid to secure a speedy hiring or engagement win, success is only in grasp when HR professionals have visibility of strategic organisational goals and the skills to apply the data, analytics and metrics.

As the world’s global leader in HR services, we live and breathe a tech and touch strategy at Randstad. In the UK, one of the world’s most saturated and competitive recruitment markets, clients, candidates and employees look to us to lead the way. As we’re renowned for blending the power of tech with our passion for people, I’m often asked what I have learnt along the way.

1) Align your data-driven approach to organisational goals

The perfect formula combines the human connection and empathy, which HR professionals are traditionally renowned for, with HR technology. To specify the relevant tech, you must have full transparency of tactical and strategic business targets. It’s critical to agree parameters and key performance indicators (KPIs) with the leadership team from the outset. Do you need to drive GP, grow market share or break into a new sector? After all, today’s corporate environment demands HR solutions that power business success. At Randstad, the spotlight is focused on three sets of data; time to hire, source of hire and conversion ratios.

2) Add a narrative to your metrics that resonates with stakeholders

Strong leadership teams spot an employee who uses figures to mask performance in the boardroom. It’s critical that metrics are not viewed in isolation and HR teams partner statistics with the art of story-telling. It’s this human touch and HR experience that helps metrics to resonate.

Let’s take time to hire as an example. Time to hire is an incredibly important metric, unfilled vacancies effectively cost the business GP, but the data needs to be cross-referenced against multiple sources in order to effectively inform the business. We found that recruiters were starting every single hire at the start of the recruitment process and simply weren’t exploring the talent pool they already had access to. Our analysis broke down the time to hire by funnel stage to understand how many days it takes to find, screen and book a candidate for interview. That deeper dive of the time to hire metric and what sits behind it has been crucial to securing a better outcome. Equally, the story behind it is relatively simple for our teams to recall and overcome. It also allowed us to use comparative data to explore why some recruiters/hiring managers are more successful than others. We then use these detailed insights to help them be more effective.

3) Use your insight to inform future strategies

There’s huge potential in people analytics. At Randstad we’ve successfully used people analytics to uncover insights about failure rates among new hires. Specifically, we looked closely at new hires who left within their first year of service. We merged our GR8 People data with our HRIS data to track the end-to-end process and understand the various aspects at play. We were able to assess which locations have the highest new start to failure rate and at what point in their tenure new hires failed, as well as why they failed.

We were also able to track which employees have statistically lower new start to failure rates and how attributes like source of hire have an impact. In understanding this, we have been able to have meaningful conversations about those challenges and put training and processes in place to future-proof success rates. It’s a powerful reminder that whilst today’s intelligent machines can connect the dots through data and algorithms, the real workplace connection demands the HR human touch.

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