Business Intelligence, or more specifically management information reporting, is usually discussed as an internal service. The client works for the same company as the service provider, and the information is used to improve operational efficiency.
Business Intelligence can also be a bolt on to a service provided to a client. When recruitment is provided as a service, the service being provided is much more than the new starters walking through the door. Before that point, there is a lengthy selection process. Firstly the consultant needs to find and attract suitable candidates. Then these candidates need to be screened until a handful of promising applicants can be interviewed, after which offers can be negotiated. This process is where the cost of recruitment lies. From the job board contracts to the time required to fill a role and the investment in talent that can find the right people and get them engaged in the role, everything has a value.
These are two key services that a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company provide. Cost effective recruitment, and high quality new staff. Of course the hiring company won’t need a dashboard to tell them what quality their new hires are. They can see that for themselves. The costs of recruitment, on the other hand, will remain largely hidden to them, and it is here that some client facing business intelligence can add real value to the relationship.
We recently launched a client facing dashboard for one of our key clients. The dashboard is very simple. It shows the KPIs and targets identified in the RPO contract. It shows hiring process volumes and timescales. How many candidates we attract, how many interviews take place per role, and so on. In other words, what we are busy doing in our efforts to place a new starter, and how much we are keeping the client’s hiring managers busy too. And it allows a breakdown of these values into time periods, location, client contact, and discipline.
What value does this have to the client? Firstly, if left to their own devices, stakeholders at the client might not show much interest in this dashboard. Clients that are interested in data are usually also very specific about what they want to see. The hiring manager will be mostly interested in the quality of the placed candidate and how long it took to place them, not the twenty that didn’t get interviewed. He or she may start getting interested in the CV to placement ratio if they feel they are spending too much time shortlisting candidates, or conversely if they feel they aren’t getting a large enough range from which to select candidates to interview. The contract owner might not take an interest in the saved costs until negotiations for renewal are opened.
Sometimes, all they need to know is, are we doing a good job for them, and there are regular meetings between client and service provider to answer that question. In these cases the dashboard has been used to progress the meeting, and this has been to great effect. In one particular case the offer to placement ratio was too low. The managers drilled down into the data and isolated the cause to a single department in the business. It was noted that this department also had a lower than average interview to offer ratio.
After the meeting we did some further research and discovered that the candidates who withdrew all had something in common. The interviews for this client are scored, primarily against matched skills, and the candidates who withdrew had all scored below 70%. Those who scored above 90% always accepted the offer. After some more digging we could conclude that while the hiring manager was confident that the candidates who had scored below 70% could do the job, the candidates themselves weren’t. We agreed with the client that more interviews needed to be conducted before an offer was made in order to find the best match available. There were reservations that increasing the number of interviews would increase the time taken to fill the role, but in reality the time to hire was decreased as less time was wasted finding new candidates to replace those who had pulled out at offer stage.
The cause had been identified using data driven facts in real time, at the meeting. Questions were asked and the response was immediate data discovery relevant to the question. When the solution was presented it had greater credibility and was accepted by the client. The result was an improved offer to placement ratio, a reduced time to hire, and a better quality starter. In addition, the dashboard, which had always been available to the client hiring managers started to see use outside of the scheduled meetings, and helped to drive a better RPO service.
Yes, there is definitely great value in a client facing dashboard that provides transparency to a service where so much of the process is invisible to the customer.
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