Gut Feel Won’t Cut It: How Performance Analytics Can Identify the Best Hires

Recruiting is both an art and a science that has the potential to set the trajectory for organizations. However, the strategic hiring process often gets overlooked in favor of less scientific methods. Friendly referrals may be well-meaning but don’t always equate to high-performing, engaged team members. Gut feelings or public-facing reputations may cloud otherwise better judgment, resulting in poorly placed hires and even worse performance. 

The odds may seem stacked against human resources teams and hiring managers alike. Thankfully, performance analytics can bring clarity to an otherwise traditionally gray area of management. With carefully tracked, analyzed, and tested data, performance analytics will soon become the secret sauce of your organization’s success

1. Understanding Performance Analytics and Why It Matters for Hiring Decisions

Your organization may be well-versed in performance analytics relative to its bottom line. Performance analytics help organizations measure key performance indicators, or KPIs, to better understand what’s helping or harming outcomes. Beyond providing data to fulfill quarterly reports or required metrics, these datasets provide key metrics that can transform organizations.  

The applicability of these valuable datasets doesn’t end with your company’s market offering. Performance analytics can also be used to measure the effectiveness of prior hiring decisions. Based on these findings, hiring teams can evaluate every facet of the hiring process, identify opportunities, and predict future outcomes. 

Instead of relying on exit interviews and recruiting site traffic, hiring teams can better understand what attracts and retains talent. With a good understanding of the type of candidates that thrive in certain roles, recruiting priorities become clear. And when your hiring manager is stuck deciding between two candidates, data can lead the way.

If performance analytics represents new terrain, leveraging the expertise of a partner can often drive desired outcomes. Consider your criteria for success and the internal audience that will be using the data. Flexibility for your unique business objectives, visualization options, and overall data democracy are capabilities to put on your requirements shortlist.

2. Break Down Perceptions with Real-Life Data

Everyone knows of a colleague that always has an opinion. And with a resident meeting monopolizer, a common casualty can be a healthy debate. Before you know it, they’ve successfully taken over your meeting, bulldozed plans, and potentially sabotaged the entire project. 

Organizations whose bad habits skip data analysis and performance tracking to influence decisions may as well be guessing. Over time, this practice can bleed into other departments, resulting in poorly selected hires, missed red flags, and training gaps. 

However, with robust performance analytics and the company culture to support it, teams can use data to reinforce decisions. Instead of making claims based on individual opinions, teams can ask, “what do we know?” With access to performance analytics, your team’s sense of curiosity has data-backed answers at the ready. Long-held perceptions can either be confirmed or denied, making way for actionable solutions. 

Consider this: a department is overworked, overwhelmed, and understaffed, or so they think. Reviewing their performance analytics dashboard may reveal that turnover has remained flat. If turnover is not the reason for their workload crisis, what is? Performance analytics can reveal reality and inspire potential solutions that stick. 

3. Predict Future Outcomes and Performance

Throughout your career, you’ll encounter candidates whose stellar interview performance doesn’t match their performance on the job. When these hiring misses happen, teams are left to carry their workload while managers navigate the performance improvement process. Morale, effectiveness and productivity quickly take a hit. But when teams use performance analytics, this all-too-common story can be avoided. 

Analyze your current team’s performance on the job and identify key themes between team members and their success rate. Sales teams typically track performance analytics specific to deal with health and customer journey speed. Analyze your top salespeople’s personality traits, performance records, and other key data points. Then, compare these factors to your recruiting criteria, including the job description, qualifications, and talent pipeline. If there’s a mismatch, it could indicate an opportunity to improve your recruiting strategy. 

Beyond bottom-line driving factors across sales, consider those that impact engagement, retention, and job fit. Even if a candidate’s qualifications are a match, their key attributes may be way off. If you aren’t assessing, analyzing, and bringing in new data, this miss can undo any progress made to date. 

Integrate attribute assessment into your candidate vetting process, logging and prioritizing your findings. Refine your priority list by flagging attributes that are essential and those that are optional. This added layer can help hiring teams pause and consider the long-term investment and potential a new hire brings. Develop a process that consistently logs and assesses findings over time to ensure your data is relevant and actionable. 

Engage Your Organization with the Power of Performance Analytics 

Resistance to change is natural, but transforming your hiring strategy doesn’t have to be painful. Considering how performance analytics fits into your organization’s goals, think about how you’ll launch your initiative. Craft an organizational change strategy that considers today’s barriers and how to influence human behavior. Include tactics that address training needs, provide support, and account for naysayers. 

Treat your integration of performance analytics just as you would with any other organizational change initiative. Build your launch on research, plan for pushback, and build reinforcements that ensure your transformation sticks. With your whole organization on board, you’ll hire high-performing talent and strengthen your teams for years to come.




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