by David Barrett, Chief Operating Officer of global assessment specialist cut-e.
Recruitment generates a mass of information. Selection decisions are often based on a candidate’s experience, qualifications, aptitude and personality assessment results and their performance in video and face-to-face interviews. Somehow all of the resultant data about your candidates has to be collected, processed, organised and presented – at the right time and in the right format – to help you decide who will perform best in the role. ‘Integration’ is the underlying process which not only connects your different systems, so they can work together and applicant details can move seamlessly between them, it gathers all the decision-relevant information about your candidates into one place, in a way that’s highly automated.
Allowing data to flow across different systems requires complex functionality. For example, you may have an Applicant Tracking System, a candidate management system and a video interviewing system. You may also have an HR information system, a performance management system and a talent management platform. With the right know-how, you can configure or enhance your systems to securely extract, translate and use data from each other. It’s the software equivalent of ‘my people will call your people to make this happen’. But rather than dwelling on the technical aspects, here are three important benefits that integration provides:
1. It improves the candidate experience. Instead of asking candidates to log into different systems, to take a range of assessments or a video interview, integration allows you to have a single sign-in procedure. Behind the scenes, each candidate will be ‘moved’ across different systems but they won’t be aware of this because, to them, the whole process will appear completely seamless. Confidentiality is ensured because the identity of candidates remains anonymous. Making your application process simple, smooth and straightforward for candidates can enhance your employer brand.
2. It makes recruiters’ lives easier. By amalgamating the data from the different aspects of your application process, into a candidate record, integration puts all the information you need to make the right selection decision at your fingertips. In other words, it makes it as easy and efficient as possible to recruit new employees. Integration can also help recruiters to more easily set up new recruitment projects, using pre-populated test regimes (combinations of assessments that are stored on the system and which have already proved to be effective for different job types). You can define the competencies and specification of the role and automatically see the best tests to use and the ‘pass score’ and personality characteristics that are required for each job.
3. It facilitates talent analytics. A candidate’s assessment results used to ‘sit in a drawer’ once he or she had been appointed. With integration, it’s now easy to mine, compare and use data in ways that weren’t possible before and this opens the door to a wealth of new analytics. For example, you can compare candidate scores in your aptitude tests against their final interview pass rates. You can share a candidate’s assessment results with your L&D team, so they can create an individual learning plan for each new recruit from day one, that takes account of their strengths and weakness against the competences required in the role. You can also combine pre-hire and post-hire performance and development data to gain fresh insights into your talent and a better understanding of what actually makes people successful in your organisation.
To achieve successful data integration, you have to:
1. Know what you want. You need a clear understanding of what you’re hoping to achieve. For example, do you want to capture and integrate the data from pre-application assessments, such as realistic job previews, situational judgement questionnaires and gamified assessments? This is an option but some clients prefer to keep this ‘attraction data’ separate from their application process.
2. Choose the right partners. Successful integration requires expertise in the technical aspects of interfacing systems and transferring data; psychometric experience; IT, HR and project management expertise as well as an in-depth knowledge of the issues around data security and data protection. Choose suppliers who can partner with other multinational and local vendors and who will adapt their approach to suit your workflow (not someone who wants to change your workflow to suit their system).
Ultimately, integration is a means to an end. It will enhance your ability to recruit the right people, provide a seamless candidate experience and improve the way you manage your talent.