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  • Using Data to Strengthen Your URR Case

    January 13, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A recruiter examines report data.

    TAGS: program development, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    To be persuasive when asking for approval from upper management to fill your URR needs, you need to build your case on a foundation of solid data that provides flexibility.

    "You need to have internal and external data that is malleable to the story you are trying to tell, and comprehensive and flexible enough to address other's concerns," explains Brendan O'Neill, business development, work force analytics at CareerBuilder.

    O'Neill presents an example in which an organization's executives have chosen the schools at which to recruit. The URR team knows that these schools don't represent the long-term strategy of the organization, and plans to provide internal and external data to help the executives see that recruiting at the schools they chose isn't in the best interest of the organization.

    "Organizations need to show they're going to schools that are mindful of their company's strategy for growth, diversity, skill set, and more, and that they could also get a solid ROI from these schools," he says.

    According to O'Neill, the internal data in this situation might include the:

    • Metrics to which recruiters were being held.
    • Number of students "communicated to" at each school.
    • Number of students interviewed from each school.
    • Number of students hired from each school.
    • Retention rates and performance of students hired from each school.

    "If you have data people understand, it will be embraced much faster," O'Neill says. "You can get this from your human resource information system, internal teams, interviews, and more. Once you get the ball rolling, you start to have a template and can fill in the gaps."

    In addition, external data that can be used to fill in these gaps in this case could include the:

    • Home state enrollment.
    • Completion data from schools currently attended.
    • Completion data from schools on the URR team's "wish list."
    • Historical data, showing growth of relevant programs at each school.
    • Projected impact on the bottom line.

    "Look outside of your four walls for data that will complement your internal data," O'Neill says. "The combination of this data can show there might be schools that are a better fit for the organization. When presenting this data, do so side-by-side and ensure your argument is clear, tangible, and top of mind for your audience."

    Another example O'Neill cites is an engineering firm that intends to cut its URR staff and, instead, have engineers represent the firm on campus.

    "To solve this challenge, the recruiting team showed management the ROI on this decision would be low," he says. "The firm averaged being represented at 20 career fairs a year with two recruiters spending two days at each one."

    Assuming each engineer spends 40 days per year out of the office, that means he or she is away from projects for 320 hours per year. Each engineer bills a minimum of $100 per hour, so there is at least $32,000 of lost potential revenue per engineer/recruiter for the firm each year.

    But, even when armed with data, there are dangerous pitfalls to avoid, O'Neill says. For example, a URR team states its case for why it needs more money and resources, but doesn't account for scenarios that could occur outside of the scope of the data the team collected.

    "On the other side of the table, management asks what they would do if XYZ happened," he explains. "Often, we see organizations that are locked in to and have rehearsed their pitch. If the data doesn't allow for the flexibility to respond to what management is asking, it can ruin the credibility of your data and, ultimately, your case."