Get All Access for $5/mo

Use Data as Your Secret Weapon to Find the Best Talent and Ensure Their Success Here are five factors to consider when collecting and analyzing information about your company and the workforce at large.

By Andre Lavoie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bloomua | shutterstock

Imagine being able to predict the outcome of future hires, saving time in the hiring and onboarding process. Through the use of data, it's possible.

It's simply about understanding why things happen within an organization in order to improve hiring and employee development. Collecting and analyzing data can help to uncover trends and predict the outcome of future hires. Here are some factors to consider when collecting and analyzing data:

1. Top performance indicators from current employees

What are the best employees doing well? What makes their performance so top-notch? Is it their education? The past experience they bring to the job?

Related: The 3 Essential HR Technologies for Filling Your Talent Pool With the Right People

Collecting data about performance indicators from top employees can help an organization update its hiring filters and look for candidates who will be a better fit. Furthermore, looking at how the top employees' performance is currently measured can help identify future candidates who will perform similarly.

2. Industry analysis for hiring trends

Looking at current hiring trends can help an organization know who is looking for jobs (Millennials? Boomers? Recent graduates?), where they are looking (online, career fairs, networking, etc.) what other organizations are doing, as well as what candidates expect out of the hiring and onboarding process.

A December 2013 study by CareerBuilder found 49 percent of employers planned to hire candidates with little to no experience in their field and train them. This can affect an organization's onboarding process dramatically, particularly when recruiting and interviewing candidates particular based on cultural fit, when perhaps the skills aren't yet what is required for the position.

3. Critical soft skills for successful employees

Soft skills refer to the ability an employee has to relate to and interact with those around them. While technical skills are important, it's crucial for new hires to already possess certain soft skills, simply because those are not as easily taught.

These typically include reliability, ability to solve problems and manage conflict, how a candidate will fit into the current company culture, and their ability and willingness to accept and learn from feedback. You can determine a candidate's existing soft skills by using reference checks or assessment tests during the hiring process.

Related: What the Data Tells Us About the Contemporary HR Director

4. Current employee turnover

How long does the average employee stay with an organization? Measuring this, as well as the factors that motivated them to leave (Was it money? A new opportunity? More vacation time?), can help an organization determine how long future hires may stay. It can also allow for updates to the policies that affect a widespread group of employees.

If you don't already have an exit survey for employees leaving the company, you should. Make sure you dig into what motivated them to leave, and encourage them to be honest. Then, make sure that information is shared with other departments. Conducting a good exit interview then sitting on the information helps no one.

Organizations can use the data to determine if they need to make adjustments to their current policies to retain employees. This information can also be helpful in determining an average length of time to expect new hires to stay.

5. Changing demographics in the workplace

As boomers begin to retire, many companies are seeing a big shift in their employee demographics. This change can provide a wealth of data in regards to the future of an organization. Millennials and boomers have different wants and needs, and understanding this is crucial to predicting the outcome of new hires.

For example, a January 2014 study by Deloitte found that over one in four millennials look for a chance to demonstrate their leadership skills at work. The study also found millennials want to work for companies who inspire innovation.

As boomers begin to retire and millennials take their places, keep in mind that hiring a millennial comes with different expectations than hiring a boomer, and a company that doesn't fit those needs may not hold on to the younger generation for very long.

What other factors should be considered when hiring and developing new talent?

Related: Hire Better Talent With a Big-Data Scientist

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent-alignment platform that aims to bridge the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

Mark Cuban Warns About Fake Fundraisers on Social Media After Assassination Attempt: 'Makes Things Worse'

Mark Cuban warned his followers about online grifters who try to capitalize on tragedy.

Business Culture

Want Engaged Employees? Act Like a Nanobubble

Nanobubbles revitalized Lake Elsinore by addressing its root problems, offering a metaphor for sustainable employee engagement.

Starting a Business

He Started an 'Accidental' Business at 25 With Just $2,000 — Then Gave His Product to the Pope: 'Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur'

Michael Aram, founder of the namesake luxury home and jewelry brand, learned the art of metalworking in India — and used it to launch a global brand.