From the moment we kick the duvet off, we’re there on our phones checking the calendar, the weather outlook and if our daily commute is going to be a headache.

It’s this real-time information that influences what we wear, when we leave the house and how we begin planning our day.

It’s only when recruiters, managers and directors enter the office that they fall back into decision-making with their guts.

Think big with data from the start

There’s an enormous amount of information travelling through every agency each day.

Yet, only a small portion of businesses are turning that into useful insights and an even smaller number have them to action when they need.

The advantages of leveraging useful data are unquestionable and the recruitment industry is simply not using data as it could.

Agencies have to think much, much bigger than reporting on the number of jobs, placements and headline outputs. They should be looking at how data can become the cornerstone of their growth and performance.

I’m a big believer that if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got.

As an industry that’s progressed rapidly in recent years, it’s alarming that the questions we ask of agencies and their performance have not moved forward.

Instead of looking at your ratios and asking people to deliver more, you could be using your data to identify the inputs that produce the outputs and will drive individual billing.

An appetite for change

Useful data is the new oil and needs to undergo a similar process of refinement to deliver its highest value.

Simply investing in an analytics platform or data-driven solution will not deliver the silver bullet that many hope for.

I’ve seen too many examples of agencies implementing technology that simply maintains the existing problem they’re trying to solve.

Any tool you’re working with will offer little advantage if the quality of data going into it is questionable.

You can only work with the data that’s there, which is why any advancement with technology has to go hand-in-hand with addressing data quality.

I’ve sat down with hundreds of agency owners across the world and asked them all about their plans to grow and how they intend to achieve that?

I often find that the reporting, analytics and data that they’re working with might be answering their questions, but the questions they’re asking aren’t always right.

  • Are you able to identify which clients are most profitable?
  • Why some consultants are performing and others aren’t?
  • Where you could be optimising your growth?

If it takes you more than a couple of clicks to customise a report or measure the performance of an individual, team or metric then you’re losing money, time and insights. You’re losing opportunities.

cube19 is there to anticipate and shape your steps forward towards growth. It’s the personal trainer in the gym telling you the necessary actions to achieve your goals.

It’s not admin. It’s an opportunity.

When we were building cube19 we knew that if we didn’t address the data quality concerns then the insights coming out would be compromised.

As part of our platform, we introduced a suite of gamification tools and delivered company-wide visibility on performance to dramatically increase the adoption of CRMs.

Real change has to come from agency owners to challenge the perception of data entry as admin.

It’s not something to be recorded in downtime or backdated after a placement. It’s not a chore, it’s an opportunity and it only works if the data is accurately logged.

Consultants and especially those under-performing are going to be reluctant to step away from selling to perform what they consider admin. Unless they see it as truly valuable towards improving their own performance.

One of the biggest opportunities for strategic data is to transform the outdated attitude of stick-bearing KPIs into a performance driven culture.

By that I mean instead of measuring results, you measure the behaviour that drives the billing. If you can show your consultants with pinpoint accuracy exactly where they need to prioritise and improve their activity to increase their billings – they are going to listen.

The entire relationship recruitment holds with data has to change and I think that extends far beyond the influence of technology to become a much bigger shift in cultural attitudes.

*Originally published in Global Recruiter