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The Ultimate Data Cleaning Checklist


Data cleaning is the management of your recruiting data using best practices in organization and communication to improve your recruitment process. It’s a skill most recruiters are learning out of necessity. The sheer volume of data is simply too much to muddle through. However, unless your recruiters are also moonlighting as data analysts, they may be in over their heads.

The methods your hiring team takes in managing data in your applicant tracking system (ATS) can have a large impact on the success of your hiring strategy. Data cleanliness requires a strategy, data cleaning software, and getting every team member’s participation.

Let’s first discuss your approach as a hiring team.

Kick the dirty data plague with The Ultimate Data Cleaning Checklist from @TheTalentWall™. Check it out in their latest article: Share on X

Four Tips for Approaching Your Team

  • The Basics of Tech Data Management

The hiring managers using your ATS need some training on the basics, first and foremost. This starts with the understanding that your ATS needs full and complete data (Jane Smith, for example, not just J Smith). Make your team aware of hidden fields and any quirks your particular system may have. Recruiters may not know your ATS doesn’t do bulk rejects when some have that capability.

  • Draw a Line from Candidates to Jobs

Your ATS is more than just a database, and it must be treated as such for data cleaning to work. Including comprehensive information for every candidate provides a full visual pipeline of a job. Additionally, moving candidates through the hiring stages in real-time creates an accurate record of how they progressed. Without this process, it’s difficult to identify bottlenecks or holes in the hiring process.

  • Incentivize Data Hygiene

To understand why a recruiting effort didn’t produce a quality hire, you need the data on that recruiting effort from start to finish. That requires the participation of every recruiter, hiring manager, and an emphasis on correct and comprehensive data. Therefore, every one of your team members has to update each candidate’s status in real-time, drop-outs included. A great way to do this is to add data cleaning to the list of their key performance indicators.

  • Evaluate the Metrics that Matter

Finding real meaning in the data seems difficult at first, but that’s often a result of comparing the wrong data. If you’re comparing qualified candidates to unqualified candidates, the information can be skewed. Your qualified candidates should be the only metric that counts. A reasonable start is to benchmark newer jobs against older jobs. Gauge the meaningful metrics, and your likelihood of success is higher.

Now let’s tackle the data itself.

Four tips for approaching your team and five for addressing the dirty data. Get the Ultimate Data Cleaning Checklist from @TheTalentWall™ here: Share on X

Five Tips for Addressing the Data

  • Collect Comprehensive Data

Ensuring your data is complete is the only way to get a full view of your hiring effort, good or bad. Complete data allows you to gauge your real-time for hire and address issues within each stage of the hiring process. Without comprehensive data, you can’t accurately measure (or address) those concerns.

  • Organize the Data Correctly

Every open role can present its own hiring challenge, whether due to the experience required, the industry saturation, and more. However, segmenting your data into thoughtful categories such as location, seniority level, or job type can give you a more insightful view of hiring success.

  • Eliminate the Excess

Occasionally, specific roles may behave differently than others due to uniqueness within the industry. This can include a brand new role, internal hires, internships, etc. It’s important to remove those outliers from your data analysis so they don’t skew the results in analytics.

  • Median Calculations > Mean Calculations

For the same reason listed above, it’s important to focus on median calculations lest a single outlier or one-off muddy the bigger picture. The median is the middle value of your data, compared to the mean of the data which is the average.

  • Get the Right Tech

The Talent Acquisition industry depends on data, and we know by now that it’s useless if not organized correctly. Get the data dashboard that does the heavy lifting, by not only maintaining your data hygiene but identifying gaps and weak spots before they become detrimental to your success.

Maintaining good data hygiene isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does take detailed data management skills and consistent upkeep. Streamline your hiring with the dashboard that works as hard as you do, contact TalentWall™ for your demo today.