eRecruitment 2018 | Sandd: Data in talent acquisition reduces stress in the office

Written by: Endouble Endouble

Sandd use data to improve the quality of hire in their talent acquisition process. Stephan Wiepjes, Sandd’s Online Recruitment Strategist gave an engaging presentation at Emerce Recruitment about how data and measurement improved the quality of hire in their talent acquisition process. He also shared some real data from Sandd's website and on their production and performance (embedded in our article).

According to Stephan, optimising on data and insights in talent acquisition significantly reduces stress within the organisation, and creates a more relaxed atmosphere in the office.

Why? Because they use the data to improve quality and thereby efficiency in their recruitment processes. This also makes their talent acquisition experts feel more successful at their work.

They left the biased, “inside-out” recruitment approach behind a long time ago. Sandd now place the applicant in the center of their talent acquisition strategy, and only rely on data analysis in their decision making.

This is how they did it:

First of all, they wanted to achieve complete transparency in their recruitment process.

  1. They made sure that every action is measurable on their digital channels, and linked their website to their production and performance data.
  2. They analyzed the data, and
  3. Used the data to continuously improve their website and processes.

The most important KPI (Key Performance Indicator) in Sandd’s talent acquisition and development strategy is the quality of hire.

They measure their success in hard KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as:

  • Engagement rate
  • Time to hire
  • Quality of hire
  • Cost per hire.

Stephan focused on two out of these four KPIs in his presentation: Engagement Rate and Quality of Hire.

Engagement rate

Stephan explained that an applicant’s engagement rate on the website is an early indicator of the quality of their application.
"What exactly is engagement rate?", you might wonder.
To put it bluntly, the more time a user had spent scrolling and clicking around on the website, the more probable it is that they are valuable candidates.

If a user is seriously considering applying to a vacancy, they will want to understand specifications about the position and the application process, such as

  • The salary they can expect
  • What their role entails exactly
  • How far they’d have to travel daily
  • How much effort it takes for them to apply right now. (That’s the first step they have to take, after all).

What they are looking for is to fulfil the basic human need of elimination of insecurities. Thus, a serious candidate will do their research before applying.

Being able to measure the type and number of actions an applicant performs on the website before applying gives an insight into the quality of the applicant.

Quality of hire

People at Sandd are very curious folks.
They had all kinds of questions about the different factors that might influence the application process. Is there a link for instance between the digital channel that the applicant applied through, their age and their performance during employment?

The answer to their questions lay in tracking the whole employee cycle from the beginning to the end - from application to (and even after) employment.

This is how they had learned that:

  • Circa 53% of hires started their application process directly on Sandd’s website (i.e. typing “” directly in their browser, not performing any search before or accessing a link from any ad)
  • Seniors were the most successful applicants (around 27% of senior applicants were employed, compared to only 13,87% of students)
  • Google advertisements delivered the most applications (around 29% of all applications).

Let's see in practice why these insights are valuable to Sandd:

1. These insights allow Sandd to identify and better target their ideal audience. (seniors)

2. They can invest their limited resources in the right channels.

Since their own website delivers the best quality applicants. Therefore, their focus should be on optimizing their website instead of investing in advertisements.

Let’s take a look at the chart below to understand why their website is Sandd’s best performing channel.

Even though less than 9% of the applicants submitted their application directly via Sandd's website, the hiring rate was one of the highest (almost 16%). These applicants proved to be one of the best-performing employees later on (almost 22% performed well).

3. Less hires and applications needed.

This is a competitive edge in a shrinking labour market.

4. Less involvement needed from all departments in the organisation.

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is way less of each department in the complete recruitment process (HR/OPS/F&C/IT/tools).

5. Reducing employee turnover.

This was a priority in Sandd's Operational Excellence strategy.

Check Sandd’s complete presentation (in Dutch):

We were delighted to see Stephan’s excitement about data and their results. He encouraged recruitment experts to start recruitment analysis as soon as possible, and base their talent acquisition decisions on reliable, hard data.

Sandd will be back - with more data

Stephan's presentation was one of the bests at this year's Emerce eRecruitment. We weren't surprised that the organisers invited him back to Emerce eRecruitment 2019 to share what he had learned based on another year of performance data.

Until then, check this case study to see the details what Sandd is working on.