What is a recruitment dashboard and how to create one?

Written by: Sanne van Baar Sanne van Baar

Read in: Nederlands

If you want to turn your recruitment data into something useful - read: improving your activities - you need a recruitment dashboard. What is it and how to create one?

Data is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the job for today’s recruitment and HR-professionals. Why? Because the insights gathered from data can serve as input for optimising your recruitment process

But let’s be honest, most of you get stuck. Many don’t even start. If you really want to influence metrics like hire rate and quality of hire, you want to organise your data in an easy-to-read manner.

This is where recruitment dashboards come in. These data reports display your most important recruitment metrics and KPIs in a visual, accessible way. 

Need some help with that? Bear with us. In this article we'll answer these questions for you:

  • What is a recruitment dashboard? 
  • When do you need a dashboard?
  • How does a dashboard help me and my team in reporting?
  • How to set up a recruitment dashboard for everyday use?

What is a recruitment dashboard?

See the image on top of this article? It's a dashboard. Of a car. While recruitment doesn't have much to do with cars, both dashboards kind of tell you the same things. How fast are you going? Do you need to change gears? How are your resources doing? Any red lights burning?

A recruitment dashboard tells you similar things. Instead of using data like fuel, gear and speed, it uses data from your recruitment activities like applicants, hires, campaigns and budget.

This report displays your most important recruitment metrics and KPIs in a visual, accessible way and how you're performing on those. Just like the dashboard of your car. This helps you easily read and interpret the data that is shown.  

Check out the example below. This dashboard displays the development of the amount of applicants over time.

Screenshot 1 dashboard overview

Which data to use?

Where does the input for your dashboard come from? A dashboard is always connected to one or multiple data sources. This is often a data application like Google Analytics, where traffic data from your career page is assembled. If you want to compare your website data to the actual applications and hires, you also connect your ATS. 

Such a recruitment dashboard report is obviously something unique. A good data dashboard is customised to your organisation’s needs. Your dashboard should only display the type of information that fits your recruitment KPI’s and metrics.

Examples of recruitment dashboards

So far so good. But... what does this look like in a dashboard? Imagine graphs displayed in an organised way. It can even have multiple sheets depending on what’s important for your organisation.

Let's look at this example:

Performance of the recruitment funnel 

When the ATS used by your company is seamlessly integrated with your recruitment website, you can measure and visualise how many applicants actually get hired.

The performance tab in your dashboard compares your applications with the number of hires. This gives you more insight in the performance of your recruitment funnel and the metric hire rate. See this image below. 

Screenshot 2 performance funnel-1

How does a recruitment dashboard help you with reporting?

Recognise the following situations? Then a dashboard will absolutely help you taking the next step in organising your talent acquisition data. 

  1. You lack data transparency. 
    Out of curiosity, how do you create your recruitment analysis report now? Are you still exporting several datasets from different systems and spreadsheets and copying and pasting them in Excel? Then a dashboard will be a gift for you. 

    You’ll have all your data organised in one overview and reports are easily drawn from the dashboard to present the management. 

  2. Your stakeholders don’t understand the data you present them.
    This is the good thing with dashboards: they can be customised to the goals, KPIs, and jargon used internally. Customisation is the only way to make your data meaningful for the entire company. 

    An easy example: when you display ’conversion rate’ instead of ‘hire rate,' hiring managers might have to make that extra step in thinking to make the connection. That’s what you want to avoid. You want to get your point across as smooth as possible. 

  3. You want to get more stakeholders to board the data boat. 
    When you have a recruitment dashboard, you’ll have one steady source available for everyone involved in the recruitment process. Including the corporate recruiter, head of talent and hiring manager. It’ll act as a single data source or ‘one version of the truth,’ as many recruitment managers call it. 

    Inside the dashboard you can work together as a team, but each member can focus on their own responsibilities. All members can individually improve their part of the recruitment funnel. 

How does a dashboard help you to improve recruitment processes?

Your recruitment analysis report in your dashboard helps you to see the development of behaviour from applicants, but also the development of your own talent acquisition processes. 

A data dashboard enables you to:

  • Spot trends and analyse patterns in behaviour and processes but also in costs.
  • Identify critical points and ‘outliers’ in the talent acquisition process or parts of the process that show exceptionally good or poor performance.
  • Track the performance of your total recruitment process from the ‘reach’ phase of the funnel to the ‘hire’ phase.

Let’s dive in a little deeper with some examples:

  • Engagement data will help you understand how job seekers interact with your career website, which make targeted improvements possible to your website.

  • Traffic data of your career page can help you understand how your website performs compares to a previous period, which helps you see whether changes made to your career page are effective over time.

  • Recruitment campaign data gives you insights into which advertisement campaigns generate the most applications - and which don’t generate any at all. This helps to assess the effectiveness of campaign channels (for example, in Google Ads) and make realtime changes to the campaign.

    Check out this image. This dashboard shows that the Google Ad campaign for 'Recruitment marketeer - Netherlands' is quite effective. It doesn't generate that many applicants ('only' 17), but the quality of the candidates is high: it generates 2 new hires. Which makes the hire rate high.

Screenshot 3 performance campaign-1

What are good data dashboards like?

Want to know how to prepare your own dashboard for recruitment? We’re about to explain. But first, we show you what "good" looks like. The recruitment dashboards we create for our clients have 3 things in common. 

1. They are relevant

As we told you earlier, a good data dashboard is customised to your organisation’s needs. It groups information into categories that provide insights into your entire recruitment funnel. 

The categories that are relevant for you depend on your recruitment goals. For example: if your company has the goal to allocate advertising budget more efficiently, it’s important to analyse the performance of your campaign sources. (See the image above.)

Make sure to get your KPIs and your recruitment dashboard metrics right. This is absolutely critical. Why? If you don’t define your KPI’s and metrics to address your company’s recruitment needs, your dashboard remains a meaningless data dump.

2. They are actionable

We know you need a dashboard for reporting to management – but please, please don't let this be the only reason to create one. When done right, your recruitment dashboard will be your alarm. It goes off when something goes right or wrong. 

This alarm is a sign: get to action, my friend! And - of course - make sure you know what to do when the alarm goes off.


3. They help you steer strategic decisions

When you know which channels applicants use from the first contact with your company, including how they move through the ATS, application form, offer and hire stages, you get  full insight in the channels generating the most (and best) hires. Once you get to this stage, your data really helps you taking strategic decisions. 

And trust us, this information is gold when it comes to stakeholder management or budget distribution. 

How to create a recruitment dashboard?

And - finally! - it’s time to get practical! How do you prepare your own recruitment dashboard? Let’s break this down into steps. 

Which tool to use? 

Step 1: which tool to use? There are many different tools to create a data dashboard from an Excel sheet to advanced data platforms. Our favourite tool is Google Data Studio.

Screenshot 4 google data studio

It’s easy and free. It also uses data from Google Analytics, the most popular data tracking system.

Download the Step-By-Step Guide To Creating Your Own Recruitment Dashboard

Before you start, you need these 3 things

1. Measure your company career website

The first step is to start measuring the interaction of visitors (potential candidates) on your career website. As we mentioned, the most common analytics platform used is Google Analytics. This application interacts perfectly with Google Data Studio, as mentioned above. 

Ask your developer to connect these tools to your company career website. This gives you insight in an endless range of metrics connected to the reach, engagement and application phases of your recruitment funnel. 

Frequently used recruitment KPIs in each stage of the funnel: 

  • Reach: The amount of website traffic via your target sources (users, new versus returning users, sessions, etc.)
  • Engagement: The percentage of visitors playing your video’s or other interactive elements
  • Apply: What percentage of the visitors that open the application form actually finish it? 

2. Connect all systems that store and process talent acquisition data

A golden rule here is your career website and your ATS should be connected. Only once your ATS is connected can you fully measure your recruitment processes up to the hire. 

By integrating your website data with your ATS, you connect the actions on your website to the full recruitment process from application to hire. The ATS-connection specifically gives you insight in the last phase of the funnel: hire. 

Connecting other data sources like onboarding or online assessment tools is possible as well.


3. Get your recruitment KPIs right

We gave this one away earlier, but we can’t emphasise this one enough: get your recruitment KPIs right. To keep it simple – when you don’t formulate your goals (hence, what success looks like) you will having a hard time reaching them.

Not sure how to do this? Read our article Recruitment KPIs: find the right ones in 4 easy steps (with worksheet)

In order to get a detailed view on your talent acquisition funnel, formulate one KPI per stage of the funnel. This makes it easier to measure the effectiveness of each phase separately. Some examples for the Reach and Apply stages. 

Example: Reach

KPI: Increase the share of sessions started from your own channels media.

Why? The reliance on paid media is high, which stretches recruitment budgets. With this KPI you can evaluate the traffic share of owned media during the period you are working on decreasing your paid media efforts.

Example: Apply

KPI: Increase the click through rate (CTR) from application form to completing the application on the website.

Why? Potential candidates start the application process on your career website, but the completion ratio is rather low. Meaning: something’s off with your application form or process.

Want to get to work immediately? Then set up your recruitment dashboard yourself!

Get your free copy of the Step-By-Step Guide To Creating Your Own Recruitment  Dashboard