Unlocking business growth: Connecting candidate experience to value metrics


When an industry undergoes digital transformation, we see a ripple effect. Certain core services lose value, the performance of traditional channels falters, and customers start to control the process. As staffing begins to digitally transform, like finance, travel, and retail before it, our industry is no exception to these changes.

Our research confirms these findings. According to last year’s GRID Talent Trends Report, 66% of workers have abandoned a promising opportunity because the process took too long. Furthermore, only 8% cited “positive recruiter interaction” as the reason they chose to work for an industry. Our industry is based on relationships with recruiters, so this data represents a significant change in dynamics.

However, some organizations emerge from this shift bigger and better. How are these transformational organizations able to succeed? Though no two businesses are the same, they have some underlying shared traits:

  • They become hyper-focused on the customer experience.
  • They lean on insights to inform changes to business processes to improve performance.
  • They are vigilant in innovating and optimizing their customer journeys.

How can your organization embody these traits, use insights to understand talent expectations, and unlock business growth?

Bullhorn’s Andre Mileti, Product Evangelist, Talent Experience, and Joe McGuire, Sales and Strategy Director, Analytics, sat down to discuss how actionable insights drive positive business outcomes, the differences between performance metrics and business metrics, and the first steps to becoming an insights-driven organization.

Watch their conversation or read the recap below.

Becoming an insights-driven organization

To unlock business growth with the power of data, you’ll need to have four pillars in place.

  1. Business metrics: KPIs that demonstrate high-level business health – for example, time to fill and gross margin
  2. Actionable insights: Drive behavioral change at the desk level with forward-looking indicators
  3. Performance metrics: Constant measurement of your recruiting engine and talent funnels – these will change according to your organization, your goals, and the market conditions
  4. Framework: People, process, and technology – our levers, where you take action from the insights you glean


There are many frameworks you can use to execute your ideas. At Bullhorn, we’ve created a strategy called Connected Recruiting designed to drive better talent engagement and experience across the entire talent lifecycle. Connected Recruiting breaks down the steps of the talent journey into different stages: attract, engage, onboard, and nurture. Once those stages are broken down, you can identify the moments that matter in each step.

We’ve identified several critical touchpoints along the hiring journey that make a difference in the candidate experience. A few of them include:

  • New lead engagement
  • Primary qualification
  • Interview experience
  • Silver medalist matching
  • Onboarding tasks
  • Day one prep
  • Time & expense experience
  • Next job matching
  • NPS surveys
  • Review, referral, and redeployment campaigns

These moments that matter are the levers that you’ll pull based on your metrics and insights.

Performance metrics

How can you measure your success in these moments that matter? That’s where performance metrics come in. With each touchpoint comes a data point that you can measure. A few examples include:

  • New leads added
  • Conversion %: lead to applicant
  • % leads submitted to jobs
  • New candidate utilization rate
  • Conversion %: lead to employee
  • Submission to placement rate
  • Redeployment rate
  • Database utilization rate

Depending on market trends and the type of business you’re running, the metrics that matter may look different between organizations. Regardless of which specific metrics you focus on, measuring concrete data points can help evaluate whether or not you’re moving the needle and giving talent the experience they deserve. Even an incremental change in a few of these metrics can result in huge gains. 

Actionable insights

The industry tends to conduct measurements based on the past with traditional volume-based metrics. These metrics are essential – and you can take them a step further with actionable insights. Actionable insights provide guidance on how to improve your KPIs by indicating what to do today to see a better result tomorrow.

Actionable insights help cut through the noise and provide a data-driven path forward for every member of your team.

Business metrics

The business metrics are your larger-scale data points – and the best way to improve them is by looking at your framework, your performance metrics, and actionable insights and by making incremental changes that add up to huge results.

Ultimately, to improve your business metrics, you need the right combination of people, processes, and technology, plus the right change management around business processes.

Unlocking this growth won’t happen overnight. It’s a never-ending data journey; your team will always need to make recalibrations and adjustments as your goals – and the market – evolve.

See it in action

Don’t take our word for it. One of Bullhorn’s customers in the commercial staffing space invested in this methodology and saw huge results.

In 2021, this customer noticed a rising candidate acquisition cost driven by job boards. After taking note of this business metric, they dove into their performance metrics. They found that even with 3,000 open jobs, they weren’t growing; their top-of-funnel candidate spend wasn’t moving the needle.

As a result, they leveraged actionable insights to improve recruiter coverage of Class A jobs and build automation to drive better Class A job matches. With this action plan, they revised their framework to invest in better job matching/AI, job classification, talent lifecycle segmentation, and personalized recruiter engagement.

After making these changes and investments, they saw incredible results:

  • Database utilization increased by 9%
  • Engagement open rates increased by 50%
  • Class A placements increased by 130%
  • Open jobs fell by 50%
  • Candidate acquisition cost fell by 8.3%

By transforming into an insights-driven organization and making small adjustments, this organization unlocked powerful growth – and they’re just getting started.

How to get started

Get your organization started on your data journey with a few simple steps.

  1. Shift in mindset. Be open to change, even if it means a shift in what you’ve traditionally always done.
  2. Get curious about the “why.” Seek to understand the process behind the numbers and ask questions.
  3. Business intelligence: not just for C-level. When data is accessible to everybody, everyone understands their impact on the business as a whole.

The true value of data isn’t looking to the past; it’s looking to the future. Get started on the journey, provide a top-tier talent experience, and drive your business forward.

Powerful, easy-to-understand, real-time reporting and actionable insights accessible to users at every level in your recruitment agency. Say hello to Bullhorn Analytics.

Subscribe to the Staffing Blog

Subscribe for trends, tips, and insights delivered straight to your inbox.