Talent Acquisition Metrics That Matter

15 min readDec 19, 2021


Somehow since the advent of career webpages, the proliferation of HR technology, and the emergence of applicant tracking systems, companies have lost their way in the HR Forest and forgotten that ‘career site output is for the benefit of the Enterprise first, and the candidate second.’ A company’s career site primary objective is to help the Enterprise find fully qualified candidates faster and cheaper. The ROI for any and all tools on a career site should be measured in how much they reduce the time and cost of identifying, targeting, and engaging fully qualified candidates that meet real time company needs. Effective career sites need to be able to instantaneously and automatically identify which candidates are qualified for company jobs, which candidates are not qualified for company jobs, and most importantly, which candidates have skills set that make them a priority for company engagement. The only metrics that should matter about any candidate that hits an enterprise career site are:

1) Is the candidate qualified or not qualified for any of the company’s jobs

2) How qualified is the candidate to all of the company’s open demand

3) Is the candidate actively interested/available

Unfortunately, these are not the metrics most companies are currently getting and using. Most career sites operate mainly as marketing with a couple of buttons to collect analog resumes into a centralized depository so ‘things’ can be done with them. Since these career sites don’t have any upstream mechanisms to value or qualify candidates against the company’s current set of open jobs, every submitted resume needs to be viewed and handled by recruiters AFTER submission — basically a 1:1 interaction which means time and resources. Today’s career sites have basically become a resume dump where anyone — qualified or not — can drop off an analog document that will ultimately distract and consume the company’s resources. This leads most companies grasping for career site metrics that do nothing to benefit the Enterprise and leads them into a ‘tail wagging the dog’ situation. Often these metrics reinforce habits that contribute nothing to finding qualified candidates. These metrics include:

· How many clicks did we have on our website today

· How many resumes did we get into the ATS

· How many views of Facebook/LinkedIn did we get

· How many seconds did each candidate spend on our website

· How many candidates came from espn.com or other sites

These are standard and very common career site metrics because they can be easily measured; however, none of these metrics tell the enterprise anything about the qualifications or the value of each individual candidate hitting the career site. These metrics are all about collecting interaction information around the “marketing message” rather than collecting interaction data that reveals the candidate’s “demand value” to the Enterprise. They encourage perverse thinking that “more is better” and can lead a whole organization down the wrong path. If you get 100 unqualified folks applying today, is it better to market harder and get 1000 unqualified folks applying tomorrow? The present metrics can easily convince a company that they are doing the right thing, when in fact they just significantly increased the cost of wading through all the noise and trash in their ATS while getting no closer to helping the Enterprise.

These metrics don’t matter because they can’t be used to move the ‘demand closing’ needle. There are two major outcomes of using these measures that point to the fact that this standard methodology is systemically broken and hinders rather than helps both the enterprise and every candidate the enterprise wants to hire. First, SHRM tells us that only 20% of all candidates that are hired by large companies come in via the standard recruiting pipeline; and that the vast majority come in via a networked introduction to company operations. One could argue that networking is so relied upon because the standard system is broke. In any event, this 20% industry average is relatively accurate based on the information we have collected from our large-scale customers. Secondly, Oplign has also seen through its interaction with several large organizations, that only 20% of that 20% that applies through the company career site is even qualified for the job they are applying against. This means 80% of all resumes a company gets in its candidate resume pile are not usable for the applied job. Furthermore, this means that a company has set up costly systems and processes to handle that 80% of the resumes from individuals who are NOT qualified. Whatever cost-per-hire (CPH) metric that a company uses is unnecessarily driven up by the unqualified 80%. A more precise and strategic approach can easily reduce those CPH metrics by 70% or more.

Career Site: Garbage In — Garbage Out

Even when companies recognize that the metrics don’t matter and the system is massively inefficient, the usual company response is, “Well then we should spend more marketing dollars” even though the irony is that company careers sites are nothing more than marketing sites anyway. What started out with the right question: “How can we improve our career site and tools to find more qualified candidates?” turned into several online pages of vignettes and stock photos of individuals who are not employees. There are sections about how great the company is to its employees; how every day is an adventure; about how great the benefits are; descriptions of charities the company sponsors; and snippets from folks that work their presently about how much they love the company culture. What is clearly missing from the typical career page is an automated way for the candidate to immediately assess if they are qualified to work at the company, and more importantly, how valuable their skills sets are for this company. For that, they are left to guess for themselves.

Most career sites have several sections to engage with certain types of candidates. There are sections for new graduates, for Military Veterans, and for “Professionals.” Many companies in more specialized industries will also have sections dedicated to “Cleared Professionals” or “Health Care Professionals” or “Cyber Professionals.” In almost every case, the specialized sections have the following approach:

· Post statements of why the company loves this type of professional

· Post pictures of this type of professional in a company setting

· Post vignettes about his type of professional in a company work setting

· Post statements from a present company employee that is this group type

· Posts logos of 3rd party groups the company supports that helps this kind of professional

…and then ALL OF THEM lead the candidate right back into the general population of all candidates through the “Back to Careers” button to go figure out which job is right for you. None of the pages of statements, pictures, and adulations do a single thing to measure if a candidate is of any value to the company. THE most important metric is left up to each and every individual candidate to decide…and we already know that 80% of the time they decide wrong.

All those focused recruiting efforts ultimately get diluted because candidates get dumped right back into a systematically broken and analog system. No matter how different, or specialized, or in demand any candidate is, they all get pointed back to a single-entry point to interact with a flat, semantically ambiguous, “dumb” career page. Whether its 50 or 5,000 jobs posted, it doesn’t matter, everywhere the candidates go to find a job (site, career fair, information session, etc.), they are told the same thing:

· Conduct your own semantic word search…and, yes, we have lots of jobs titled “Technician” “Field Support” “Engineer” and “Manager III” that we don’t even understand

· Interpret ambiguous job requirements like “Must have skills to function in this labor category” and “Must be able to pass our variable skills tests.”

· Pick one out of the 60+ jobs you qualify for that we have posted right now to rewrite your entire resume around so we can easily screen it out in a 7 second glance

· Re-write our jobs requirements into your 3–5 page resume to make sure it gets past our ATS key word screener just like everyone else who isn’t qualified is doing

· Now repeat this at least 10 times with different resume for each job until you get a response of some sort, but I wouldn’t wait on that too long.

This is not a good experience for anyone. No one wants to re-write resumes. No one wants to read resumes and when they do, it’s done in 7 seconds. And yet, enterprises have a system that forces candidates to continually re-write resumes for every job application, and even encourages candidates that are not qualified to submit resumes at scale into their system.

The fact is that no career site tools, ATS, HRMS, or head-hunter has the ability to target, qualify, and value a candidate for a company automatically AND at scale…except Oplign. Oplign cures all your candidate metrics and targeting issues, because it cures the core problem of candidate value awareness well BEFORE they even get into you ATS. The following section discusses how Oplign’s tools give you the real metrics that matter, 24/7/365, everywhere all the time.

High Value Data Curation for Enterprise Optimization

Companies should focus their engagement activities on candidates that have the relevant skills aligned to a company’s work demand. Each recruiting dollar should be spent on systems and processes that focus on those candidates that are more aligned to its jobs and pass on candidates that are not. This is an obvious approach but very difficult to execute especially for companies that consistently have hundreds of open jobs. The key is that a company must fully understand all its labor requirements at all times. It needs a platform that allows a company to instantaneously and automatically understand everything it is requesting from the labor market in real time. If a company didn’t have any demand, it wouldn’t even need a career site. Again, the career site exists to help the company close real time demand as fast and cheap as possible, not to collect resumes.

This is why Oplign has built, in essence, a Demand Intelligence Platform. Oplign’s technology allows a company to holistically see and analyze ALL labor requirements they have all the time at an elemental level. By having instant access to this highly technical curated demand data, a company can now collect and analyze the key metrics for real time candidate valuation. Candidate valuation is the metric that matters most, and can be measured from the demand side perspective, as well as from the career site perspective, as outlined below. And it can be done way upstream of the candidate screening process before the candidates even apply.

Oplign is the most advanced labor demand data aggregation application platform in the world. It focuses on helping a company understand its real time labor requirements at scale and shows a company its own labor data that it was never able to assemble and analyze before. Hence, this new labor demand data awareness creates multiple ‘use cases’ that can add immediate value to the company. This includes optimizing recruiting activities by applying demand data valuation metrics to EVERY candidate the company considers.

The Oplign Approach

Through a suite of applications, Oplign’s platform shows the exchange of company supply and demand data to anyone in the company that needs it in support of their jobs. For purposes of this discussion, we will show three major ways Oplign delivers high value candidates to a company, and the high value demand decision data to the enterprise are:

1. With Optimal Career Site Alignment

2. With Data & Tools for Optimal Candidate Targeting

3. With Data & Tools for Total Talent Awareness

These are actually approaches and best practices that are being used by Oplign’s clients — some of which include Fortune 100 companies in the telecommunications, banking, and logistics industries.

1. Optimal Career Site Alignment

Because Oplign already knows the company’s demand profile down to each job’s qualifications, the Oplign platform can show a candidate’s relative value to the company in a less than 60-second interaction at the career site. This is an intuitive, rapid, and self-contained interaction that creates Pareto distribution data and displays results for all parties involved. Because Oplign is a full SaaS product that requires no integration, the only thing a company needs to get this alignment is to place a button on their career site. The button’s look, feel, and verbiage can be configured anyway the company wants, because the real magic is that the button “back end” is connected the company’s curated demand data. As seen with Oplign’s current customers, 98%+ click the button on a company career site, fully complete the interaction, and make the company fully aware of their demand closing value.

The candidate workflow for this interaction is simple, intuitive, contextually relevant, and grants immediate value-based feedback for the candidate, as seen in the graphic below.

For the Company: The interaction allows the company to immediately see the following data about the candidate:

· If they are qualified for a job/jobs at the company

· If they are qualified at scale for jobs at the company (i.e. have highly valuable skill set)

· If they are interested or have interacted with specific company jobs

· If they are targeting specific location preferences in their interaction

· If they have specific longtail skills the company always looks for (i.e. Bachelors in CompSci, TS/SCI with Poly, AWS certifications, etc.)

For the Candidate: By focusing on helping the Enterprise close its demand faster, we have built the best candidate interaction available via this data exchange interaction by giving the candidate:

· Immediate understanding of what jobs they can do for the company

· Immediate understanding if the company recruits for their skills at scale

· Immediate understanding of their key gaps to what the company wants (…and Oplign generates an immediate Gap Report for them help them as well.)

· What locations are open for their alignment to the company jobs demand

Furthermore, focusing on gathering the most important data from every candidate interaction, also creates the BEST candidate customer experience as well. Candidates are much better off if they immediately know if there are opportunities that they qualify for. They don’t waste time with a submission for a very low percentage chance and really value the immediate feedback. We have learned that the only metrics candidates care about are: (a) am I qualified for the job; (b) is it in a location I’m interested in; and (c) do I want to pursue this further. Oplign shows the candidate all the options that give a candidate these answers in a real time, dynamic, intuitive manner like no other application before.

From an administrative and workload point of view, this interaction is completely passive for the company. That is, the company doesn’t have to do anything to harvest all this data in real time. The platform allows the candidates to do the input, and then guides or targets them correctly into the ATS. All ATS’s are passive and have no filtering or screening mechanism for what goes into it. Oplign acts as an upstream quality control, traffic cop, or people sorter for resume submissions, while also pointing to the right jobs to submit to — many of which the candidate may not have even been aware of. This feature alone significantly increases candidate yield, especially for specialized groups such as Veterans, Cleared Professionals, PHD candidates, etc. and meets the key reason the company has a career site is the first place.

2. Data for Optimal Candidate Targeting

Oplign shows a company the relative value of every candidate against its real-time demand and prioritizes candidates based on their value to the company. For example, if one day a company is looking for 100 Software Engineer candidates that have experience with Software Engineering and the associated skills that go with it — Degree in CompSci, writes Python, knows Linux, uses Jenkins, etc. — Oplign will value rank these towards the top. If the company closes those jobs and shifts focus to Supply Chain Managers, the prioritization will immediately change — moving those candidates with Supply Chain skills to the top. Oplign literally brings you “what the company is asking for” in real time because it is a full automated and dynamic supply-demand data exchange. Again, this is all about closing Real Time Company Demand, not just collecting resumes for the sake of having a lot of resumes.

Another Oplign module can show the company’s recruiters a real-time prioritized list of candidates that hit their site and are aligned to the company’s job requirements. All of these candidates and their alignment are literally a button click away for any company representative that wants to see it. This allows a company to ALWAYS be engaging with the most valuable candidates that have hit the company career site. It also gives actionable data so management can task organize around a ranked set of relevant candidates instead of wasting valuable time going through their ATS depository of resumes. The management metrics for this is a simple question:

“Have we engaged the Top 10 most valuable candidates today?”

For the cost of ten minutes a day, Oplign allows a company to continually target, engage, and pipeline THE most valuable candidates every day, everywhere, all the time. And these are literally candidates that have come to your career site and are looking through your jobs in real time.

The candidates are prioritized based on their ‘OpValue’ alignment score. This valuation was created based on the alignment of candidate skills with real time company demand requirements and how many jobs this person is aligned to at this company.

As an example you can see a candidate has years of experience with technology application, the management of technology application, as well as key certifications and a TS/SCI clearance. Those are skills and experience this company finds highly valuable because they are literally asking for these qualification and requirements in their job postings. We allow for an automatic search of the most valuable candidates for the last 3, 10, or 30 days. This goes back to our basic assumption that a company should only engage high value candidates…and the high their value, the faster they should be engaged. Now, this leads to a new tangible and valuable metric that matters for the company:

“How fast did we engage the Top 10 most valuable candidates today?”

3. Tools for ‘Total Talent Awareness’

Oplign shows a company the relative value of every candidate to its real time demand and prioritizes the candidates that are most valuable for a company on a continuous and daily basis. It shows how the candidates coming in are immediately aligned, and their value exposed to anyone in the company that wants to look. Prioritization always places the most valuable candidate at top, with all candidates listed by descending value order to the company demand.

Any recruiter can now see the candidate’s profile; or click the ‘Jobs’ button to see which open jobs they align to; or click the ‘Ops2ATS’ button to see which jobs the candidate was looking at or went to apply for; or easily query the database by looking for specifically for what currently matters to the company. Because every click of a candidate’s interaction creates data, not string text or resume flat files, everything the company is asking for is immediately querable in a massively extensible and multi variable nature. This allows a recruiter to immediately find exactly what they are looking for all the time in a couple of seconds.

Other Non-productive Efforts

Many companies create affinity groups or a “Talent Community” to draw in and attract candidates that fall under a unique recruiting class. These could be new college grads, D&I groups, Veterans, Cleared individuals, etc. Unfortunately, these Talent Communities yield nothing more than a pile of aging resumes from a lot of candidates that aren’t qualified for any company jobs. Our research and engagements with large companies in the finance, defense, and tech sectors shows that almost no one ever use the information dumped into those recruiting communities. This begs the question of ‘what are the metrics around Talent Community resumes?’ There are none because it produces nothing of value. Why do companies have them? It’s an attempt to segregate the candidate population into more manageable subgroups but it doesn’t help the Enterprise get any closer to yielding faster. They forgot that the career site is there for the Enterprise, not so every candidate can pull a lever at the career site.

To restate, Oplign’s breakthrough technology provides that critical element that can completely change the paradigm of how a company collects talent data and makes it immediately useful. The Supplylign.Talent module is a real time, persistent, consistent, talent tracker. A tool that allows anyone in the company (Business Development, Operations, Capture, Talent Acquisition, etc.) to continually look for exactly what they need, in any configuration they need to look for it, at any time or in any scope they need for closing demand faster. In addition to predictive analysis and other upskilling functionality, this talent tracker is also ‘kinetic’ in that Oplign has the ability to query any candidate in a company’s Supplylign with any other skills and requirements a company wants to know about. This is a more advanced feature on a different module, but we wanted to mention it because it is one more way in which Oplign helps a company meet The MOST IMPORTAT MEASURE for all of this:

“How fast are we closing open demand?”

Oplign makes the complex simple, by creating a full labor data exchange where none existed before. This allows for a highly customized interaction for every candidate that hits a company’s career site, which is the best interaction that these jobs seekers have ever had on any employment site. Ultimately, Oplign’s primary purpose is to help the company close its open demand faster, by targeting the most valuable candidates available at all times, everywhere, all the time, and at the lowest possible cost point.