Predictive analytics: 5 truths about data-driven recruiting

Posted by Denise Moulton, on February 26, 2019.

Like it or not, somebody is always watching us. In today’s digitized world, it’s impossible to search for anything online, like or share something on social media, or research a dream vacation without revealing information about ourselves to any number of invisible data collectors. Many businesses don’t just use this data to increase their bottom line—predictive analytics allows companies to use the information gathered to more efficiently and productively attract potential talent to the organization. These five truths about predictive analytics will help shed light on just how valuable this data is in talent acquisition (TA).

Truth #1: Cognitive technology is taking a front seat in advanced TA activities.
More than 2,500 online vendors of artificial intelligence (AI) and other cognitive technologies are now at the disposal of TA teams.1 And TA teams that are using predictive analytics are making solid traction—our research has found that high-performing organizations are six times more likely to use predictive data than their lower-performing counterparts.2

Truth #2: Predictive analytics screens information with the company in mind.
Predictive analytics has made it easier for recruiting teams to sift through the mountains of data that is readily available—yet often ignored. Now, employers can use this information not only to find and assess candidates but also to support the development of a high-caliber talent pipeline that is more likely to fit with their organizational culture. This future-focused lens does not take the guessing game out of sourcing great talent, per se, but it does provide an additional measure for recruiters to consider when hiring for today’s job or the workforce of tomorrow.

Truth #3: TA teams have been slow to adopt predictive analytics—to their detriment.
Despite the proven benefits of predictive analytics, many recruiters are caught in a vicious cycle of using outdated hiring methods. They’ve told us that they want to use AI and figure out how to use data more effectively, but they’re so busy filling jobs that they don’t have the time to understand the technology or science behind predictive analytics. We’ve found that only 29 percent of organizations are using even basic recruitment metrics (e.g., time to fill, source of hire).3 What these teams need to understand is that the use of AI and analytics often results in improved productivity and can actually buy them the extra time they need to focus on higher-value, human interactions, such as building relationships with talent and hiring managers.

Truth #4: Adding AI and similar tools is less intimidating than companies think.
By finding someone in the company familiar with the science and technology behind AI and predictive analytics, TA teams can take the first step toward updating some of the latent and manual recruiting practices that are still in place today and begin to apply a future-focused lens that will fuel TA productivity for years to come.

Truth #5: Predictive analytics begins with questions.
Companies could do well to figure out a question they can answer with the data at hand, such as how salary and promotions affect an employee’s loyalty to the organization. The answers can show return on investment—from there, companies can learn to harness the power of predictive analytics. In the case of “trying on” analytics, slow and steady win the race.

These five truths demonstrate that now is the time to unlock the value of predictive analytics. Sure, there’s a gap between understanding the importance of cognitive technology and acting on this understanding, but simple actions can begin to bridge the gap and serve your company indefinitely.

To learn more, Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP members can access Modernizing TA with Predictive Analytics in the Bersin library. Stay tuned for additional research on how organizations can continually improve their approaches to talent acquisition with technology coming later this year.

Denise Moulton is a vice president and the HR and talent research leader at Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

1 “Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem,”,
2 Six Key Insights to Put Talent Acquisition at the Center of Business Strategy and Execution, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.
3 Ibid

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