SmartRecruiters Blog
Man happy about his reporting strategy

6 Steps to a Talent Acquisition Reporting Strategy

Good reporting is critical to achieving hiring success. Without a reporting strategy, how can you know if you are attracting, selecting, and hiring the best talent, within budget, and in the most efficient way? But often, reporting for talent acquisition is harder than it sounds. Gathering reports from disparate systems or business units can take up vast amounts of time, and sometimes a lack of data accuracy prevents the reports from being useful.

Why Implement a Reporting Strategy?

A solid reporting strategy can help you and your organization improve hiring outcomes in multiple ways:

  • Evaluate real-time progress against goals
  • Uncover hiring process roadblocks
  • Measure the progress of DEI recruitment efforts
  • Track the effectiveness of new strategies so that you can pivot when necessary
  • Align TA with other business functions
  • Inform stakeholders across the organization 
  • Build credibility with executive stakeholders and the C-Suite
  • Inform the next steps toward developing a more mature TA function
  • Get support for future TA initiatives
  • Build effective strategies to stay competitive in the talent marketplace
  • Gather career-building win stories

How to Build a Talent Acquisition Reporting Strategy

Whether you’re still pulling reports manually or have some automation already built into your reporting strategy, you can start afresh and rethink your approach. The goal is to meet the needs of talent acquisition today, which may mean adjusting processes that worked in the past. Here’s how to get started:

1. Conduct an Audit

A reporting audit answers these questions.

  • What reports are currently being run? At what time intervals?
  • Who is responsible for running the reports and distributing them? How much time does it take?
  • What reporting tools are available to us? Do we currently leverage our existing dashboards to the fullest?
  • Who receives the reports? Are they the right people?
  • Who makes decisions based on the reports? How is the success of those decisions being measured?
  • Are the current reports effective at measuring what your company needs? Is there information missing that would help with decision-making? Identify the gaps.

2. Understand Business Goals

No reporting strategy can be effective without understanding the needs of the business. This may include differences across business units, locations, role types, etc. Then you need to look closely at your TA processes for each business concern. At SmartRecruiters, we encourage our customers to take the Hiring Success Business Assessment. The assessment helps them define their maturity status across people, processes, and technology in 21 compenents of talent acquisition. These components are grouped into three buckets: Talent Attraction & Engagement, Collaboration & Selection, and Management & Operating Model. 

By looking at the needs of the business against your current hiring practices, you can start to see where accurate reporting will have the most impact as you make improvements.

3. Ensure you Have Clean Data

Talent acquisition systems are designed to deliver good data, but only if they are used properly. Your reporting strategy will be ineffective if data is missing due to poor system adoption or missing links between tools. To ensure accurate data collection, you may need to identify where you need to improve processes or link systems.

4. Determine KPIs and Set Benchmarks

Every business needs KPIs that matter to the specific situation. While benchmarks may differ across different groups, it’s important to have goals in your sight. Then, individuals can be held accountable to reaching those goals. For example, if hiring velocity is a priority and hiring managers routinely slow down processes by taking too long to make decisions, they should be expected to make the necessary adjustments to hire on time. 

5. Establish a Reporting Cadence

Which reports get run weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually? Determine who is responsible for creating and reviewing reports. To level-set teams and build the expectation of accountability, schedule meetings to review results well in advance.

Establishing a structured reporting plan may reveal knowledge gaps among stakeholders. It may be useful to enable data literacy through additional training from an expert. With greater data literacy, stakeholders can learn to ask better questions of the data and answer them on their own. Data literacy sets the stage for continuous improvement. 

6. Set Up Dashboards and Iterate

Developing a good reporting strategy is an iterative process. The first dashboards may not be as useful as you thought once the data starts coming in. It may take some time to start getting clean data, or some individuals may require education to understand all the data points on the dashboards. Over time, your team will become more fluent in reading the reports and discovering insights that can move the business forward.  

An Expert Can Help Guide the Way

Reporting for talent acquisition is a highly specialized function that other business analytics teams may lack the expertise (or bandwidth) to accomplish. Accurate, actionable reporting is essential in your path to hiring success and crucial to unlocking the full potential of your recruiting function.

SmartRecruiters SmartSuccess Talent Strategy & Insights consulting packages help you level up your reporting strategy. Working with an experienced consultant, you’ll dive deep into what’s working and what’s not. Together, you and the consultant will come up with action and success plans tailored specifically to your business needs. You’ll receive:

  • Analytics and insights strategy sessions to identify what stories the data can tell you, giving you the ability to translate TA goals to measurable outcomes 
  • Monthly insights maintenance and strategy alignment sessions to ensure you have the full picture of your talent organization to make informed business decisions
  • Personalized Tableau dashboards that consolidate the most frequently needed data in one place

There’s no reason a sound reporting strategy should stand in the way of Hiring Success. Get in touch with us to learn more about SmartRecruiters and SmartSuccess. And for a deep dive into how you can lead more strategically with data, download our ebook, A Seat at the Table: A Guide to Leading a Strategic Talent Acquisition Function.


Lee Ann Prescott

Content marketing lead for SmartRecruiters