The Beginner’s Guide to Talent Attraction: Collect and Analyze Talent Data (Part Three)

Back to Part Two – Strategy and Goal Planning

In Part 3 of our blog series on Talent Attraction, TalentSum’s Christopher Mengel discusses how to collect and analyze talent data to activate you strong employer brand and compelling value proposition. Use this post as a guide to help organize your thoughts and to get moving in the right direction.


Let’s say, for example, that your three primary goals are to:

  1. improve both attraction and retention by x%
  2. hire only “best-fit” people
  3. improve your employee satisfaction rate to x%

That’s great – but where do you stand right now? To find out, you’re going to need to collect some data from your company (and maybe even from your competitors ) and then translate that data into insights you can use.


When you review your competition, try to capture everything you can find, including: career sites, employer brand, employer-facing content, application processes and hiring experiences, great ideas, trends, technologies and more. Use this competitive data to improve your own approach with best practices, ideas and trends that are already working out in the field.


Don’t forget to pull your own KPI data, including: time to fill ratios, cost per hire, retention rates, job application rates, advertising and marketing spends, cost of turnover, cost of on boarding, and even list all your investments related to last year’s brand building, cost of tools, and so on. This data will help you to build up a few important baselines.


It also makes sense to survey past/current candidates and employees to collect preferences, opinions, and attitudes or interests. In your survey, make sure to use a structured (formal and out in front) approach to collecting the data, including: email/web-based surveys, phone or in-person interviews, and focus groups. While you are doing this, deploy your own unstructured (behind the scenes) approach to collect other data, including: employee-initiated feedback, employee reviews on third-party websites (Glassdoor), unsolicited comments across social media (Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook), and so on.

This two-part approach – structured and unstructured surveying – will help you to develop clear answers to the following questions:

  • How is our organization perceived as an employer when compared to other companies in our field?
  • What specifically makes our organization attractive to candidates?
  • Which aspects of our employer brand (as it relates to attraction and engagement) are functioning at a high/low level.
  • What sources are used by candidates to find, and learn about, our organization?
  • How can we use our employer-of-choice status to deliver more successful outcomes across attraction, engagement, recruitment, hiring and retention.
  • What are the ways we can improve communication in our organization?

This might be a good time to drill down and show you how to organize your perception survey to get you started and on your way.

Basically, what you should be trying to uncover are the real (authentic) truths about your company – not things you make up stuff that sound good. It’s critical that you lead with authenticity because all of this will be used to support your later efforts when you are building up content and messaging to deliver on your brand promise. Working from authenticity will help you to improve your ability to connect to and engage with the “heart and soul” of the people you want to hire most. And all of this will be used to drive your hiring and fit profiles, candidate personas, job description content, blog content, career site messages, and so on.

A high-quality talent attraction program requires that you take the time to learn about your organization (it’s authentic truths, not fake) and employees (who they are, why they work, and why they stay) and then strategically deploy available (real) resources to attract and connect with others outside your organization.

Continue to Understanding the Employer Brand (Part Four)

Related blog posts to read include:





Christopher Mengel is the founder of TalentSum LLC, a strategic talent acquisition consultancy and best practices implementation firm. Some of the world’s most notable companies partner with TalentSum to activate a strong employer brand, attract more people who fit, improve engagement and experiences, and deliver high-performing cultures.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Talent Attraction: Collect and Analyze Talent Data (Part Three)

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