Let me tell you a story. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

On a monthly basis I used to sit in the executive team meeting where each department leader would share progress against their goals/KPI’s.

This one particular leader on the HR team, month over month, used to show every data point imaginable to support progress. Everything on her scorecard was green. Great you might say.

One day I leaned across to a peer and said “The business must be over the moon with her progress”. They responded with, “Nah, they don’t believe the data she presents”

Ever presented to a bunch of business executives on a metric like Time to Hire/Fill and you get responses from them like: “Well your data might say that, but based on conversations with my leaders, they say it takes too long or longer than your reports”.

So, the meeting ends up being more about refuting or debating the data.

Garbage in / Garbage Out

It does not matter how great your systems are, while you still have people entering information into a system of record, mistakes get made. If you have ever had to analyze your own Applicant Tracking System (ATS) data, I bet you have never seen Req’s with minus 5 Days Time to Hire/Fill, right? Or, never had issues with your recruiters only updating ATS records every second Friday?.

There are lots of reasons, be it simple human error, operational oversight, technology limitations, unconscious (and conscious) bias that impact the integrity of your data.

Executives are not stupid, as they have the similar issue on other parts of their business.

I know we are getting better as an industry using data to help tell the recruiting story and showing critical insights, just be careful on your own continued journey as you present your story and how you position the data that supports it.

The lessons I have learned over the years, and some pretty harsh ones, is you are better off stating that what you are presenting is directionally correct vs standing your ground stating that it’s 100% irrefutable.

Remember folks, if people doubt the data, then they doubt the person presenting it.

Need some Intelligent Advice on how to? Come visit me at McINTOSH & Co.