Talent Acquisition Transformation Part 3; Let Data be your Dragonglass by Ben Gledhill

The third instalment in my mini guide to TA Transformation is one that is probably my favourite (I do apologise in advance to anyone who is not a Game of Thrones fan for the title).

We have covered what we need to get the transformation ball rolling, how to create experiences rather than processes. Now we will look at for me something that should be not only the backbone of any transformation, but the heart of your TA function; Data.

Data should drive the decisions we make. It should determine how we do things, where we need to improve and illustrate what impacts we have made. Whether it is the weekly kick-off meeting for a delivery team or as part of an Executive board pack, data should be used to engage and influence the organisation illustrating our ability to be a true profit centre.

I think everyone agrees that TA probably doesn’t use data as much as they should but for me it should be central to everything we do. It does not have to be difficult either. Look at what data-sets you collect; is it from an ATS/CRM? What does it tell you? Does it accurately reflect what you do as a function? Clearly here you might need a tough conversation with a supplier re configuration of your workflows or reporting capability but this is all essential stuff. If we look at our colleagues in Sales and Finance, this would probably be minimum par for the course…

When it comes to analysing and using your data, keep it simple. Look at your overall strategy…what are your overall goals and objectives? How do they cascade into activities? I always like to use the STRATEGIC TACTICAL OPERATIONAL model and below are some good examples:

Headcount growth/turnover

Cost of empty seat/vacancy

Employer Brand equity

Diversity & Inclusion


Talent availability/landscape/competition

Quality of hire

NPS Referrals/Advocacy


Time to hire

Source Conversion

Actual hires v Forecast


Now there are many more data-sets and metrics out there. Data and analytics is a huge area of TA that is growing at pace due to its strategic value and the development of tech and AI/automation. Focus on what you want to achieve and take it from there. Don’t walk before you can run however don’t underestimate the power of data. It is one of the biggest tools in your armoury when it comes to objectively proving your commercial worth as a TA function.



If you haven't already, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.


Ben Gledhill is currently Head of Resourcing at Yodel. Since entering the Talent industry in 2006, I have always wanted to make a difference and positively impact the lives of many. Many years later, as a proven Talent Acquisition Leader, Ben has led and developed both centralised and remote teams with a focus on performance, delivery and experience. Ben believes in the creation and adoption of a “hiring culture” through coaching, influencing and educating all members of an organisation; strategic, tactical and operational. His main passions lie in HRTech, Employer Branding and Candidate Experience ensuring that the organisation can achieve its goals through the attraction and retention of market-leading talent.