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In the fast-paced world of recruiting, having accurate and up-to-date data is crucial for success. Let’s explore how data hygiene can boost your hiring—or negatively impact your recruiting efforts.

What Is Data Hygiene?

Data hygiene refers to the process of maintaining clean and accurate data within a system.

This could mean, for example, updating a candidate’s status to show that they successfully completed the first round of screening. When this data is clean and clear, you can use it to take appropriate action. (In this case, your candidate’s status might inform what messages you send to them, or whether you invite them to complete another screening step.)

6 Ways Poor Data Hygiene Hurts Your Hiring

1. Increasing Your Time-to-Hire

Time is of the essence during the hiring process. Candidates often explore multiple opportunities simultaneously, which means that delays in your hiring process can lead to you losing top talent to competitors.

But with proper data hygiene, you can reduce your time-to-hire significantly.

Let’s say you’ve let your data hygiene slide. Maybe you haven’t updated a candidate’s status, even after their application has been reviewed. As a result, their resume might be reviewed several times by different recruiters before someone moves them to the next stage of the hiring process. This wastes valuable time.

Apploi has found that teams who maintain data hygiene automatically reduce their time-to-hire by an average of 18%.

2. A Negative Candidate Experience

Candidates deserve a seamless and personalized experience throughout the recruitment journey. And one way to improve the candidate experience is by making sure your applicants receive prompt, relevant communication.

But with poor data hygiene, it’s much more challenging to ensure your messages to candidates are both prompt and pertinent. When your applicants’ statuses are out of date or inaccurate, you might not understand exactly where they are in the recruitment pipeline. In turn, you won’t have the visibility to tailor your messaging or make sure candidates get the information they need.

On top of that, if you’re trying to send candidate messages automatically, clean data is a necessity. Automated workflows require updated statuses to work effectively. Without updated statuses, you won’t be able to program your workflows—and therefore won’t be able to save time with automation.

That’s a big loss, especially considering that when it’s set up correctly, workflow automation shortens the time to the first candidate outreach by a staggering 49%.

3. Lack of Clarity Across Facilities

Recruiting often involves coordination across different facilities or departments. Unfortunately, disorganized and unclear data can hinder effective communication and decision-making.

If someone is trying to understand your hiring at a large scale, then having disordered data can make their job much, much harder. They’ll be stuck wondering how many candidates are in the pipeline, who’s been rejected, and why some candidates seem to be stuck at a certain stage—even if they aren’t.

Implementing good data hygiene practices provides clarity and visibility to all users involved in the recruitment process. Everyone knows precisely where candidates stand in the pipeline, which streamlines operations and reduces confusion.

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4. Incorrect Conclusions

Data is the foundation for strategic decision-making. However, if your data is inaccurate or incomplete, it can lead to confusing metrics and flawed analyses.

Without good data hygiene, you may neglect issues in your hiring process. You won’t be able to fully grasp trends in your recruiting data, and you’ll be unable to fix problems that might otherwise be apparent.

For example, maybe you’re experiencing a number of candidate drop-offs after the first interview. With poor data hygiene, you might not even know this is happening. But if you’re updating candidate statuses regularly, you’ll be able to identify the trend and change your messaging during interviews to fix it.

5. Inequitable Hiring Practices

Fairness and inclusivity are crucial in the hiring process. But poor data hygiene can inadvertently lead to accusations of discrimination. If candidates remain unreviewed and stagnant for an extended period, anyone reviewing your pipeline might wonder if this is partly due to your recruiters’ biases.

To avoid compliance and HR issues, it’s essential to keep candidates moving along the hiring pipeline. Simultaneously, examine any biases that may come through in the data. With this insight, it will be much easier to ensure that all candidates receive equal consideration—something that’s nearly impossible to track if your data is messy or unrefined.

6. An Impaired Indeed Algorithm

For companies using platforms like Indeed, data hygiene can significantly impact algorithmic recommendations (as well as your ability to receive a Responsive Employer Badge, which can help your jobs stand out in search results).

When your data isn’t precise, Indeed and other job platforms won’t be able to accurately calculate the qualities you prefer in job candidates, and won’t be able to update your recommendations accordingly. But when your data is clean and accurate, you are less likely to receive candidates who have repeatedly no-showed or have poor engagement history. This can improve the relevance and quality of candidate recommendations from such platforms.

How Do You Improve Your Data Hygiene?

Maintaining good data hygiene requires proactive efforts from everyone involved in the recruiting process. Here are some essential steps to improve data hygiene:

  • Update candidate statuses. Regularly update candidate statuses in your applicant tracking system to accurately reflect their current stage in the hiring pipeline.
  • Train staff. Ensure that all team members understand the importance of data hygiene and can follow best practices.
  • Keep notes. Encourage team members to keep detailed notes about candidate interactions and progress. If, for any reason, a status isn’t updated, notes can help you get back on track.

Improving Your Data Hygiene Is Easy With Apploi

Data hygiene is the backbone of successful recruiting. From reducing time-to-hire and improving the candidate experience to avoiding discriminatory practices and maximizing job boards’ effectiveness, good data hygiene is essential.

With Apploi, you can create custom statuses that help you stay on track, internally and externally, and set up workflows that keep most statuses updated automatically.

Schedule a demo to learn more today.

Jenny Ortiz

Jenny Ortiz is a strategic marketer with over 15 years of experience in creative, marketing, and advertising. She specializes in developing best-in-class solutions around media diversification, employer brand, candidate journeys, and engagement in order to help healthcare companies attract top talent. Outside of the office, she is an advanced open water scuba diver and a lover of international travel, and enjoys spending quality time with friends and family.