With numerous lockdowns and a pandemic that has swept the world, it’s a year many people want to forget. As we enter a new year, organisations should be considering what they want to achieve and how they can reach these business goals.

Growth will be on the cards for many organisations, but in order to achieve this, businesses must have the right talent in place. The current climate has resulted in a larger pool of talent available across the world, and remote working practices mean that potential talent no longer needs to come from the local area. Organisations need to get ready: as other businesses gear up for growth, quality candidates will be in high demand, so HR teams need to understand what their ideal candidate looks like and what skills are needed.

Jon Jensen, HCM Solutions Sales Manager of UK & EMEA at SplashBI, discusses how data must be at the heart of these talent acquisition decisions in order to not only hire the right people, but retain the right people, as organisations get ready for a new year and strong business growth.

A bold reset

Organisations bolted into 2020 with firm plans and optimistic outlooks. However, this all evaporated by mid-March as the focus turned from thriving to surviving for many organisations. Now, as this turbulent year draws to a close, a new question lies over the horizon: what will 2021 bring and how can organisations ensure they recruit the best employees?

The typical recruitment process is now redundant as organisations offer a more flexible than traditional approach in the aftermath of the pandemic. With government guidelines in the UK still recommending employees to work from home if they can, this changes the process of how HR departments and recruitment teams hire new employees. As we look ahead to 2021, HR departments will recognise that data-driven decisions, led by intelligent use of technology, are the way forward.

The power of data

Throughout the pandemic, the organisations that have succeeded have needed to step up and recruit more employees to keep up with the growing demand. The organisations that didn’t fare as well may now be gearing up to kick-start their activity again in 2021, and therefore need a strong team ready to go. But how can organisations ensure they are recruiting the right people for the job? By utilising the power of data analytics, organisations can ensure decisions are made that are truly backed up by data and insight rather than a mere ‘hunch’, ensuring the person selected will truly be right for the job.

One key way to do this is by analysing current employee characteristics and job role requirements to see what can be learnt for future or current recruitment decisions; does the data show which employees are the most productive, have the best track records at meeting targets or are the most committed to their roles? What character traits do these employees have that can be mirrored in new hires?

Combining data collected internally, with the qualities organisations value in their ideal candidates will enable a vigorous selection process and ensure the right candidate is hired. Future employees will be looking for organisations they can trust, that treated their employees fairly during the pandemic, and have adapted well to change, and instilling this trust in current employees is the place to start.

Traditional recruiting used to rely on luck and intuition more than data, which not only made the process time consuming, but nowhere near as accurate. Now, however, with a wealth of software and analytical tools at their fingertips, organisations can take a proactive, data-driven approach to recruitment, making it efficient, cost effective and measurable.


In order for organisations to thrive, they need to ensure that they have a well structured and cohesive team. Investing in data-decisions over assumptions will leave organisations better equipped for the long-term, with not just more successful talent acquisition, but talent retention too.

But with so many recruiters and HR teams seeking the same talent, the real challenge will be finding the ideal employee that’s invested in the organisation as much as the organisation is invested with them. HR departments will need to leverage the myriad of data touchpoints at their disposal and use data driven insights to drive recruitment decisions forward.