Graduate Management News

December 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

The Importance of Data Analytics in Recruitment Strategy

The use of data and effective analytical processes can be powerful tools for recruitment and admissions teams.

Data Analytics

For all of us, data has become an integral part of daily life. Now more than ever, the collection, storage, and analysis of data is big business. The large technology companies have huge reserves of servers placed in remote deserts to house their servers. In addition, the emergence of cloud technology is akin to a technological arms race.

For business schools, the rise in the importance of data can be reflected in what we teach, as the GMAC 2016 Application Trends Survey suggests that the Masters in Data Analytics is the newest and fastest-growing segment of graduate management education. Employers recognize the need for individuals with strong data analytical skills who will become ever more valuable in the coming years.

Within our applications, we collect a vast range of data that can be segmented for targeted recruitment activities. Analyzing applicant data pre-submission allows schools to engage a pipeline with events and communications that are directly relevant and not seen as mass recruitment efforts.

Below, I have highlighted three considerations to ensure best practice.

  • Collect the right data. When considering what data to collect from a sign-up form or registration list in the early pipeline phase, it is important to ensure that the data collected can be used to gain a new insight or gather information not previously collected. If you are looking to segment or analyze the data, it’s easier to work with key pieces of information than over-complicate your segmentation models. It may also have a negative effect on the individual who may be put off from providing too much personal data at such an early stage in the recruitment pipeline.
  • Clean data is crucial. If the data collected are not clean and accurate it becomes very difficult to accurately analyze, draw conclusions or see trends. Equally, it is important that the data collected reflect the fields that can be populated when you upload the newly required data back into your CRM system. Having data stored across spreadsheets and in different locations can lead to inaccuracies, which could lead to significant mismanagement of candidates.
  • Visualize your data analysis. Across the various data collection points of your applicant cycle (right up to submission) you are collecting detailed insights into the characteristics of your candidates. By using different segmentation techniques and mapping software to visualize the data, schools can run more personalized recruitment events/outreach/communications across locations and industries.

Data allows business schools to understand the motivations and pull factors of their candidates. It can shape how and what we communicate, determine where to hold events and ensure personalized engagement with individuals. Data analytics can be time consuming and frustrating but it can also be the key to ensuring you recruit and admit the right individuals for your programs.


About the Author

Aram Karakashian Aram Karakashian is Senior Recruitment and Admissions Manager, Early Career Programmes, at the London Business School.