Quick-Fire Chats with NICE: Hitting the Target with Research-Driven Recruitment

With the evolution of digital marketing and the increasing volume of information available at our fingertips, it’s getting more and more difficult for employers to rise above the noise in the eyes of their target talent.

In an industry that is still largely behind the curve when it comes to tech innovation and data analytics, there are a few outspoken figures that are tapping into their extensive networks, writing blogs and speaking at events like ours to showcase what modern day recruitment should be like. Theo Smith, Recruitment Manager at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is one of these people and we are really excited to have him speak at this year’s In-house Recruitment Live Manchester on 9th May.

For an organisation like NICE, which relies heavily on evidence-based guidance, data lies at the core of its processes. Naturally, the same goes for its recruitment. Theo will talk about why data-driven recruitment should be the norm for the industry, showcasing the tools and tactics that have helped him target, attract and hire his ideal candidates. Ahead of his presentation, we sat down with Theo to dive into his topic a bit more.

For your chance to hear Theo’s story in full, you can register to attend In-house Recruitment Live Manchester for free below but be quick, as spaces are limited!

When did you decide to adopt this research-driven approach to recruitment at NICE? 

For the first 10 years since NICE was established, we only had 4 specialist areas to work on. For the next five years that number increased to 14 and has continued on that upward trend to where we are today on our 20th anniversary. This has brought along new skills areas that had put pressure on our ability to identify and attract the talent we need, in what is a highly specialised and niche area.

Our challenge was that we had limited resource to allow us to spend time sourcing for candidates. We needed to get the best return on our investment, and we needed some research and evidence to help our decision making. Once we had the evidence, the content and the right channels would be key to driving successful campaigns.

What type of data do you look at in your research?

We looked at turnover data by running surveys to understand why people are leaving. We also use surveys to build personas based on the teams we were hiring for. You don’t need to extract complex data or make sense of ‘Big Data’, small bits of targeted data used correctly can have a major impact!

Our employer brand plays a key role here. We build a variety of online content, talking about the work that we do and our positive influence on the health sector. We are driving more applicants by constantly improving our content based on our findings and by targeting the right talent on the channels they spend their time on (in our case LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Stack Overflow, industry events etc.).

What can we expect to learn from your presentation at In-house Recruitment Live Manchester?

My presentation will hopefully help people understand what they need to research, based on their organisational strategy. Recruiters often feel pressured to find a way to proactively research the area they’re recruiting for but this is an evolving piece of work. Go back to basics, sit down with your Hiring Managers to understand who they are, what they want to achieve and what are their organisational strategies. All the disparate bits of information surprisingly can provide you with enough of the jigsaw puzzle to start to make some positive and impactful changes.

Theo has also recently written a blog post for #ChatTalent in which he explains NICE’s approach to research-driven recruitment in more detail. You can read it here.

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