The recruitment data silos that are killing your hiring

Last updated:
March 24, 2021
June 1, 2023
min read
Adrie Smith
Table of contents

Your time-to-hire is spiraling out of control and candidates seem to be dropping out like flies. You’re sick of feeling like your hiring process could be smoother but unsure of where to start.  You’re certainly not alone and the solutions could lie in your recruitment data.

For many teams, it’s important to recognize the value of your data. It can help assess your team’s performance, identify areas for growth, reveal trends in candidate applications, and ultimately, guide your talent acquisition strategy. Capturing this data and utilizing it in a concerted effort can pave the way for a hiring strategy that targets opportunities and actively attracts the best talent on the market.

However, despite the importance of hiring data and its pervasive nature, it’s rarely shared with the relevant people. This lack of communication can produce silos that may be slowly taking down your hiring process.

hiring analytics

What is a recruitment data silo?

Let’s first begin with the definition of a data silo:

A data silo is a group of raw data that is accessible by one department but isolated from the rest of that organization. This results in a severe lack of transparency, efficiency, and trust within that organization.

A recruitment data silo describes any piece of data collected from your hiring process (or multiple pieces of related data) that is kept in isolation and is collected and accessed exclusively by one person, team or department.

Common tracked data that may be kept in isolation include:

  • CV source
  • CV to job ratio
  • Applications to vacancy ratio
  • Time spent sourcing
  • Fill rates
  • New hire turnover
  • Time to interview
  • Time to hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Interview to offer ratio
  • Offer to acceptance ratio
  • Referral hires
  • Assessment pass rates
  • Average results of candidate scorecards

While some may be intentional, most silos happen as a result of:

  • long and inefficient communication lines between recruiters, hiring managers, talent acquisition leads and department heads;
  • outdated processes or tools unfit for purpose;
  • incompatible systems where data is being separately collected.

(Hint: If you’re using Excel sheets anywhere in your recruitment process, you probably have recruitment data silos.)

Data silos are not always directly or immediately harmful, but they may be preventing organizational learning and stunting your team’s performance. Here we will explore the most common pieces of recruitment data that are siloed and how you can prevent them in order to promote a more comprehensive and transparent overview of your hiring process.

Candidate feedback & commentary

Throughout any hiring process, there are countless points of contact a recruitment team might have with a candidate. Communication might be recorded in your CRM platform, applicant tracking system or in your email.  The most common symptom of candidate feedback and commentary being siloed is missing information from a candidate record.

As a team grows, multiple members of your recruitment team may be in touch with a single candidate, which can complicate the process if the information is not shared among the team. This can be problematic at any stage of the recruitment process as hiring parties can come off uninformed or unprepared when speaking to the candidate. This particular type of siloing often occurs as a result of unintegrated email systems or a lack of accessibility of the candidate record.

In the first instance, emails are never transferred or recorded onto the candidate record. Information exchanged via email can be lost or accessible only to one person. These emails can contain crucial pieces of information like availability or details of the candidates’ right to work. If a hiring decision is made without this information, it can cause major issues down the line.

Alternatively, the siloing of candidate feedback and commentary can happen if hiring managers do not have licenses to access the candidate record. Instead, they may be given the candidate’s profile (often over email) and any feedback is fed through the recruiter. This can be problematic when there are details in the candidate commentary made through previous conversations. The hiring manager may risk asking some of the same questions again or be unable to see red flags that were raised earlier on.


Application data is frequently isolated into a silo as a result of having one person as the gatekeeper, screening CVs. While this is often intentional, having one gatekeeper can pose a risk when it comes to bias and quality of CVs.

Having one person screening and selecting CVs may save your hiring managers time initially, however, as your organization grows it becomes unsustainable.No one person will be able to select the right CVs for every position, and you may be missing out on high-potential candidates if they are not recognized during the screening process. Additionally, having one person responsible for screening CVs with no oversight from other parties can enable biased selection. Keeping application data in a data silo controlled by one party can ultimately mean you miss opportunities when it comes to hiring the best talent.

Recruitment metrics

Tracking recruitment metrics is a great way of monitoring a team performance. These numbers are collected with the intention of guiding your process and alerting you when there is an issue in your hiring process. However, they are often collected across different platforms or accessed exclusively by talent managers or department heads.

Without regular access to reporting and recruitment metrics, responding to lurking problems highlighted by your recruitment metrics will be challenging for individual recruiters. Additionally, if you collect information across several platforms it will be difficult to reconcile the numbers and provide a comprehensive overview of activities to your team. This silo prevents your recruitment team from being accountable for their activities and owning the hiring process.

Overview of the talent pipeline

When candidate applications have dropped off or it becomes harder to find the right candidates, it can be difficult to communicate this to the business. While most recruiters and talent managers will have a direct view of their talent pipeline, hiring managers often do not. Without this insight, hiring managers can only make judgments based on your account.

The siloing of your talent pipeline is extremely common, however, it may generate fiction with hiring managers. The ownership of the talent pipeline should certainly remain with your recruitment team but it could be very helpful to share an overview with hiring stakeholders. This will allow hiring managers to have a comprehensive understanding of your hiring process and promote improved buy-in. Without this overview, the business may not understand certain challenges your team may be working through when it comes to time to hire, quality of applicants or cost per hire.

Combating recruitment data silos

Each business and recruitment team is different and will have different kinds of silos of recruitment data, both intentional and accidental. However, as more teams embrace collaborative hiring (multi-disciplinary teams consisting of hiring managers, talent acquisition specialists, and recruiters) it becomes increasingly important to eliminate as many recruitment data silos as possible.

Collaborative hiring can be a great way of effectively combating a competitive candidate market, weaknesses in your hiring process, and  data silos. By actively sharing information and with more eyes on the process, your recruitment team will experience a higher degree of ownership over the hiring process and more accountability. Make sure your applicant tracking system can enable multiple users and a strong collaborative hiring environment to combat recruitment data silos.

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