A Data-Driven Approach to Talent Acquisition with Aadil Bandukwala

The clear data driven approach to talent acquisition

This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.

In this episode of The Shape of Work, we welcome Aadil Bandukwala, one of ‘India’s Top 20 Most Influential People in Human Resources’ as identified by SHRM.


Name of the guest: Aadil Bandukwala

What he does: Senior Director of Field Marketing, HackerRank

Find him on LinkedIn.

Get Smart: Recruiters’ job is to act as talent advisors. They have to advise candidates on how they can bring their best versions of themselves to work and how they can realize their full potential to achieve maximum success.”


In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:

  1. Ensuring the success of a hiring process.
  2. Building a candidate journey map.
  3. Employer experience and branding for startups.
  4. Influence of AI on candidate experience.
  5. Significance of social media hiring.


How to ensure the success of a hiring process?

Aadil takes us through methods of hiring- inbound and outbound. Inbound hiring is the process of posting jobs and then waiting for people to apply. According to him, this process turns out to be a failure. A company might receive plenty of leads, but they will churn out eventually. Instead, as Aadil mentions, companies should go for an outbound hiring process. They should find out the leads and approach them. It is a targeted approach where personalized talent acquisition and business efforts merge to hire people who will succeed in a company.

This process is similar to the method of outbound sales. In order to achieve good results:

  1. Companies need to treat candidates like customers. They need to ensure a good candidate experience for them.
  2. Recruiting should be aligned with the nuances of the business. More often, the HR team does not align with the views of the business team. Their version of the candidate and feedback is very different from each other.

Aadil gives an overview of the entire strategy that takes place while recruiting. It starts with the outbound hiring leaders who work on the core elements mentioned above. Then comes the hiring and recruiting managers working on the mutually agreed criteria in the process. To get to the process and metrics, the company needs to be business-ready. This happens when the business team lines up with the HR team. Being business-ready helps create a delightful candidate experience.

It will enable a consistent experience across the candidate journey resulting in higher predictability and conversion ratios. By virtue of the above two focus areas, recruiters take an analytics-driven understanding of the specific talent pools that they need to engage. It is known as a ‘zero waste strategy’ that maximizes efficiency and recruiting. 

Building a candidate journey map for a better candidate experience:

Aadil explains how the Sales and Marketing team of a company curates the ideal experience for a customer. New product managers build a user journey when they startup. It helps them understand problems the customers might face with the products with the customers and its solution. However, one cannot find such an attempt made for the candidates.

It is necessary to help recruiters help go through the candidate journey. They need to understand the entire emotional journey of the candidates. For this, the company and the recruiters need to focus on building an emotional connection with them, being empathetic, predict recruiting success, and optimize the process at every stage.

Tips on employer branding and employee experience to startups:

Candidate experience is not a one-time activity. It needs to be effective in every step of the hiring and the post-hiring process. The problem arises when the candidates switch jobs within a few months. Thus the company must figure out ways to retain them. They need to be delighted in every step of their career journey. It is also about relaying the brand story, the technical statistics, stories of your employees, etc., to the customers. The candidate needs to know the benefits and growth they can receive by applying to this company. Lack of this clarity leads to an increase in job switching.

Influence of Artificial Intelligence and other tech tools on candidate experience:

Business needs will continue to evolve rapidly. Currently, this is creating an acceleration to 5 megatrends: Remote workplace, next-generation business models, disruptive technology, changes in consumer behaviors, and crew globalization.

The business landscape, along with the talent supply, is shifting as the demand is increasing.

“It is not an enterprise-driven market, but a candidate-driven market.”

64% of the CEOs worry that HR is unprepared for this new business challenge. Talent wants to be valued and achieve personal growth. And thus, 42% of professionals prefer entrepreneurship. Businesses need to develop speed and quality in their ability to spot and engage talent. Candidates require systems processes and tech more than employers. Employers have to design to optimize for candidates. Here is where tech, like AI and ML (Machine Learning), should be deployed to drive efficiency for both business and candidates. It also executes genuine conversations between candidates and employers.

The significance of social media in better hiring:

Aadil talks about three specific areas here:

  1.  With the advent of social media, data has become readily available. One can easily go through candidate insights. All the data can be leveraged tremendously: from targeted candidate discovery, personalized engagement to passive talent nurturing.
  2. The data found needs to be put to work through analytics. The data-driven hiring solutions can quickly learn and suggest candidates that match your hiring needs, recommend engagement tactics for better results, and even highlight potential red flags in your hiring process. All this is possible through augmented analytics.
  3. The bigger problem in HR is Job Description. Unclear and incorrect job descriptions are a result of non-alignment between the hiring manager and the recruiter. Additionally, mass targeted ads, broken platforms, and other such nuances drive talent away from applying.

To sum up, Aadil feels that social media can definitely be a potential solution to this problem. Businesses need to find and engage top talent rapidly.

Dhristi Shah

Hi, this is Dhristi, Content Writer and Editor at Springworks India. I am a keen learner and am passionate about everything related to writing.

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