Nothing makes dirty data more apparent (and painful) than the introduction of a new piece of technology. It will quickly show you exactly where the holes are and how your data practices could improve for your system of record. If you are introducing a new piece of technology meant to integrate with your system of record (most likely an ATS), then here are some best practices for cleaning data to be aware of.
For insight on how to source candidates, check out this article on harnessing your database.
Remove old information
Chances are you’ve got old contact records, old company records or old jobs sitting around in your ATS. It’s important to remember that if you’re building an integration into a new system, you don’t want this information coming over. It’s possible to set rules around how and when you import information, but doing your part to clean up unused data can definitely work to relieve unnecessary headaches.
When integrating a piece of technology like a staffing platform, something like candidate statuses will be very important. Maybe you want to send a blast message to every candidate who is of a certain status so they can update their paperwork. Maybe you want to make sure people who are currently on a job aren’t sent conflicting invites. Remember that introducing a piece of technology like a staffing platform or deployment platform means introducing an entirely new user into your tech stack, and their information should be as up to date as possible.
Be aware of duplicated records
Importing a new CSV file of contacts or simple changes in information such as email addresses are common causes of potential duplications. They make it harder to find the right record or can shake your confidence about validity of the data. Make sure you have a system in place to handle potential duplicate records.
A system we call two-track onboarding has helped ActivateStaff clients keep their data clean. There is a different process for candidates depending on whether they exist in your ATS already or are a net new candidate coming to your app. This helps to delineate their records.
Understand necessary data fields
When you are integrating a piece of technology that represents a new user it’s also critical to rethink the necessary data fields. Maybe your candidate addresses are out of date because you didn’t need to utilize them in your ATS (something we’ve seen a lot over here). But maybe you want to configure your staffing platform to surface jobs that are closest to where your candidates live. There will be new data considerations that will pop up during implementation and it’s important to make a plan for how you want to deal with these.
Set a team standard for data entry
It’s important to make sure that everyone on the team follows the same general practices for inputting data. This not only includes all the data gathered at the beginning of the candidate’s journey (such as experience) but also any notes or more specific details about their work interests. Some data isn’t so easily categorized in offered fields so it’s good to create an efficient standard practice for entering information and cleaning data.
Keep a log of changes
Perhaps the most important thing in order to keep data clean between integrated systems is to keep a log of changes. If you are deleting a field or making changes to how a field is used, you need to consider not only how that field behaves in the current system, but also what it may affect in integrated systems as well.
Set your team up for success by using the tips mentioned above. Start by polishing up your database to ensure that all your candidate and job data is optimized. Although keeping a clean database is a continuous task, by helping your team build new habits you can take measures to prevent congestion in the future which will help your team perform better and faster.
Looking for more best practices to keep your database clean and streamline your workplace? Schedule a meeting with one of our staffing experts to see how we can help you.