5 free data sources to level up your recruitment strategy

The Power of Data for start-up HR and recruitment strategies.

Intuition, experience, and thriving networks are invaluable tools when it comes to the recruitment game. But you know what’s even more powerful? Data. Leveraging data analytics is more than a trend; it’s a necessity. From reducing bias to making fact-based decisions, data is transforming HR and recruitment strategies.

The good news is that we are living in an age where access to data is more widespread than ever before and when it comes to your HR and recruitment strategies, it’s a game changer. Not only does it help reduce bias in your decision making, but it also allows you to make informed choices based on hard facts. 

But how do you get your hands on it? And what do you do with it once you have it? Imagine being able to tap into insights from some of the largest companies in the world, and being able to build your recruitment strategy on reliable, cold, hard facts.

Hold on a sec. You don’t need to imagine it. Because that data is out there. And we’re here to make things simple for you. So here’s our pick of the best data and surveys out there (and how and when to use them) to level up your HR and recruitment game. 

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index

For when you need insights into remote work trends and their impact on productivity.

The Work Trend Index helps organisations understand what matters to people – and how that’s impacted by our rapidly changing world.

These global surveys garner tens of thousands of responses and cover just about every trend you can think of; from attitudes towards hybrid working to the use of tech in the workplace.

Plus, data sets are published so you’ll know exactly where, when and how many people were surveyed.

LinkedIn Data Insights

For when you need information on talent mobility and in-demand skills.

With the ability to collect real-world data from over 875 million user profiles, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information for your recruitment strategy. Its data insights offering provides reports on critical skills, company tenures, job titles and more.

LinkedIn also analyses thousands of job ads to report on the skills and roles that are in demand (or in decline) – as well as how much you’ll expect to pay for specific skills and experience. When it comes to ‘live’ and up-to-date data, it’s hard to compete with what LinkedIn offers up. Where LinkedIn has the potential to fall down is around the quality and validity of the data. Still, super useful, super plentiful and readily available for anyone who wants it. 

Office for National Statistics

For when you need accurate and comprehensive statistical data on various aspects of the UK economy, population, and society.

Labour market reports are essential reading for recruiters. And the ONS lets you deep dive into everything from pay changes and unemployment levels to economic inactivity and pensions. (We find their monthly reports particularly useful). 

Their data is collected from various public sector departments and organisations, and it’s frequently updated. There are no bells and whistles with these reports; don’t expect a beautiful presentation or any impressive data visualisations. But their validity and usefulness cannot be denied.

Bullhorn Industry Trends Report

For when you need to stay updated on current and future trends in the staffing and recruitment industry, including hiring demand and job market insights.

Lots of private companies in the recruitment space have access to their own data and reports. Bullhorn – one of the largest software providers to recruitment companies – really stands out. Their data is far-reaching and plentiful, making their Industry Trends Report a valuable resource for recruiters.

The report shows for example that thousands of recruitment companies think that tech transformation and attracting tech talent is their biggest challenge. These insights are valuable not just for recruitment companies, but also for in-house teams across all industries, sectors, and specialisms.

Data Driven HR Monthly

For when you need a deeper commentary on what other professionals in the industry are thinking based on some of the latest research. 

Ok, this one might be cheating as there is a lot in this newsletter. Curated and distributed by David Green, this newsletter contains “The best data-driven HR and people analytics resources selected and curated every month”. 

The variety, depth and breadth of what is presented could easily be a full-time job in of itself and analysis paralysis can be real so definitely one to initially skim and pick out some of the more key areas you might be focussed on as opposed to a “cover to cover” reading. Regardless, it’s a fantastic resource and a newsletter worthy of the monthly ping. 


So there you have it. A set of reliable resources to help you bring data into your recruitment strategy. With thousands of data sources available, the availability of data is rarely an issue, but the quality of the data is what really matters. By using these surveys, you can make informed decisions, save time and money, and level up your recruitment game.

Need a hand pulling your recruitment strategy together in a data-led way? Well as luck would have it, we are rather good at that. We combine the latest industry insights with years of practical experience to create strategies and hiring plans that are bespoke and relevant. Drop us a line to hear more. 

Luke Richardson

A highly experienced recruitment leader with a background in regulated, consumer facing financial organisations, broadcasting and media, tech start-ups and hospitality.

A serial hobbyist, lover of animals and the go-to person when looking for an “out there” idea or solution.
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