Three Ways to Use Education Data in Talent Acquisition

Published on Jun 6, 2019

Updated on Jul 13, 2023

Written by Lightcast

three ways to use education data in talent acquisition

Given how tight the labor market is these days, talent acquisition and staffing professionals have to get creative to stay ahead of their competition. One great way to do this is to use education data.

Whether you’re searching for schools that produce the most talent in any given occupation, fulfilling diversity or veteran initiatives, or writing a job description, education data is the best way to get that information—and quickly.

Here are a few tips and tricks for how to use education data in talent acquisition.

1. Developing a university recruiting strategy

If you’re looking to hire interns or recent graduates, it’s helpful to know which schools are producing the most (and best) talent for your occupations. That way, you’re not wasting time and money recruiting at too many schools or the wrong schools.

Education attainment data allows you to see which programs and schools have had the most growth over time or spot upcoming schools and trends. You can evaluate the current schools you’re recruiting at and find new ones you haven’t considered before. For example, sometimes companies focus on schools based on proximity, when they’d have more success recruiting elsewhere.

There are a couple ways to find this education data in our College Analyst and Talent Analyst tools. For this example, we’ll use the profile analytics report in Talent Analyst, which is built off of our resume and profile data.

Let’s say we’re looking for mechanical engineers in the Detroit MSA. Based on data pulled from over 14,000 profiles, here are the top area schools producing that talent.

We can also see the top programs, job titles, skills, and companies. With all of this information in hand, companies can develop a university recruiting strategy that’s based on data rather than gut feelings.

2. Achieving diversity and veteran initiatives

Diverse teams are strong teams, and many companies set goals to hire more women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, etc. So, let’s say a company based in the Southwest is looking to hire more veterans. We can use Lightcast’s talent analytics to find the top public schools in that region with the most veterans.

This report comes from our College Analyst tool, which is largely built on IPEDS data that schools report to the government.

Here’s another example: Let’s say a company is looking for a diverse female computer science student. We can look at this same IPEDS data in College Analyst to find the top schools for female computer science students and then order the list from most diverse students to least.

Data like this can help companies be more strategic and inclusive with their diversity initiatives—plus, it saves time and money. It’s a win-win!

Here’s a quick how-to video showing you how to pull some of this diversity and veteran data in College Analyst.

3. Writing job descriptions

Writing a job description is no easy feat. Rather, it takes a certain finesse to craft a description that will get you not only great talent, but great talent at the best price.

It also requires data.

For example, let’s say you’re writing a job description for a software engineer in the Seattle MSA. How do you know what level of education to require? After all, you don’t want to inadvertently exclude a huge portion of the talent pool by requiring a master’s degree when a bachelor’s would be just fine.

We can use resume and profile data to answer this question by finding out what level of education software engineers in Seattle typically have. For instance, 64% of them have bachelor’s degrees, while just 29% have master’s degrees. So, you’ll have a larger talent pool if require a bachelor’s degree.

Here’s another how-to video showing you how to pull this data in Lightcast Recruit, a tool designed specifically for recruiters.


There are many ways to use education data in talent acquisition, but these are a few of the most common use cases. Ultimately, using data leads to quicker, more cost-effective hiring. And in this tight labor market, that can make all the difference.

If you’d like to learn more about Lightcast or our data solutions for businesses and recruiters, please fill out this form and we will reach out!