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3 Impacts of 'Big Data' in Recruitment


I GUESS BUILDING TWO COMPANIES HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE BIG DATA SPACE (33 TALENT SERVING IT AND PEERBRIEF USING IT), I GET ASKED ABOUT ITS IMPACT ON THE RECRUITMENT INDUSTRY A FAIR BIT. AND IN THESE CHATS THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF PASSION, CONCERN (IN SOME CASES FEAR), AND INTEREST SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE THESE WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE AS MY THU BLOG POST THIS WEEK.

If I can say one thing: its Big Data or Data Analytics adds the most value when it is used to find patterns within the most complex of relationships. When you are looking to recruit someone for a role, the permutations are endless, but with rafts of data to analyse, hiring companies and recruiters will be able to make ever more calculated decisions, driving efficiencies and effectiveness through the roof. This should be a win win for everyone.

It should be mentioned that recruitment will never just be about dispassionate data, but how recruiters use the data that they do have will revolutionise our fairly old-fashioned industry.

Big Data enables quick, accurate, trend based, intelligent and predictive decision making which will save money and time and make finding the right person and predicting and helping their future performance that bit easier.

There are any areas this impacts in Talent Acquisition but these are the main three that are worth immediate focus for everyone that can solve immediate problems:

RECOMMENDATIONS & MATCHING:

The mix of social media and big data is a complex issue, but once privacy controls are perfected, there is a mine of useful information to harvest. Big Data could sift through millions of blog posts and comments to see where the industry experts lie. The Social profiles of every potential candidate can be parsed in a few seconds and algorithms can help make suggestions to anyone involved. Company achievements can be matched with those responsible – every deal will be attributed, every promotion noted. Company culture would be able to be measured in infinite ways – and recruits would be suitably assessed for fit. Do you like the films of Matt Damon? You’ll fit in well here…. Granted, an unlikely and extreme example, but makes its point - it will be possible to analyse at any level of detail deemed relevant.

COMMUNICATION & ENGAGEMENT:

Big Data could analyse the signals that someone might be open to an approach about a new role. Maybe they subscribe to a certain magazine, maybe they start looking at certain websites. Candidates won’t need to put “I’m looking for a job” blatantly on their LinkedIn profiles anymore. The analytics will be able to pick it up. The problem is, so will their current employers…. Big Data will also help companies to engage with a candidate on a far deeper level. They won’t have to ask the stupid questions at interview anymore (i.e. what do you like doing in your spare time, etc). Detailed profiles of each candidate will fill in the gaps of what is not said at interview and messaging will be personalised to resonate effectively. And hopefully traditional Job Specs will be dead which I know would make the likes of @LouA whose great work in this whole field, very happy.

PIPELINING:

Companies can build and maintain an active potential candidate pool of hundreds of thousands of people. Internal recruitment, mobility and deployment would also work in the same way – taking retail as an example, once a department manager had achieved a certain number of months growth, he would be automatically flagged for potential promotion. Talent will be measured in minute detail, and when the biggest companies are using similar metrics, the candidate market will be transparent like never before.

Big data in the wider HR space could equally be extremely powerful helping with productivity, culture, structure and performance strategies amongst other things.

All this data would be looped into dashboards for easy measurement and analysis. Business intelligence would finally be truly intelligent and this is the biggest impact of all – overarching easily digested and well-presented insights and business reporting/forecasting….in real-time across any metric you feel relevant.

Dashboard Analytics Example

This is a huge topic and there are as many questions as there are answers for most people, such as privacy issues, the human element and fear of misuse BUT the upsides for everyone are huge and hopefully we can all focus on the positives whilst remaining conscious of doing it the right way.

I hope this article is thought provoking in that it highlights 3 immediate uses, some understanding and….and some healthy discussion!


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