Big Data has been playing an important role in the areas of marketing, finance, budgets, and sales & business strategies for many years. But in the last two years Big Data has also become a hot topic in some of the more forward-thinking HR and Recruitment offices. According to market insights provided by Bersin by Deloitte, many major companies plan to build ‘Data driven HR’ programs to better understand whom to employ, how to retain employees, how much to pay, and how to utilise data for better decisions about productivity and efficiency.

How Big Data affects the recruitment process and what we have to be ready for? This and other questions will be answered in this article.

Big Data – collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. Source: Forbes

Data Driven Recruitment comes from data

According to ‘Big Data for Better or Worse‘ report (SINTEF, 2013), 90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years. It is clear that recruitment will be significantly driven by data, but the question remains, how to be prepared for such a shift?

First, it’s extremely important to keep records of recruitment data in a structured format. A lot of companies still record the recruitment process in Excel which is ineffective from many points of view. Such unstructured data is difficult to truly mine, information about candidates is in various documents, hardly accessible and it is almost impossible to measure and evaluate the efficiency and productivity of the recruitment strategy.

On the other hand, companies that use modern and sophisticated technology for managing recruitment processes, already have a huge competitive advantage. Not only do they have the recruitment process fully under control, they have all the data about candidates and interviews in one place. This means they can work with this data in a way that enables them to make timely and effective decisions.

The amount of data that enters into the recruitment process is incredibly large and growing rapidly, as is the complexity and diversity of these data. Reportedly, every 1.2 years we double the total amount of data. Dealing with such amount of data will be a challenge in and of itself. However, combining this challenge with the speed of growth, data reliability, and diversity of sources (internet, social networks, video and mobile applications) makes it an extremely daunting task.

Most companies have a lot of these data but they are not in a position to effectively use it. Each organisation will have to consolidate data first, then clean it and get it into a form that is useful and viable for analysis. Only then is it possible to effectively understand the role and added value of Big Data. Recruitment technology suppliers thus face the challenge of integrating these analytics into their systems in order to immediately advise or help recruiters to make better decisions on the basis of data which are available to them.

Reports are moving towards predictive analytics

Talent is now the number one commodity so companies that really understand how to attract the best candidates are winning.

Today, more than ever, we look not only at data from a candidate's CV and evaluations from interviews, but we’re also working with a variety of other information and data that tell us more about the candidate - social networks, psychometric testing, or candidate video presentations.

Having the ability to record data about candidates, positions and interviews in a structured way and at any time, upon request, source updated information from the system via so called "Smart" reports, is an absolute must for further data analysis and for the future shift to predictive analytics. These smart reports help can help you to see and understand the true efficiency and productivity of your recruitment strategy. Data visualised in graphs considerably facilitates easy understanding and digestion of these reports. At the same time, the ease of applying different smart filters on the data, like recruiter, branch, client, and industry segments aids in further overall comprehension cross-sections.

It is clear that the better we understand our clients, candidates and positions, the better candidate we will find. The path leads through the data. If we are able to effectively work with data that we already have in the system, we will be able, on the basis of these data to evaluate trends and key factors that led to a successful placement. If we enrich these analysis with external data that we gain about the candidate from the Internet and social networks, we will be able to optimise our future recruitment strategies.

So, the bar is now a little higher and in the coming years it will continue upwards in order to provide recruiters valuable information that will help them in their efforts to find the right talent. If you are among those who are still managing recruitment process in Excel, it's probably time to consider investing into a proper Applicant Tracking System solution. Recruitment technology solutions mainly differ in what additional information they provide about the recruitment process. Do you know what sources of candidates are most effective for you? Can you tell what recruiters are unproductive and what stage of the recruitment process is struggling the most? How many days does it take to present the first CV for the new position? Answering these, but also a whole range of other issues is the responsibility of Data Driven Recruitment. Be among those who leads in this innovative trend and thus gains a competitive advantage.

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