Chris Hoyt Reveals Pepsico's Big Data Recruitment Secrets

Pepsico’s Talent Engagement and Marketing Leader, Chris Hoyt, was one of the key speakers at the InHouse Recruitment EXPO event this week, there to reveal the secrets of how his organisation is turning to big data to improve their recruitment process.

His message:

It’s not really about big data, it’s about how you use your data to create big insights, and then turn them into visualisations to enable all to understand.

Chris explained to his captivated audience exactly how organisations are able to utilise the big data, captured by their career sites, to streamline and enhance their recruitment processes.


Image courtesy of Business Insider (Australia)

Pepsico recruitment teams around the globe needed data to guide future planning and talent strategies and these started out in the form of spreadsheets and Powerpoint slides. It was not long before his teams began to suffer from “analysis paralysis”; the data was too complex and he soon discovered people were simply not reading the reports.

The abandonment of the reports made Chris realise that Pepsico were not evoking the right emotions in their audience. He needed to give them insight to ensure they turned the data into something meaningful for their staff to interpret and act upon

The breakthrough came with the idea of visualisation; suddenly the stats clearly and succinctly revealed themselves, enabling the teams to move from paralysis to swift decision-making.

I soon learnt that no-one needs to see the detail – no one cares how you got there.

said Chris.


The result? It reduced the time it took to make decisions on tactics and strategy from 45 to 5 minutes.

The hardest decision we had to make was what information warrants inclusion

continued Chris.

“How many filters do you use for example; the process needs to be succinct, but also needed some depth with the ability to red flag such things as with diversity selection issues.”

“We also learnt that garbage in equals garbage out because the visualisations enabled us to take a hard look at the data integrity and gaps.”

When asked how they ensure they do not miss new sources of traffic, he replied

“Everything is captured and passed on to our business partners.”

“The data now enables us to easily compare hires. This intelligence, and the ability to interpret our results, helps with re-negotiation talks with suppliers, putting us in the driving seat.”

And the ‘dollar impact’?

The teams noticed that they receive 80 per cent of all applications in the first 30 days. This meant that it was unnecessary to double postings, resulting in an immediate annual cost saving of $130,000.

“We noticed there was a lot of noise around the use of job boards; it became obvious that by extracting those interesting for the job, rather than interested in the job, meant you lessened the bad candidate experience for those who have no chance in getting the role. It was all about the quality supply of the chain.”

Future Plans

Future plans, explained Chris, involved how Pepsico looks to measure performance of hires to ensure they are capturing the best talent. He is currently working out what makes a quality hire, before they can decide on what data to capture.

When asked if the whole thing doesn’t give Pepsico’s teams the feeling of big brother watching over, Chris responded saying:

“Not at all, our people understand they are accountable and their performance needs to be measurable; they see it as a great tool for keeping them themselves on track”.

“Ours is a global talent acquisition; we have to make sense and understand the importance of everyone talking the same language and build in time to fill and time to find. Placement does not mean hired, for example, but the visualisation of our data has already helped us gain consistency globally.”

It is important for us to ensure we have the correct content in our reporting so that we can deliver what helps us change behaviour.

For Pepsico, the consumer and candidate experience are morphing into one and their relationship with any stakeholder has become of primary importance. They use popular social listening tools with some of their products, and have made the decision to partner with Glassdoor to elicit candidate experience. They also include a short survey at the end of each process of direct feedback of the Pepsico recruitment experience; all of which helps them build pipelines, especially for the tougher positions to fill.

It is difficult to understand why recruiters have not picked up the same gauntlet as Pepsico. How else will organisations be able to improve their recruitment process to find people faster unless they measure results?

This valuable evidence ought to be the lifeblood of recruitment and Pepsico have clearly demonstrated how this can be done.

As a brand manager, it is just plain common sense to measure your ongoing relationships between any of your stakeholders. It is paramount that you take advantage of every opportunity to evoke hugely positive emotions when it comes all those who come into contact with your company.

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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