Death of the Job Board: Enter Big Data Recruitment

Big Data recruitment is turning the industry on its head. With the word spreading throughout the sector just how impressive the results are, the days of the job board, post-and-pray service, are most surely numbered; big data is taking over as the new way to find staff.

With shortages of candidates forecast in key industries and services, companies are catching on fast that in order to survive in this increasingly competitive world, they need to focus, not just on attracting active, but also ‘passive’ prospects – talented people who are not actively looking for work, but who may be open to new opportunities if they pass their way; these elusive candidates are what big data technology can quickly identify.

So how can big data help you recruit?

Thanks to the Internet, social networking, credit cards and smartphones, more data is being collected and stored about us than ever before – one estimate is that more than 98 percent of the world’s information is now stored digitally, with the volume of data having quadrupled since 2007.

The International Data Corporation predicts that the “big data technology and services market will increase in size at a 27 per cent compound annual growth rate through 2017, reaching a value of £19.7 billion ($32.4 billion)”.

And to quote Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier in their recent book, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think:

“We are in the midst of a great infrastructure project that in some ways rivals those of the past, from Roman aqueducts to the Enlightenment’s Encyclopédie.”

“The project is datafication. Like those other infrastructural advances, it will bring about fundamental changes to society.”

The authors are right. Now it is about telling the story and proving exactly what big data can do, so that more HR professionals and recruiters understand and harness its power. It is, however, important to state that utilising big data technology is not about replacing the expertise of HR specialists, more about ensuring those who apply for the roles meet the exact standards of the spec, to save valuable time and money. Technical data expert, Grant Gordon, who founded the Solomon Consulting Group, says that by using big data technology:

“…companies can shorten the time-consuming elements of resume review and applicant screening in order to deliver a small, selective, targeted final pool that the HR team can then conduct phone and in-person interviews with. It’s the best of both worlds and, in my experience, one that yields a much better end result. Because whatever benefits raw data provides, your gut instinct from a 15-minute meeting with a candidate can tell you more than years of performance analytics ever could.”

Will Crandle, big data expert at JobsTheWord agrees:

“The process of putting big data to its best use begins before any information is gathered. We rely on the expertise of in-house recruiters and HR specialists to assist in the process by understanding what questions need answering and so inform the search.”

“Naturally we can help with the process as we have extensive experience in what delivers the best results. We then tailor the research to collect cleaner data sets, drilling down to discover the exact fit for the ideal candidate. We have the ability to search in milliseconds, much larger and more complex volumes of data than ever before – sometimes in real time.”

So with competition rife, and where poor hiring decisions, for whatever reason, cost companies so much time and money, the race will be on for CEOs to use big data recruitment to engage and tempt those perfect candidates to come and work for them.

Further reading:
The Secret to using Big Data for Recruitment
69,000 Big Data Specialists Needed by 2017
How to Recruit & Retain Your Digital Staff
Top 5 Talent Trends in 2014

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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