Big Data, a buzzword destined to last over time

Michael A. Morell, founding & managing partner from Riviera Partners, a technology search and recruitment firm, is positive about one thing: Big Data is the future of job recruiting.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, in his Harvard Business Review article Digital Staffing: The Future of Recruitment-by-Algorithm, suggests that since people are increasingly spending hours on internet, traces of their personality are left everywhere. Whether you log in Gmail, Amazon or even Netflix, data is kept of you on the cyberspace. This way, you begin to develop multiple personalities online and this aggregation forms your “Digital Reputation”.

And recruiters can use those data in their recruiting activities to hack talents online. Therefore, companies now need to take it into consideration and adjust to these human capital management data. Fortunately, there are more and more tools and people there to help employers with their recruitment through “data mining”.

The multiplier effect in Talent Hacking

In his article, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains that thanks to the web and social networks, your current employees are sources of opportunities, being indirect actors of your recruiting activity. Indeed, according to him, almost all employees are now present on the cyberspace. And this is getting increasingly true with the young Generations Y and Z. It’s just basic math. If we assume an employee has on average 100 connections on the Internet, then 100 employees give you 10 000 first degree connections and 1 000 000 first and second degree connections. Not bad, huh? Your human capital, if used appropriately, can become an accelerator in your talent hacking. This isn’t just by word of mouth anymore, but also through the sharing of content and job openings online. This is free and awesome advertising.

Digital digging

Chamorro-Premuzic also alludes to a survey realized by Jobsite, in 2012, and states that “54% of recruiters use(d) Twitter, 66% Facebook, and 97% LinkedIn” for recruiting. So this is a fact. Recruiters now make an extensive use of social networks to screen candidates. Digital digging is fine. It is a good way to assess the professionalism of a candidate. Is he/she acting properly? Has the candidate made efforts to manage his/her digital reputation online so that it matches his/her career goals?

Make sure the candidate is worth meeting. But more than a simple filter, the Internet can be a great anti-biases/stereotypes weapon! For instance, if a recruiter receives the resume of a young candidate listing “Rap” in his “Hobbies” section. The recruiter with clichés all over his head might be at first tempted to throw the resume to the trash. Yet if he were to do some basic digital digging, he would perhaps find out on the candidate’s blog or YouTube channel that his texts are poetic and promoting peace in the world. Digital reputations can therefore allow you to destroy your biases by looking into the past online behaviors of the candidate.

Web analytics make the screening easier

Still in the same article,  Chamorro-Premuzic praises Big Data, which is expanding. There is more of it and it’s getting easier and cheaper to acquire. Hence, we are seeing the rise of data analytics and algorithms. Workforce and applicants analytics tracking systems for recruiting are numerous. Data is collected, like Hadoop does, and then interpreted. Another example is Klout, which is a measurer and optimizer of social influence.

After data integration and analysis, the “Big Data of an applicant” says more about him/her than a cover letter or resume.

All candidates, especially the young generations entering the job market, are supposed to have an online profile. If one doesn’t, it may be a bit odd: is he unsociable? or even worse, does he/she have something to hide? Either way, it is negative. Of course, no need to be a stalker. Yet, don’t hesitate to google your candidates and check how professional their digital reputation is. Favor those who invested time and effort in managing their digital reputation. LinkedIn is a must, and so is Facebook. Then, value quality Twitter accounts after checking the content, but also blogs, etc.

Drawing conclusions from what is trending

The article How Big Data is changing the recruiting game is offering a more general perspective on digital recruiting. Indeed, Big Data is not only about screening specifically a candidate’s digital profile. It’s also about interpreting trends and making strategic choices. A company for instance realized that Ivy League graduates who at a certain point of their life had a minimum wage job, were performing better at work than those who hadn’t. That allowed them to direct their attention to the applicants who had had a minimum wage job. This seriously improved their recruiting activity. And all that was only made possible by the gathering  and interpretation of the data of their employees. Can you now imaging if Big Data was used like this? Results would be extremely useful. According to Talent Management Expert John Sullivan, this type of practice, strategically using data to make recruiting decisions, is 25% more reliable than human intuition. Use more algorithms and less emotions, and that way your selection of candidates will be improved. If this method requires money and time at first, it is more than compensated by the output in the end when the recruiting activity begins. However, it is implied that only big companies can do that since predictive analytics require a large pool of employees.

At InterviewApp, we strongly believe that the digital revolution is deeply reshaping the recruitment industry, for the better. This is why we’re making sure to cultivate what makes our DNA: our “startup” approach and our IT expertise. Big Data, if handled in moderation and ethically, can turn out to be a wonderful asset for recruiters. Not to mention what makes of a recruitment a good one: the meeting of an organisation and an individual who adheres to its dynamic, objectives and values. This is why we believe in the combination of a Big data approach with tools such as our pre recorded video interview, which place the human at the core of the process.

This is actually what we’re already doing with our partner AssessFirst, predictive recruitment expert, as we combine our video solution to their predictive analytics tool. And we’re just getting started!