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You are here > Home > Blog > Making Sense of Big Data in Recruitment

Making Sense of Big Data in Recruitment

Data has always been at the heart of recruitment. If we take data to mean information then CVs, the very staple of any recruitment process, are data, as are job descriptions, applications and personality profiles. With digital and social channels now dominating the process we have even more information available with every posting, update, message, tweet or blog providing even more data in different formats and locations.

The concept of big data has been dominating the overall HR conversation for some time and is likely to do so for some time yet as information creation accelerates. For practitioners the real challenge lies in understanding what is relevant and what is important, how to mine the information to produce meaningful reports and then how to interpret and analyse the results to help support better decision making. Sometimes this will be about focusing on specific outcomes, and at others about refining processes to produce more effective and efficient overall results. In truth there needs to be a balance between the quantitive and the qualitative, with trends, sentiment and behaviours just as necessary as metrics.

For recruiters there is a wealth of information already stored on our databases. We know about skills, locations, job types, salary levels, career development, the roles people move from and to, the regularity of those moves, the degree or further education qualifications favoured by sectors and companies, and some understanding of the technologies used by different specialisms. These can be useful for profiling, predicting candidate and job profile backgrounds, and benchmarking against industry norms. It can help identify the talent you need to bring into the business.

But what about performance? InHouse recruiters need to know about the source, cost and time for each hire, and the quality of hire. The number and appropriateness of applications, how many converted to interview and then on to further interviews and offer. Also the length of the process, how many good candidates dropped out, and the hiring manager performance in converting interesting candidates to hires, not forgetting requirements to report on diversity.

The problem with so much of this information is that it is stored in many different places – ATS, external job board, job posting system, proprietary database, internal talent management system, RPO, carer site, internal surveys – on a range of systems that don’t necessarily ‘speak to each other. The reports that can be run are usually manually produced, very time consuming and might often be incomplete. Whether you’re an owner managed business or a global brand the issues are the same, even though the scale may be different.

Help is at hand though. Broadbean Technology’s newly created Big Data Analytics Suite aims to streamline the process by drawing data from multiple sources and integrating it into a single set of dashboards, helping to tell the whole performance story and give insights to specific ‘pain points’ or recruiting issues – providing a single destination, whether for a specific role, recruiter or source, or an overall picture of recruitment process efficiency.

One of the immediate adopters has been PepsiCo and at January’s InHouse Recruitment Expo you will be able to hear Chris Hoyt, their talent engagement and recruitment market leader, talk about how this tool has helped them overcome their problems of too much data, too many unanswerable performance questions and a lack of clarity over the most effective talent acquisition path. Chris is a renowned thought leader in global recruitment and will share how PepsiCo is changing its approach to data.

At a time of mounting challenges for recruitment teams looking to find the right skills in the most effective way, and increasing complexity around data and how it should be used, the launch of a single system that can integrate multiple data sources and tell the real story could be a game changer for companies looking to hire better talent, effectively.

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