Data Analytics and the Recruitment Process

Data-based Decisions

As human beings, we all have our preferences and partialities, and our preconceived leanings often influence our decisions; for better or worse. Yet, preconceptions and favoritism should never play a part when conducting a job interview. However, there are data-and-recruitment-connectors-blue-backgroundoccasions where even one’s subconscious views can contribute to what we call the “Interviewer Effect”.

To limit the “Interviewer Effect”, many organizations are beginning to move closer toward the effective use of data analytics when reviewing a candidate’s qualifications.  This allows employers to make more evidence-based decisions, rather than relying on, or being overly influenced by “gut instinct”.

The assemblage of large conglomerates of data-based information for purposes of analysis, commonly referred to as Big Data, also proposes challenges of its own.  However, data analysis can be a helpful tool when employers are faced with difficult recruitment decisions.

Data Resistance

There are many who resist Big Data due to its expense or apparent complexities, but the availability of BDaaS (Big Data as a Service) has now made the whole process much easier.  Eliminated, is the need to invest in the expensive infrastructure of Data Warehouses, specialized IT staff, Data Lakes, and discrete servers.  Right now it is a quarter of a trillion dollar industry, certainly not some newfangled idea that “won’t last”.

Even if you want to create a private Big Data resource, it is no longer particularly difficult.  With the advent of ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) software, transforming your databases from disparate to self-contained internal files has rendered the use of Big Data almost automatic; and running it at prescheduled intervals keeps it up to date without a great deal of effort.

Private Big Data used in conjunction with BDaaS is a highly effective combination.

People Analytics

BDaaS has innumerable applications, but in the case of recruitment, we’re interested in the portion known as people analytics. There are organizations that have dedicated themselves to analyzing all of the available information from every main social media site, in addition to a plethora of other less obvious information sources.

Hiring companies can provide these organizations with a list of their top 10 prospects and, in turn, be advised as to which one would be the best fit for their company.  Conversely, going in empty-handed with only basic specifications will still result in locating a closely suited prospective candidate.

The Role of Gamification

Even beyond data analytics, a form of strategy analysis, most recently known as Game Theory or gamification, now also has a pivotal role indata-and-recruitment-woman-connecting-profiles-on-screen many forms of problem solving, including hiring.

While reasonably new, the process has some key advantages.  It is intended to help employers move beyond resumé-based information by presenting a candidate with a game scenario, allowing the employer to isolate which individuals are more likely to devise innovative and effective solutions to problems.

The interviewing process of asking questions and interpreting the answers is basically analog in nature, and some believe, can increase the opportunity for biases.  Seeking results through a game which tests externalized thinking and creativity is digital in nature, in that answers are either right or wrong .

The gamification methodology has actually “gone corporate” with big names such as Google™ and Facebook™ offering the “Google Code Jam” and the “Programming Challenge“, respectively.  Winners almost inevitably get interesting, fun, and great paying jobs.

Candidates Don’t Need Big Data

Unless someone works for a Big Data specialist, it is essentially unavailable to private individuals, but ultimately, that is of little concern.  A simple web search will reveal companies matched to the interests of most job seekers, as will the services of a recruitment agency.

In terms of interview preparation, those interested in one of the more innovative companies may encounter tools designed to create scenarios, but essentially the strategy remains the same:

  • Isolate an issue which your potential company is currently experiencing;
  • Craft a solution; and
  • Use it to pitch yourself as the person who is best qualified to implement that solution.

Finding a Balance

The evidence is clear that data technology has not only affected employers and job seekers alike, but has changed the job market drastically. Not only has it created access to once unavailable prospects, it has become a crucial decision-making tool.

Of course, this is not to say that employers must not practice and perfect their own skills of objectivity, good judgment, and proper attention to their company culture when seeking new candidates or conducting a traditional job interview. However, smart employers are also embracing the advantages that data analytics has to offer, and consequently, opening their organizations up to a world of talented and compatible job seekers.

Fred Coon, CEO

 

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