What Recruiting of the Future May Look Like Under Big Data #BigDataHR

This week on Blogging4Jobs, we are focusing on the theme Big Data sponsored by Jibe. Jibe provides cloud-based recruiting technology solutions that enable talent acquisition teams to strategically identify, attract and engage candidates. Join us April 10th 2014 at 3pm to talk Big Data on Twitter using the hashtag #BigDataHR and join our webinar, “What’s the Big Deal with Big Data in HR & Recruiting” on April 17th at 11a EST. Follow the week by bookmarking us

According to the authors of Big Data A Revolution that Will Transform How we Live, Work, and Think “big data refers to things one can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smaller one, to extract new insights or create new forms of value, in ways that will change markets, organizations, the relationships between citizens and governments and more.” The information gathered is the fodder of predictive analytics. The data that is collected allows Google to predict very accurately and more quickly than the CDC where flu outbreaks are occurring. This is based on searches people conduct on Google for symptoms and medicine for flu. It is what allows Target stores to “guess” what women are pregnant based upon other items they buy in the store. It is what allows Hewlett-Packard to develop a “Flight Risk” profile to determine which of their employees is likely to leave.

Recruitment Profile

Patrick Tucker, in his book The Naked Future, points out that all of us are increasingly sharing more and more information about ourselves. Our phones, credit cards, online profiles, computer usage track who we are, where we are, our likes and dislikes, our zip code, our income, our habits, our friendships and even our gullibility. This information is shared amongst companies that wish to sell to us, primarily. So what would stop a company who wants to collect or buy this information from developing a recruitment profile on each of us to determine if we would make an appropriate candidate for them?

In my opinion this is not too far of a reach. The data is potentially available and it would need to be combined with job data, education data, and job experience data. We should be able to find what classes someone has taken online, what books they read, what subscriptions they have and what their hobbies they have.

An employer should be able to then profile their employees and determine what set of factors correlate with success. You down load this data on your good and bad employees and develop a recruitment profile, that is, the factors that would indicate someone could be successful in a job with your company.

Proactive Recruiting

Once an employer has developed their “shopping list” they only have to delve back into the data to locate candidates, mostly likely currently employed, and start pursuing them. Because some many people reveal data about themselves it would not be hard to locate them. GPS, Foursquare, and other applications will even be able to pinpoint where they are located. Imagine this scenario: A company recruiter pulls into the parking lot of a Starbucks and goes into the store. Using a picture from a profile the recruiter finds the next potential electrical engineer sipping her latte and approaches her with a job offer. No interview necessary. The company already knows what she does, what her background is, what her income is, and that, given who her friends are and what she does for entertainment, she is already a 90% fit with the corporate culture. Of course it would not be necessary to do this in person and it may not be practical if the candidate is in England, Germany, India or Japan. However, the personal touch is always nice although a bit “old school.”

Days of Resume are dead

With all this data the days of people sending their resume to the company will be gone. Companies will just not hire that way, at least not the progressive one. They will find who they want and pursue them. In 2014 some people don’t want to be that “findable”. Unfortunately for them, given any small piece of data about you, you can pretty easily be tracked through your habits and your friends. It is almost impossible to be off the grid. In the future it will be to your disadvantage to be off the grid. In another 15 years you may not be able to get a job because the jobs find you not the other way around.

Thus, big data and predictive analytics will radically change the way companies recruit new employees and we had better get used to it.


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Mike Haberman

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, speaker, writer of HR Observations, and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. After over 30 years in HR he got tired of the past and focuses here on the Future of HR. Connect with Mike.


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