We’ve mentioned in the past that as technology has advanced so has the access to new and interesting data, and also that the challenge still exists for many companies to figure out how to harness that data and properly analyze it to gain applicable insights.
Well, the role of data in recruiting has been a fast growing one, and sometimes referred to as “people analytics”. Sure, tests and surveys have long existed to help employers find the right talent for their open roles, but the access to talent data has grown exponentially and companies big and small are starting to harness it. For instance, Xerox recently took a big data approach to staffing their call centers and after a half-year trial that cut attrition by 20%, Xerox has all of its 48,700 call-center jobs fulfilled using software that asks applicants certain types of value statements. The big take away? Personality not prior job experience was a main driver in holding onto talent for them. The interest of big tech and big Fortune-500 companies has been piqued and paying big data analysis companies to help recruit and retain their employees and even crunch numbers more holistically across the talent management world to include performance and compensation is a trend likely to grow.
On the flip side of the data coin, Google had been well known for using brainteasers like “How many gas stations are there in Manhattan?” as part of their interview process. Looking through their hiring data they realized that how these questions were answered didn’t predict a candidate’s performance on the job, so reading the data tea-leaves in this case has led them eliminate these types of questions from their recruiting process.
“Big data” is what data has always been—a tool to be harnessed and applied judiciously, and the new wave of data available for performance management, employee feedback, recruiting tactics should help provide new ways of looking at old problems. Data of course, is impartial. It still lies to us humans to decipher how to apply it all.