Today, more than ever, information is power: The more we know, the smarter our decisions are. In the past few years, companies have started paying more and more attention to how Big Data molds business decisions and outcomes. A recent study conducted by Gartner found that 64% of companies plan on investing in big data technology, 30% of those have already invested, 19% will invest in the next year and 15% will invest within two years.
Big Data as the first part of the equation
With several moving parts to a company’s recruitment strategy, it is important to take every piece of information and use it to your advantage. It has become extremely challenging to screen candidates with all the information out there. In 2011 Google broke the record for the most applications received in one week — with 75,000. The huge amount of data that employers are receiving is such that it’s impossible to make smart decisions without utilizing Big Data technologies. At the same time, decision-makers need real-time information about candidates that can’t be found in their resume or through the initial application process. The general consensus from most recruiters is that they’re looking for a way to be more effective in interviewing only well-qualified candidates based on real-time, first hand, unique and valuable data.
Key trends in Big Data that will improve your recruiting strategies
Analytics will be even more user-friendly. It’s not just about Big Data – it’s about ubiquitous data. Analytics and insights from analytics are already accessible to non-traditional business intelligence users, who increasingly demand consumer-like capabilities that allow them to easily find causal relationships in data and to predict outcomes and prescribe the best decision to take in real-time. Key to effective implementation, is encapsulating complex analytics from users, surfacing recommendations for optimal courses of action at the point of decision (increasingly on a mobile device), and incorporating the user’s context (i.e. location, intention, sentiment, past behavior and network).
Analytics will be more social. Social collaboration integrated with analytics will make it easier to share, discuss and socialize results and to provide a mechanism for making transparent, high quality decisions. An example can be found in Amazon, where users are presented with a “people who bought this item, also bought this one” recommendation. There is a great opportunity for HR practitioners and hiring managers here, to be guided by analysis based on the social profiles and decision history of other decision-makers and their previous interactions, as well as collaborating to score, rank and select the top candidates.
Analytics will be more precise. Organizations are investing in capabilities that will enable them to find more precise patterns and micro predictions based on diverse data. This will require investments in advanced analytics for more precisely predicting likely outcomes with high productivity and accuracy, and in finding unknown patterns and relationships across the enterprise and within new types of data (such as social, e-mails, call center interactions and video). Organizations will require new skill-sets and may fill this gap by investing in a combination of internal skills building, outsourcing to analytics service providers or to crowd source analytic models. In the HR space, ATS can no longer be the answer, as resumes as well as standardized test’s results cannot provide the whole spectrum of real-time data that the applicant could potentially share to stand out from competition.
Analytics will enable better decision-making. The success of every enterprise is directly related to the effect of the decisions that it makes. Where decision rules and logic are well known, more precise and real time analytics will be applied to automate a range of operational decisions.
But when it comes to talent acquisition, where will data come from?
Gamification as the second part of the equation
Gamification has become a popular workplace mechanism to explore the most efficient ways to engage current and future employees. This new tool has become successful not only in engaging candidates, but because it provides a bigger data set to help recruiters recruit better. Once the candidate experience is perfected, it will allow companies to recruit better talent because they will be more drawn to the specific brand.
Let’s look at LinkedIn: Knowing that your profile is only 70% complete, the site engages you to provide more information – such as a picture, achievements, publications – that you didn’t upload before. The game mechanic applied here stimulates the user to provide more and precise data that recruiters can use to make better decisions. Engagement, goals, levels, prizes (ultimately the interview or the job), create a better and more productive candidate experience in a win-win situation for employers and applicants. Using gamification to engage candidates will allow recruiters to find out more about each candidate and recruit for positions a lot more effectively. Using both of these will take talent acquisition to the next level and allow companies to be even more successful.
Former SAP executive Karthik Manimozhi is president and COO at 1-Page, the enterprise platform that gamifies talent acquisition and idea management.