What's New?


Big Data Conversations with Dominic: Recruiting with Data in Mind

Posted by Dominic Barton

16-Oct-2014 15:00:00

Making objective hiring decisions that produce positive long-term business outcomes, like reduced turnover and increased workforce productivity, are made possible by using big data. While recruiting processes created with data in mind have proven to return positive results, few employers have embraced this metrics-loving method.

Ironically enough, cost, knowledge and proof of value are what holds employers back from reaping the benefits of using big data to recruit, like: savings, objective workforce data and every other value point that data-based recruiting brings.



You know what happens when you assume…

Until the technology that made recruiting with data possible came around, organizations were making virtually all of their hiring decisions based on assumptions, hunches and best guesses. That is all fine and dandy, unless you’re interested in making better workforce decisions. Many of the assumptions that are generally thought of as hiring best practices end up being painfully off track when objective data is brought into the equation. 

In the Broadbean network, we work with many companies that establish talent profiles from which they make hiring decisions. Without the right tools and information, these organizations are simply doing the best with what they’ve got, but the fact is, these organizations can have, and do a lot better.

"Big data is the future of recruiting, but you can’t just data mine your way to the right candidate…You need the right tools, the right combination of external and internal variables and — most importantly — the right people who know how to analyze all of it." Ali Behnam, Cofounder and Partner of Riviera Partners


The proof is in the data.

A client company we recently worked with had their ideal sales position candidate mapped out. They found four key points their quality talent had in common, and used this information to craft their recruitment plans and messaging. Here are the factors they thought they should be looking for to make the best hires possible:

  • Local College Graduates
  • Extroverts in the Interview Process
  • 1-3 Years of Sales Experience
  • GPA Above 3.0 

Does this process sound familiar? It should. Organizations that aren’t utilizing their workforce data optimally will come up with a system of profiles much like this one. The problem is that these ideal candidate profiles don’t work. These methods aren’t backed with data linking high performers with the actual traits that help organizations identify who they are.


Very often, what you see is not what you get.

For starters, one of the major flaws in this organization’s system is that they already have an idea of what they’re looking for. Basically, they’re seeing and finding what they want to see and find.

No one is combing the data to see if there is a connection between low “works with others” scores, and sales performance. Not that that’s what we ended up finding, but the point is that the data from which they were creating profiles wasn’t truly objective, or effective in making hiring decisions. Because HR professionals don’t know how to use the information at their fingertips, it makes a lot of sense that only 6% of HR departments feel effective using big databroadbeantwitter-01

In our analysis of their workforce data, the ideal traits that we found through totally objective data connections, were completely different from those they were previously basing their hiring decisions off of. 

“There is a human-resources future out there — one in which online resume databases, social media profiles, records of employment, and even scanned business cards and job applications come together to identify the best prospect in a crowd.” James O’Brien, Author and Workforce Data Specialist

The HR future that O’Brien has described is here, but only for those organizations who are willing to move away from hunches and best guesses and on to the collection, translation and utilization of objective data for hiring purposes. It’s an intimidating move, but one that can have intense and marked effects on your recruiting and workforce success.


With only about 19% of companies including big data in their 2014 HR strategy...

...recruiting with data can supply a massive competitive advantage in the high-stakes attraction and recruiting arena. Companies in traditionally high-turnover industries are seeing drastically reduced attrition rates with the use of recruiting tools and technology within a matter of months. 

“The rewards [of big data] can only be realized when more HR managers and recruiting leaders prepare to flip the big data switch.” Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder CEO 

Ready to flip the switch?  It’s easier to do so when you have the right data. Take a demo of Broadbean’s entire suite of products to learn how you can make the most informed and data-driven decisions for your organization.

New Call-to-Action

Topics: big data @us , Recruitment Trends & Data , Big Data , Big Data Conversations with Dominic , Recruiting