There is no value in Big Data for individual recruiters because on its own data is just that – its just data.
The real value of Big Data is not in the isolated numbers or data points without context. The real value is in the insights the recruiters can get from it that data can give recruiters. It’s the answers they’ve been longing for their entire career. It is the small details in the sea of information, that provide the real value. Makes you wonder if it’s just a matter of time before Big Insights becomes the buzzword… And in my experience recruiters have access to lots of data and should start small rather than big.
But back to Big Data and how it comes about… For recruiters, data amasses in every action from posting a job through to sourcing a CV in an external database. It’s also collected every time a recruiter speaks to a client, interviews a prospective candidate and when gathering referrals. Without really realising it we are creating so many data points anyevery time we take any sort of action. How cool is that?
If the recruiter is a PERFECT recruiter, then in a perfect world all of this data will be centralised and stored so that it can be searched, reviewed and used again at some point in the future… But, let’s face it, perfection is hard to find none of us are perfect. Hard but not impossible, as there isn an increasing amount of focus on data in recruitment - which is great news! Add to that systems that don’t quite match our individual workflows or don’t integrate with one another and you are looking at duplication of effort and inefficiencies in data collection.
But before we continue down the negative route, there are some excellent benefits of using data to gain insight.What are some of the key things does a recruiters want (or need) to know to get value from data? Often they seem simple, but have been nearly impossible to answer in the past. Top of mind is reducing how do you reduce the cost per hire, or time to hire? You could also use data to increase your agency’s reputation and level of engagement with both candidates and clients in your specialist field. How about using data to ensure that you use only those use channels that work for you, at the best time in which you achieving the get the best quality response, which could lead to cost savings?
In my experience recruiters have access to lots of data and should start small rather than big. Map out your recruitment process into sections such as candidate attraction, management and placement. Figure out what data is essential or more importantly what data can you extract and what could it tell you.
From your advert distribution system you should for example, be able to track with 100% accuracy where each application came from. If you can follow that application through to placement then you have a great insight into the real value of the recruitment channel – something that you can later rely on when negotiating your contract. If you note when the advert was posted, how long it took to receive the (best quality) applications you could use this data insight to refine your advert content… just a thought.
What about reviewing all applications that come in to a desk of recruiters looking for similar talent? If you pooled all the good but not quite 100% right CVs in a central repository, the next time you need that skillset, you could reduce your ‘time to source’ significantly and boost your agency reputation by re-engaging with an applicant who has expressed an interest. Win win.
My advice is to take a step back as you tend to see the bigger picture, which is usually made up of lots of smaller instances. The Big Data phenomenon is just like this. Up close its too big and you can’t possibly manage it. Break it down and look at it step by step and you will see clearer. If you can break down and get to the details that make up your recruitment process – collating and analysing the data from the systems you use, you could increase efficiencies in workflow, reduce wastage in advertising spend and increase your firm’s reputation. Now that’s worth a big deal.