When It Comes to Big Data, Don’t Forget the Human Element

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Mar 9, 2015

Big data and people analytics are two of the hottest topics in recruitment this year, but for employers yet to explore the world of HR technology, the wealth of information available can be overwhelming.

Hiring managers and recruiters have a broad range of tools at their disposal to streamline the hiring process and make it easier to connect with qualified candidates – but where do they start?

In the race to attract and hire top talent, concern understandably exists over the trend toward forgetting the human element. Successful recruitment is about building trust with top performers. Automated recruitment offers time and cost savings, but cannot replace genuine rapport.

Incorporate the advantages of technology within your hiring process to attract the best talent.

Understand where to look

Online recruitment tools are extremely effective if you understand how to use them wisely.

While over 90 percent of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, approximately only a third of job seekers use it to look for a new opportunity. Get to know which online platforms your best prospects inhabit before taking action. The average age of a LinkedIn user is 44; looking for Millennial talent there won’t be especially effective.

Take advantage of social media

Checking out a candidate’s social media profile will give you some insight into whether or not they are a good culture fit for your client. LinkedIn is the first port of call but candidate Twitter feeds and Facebook pages will help to build a better picture.

Keep in mind that online reviews of applicants should not replace formal background checks. Social media is also useful as a channel to share job vacancies. Use your Twitter and Facebook pages , but don’t overlook leveraging your placements to get referrals.

Don’t obsess over keywords

The temptation for recruiters inundated with resumes is to quickly screen out applicants who fail to meet their desired quota of keywords or qualifications.

With a predicted talent shortage across a number of industries, employers must consider hiring for potential and training for skill.

Discuss this with your clients, explaining the growing shortage of talent — any talent — in many occupations and in different geographies. It’s a good reason to remind them that working with a specialist recruiter gives them access to the top performers and qualified candidates who won’t respond to a job posting or worry about including every keyword on their resume.

Video has its limitations

The one-way video interview is another of this year’s hot topics in recruitment. Yet this – and live interviews via Skype – should not replace the face-to-face interview.

While they offer time and cost savings during the initial screening process, an in-person interview is the only credible way to assess the suitability of a shortlisted candidate. Would you hire someone you had never met?

Hiring is about soft skills, too

From formal qualifications and proven skills to psychometric tests and keyword assessments, an abundance of data-based information is available to hiring managers. None of these should eliminate the need for soft skills.

A candidate’s soft skills and ability to fit within a company’s culture must also play a part in the hiring decision – it cannot be assessed effectively through data alone. Get to know your candidate.

Big data and people analytics have their place in recruitment but there is no substitute for human wisdom and experience. Take advantage of technology to free up time and resources which allow you to fine tune your screening process improve your placement ratio.

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