Unleashing the full potential of big data to drive better hiring decisions

Big data in recruiting examines large amounts of data to uncover hidden patterns, insights and trends within the industry and could potentially give companies a competitive advantage by understanding the needs of the candidates, their values and work ethic. As a result, it can help shape your recruitment strategy, including the remuneration and benefits package to satisfy your current and future employee’s needs.

So why do we need this big data?

We are entering a new era and millennials (also known as generation y, born between 1980-1999) are reshaping the workplace like we’ve never seen before. Their values and work ethic are completely different to the previous generations of baby boomers and generation x, so unless the hiring manager is a millennial themselves, as we go through this transition period, it is unlikely you will understand the needs of millennials, what they value and what motivates them.

Big data can give us insight into why your organisation may be experiencing high turnover or unable to keep employees in a job once you have hired them. It helps us understand how to attract talented and high-calibre candidates in the first place and how to keep them happy once they become an employee. You may consider changing the job description or the package that is on offer.

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With technology at our fingertips you can guarantee that a candidate will do their research on any company before considering working there, they will ask friends or family members if they know anyone who has been employed by the company, they will scroll through their website and social media platforms to help them get an insight into whether the culture of the company fits with their personality and values.

So, what is it that millennials want?

Unlike previous generations who were much more loyal to one employer and much more motivated by money, millennials crave personal development and a better work/life balance than their parents, with financial rewards third on the list of what they look for from a job.

A report produced by PwC states 95% of respondents say work/life balance is important to them. Millennials want more than ‘just a job’ are motivated by more than money and want to do something that they are passionate about.

Some reports state that millennials have a sense of entitlement and employers should build the workplace around them, but if they are the future managers and leaders of business around the world, should we not be listening to them now and shaping our jobs and working culture around the future? The question should be raised, does the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-5 still work? If we don’t embrace the data that is available to us now and make changes, we may find in a few years we have been left behind, struggling to recruit.

Other than the sociology of different generations, big data can provide information on supply and demand of the marketplace, provide information on salaries depending on the locations you are recruiting in and employment rates. All this information can help shape recruitment campaigns, as well as determining where we advertise jobs and find new employees when hiring.

Where do we find this data?

We can access data from website analytics, social media, government data and other publicly available sources. It’s important to remember it’s not about the volume of data, but how we use it matters. With big data still in its infancy, I predict that it will be used a lot more for hiring decisions over the next few years.

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