So where does this information come from and how can it be used most effectively? Today there is so much data in the world that it would be almost impossible for companies generating these untold terabytes to function without being able to sort through it effectively.
For recruiters, information about job applicants is derived from a large number of sources and Big Data and Analytics solutions provide information that simply would not have been available in the past. This information isn’t just coming from Facebook or Google, but from every digital transaction, social media or otherwise, that may have left a digital footprint.
Organisations are increasingly relying on Big Data and Analytics to find the right talent for the right position by constantly refining their solutions for talent pool analysis and updating their algorithms to allow them to plough through the vast malaise of information to find the most actionable data.
Big Data, used in conjunction with AI tools, has become a highly effective way for companies to identify the right talent pools and plan and prioritise their hiring accordingly. For example, the data could provide information about which schools or universities the best performers in particular industries went to, the sorts of positions they’d held prior to becoming a C-suite executive and, far more contentiously, whether their views expressed on social media are in line with those of your organisation.
Of course, the jury is very much out as to the ethics of collecting data and how it is used to decide someone’s employment future, especially as companies loathe to disclose the sources of their data, but from a legal standpoint there is generally not an issue if it can be shown that the data has been sourced from the public domain.
Big Data solutions such as Deep Sense, which is used by a number of Fortune 500 companies, can even be used to discover underlying personality and character traits in what the developers claim is an attempt to level the recruitment playing field with a purely merit-based system for hiring.
Critics, however, are not so enthusiastic, arguing that algorithms cannot explain even a simple gap year in a person’s resume for something as mundane as maternity leave, let alone the more complex aspects of a person’s work history.
In the end, it probably comes down to a glass-half full argument, but one thing that is abundantly clear is that technologies such as Big Data and AI have already upended the traditional way in which people are hired (and possibly fired), and they are both in their relative infancy. Future recruiters will have even more information at their fingertips and questions will continue to be raised about where the information came from and how it is being used.
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