July 19, 2017 11:20 AM

The Big Data Question - How Are You Handling Yours?

At this point, there’s no need to extol the virtues of big data. We in the recruitment industry are well aware that these days, big data is everything. But what are you doing with yours? And are you making the most of the information at your disposal?

Before we outline some best practices, let’s first take a little refresher course on the incredible resource we call big data.

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What is big data?

In simple terms, big data refers to the collection of massive data sets. This data can be anything from contact details to information on how a candidate responded to a job posting. It literally covers everything. And as times change and more channels open up to recruiters, the data we collect grows exponentially.

For the most part, we use automated systems to handle these sets because they’re just too big to go through manually.

The fact that we are now relying on relatively new technology to handle this data doesn’t mean that big data is a new thing. In fact, this data has been around since the first recruiter launched the very first recruitment campaign way back when.

What has changed though, is the amount of data at our disposal and of course our ability to analyze it thoroughly. Thanks to the systems currently available on the market we are now able to trawl through this information at an incredible rate, cherry picking the exact portions of data required for the task at hand.


How does it affect the recruitment industry?

Big data offers recruiters a major boost in their efforts to hire the right candidate. By making intelligent use of analytics, the savvy recruiter no longer needs to rely on their gut feeling (or intuition) but can now hire based on evidence.

Of course, there remains a slight element of chance in any hiring process. What’s to stop a candidate suddenly opting for a complete change of career or deciding to move on for personal reasons?

However, with so much data available, we can now stack the odds in our favour by eliminating candidates whose data suggests they may not be the right fit for a position. Clearly, this has a massive bearing on the success of our campaigns.


Big data best practices

Although the term Big Data might lead you to believe that collecting as much data as possible is paramount, it’s what you do with the information that really counts.

Understanding how to use this data in a way which has a positive impact on your campaign is essential. And so we’ve come up with a few basic best practices for you to follow.


Understand the use of big data

Big data is not an aspect of recruitment (or any business for that matter) that simply requires an automated tool. It requires a combination of algorithms and human decision and those dealing with your big data sets need to understand this from the off. This is not something you leave running in the background and simply forget about.

Always stay on the pulse

We don’t need to tell you how fast technology changes and so it’s essential that you keep your systems and tools up to date and stay informed on the current goings on in the world of big data collection and analysis. A new development, while not necessarily campaign-ending, could hand the advantage to your competitors.

Know how to use your tools

There are many tools that will help you collect the required data to make your campaign a success. But it’s not just about using the right tools; it’s also about ensuring that your staff knows exactly what kind of data analytics each system offers and understand how to use the software correctly. Implement an ongoing training program to keep everyone on their toes.

Pay attention to social

It’s a social world where everything and anything is shared, discussed, watched, read, and of course applied for through social media platforms. This is why more and more recruiters focus on Linkedin and Facebook in their campaigns. But these platforms are also a treasure trove of data on candidate behaviour, interests, and even their future employment status. Use this data to focus future recruiting efforts on the right markets and areas.

Protect candidate privacy

Yes, we have a seemingly endless supply of useful data, but that doesn’t mean that we can adopt a cavalier attitude to how we handle it. Identity theft is a major concern these days, and so any candidate data that you collect should remain private. You have a responsibility to protect your candidates’ privacy, and this means understanding the rules and regulations for every state or country that you are operating in or hiring from.

Call in the experts

When in doubt, call for help. It may be that you have the right tools and understand how to use them but still can’t quite put your big data to good use. Outsourcing certain work processes or even hiring an in-house expert could have a huge impact on the success of your future campaigns.   

As recruiters we collect a lot of data, from candidate information to who made the cut and who to put into your talent pool. Learn how to use that data for the best results here

What are the best tools?  

Since the recruitment industry embraced big data and its many benefits, we’ve seen a myriad of tools to handle analytics hit the market. In fact, we wrote about quite a few that could handle data collection and analysis in the recruiter’s toolbox.

And as we have stated previously, it’s difficult to choose one particular tool as the best. Each recruiter will not only have their individual requirements with regards to collecting data, but they will have various other tools that their new software must integrate with.


If you’re unsure how big data can help you recruit the best talent or if you simply don’t have the time to use that data to build your pipeline, get in touch with one of our sourcing consultants today and learn how vsource manages the might of big data with our balance of smart technology and human expertise.

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