How technology is changing HR

We keep hearing about industry disruption – think taxis (Uber), media (digital vs. newspapers) and travel (Airbnb).

Well, now its recruitment’s turn. The introduction of big data to the recruitment process is turning the industry on its head.

What is big data?

Big data is almost self-explanatory: lots and lots of data about anything and everything. Haven’t we always had it? Well, no. Thanks to the myriad ways we now collect information – online, mobile, software, apps, cameras, even Wi-Fi – we have more data than we know what to do with.

Big data uses that collective information to find patterns and trends, behaviours, targeted searches.

From an HR perspective, mining data from personality, cognitive and psychometric tests, employment records and online profiles may help recruiters predict the future job performance of candidates.

How can it help with recruitment?

It’s the predictive element, also called predictive analysis, that’s disrupting the way the recruitment process is run.

By using big data metrics to establish criteria that result in an employees best performance and retention, predictive analysis sets new, statistical benchmarks for employee search and hire.

Instead of advertising a job and then sifting through dozens of CVs, predictive analysis can do the legwork for you by running a targeted search for the particular skills you’re after, across geographies and pools of talent that ads might miss.

It can also sort through the short list, predicting which candidates might be stand-out employees, likely to stick around or a good cultural fit.

All up, the search process becomes more analytical, targeted and much, much faster. And crucially, less reliant on HR or management instincts, or a process where the suitability of a candidate might be lost thanks to one bad interview.

For all the benefits, the wave of predictive analytics in recruitment is still to break.

LinkedIn survey found 75 per cent of HR managers are not currently using data in the recruitment process, despite it reducing costs and improving efficiencies by a mark of three.

Whos using big data in Australia?

Launched in 2013, Search Party uses its data science-based technology platform to streamline the hiring process. An intelligent searching algorithm quickly narrows down potential lists of candidates for a position. When you enter the job titles and skills you want in a résumé, the algorithm delivers a short list of qualified candidates from the database of résumés uploaded by recruiters.

To use the service, you set the fee you’re willing to pay, for example 10 per cent or 15 per cent of the final candidate salary.

Recruitment is just the start of how big data will help the human resources industry. Future HR professionals will find themselves using data not only to quickly find new talent, but also manage the talent they have. Predictive analysis will play a role in talent forecasting of high performers, targeted retention and risk management of those identified at risk of leaving, and helping HR to further add to the business story and metrics through turnover modelling.

HR people, the wave of big data is coming your way.

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