Combing through piles of CVs is considered an essential part of a recruiter’s work, but big data might be about to change that. We are witnessing the development of “people analytics”, which aggregate CVs, applications, scanned business cards, social media profiles and aptitude tests to lift the best candidates out of the CV pool.

Of course, as Ali Behnam, cofounder and managing partner of Riviera Partners points out, the success of such recruitment schemes hinges on the right blend of technology and human input. “Big data is the future of recruiting, but you can’t just data mine your way to the right candidate. You need the right tools, the right combination of external and internal variables and — most importantly — the right people who know how to analyze all of it.”

Companies such as Riviera Partners, Gild, TalentBin are already offering services which use big data in the hunt for the right candidate. Facets of the application process which they use in their technologies include:

  • Combing the internet (and particularly social media sites such as LinkedIn) for details which indicate prospective candidates
  • In-house processing of CVs, applications and HR databases
  • The results of tests and games designed to test applicant’s aptitude. For example, Royal Dutch Shell recently turned to Silicon Valley startup Knack to design two “games” to help them identify which candidates had the innovative mindset they were looking for

People analytics is already garnering results. Xerox recently deployed big data approaches to staff its department of 48,700 people. The result? A 20% decline in attrition rate in its call centres. Xerox was so impressed by the results of their six-month trial period that they’re now rolling out the method permanently. Certainly a promising start for a blossoming industry.

Read more here.
(Photo credit: Jakob Smith)

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