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How data changes the recruiting game

Rachel Wheeler Archive

Companies are looking to improve their big data initiatives every day. By gathering more information about their customers and crunching more numbers on the latest trends, they can improve their e-commerce practices and sharpen their customer service strategies.

Businesses can also make more use of data internally. According to The Economist, businesses have begun to realize a new use for big data in their operations - it can help with recruiting. Perhaps the most important part of managing a company is making smart hiring decisions, as one poor choice can lead to a domino effect of bad habits and declining productivity in an enterprise. By using more data analysis and better software solutions to analyze their decisions, companies can improve the recruiting process and make better hires. The positive side effects of this improvement will be far-reaching.

The magazine points out that better hiring practices are especially useful for companies that employ a large number of unskilled workers, including supermarkets and fast food chains. These employers work mostly with laborers who earn hourly wages doing unskilled work, and these positions are prone to heavy turnover. When businesses are constantly losing employees and having to find new ones, they must do more to expedite the process of screening job applicants and finding the best talent quickly and efficiently.

We're all struggling
According to ZDNet, big data reveals that everyone is struggling to make good hiring decisions. The news source quotes an interview that Google's Laszlo Bock gave to The New York Times - according to Bock, even the smartest companies are making poor choices.

"Years ago, we did a study to determine whether anyone at Google is particularly good at hiring," Bock said. "We looked at tens of thousands of interviews, and everyone who had done the interviews and what they scored the candidate, and how that person ultimately performed in their job. We found zero relationship. It's a complete random mess."

By gathering more data, companies can get smarter about the way they recruit and hire. Data quality, naturally, is an important part of this process. By verifying the accuracy of the information they gather about the labor pool, business leaders can guarantee they make more prudent choices in the future.

Where do qualified job applicants come from? Where did they go to school? What skills do they have? What are their career goals? Data can help companies explore the answers to these questions and many more.