Big Data: The New Hiring Tool

The quality of its employees is essential to determining whether a company succeeds or fails. Therefore the job of the hiring manager is a vital one. It is also a job that isn’t always performed in an optimal manner. Why? The reason comes down to human brain function and its limitations. The amount of job applicants that respond to a well publicized position can number in the hundreds while the average human brain can only work with four things at once.

Other problems include fatigue, cynicism, group think, and biases. A hiring manager may have previously hired a graduate from a particular school that turned out to be an excellent employee and may not give graduates from other schools fair consideration. Biases have many sources that derive from personal experience. There are also quirks of human behavior that can get in the way of finding the best candidate. For example, applications in the middle of a queue tend to get less consideration than those at the ends.

Rather than rely exclusively on human intuition and instinct to identify good job candidates, making use of data that can be harvested from the candidate’s application as well as from the Internet would be of great help. Examples of online sources of data are sites such as Linkedin and Facebook as well as mentions on previous company and school websites.

By making use of information that goes beyond what is contained in the resume and cover letter, the hiring manager gets a more complete and accurate picture of the job applicant. This picture can be further refined by having applicants take online tests. Gathering more information and employing sophisticated analytical methods to make sense of it is the big data approach to selecting job candidates.

The employer isn’t the only one who benefits from big data. Job applicants no longer have to live and die by their cover letters and resumes, and less talent will get buried in the sheer number of applicants. Because a fuller picture of the job applicant is presented, the hiring process becomes more fair.

A lot is already known about the ideal applicant qualities for the various types of occupations. Until now, the problem has always been putting this knowledge to practical use against the sheer numbers of job applicants. However, improved big data analytical techniques now make it possible to give all applicants a more thorough screening that checks them against the traits of high performers in their fields.

This approach is much preferred to the traditional resume and application elimination process in current use. The traditional approach is to spot a “red flag” as quickly as possible in order to thin out the sheer numbers of applications. This may make the task of getting through the high volume of applicants easier, but it is not a direct approach to finding talent.

By bringing together talented people with the companies that need them, big data improves the lives of people and the competitiveness of businesses. For information on getting high capacity data storage for your business, please contact us.

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