Is big data’s growing role in the recruitment process sustainable?

Is big data’s growing role in the recruitment process sustainable?

BBC business reporter Matthew Wall asked an interesting question last week: Does job application success depend on data, rather than your CV? Professional Academy’s (PA) success depends on data. We know it’s powerful. We also know that, ultimately, there is only one data crunching system that can get your recruitment strategy right. That system is the most complex computer on the planet: the human brain.

PA’s success depends on data. We’ve pioneered that most advanced online learning management system available to develop custom-designed learning and development programmes for leaders, sales people and marketers. We can pull off meaningful data about any candidate that has ever been through our doors, anywhere in the world. We are certain about the power data gives us to help our clients develop exceptional people. And, at the end of the day, that is our business, ‘developing exceptional people.’  We’re passionate about people; we simply use data to help organisations enable their people to excel. So we were fascinated to learn about all the ways organisations are using data to help them recruit.

Matthew describes many ways that companies are analysing and using data in their selection processes in this article.  Clever algorithms are removing subjectivity from the recruitment process. This is attractive, as research shows us that most managers claim to use objective criteria to appoint. Research also shows us that, in reality, these managers claiming to use objective criteria to appoint people, actually use subjective criteria, such as empathy and likability. 

Likeabilty - the number one reason to hire someone

Sure the way people interact with games tells us a lot about how they think, and their social media trail may tell us a lot about their attitude, and recruiting for attitude, training for aptitude is something we promote. It’s very easy though for candidates to leave data trails that show you what they think you want them to know, and with articles like this around raising awareness of the recruitment process, and organisations like ours, making potential candidates aware of the importance of their digital presence, it will only become easier. Using data-mining alone for selection is not sustainable.

Action Centred Leadership - TM John Adair

Research also shows us that most people leave a manager, not a job. Managers are guilty of not training, supporting and coaching.

They focus too much on task and not enough on individual and team needs. If recruiting becomes another data driven task, even if you are basing your decision on the right data, there is a danger that the manager may not retain that candidate. If you are going to the effort of data-mining to find the right people, you are probably investing in training them too, and, to paraphrase Richard Branson: “there is only one thing worse than training people and they leave; not training them and they stay.”

At PA we believe that with the right strategy anybody with commitment can achieve their goals, in this case recruiting the best candidate or getting the best job (depending on which side of the desk you sit).  Getting exceptional people (or becoming exceptional at your job) takes belief, dedication and depth of knowledge in what to develop in the person (or yourself).  Sure, big data analysis has its place. Its place though, has to remain alongside human judgment using the most complex computer that exists: the human brain…

If you are interested in learning more about Management & Leadership including how to recruit the right people please feel free to download a copy of our CMI Management Prospectus or contact one of our qualification advisors today.