5 Things Recruiting Leaders Should Know About Big Data In 2016

5 Things Recruiting Leaders Should Know About Big Data In 2016

Emily Smykal

Big data is not just for high-flying tech startups and multinational powerhouses. Any company can develop a competitive advantage by leveraging data in the right way. And those who don’t risk falling behind, even becoming irrelevant. The uptake of big data among recruiters has been slow compared to other business divisions, but we are seeing a rapid shift in attitudes towards data and analytics among talent acquisition specialists.

Just how useful is big data to recruitment? It can help with everything from predicting hiring needs in real-time, to improving the quality and retention of new hires, and even connecting recruiting performance with business performance. Senior leaders at businesses worldwide have come to expect data-driven decisions and results from each of their teams, and HR is no exception.

So what should talent acquisition leaders expect from big data in the next year, regardless of how well they utilize data now? Capgemini and EMC released a new study, Big & Fast Data: The Rise of Insight-Driven Business, and it’s full of insights for any business division. In this post we’ll discuss five of the top trends in big data recruiters should keep in mind for the next year.

1. 65% of senior leaders say they risk becoming irrelevant and/or uncompetitive if they do not utilize big data

The Capgemini survey interviewed roughly 1,000 senior executives and decision-makers representing nine industries and 10 countries. And two-thirds recognize the danger they face if they do not embrace big data initiatives. In addition, 59% feel the data they currently collect is a core aspect of their company’s value.

Many business leaders think big data is as valuable as the products and services they produce, and this line of thought should extend to talent acquisition data. Companies that apply data and analytics to their recruitment strategies can reach more quality candidates and attract them more efficiently than their data-deprived competitors. A lack of big data can make your products uncompetitive in the same way it can make your hiring methods irrelevant.

2. 37% of respondents blamed the shortage of skilled staff as a top barrier to collecting and analyzing big data

Businesses can’t simply flip a switch and watch data start rolling in–technical systems need to be updated or installed that can collect, process, and analyze the insights you want. And staff who can analyze the data accurately need to be trained or hired. Some companies develop a data team to provide analytics for the entire business, while others train data specialists in each division.

HR leaders are especially attuned to the importance of people, and getting the right people to analyze data should be a top priority. The Capgemini study also found that 43% of leaders are already restructuring their organizations, and 33% created new C-level roles, to take advantage of the growth in big data. Recruiters can demonstrate their importance to the business by applying data-driven hiring methods to finding the best data specialists.

3. An additional 33% blamed the high cost of storing and managing large data sets

This is a cost every business division should keep in mind, including HR. Luckily the expense continues to fall as big data technology improves. But the rapid pace of technological changes means the integration and management of big data systems should be continuously reviewed.

A related issue here is the time it takes to process large sets of data–a barrier highlighted by 32% of survey respondents. The more agile your big data storage systems are, the more easily your team can access and analyze the data. This can be crucial to recruiters who need to fill an unexpected vacancy, or who need to support rapidly growing teams.

4. 64% of senior leaders say big data is shifting the boundaries of traditional businesses

Anyone with the right tools can start collecting and using big data, allowing non-traditional businesses and providers to make inroads in industries like never before. Just think of how Uber managed to upend the traditional taxi model.

The same shift can apply to talent acquisition, as younger companies with less cachet to their name leverage recruitment technology to attract top talent. Social recruiting, job alerts, mobile-friendly applications–just about every company can use these tools to source candidates today. HR leaders need to keep an eye out not just for data-driven competitors, but also for companies around the world with data-driven recruitment methods.

5. Just 27% of executives would describe their big data strategies as successful

This figure comes from a related Capgemini study, and it shows just how far we have to go to fully harness big data. The question of how to get started, how to truly make use of big data, is one that troubles senior leaders worldwide–including talent acquisition leaders.

Perhaps even more troubling, 47% of respondents admit their company’s IT systems are not optimized for big data collection and analytics. How can leaders make decisions based on data when they’re currently worrying about the efficiency and reliability of their data management?

As recruiters adopt more big data strategies and hire more data analysts for their business, they should stress the importance of up-to-date and accurate IT systems that can process every team’s data needs. It’s just one of the many ways talent acquisition teams can leverage big data to demonstrate their strategic importance to their company.

Interested in recruiting analytics and the future of big data in talent acquisition? Sign up for the Data Driven Recruiter blog.

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