Quick Bytes: 5 Minutes With Tim Sackett
From time to time, the Data Driven Recruiter asks pressing questions of the recruitment industry’s leading voices. Up today? Tim Sackett.
1. What does “big data” mean to you? (and should recruiters believe the hype?)
“Big Data to me means gigantic sets of information that I can’t personally do an analysis on and need some sort of program to help me. Most HR and Talent Pros have turned any data they have into their shop, that seems ‘big’ into ‘Big Data’. The reality is true big data is beyond the comprehension of normal recruiter types like myself.”
2. What are some of the most common myths or misconceptions about analytics recruiting and HR pros need to know?
“I think the biggest misconception about analytics in recruiting is that people believe they’ll use data to make ‘better’ decisions for the future based on what the data is telling them. Our reality is many times you truly have no idea what the outcome will be in the future of the decisions you’ll be making. I warn my team all the time, be careful, the one decision you make now, based on the given analytics, will have domino effects in the future, have you thought all of those out. Very few people think about the dominos. Well, our ‘best’ source is a job board, so we are going to take all of our sourcing budget and spend more on job boards (analytics told us, this is the right path). A year later you have developed no other sources and your competition is kicking your ass for talent.”
3. What are some of the greatest opportunities or outcomes employers should focus on in terms of utilizing data or analytics? Any advice for getting started?
“I truly believe most of us have no idea how to interpret data well. The field of Data Science is just beginning. Every time I sit with a Data Scientist I’m blown away by what I ‘unlearn’! If you really want to get into data in regards to your functional area, first make sure you have people, or a vendor who has people, who are way smarter than you are about data. It can be so powerful, both good and bad, when you begin to rely on making data driven decisions and strategy.”
4. When you look at using analytics to improve recruiting, who’s getting it right? Any specific examples you can share (personal or otherwise) as an example of someone who personifies a “data driven recruiter?”
“I don’t have an individual name of a recruiter, and I’d would argue this is probably beyond the role of the recruiter. Most talent acquisition executives aren’t really using data. I think organizations that are going to things like SourceCon, ERE, HR Tech tend to at least be driving down this path that we need to get better and data is going to help us get there. Another reality is the expense of really digging into this, for the most part makes it a high margin and/or enterprise play. ABC Manufacturing with 500 employees isn’t using data in their recruitment.”
5. In 140 characters or less, why are analytics important?
“Analytics are important in recruitment because it has the ability to show you the path, before the path is present.”