Telling the Story of a Data-Driven Future for Talent Acquisition

Telling the Story of a Data-Driven Future for Talent Acquisition

Mike Roberts

Subjectivity and talent acquisition have traditionally gone hand in hand, but that’s not necessarily because recruiters have an unusually amazing ability to make gut decisions. It’s more-so because the data required to make objective decisions has been hard to come by in the recruiting environment.

With advancements in technology, as well as more awareness of the power of data, this is starting to change. Since 2014, we’ve seen an incredible transformation in the way talent acquisition professionals view data. And research from leading analyst firms has been backing that up.

Growth in the Talent Analytics Market

Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder at Bersin by Deloitte, recently shared some data on the growth of the people analytics (a.k.a. talent analytics) market. The year-over-year growth shows some promising figures for the future of data and analytics in HR and recruitment.

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Fig 1:  Rapid Maturity of People Analytics (Source:  Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2015 and 2016, 3,300 and 7,100 respondents, respectively)

Having HR and recruiting data is one thing, but using it is another, which leads us to the idea of storytelling with data.

The Art of Storytelling with Recruitment Data

A few weeks ago we came across another interesting piece of content on this topic, from This Week In Startups. Angel investor, host, and internet entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis, sat down with RStudio Scientist and open source pioneer, Hadley Wickham, to discuss data, stats, and philosophy.

This podcast does not deal directly with recruiting, but the ideas around changing attitudes and technologies are enough to pique the interest of talent acquisition professionals with an eye on a data-driven future.

Several things really stood out in this podcast, so much so that they compelled us to embed the video right here on the blog.

First, they discussed the very human nature to tell stories, and for talent acquisition that typically means telling stories about people and organizations. Traditionally, these stories have had to be almost entirely anecdotal. But with data, they can start to come to life and hold more ground.

They also shared some interesting examples about how anecdotal stories are virtually meaningless without data. For instance, in the presidential election, there’s a considerable difference between candidates who can back up their claims versus those who speak more freely about what could be.

For recruiting, using data to tell a story could mean making the case for hiring a certain person or even explaining why you need additional budget for an IT investment. It’s the combination of data and storytelling that’s powerful.

Second, they brought up the transition in sports recruiting from subjective to objective decision-making. In basketball, for instance, rather than looking only at high-level stats like points scored, data can surface findings like how impactful a player could be just by being on the court. Some teams score more points when a person is in play, even if he or she isn’t the one making points.

In the future, we will see big data recruiting analytics delivering similar insights around types of people and the characteristics of professionals we should hire that will elevate the performance of our team as a whole.

There’s an exciting future in store for data-driven recruiting and HR. Tell us what you think about it at @RecruitDDR.

Interested in improving your recruiting performance? Sign up for the Data Driven Recruiter blog and check out our new report on Quality of Hire below:

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