Big Data Gains Traction In the HR Space - From eQuest’s Floating Point Blog
Big Data Gains Traction in the HR Spaceby DAVID BERNSTEIN on FEBRUARY 13, 2013Big Data isn’t just for the Star Trek-loving geeks of the world anymore. Samuel Greengard at BaselineMagazine says it well: “…the topic has jumped outside the boundaries of IT and spread into the generalenterprise. A growing number of business publications and portals, such as Forbes and Harvard BusinessReview, are devoting ink and pixels to big data.” Big Data has pervaded many sectors of modern life, wellbeyond its obvious business applications of customer service, operational efficiencies, and targeted marketing.Education, health care and even politics have all been positively affected by the opportunity to gather insightson their stakeholders and then make faster evidence-based decisions that influence the success of the enterprise.While the human resources community has historically been cautious and therefore late adopters of newtechnologies, there is already growing interest in the HR community about how the insights derived from themounds of data they already own—not to mention external sources such as government employment data—could revolutionize the way the HR function makes decisions and measures its outcomes. HR has come underincreasing pressure to deliver business value as the C-suite recognizes the critical role talent acquisition plays inachieving enterprise goals. With the foresight Big Data analysis affords, talent acquisition professionals cantruly contribute to a company’s profitability by proactively creating the talent pipelines required to meet thehiring needs that are critical to the business plan.A review of recent HR literature demonstrates an awareness of Big Data’s promise. Several publications,including Talent Management and HRO Today, are planning special issues focused on Big Data. eQuest inparticular has received a warm reception from the HR and business trades as it has demonstrated the real valueof Big Data analytics to the talent sourcing function: ERE.net used eQuest’s data for an article on the best days to post a job. TLNT.com published our article on the possibilities of Big Data in HR, which became a social media hit in the HR space. eQuest supplied data for Crain’s Chicago Business’s annual article, “Where the Jobs Are.” Sramana Mitra profiled eQuest for her Thought Leaders in Big Data series.
Franz Gilbert, blogger at Around the HR World in 40 Days, has written about eQuest’s Big Data capabilities and the global labor market insights we are able to extract from our data.Recruiting Trends Bulletin, Personnel Today and Retail Performance Monitor will soon publish articles basedon eQuest’s job market insights and ability to transform the sourcing function from hind-sighted and reactive toproactive and strategic.Now, recognition of value and implementation are two different things. Because organizations first saw BigData’s promise in the realms of sales and marketing, those functions tend to dominate whatever Big Databandwidth an organization has. It’s incumbent upon HR professionals to educate themselves about how BigData can be applied to the domain of Human Resources in order to present a strong business case for using BigData in the HR function.It will be important for HR to establish some quick wins with any money spent on Big Data initiatives. HR cangain these wins by focusing the use of Big Data on single, critical business issue. Accurately forecasting whichjob boards should be used for recruitment marketing and being able to measure how effective those campaignsare running in real-time is an example of one such critical business issue that can benefit from Big Dataanalyses. The analysis of candidate response patterns and job board performance is key to producing theforecast of which job boards will yield the needed candidates. Real-time recruitment marketing analysis revealsthe insights into how effective the campaigns are running. Being able to investigate and then mitigate anyunder-performance issue as the campaign is running provides a distinct advantage over any talent competitorswho often only do a historical analysis; if at all.In the end, it is simple. Talent acquisition teams are tasked with the responsibility of putting the best talent infront of the hiring managers, in the least amount of time, for the best cost. Failing to meet this responsibilitymeans the business risks not having the right talent in place at the right time to meet its businessobjectives. Talent acquisition cannot fulfill its mandate without first ensuring that it has adequate talentpipelines from which to prospect its interviews from. Having enough qualified candidates to choose frommeans there is the ability to make faster hiring decisions. This quicker time-to-fill supports populating theemployee roster so that companies don’t have to wait on or miss out on business opportunities. A fully staffedorganization is one that’s far more likely to move with—or ahead of—market forces, innovate and successfullymeet business challenges.I look forward to your comments!