My SourceCon 2010 DC Keynote at the International Spy Museum on the 5 Levels of Talent Mining. I explore the value of human capital data, how talent mining has significant advantages over the predictive control of candidate variables when compared to other methods of sourcing candidates, and what I believe to be the future of sourcing, which is Talent Intelligence and Analytics.
Examples include search strings in web search engines.
Talent – people with experience and capabilities. Not resumes with keywords. Hiring managers and teams do not need keywords.
Examples include search strings in web search engines.
Specialized application of IR. Similar to data miningResumes, Social media profiles. Talent Information Retrieval.
Data can yield useful information that can be converted to knowledge. Text mining (sentiment analysis) Data miningData mining is currently used in a wide range of profiling practices, such as marketing, surveillance, fraud detection, and scientific discovery.Google quote: When every business has free and ubiquitous data, the ability to understand it and extract value from it becomes the complimentary scarce factor. It leads to intelligence, and the intelligent business is the successful business, regardless of its size. Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it well, the Samurai.
“Success in life is the elimination of variables.” – George Crump of InformationWeek – former boss and still mentor
JO’s variables are fixed. Soft skills? Culture, etc?
Not a better/worse – just an illustration of certain advantages/benefits of approach. Explanation as to exactly WHY Talent Mining is so critical.
Experience, education & capabilities
Deep/Structured Data Affords More Control
Closely matched on most variables
Structured Data = more control
Structured Data = more control
Level 1 sourcing is essentially “buzzword bingo.” It involves little more than taking job titles and required skill terms from job descriptions, using them as search terms, and then performing straight lexical (word for word, title for title) matching. As such a superficial level of keyword sourcing and matching, Level 1 sourcing does not require any deep understanding of the roles, skills, responsibilities, or technologies involved in the hiring profiles or the candidates.This level of basic keyword and title searching and matching will produce results, and this is where some people get the false sense that sourcing is easy. Here’s the catch - the results are limited to only those people who happen to match the titles and keywords search for. Which is never all of the best candidates that you have access to.A single search cannot find all qualified candidates, as it will both include and exclude qualified candidates.The danger of Level 1 sourcing lies in the fact that it will not (and can not) find people who are qualified but do not happen to have the exact titles searched for, nor those people who actually do have the right skills and experience but who 1) simply don’t happpen to mention all of them in their resume or social media profile, and/or 2) express their matching skills and experience using words that differ from those used in the job description and required skills – and thus those used in the search.Level 1 sourcing creates hidden talent pools – entire populations of qualified candidates that you have access to, but your searches never retrieve them. If you didn’t find it, it doesn’t exist, right? :-) The good news is that level 1 sourcing works, gets results, and can be easily be performed by “junior” personnel/researchers, because almost anyone can match titles and keywords. Additionally, Level 1 sourcing can be completely automated using software - why pay people to match keywords when matching applications can do it for considerably less than $5 per hour?The bad news is that in addition to creating huge hidden talent pools of fantastic people who will not and can not be found, level 1 sourcing provides no competitive advantage. If two companies are performing level 1 searching for the same types of people, they will find the same candidates. Same titles and keywords = same results. Interestingly enough – they will also NOT find the same people.Think about it.
Level 2 Sourcing / Talent MiningLevel 2 sourcing goes beyond literal lexical matching and takes a step into conceptual search territory. Instead of relying solely on the exact titles and experience keywords provided in a given job description, level 2 sourcing involves the utilization of synonymous terms and concepts.For example, let’s say you were sourcing for a position with a title of “Safety Physician.” While a level 1 sourcer would search only for the exact title of “Safety Physician” and find people who happen to have that title, a level 2 sourcer would perform research and discover that other organizations use a variety of other titles to describe the same role, such as Associate Director of PVRM, Pharmacovigilance Physician, Senior Drug Safety Associate, Global Safety Senior Medical Scientist, Global Pharmacovigilance (Contract) Physician, and Medical Director, Drug Safety & Pharmacovigilance. A level 1 sourcer using only the title “Safety Physician” in their search could not find appropriately qualified candidates that used one of the above titles instead of ”Safety Physician.” To the level 1 sourcer, those other candidates simply don’t exist – they are unware of their existence. However, a level 2 sourcer would find them.At the skills search level, a level 1 sourcer looking to find software engineers with “Ruby on Rails” experience would search for that exact phrase, and would find only those people who happen to mention it. A level 2 sourcer would perform research and discover that some people with that experience may instead express “Ruby on Rails” as Rails, Ruby, or simply RoR. As such, the level 2 sourcer would be able to find candidates that the level 1 sourcer cannot.Level 2 sourcing can be automated - there are many vendors (including Monster’s Power Resume Search and TalentSpring) offering applications that will take basic title and keyword searches and automatically search for synonymous titles, words, and phrases.However, there limitations with automated solutions, and there are a few aspects of level 2 sourcing that can only be performed by humans: 1. It takes a human being to interpret and understand the hiring need, which can not be effectively conveyed soley by a job description, titles, and required skills, to determine what search terms to use (and which ones not to use!).2. Only a human sourcer can analyze the relevance of the results from initial searches and adaptively learn from them to creatively refine successive searches to increase both the quantity and the quality of relevant results.3. Applications have no awareness of hidden talent pools - only human sourcers have the ability to be aware that their search criteria may actually eliminate qualified candidates. This awareness enables them to take appropriate action to alter their searches to uncover candidates that previous searches eliminated.
Level 3 Sourcing / Talent MiningLevel 3 sourcing involves searching for and identifying what isn’t explicitly mentioned by candidates – in other words, searching for what isn’t there.The fact is, most people have skills and experience that they do not directly express in their resumes and social media profiles. This is because: • People cannot effectively be reduced to and represented by a text-based document or form• Job seekers are NOT professional resume writers• Candidates don’t mention every skill they have or responsibility they’ve had, nor do they describe every environment they’ve worked in• Most people still believe shorter resumes are better, which means that they are removing experience (data/info) from their resumes which can no longer be searched for• There are many ways of expressing the same skills and experience• Employers often don’t use the same job titles for the same job functions• Candidates don’t create their resumes thinking how you will search for them• Sometimes candidates don’t even use correct terminology This phenomenon creates HUGE volumes of resumes, candidate records, and social network profiles of people who have skills and experience that cannot be directly searched for because it isn’t there. Most sourcers and recruiters simply aren’t aware of these people because they can’t be returned by standard (level 1 and 2) search tactics.Level 3 sourcing involves incorporating an understanding of the intrinsic limitations of resumes and social media profiles detailed above into sourcing strategies and tactics, and is a skill that can only be developed over time from observation and direct experience.For example, let’s say a manager has an opening for someone with Rational Unified Process experience.• A level 1 sourcer would search for “Rational Unified Process.” • A level 2 sourcer (human OR otherwise) would/could search for synonymous terms (RUP OR “Rational Unified Process”). • A level 3 sourcer would be able to find people with Rational Unified Process experience without actually searching for the terms by researching which companies use RUP and searching specifically for people who have worked for them but who do not say (RUP OR “Rational Unified Process”) by using the NOT operator.A level 3 sourcer is capable of finding the same candidates someone who employs only level 1 and 2 sourcing tactics, as well as candidates level 1 and 2 sourcers cannot. Additionally, a level 3 sourcer can find candidates that matching applications employing level 2 sourcing concept/semantic search cannot – this is because an application cannot effectively search for words and concepts that cannot be found because they simply aren’t there.
Level 4 Sourcing / Talent MiningLevel 4 sourcing involves searching for responsibilities and capabilities, not keywords or titles.Moreover, level 4 sourcing takes concept searching beyond synonymous words and phrases (level 2 sourcing) and targets meaning at the sentence level – specifically targeting what people DO, not just what they SAY.To the best of my knowledge, there are no applications available today that perform dynamic sentence-level (not static phrase level) semantic search via verb/noun combinations. However, any human sourcer can perform level 4 sourcing manually by searching for verb/noun cominations using a search engine that supports proximity search.That includes Monster “classic” – which supports the NEAR operator (fixed proximity within 10 words), the Exalead Internet search engine, and nearly any ATS/CRM application which uses Lucene or dtSearch as their text search engine.Search Example 1Let’s say you’re looking for someone who has had experience performing administrative support for C-level executives. Using Monster, you could use a search something like this:support* near (CEO or CFO or CTO or CIO or “C-Level” or chief*)Essentially this search is looking for any permutation of the verb “support” to be mentioned within 10 words (forwards or backwards) of one of the many ways of expressing a C-level title. This can effectively target sentences in which people express the responsibility of supporting C-level executives.Here are snippets from 3 different resumes. Notice that no title search was necessary due to the power of targeting sentence-level meaning:Search Example 2If you were looking for someone who had experience configuring Juniper routers, you could run a search like this on Monster:config* near juniper near router*This search is essentially looking for people who mention that they have experience configuring Juniper routers, because some permutation of the root “config” has to be mentioned within 10 words of Juniper, which also has to be mentioned within 10 words of router or routers. In most cases, due to the proximity specifications, these 3 words variants will be found in the same sentence – expressing Juniper router configuration responsibility. Does it work? You decide.Search Example 3If you use PCRecruiter (which uses Lucene for text search) and you were looking for people who had experience creating Access databases, you could run this search:“created access database”~7That search is asking the database for any result in which the words “created,” Access,” and “Database” are all within 7 words of each other. And it works. Notice that this is not an exact phrase search - in the relevant phrases, the words are actually in a different order than expressed in the search above, yet the concept is the same.Level 4 sourcing is user-defined, grammatical natural language search.As complex as that sounds, it’s essentially intelligent keyword search empowered by proximity search capability (extended Boolean) that effectively enables semantic search targeting verb/noun combinations. Best of all, it produces highly relevant results, matched at the responsibility level – what people have done and can do, not just words they happen to mention.
Relevance = meets information need of the user
Level 5 sourcing is a creative use of human capital data in which sourcers deliberately search for the “wrong people” in order to find the “right people.” This can involve #1 searching for under/overqualified professionals – people who do not have enough years of experience for a specific position, or those who are very experienced and likely to be looking for compensation above what you can offer for a given position, as well as #2 searching for people who likely work with or know the professionals you need to find.In some ways this isn’t much different than cold calling, yet it has the advantage of specificity and candidate variable control. For example, let’s say you’re looking for C# software engineers with at least 3 years of SharePoint portal development experience, and you know from experience that people with more than 5 years of applicable experience tend to want a higher level of compensation than you are able to offer.Once you’ve exhausted all searches/sources for direct matches to your need (C# software engineers with 3 to 5 years of SharePoint portal development experience), you could deliberately search for people with precisely the right experience, but less than 3 years or more than 5.While you may not be able to immediately assist these people, by identifying them ahead of need you can effectively and proactively build your candidate pipelines for junior and more senior C#/SharePoint portal developers, and you afford yourself the opportunity to network with these individuals to identify people they know who do have 3-5 years of applicable experience. Going one step further, you could search specifically for people who would have experience working with your target candidate pool. This could include software testers, business analysts, development/project managers, etc. By searching for, identifying and contacting testers, business analysts, and managers who have experience working on C#/SharePoint portal projects, you can proactively build your pipeline of candidates with these skills, as well as network with them in an effort to identify C# software engineers with SharePoint portal development experience.
Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.
BI technologies provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of Business Intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, and predictive analytics.Business Intelligence often aims to support better business decision-making. Thus a BI system can be called a decision support system (DSS). Though the term business intelligence is often used as a synonym for competitive intelligence, because they both support decision making, BI uses technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes while competitive intelligence, is done by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information with or without support from technology and applications, and focuses on all-source information and data (unstructured or structured), mostly external, but also internal to a company, to support decision making.
Data is silo’d – job board resume databases, Internet, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter - ETL
Competitive intelligence is gained by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information with or without support from technology and applications, and focuses on mostly external all-source information and data (unstructured or structured). Data enables predictability based on probability.Not just workforce analytics (PeopleclickAuthoria) but does include – best of internal and external->internal data. Talent Warehouse concept.
The 5 Levels of Talent Mining from SourceCon 2010 DC
The 5 Levels of Talent Mining<br />Glen CatheyV.P. National RecruitmentKforce<br />
Paradigm Shift<br />Anyone can perform Boolean search for any information need<br />Boolean search does not adequately describe what sourcers and recruiters do, nor does it do them justice<br />
Paradigm Shift<br />Think Information Retrieval<br />
Information Retrieval<br />The science of searching for documents, information within documents, and searching relational databases and the Internet<br />
Information Retrieval<br />An information retrieval process begins when a user enters a query into a system<br />
Information Retrieval<br />Queries are formal statements of information needs<br />
Sourcing<br />As a sourcer or recruiter, what’s your <br />information need?<br />
Information Need<br />Ultimately, you are looking to find people who have specific skills, experience and education, who live in a specific area, who are interested in your opportunity, and who you can recruit and hire<br />
Talent Mining<br />Specialized form of text and data mining for recruiting<br />Querying and analyzing human capital data for talent discovery, identification and ultimately acquisition <br />
Talent Mining<br />Transforming human capital data into an informational & competitive advantage<br />Data -> Information -> Knowledge -> Decisions<br />
Quote<br />“Success in life comes from the identification, control and elimination of variables.”<br />
Quote<br />In sourcing, what candidate variables can you identify, control, and even eliminate?<br />
Control of Exp. and Education<br />Cold calling?<br />You have very little, if any, control over the specific experience and education of the person you get on the phone<br />Referral recruiting?<br />You have very little, if any, control over the specific experience and education of the person referred to you, regardless of what you specifically ask for<br />Talent mining?<br />Searching structured databases gives you a very high degree over the specific experience and education of the people you decide to call based on a search<br />
Control of Location<br />Cold calling?<br />While you can be certain that a person you reach inside of a company lives in a specific metro area, you have no control over where they live within a 50 mile radius <br />Referral recruiting?<br />Similar to cold calling, you have no control over where the people referred to you actually live, and thus would be interested in commuting to<br />Talent mining?<br />Searching structured databases gives you a very high degree over precisely where people live, down to a 5 mile radius or even a specific zip code <br />
Control of Desired Opportunity<br />Cold calling?<br />You have very little, if any, control over the type of opportunity the person you get on the phone is looking for as the next step in their career<br />Referral recruiting?<br />As with cold calling, you have no predictive ability to determine what a person who is referred to you is interested in doing as the next move in their career<br />Talent mining?<br />Searching structured databases enables you to target specific skills and experience, including years of experience in given industries, which gives you a predictive ability to make an educated guess as to what the next step in a person’s career path might be, and thus what the candidate might be interested in (aka career trajectory)<br />
Control of Compensation<br />Cold calling?<br />You have very little, if any, control over the current or desired compensation of the person you get on the phone<br />Referral recruiting?<br />You have very little, if any, control over the current or desired compensation of the person referred to you <br />Talent mining?<br />With the ability to control the years and type of experience of the people you return in your searches, with industry and market knowledge, you are granted a good idea of their current compensation level and what they would most likely be willing to accept for a new position<br />
Control of Availability<br />Cold calling?<br />You have no control over the job search status of the person you get on the phone<br />Referral recruiting?<br />You have no control over the job search status of the person who is referred to you<br />Talent mining?<br />Searching databases can give you the ability to target recently posted resumes and recently created social network profiles, and people who have either recently posted or updated their resume or LinkedIn profile are at a higher probability of being available <br />
Control of Availability<br />A random sample from any sourcing method other than job posting will yield mostly passive and non-job seekers (2 out of 3)<br />
Availability<br />Job Seeker Status<br />Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics<br />
Control of Candidate Variables<br />Talent Mining affords a higher degree of predictive control over critical candidate variables over any other method of talent discovery<br />
Control of Candidate Variables<br />Degree of Control<br />
Less Control<br />The more shallow and less structured the human capital data you are mining, the less predictive control you have over critical candidate matching and qualification variables<br />
The 5 Levels of Talent Mining<br />Keyword/Title Search<br />Conceptual Search<br />Implicit Search<br />Natural Language Search<br />Indirect Search<br />
Level 1 Talent Mining<br />Keyword/Title Search<br />Unfiltered keyword and title searching<br />Lexical search/match from job title, description, and required skills<br />
Level 1 Talent Mining<br />Benefits<br />It works<br />Easy - doesn’t require any skill or experience<br />Deep understanding of positions not necessary<br />Easily outsourced and automated<br />Low cost<br />
Level 1 Talent Mining<br />Challenges<br />It works – gives false sense of ease and success<br />Superficial match<br />Creates Hidden Talent Pools, excluding qualified candidates who express experience differently<br />No competitive advantage<br />
Level 2 Talent Mining<br />Conceptual Search<br /><ul><li>Synonymous and related terms, concepts, and titles
Safety Physician, Associate Director of PVRM, Pharmacovigilance Physician, Senior Drug Safety Associate, Global Safety Senior Medical Scientist, Global Pharmacovigilance (Contract) Physician, and Medical Director</li></li></ul><li>Level 2 Talent Mining<br />Benefits<br /><ul><li>Finds new/additional candidates
Finds candidates that Level 1 Talent Mining can’t
Can be automated</li></li></ul><li>Level 2 Talent Mining<br />Challenges<br /><ul><li>Automated solutions not perfect
Static taxonomies and query clouds - related but not relevant, “once and done” approach
Requires deeper understanding of roles, skills, and technologies
Only human sourcers can judge relevance, adaptively learn, and run successive searches
Must have an awareness of excluded/missed candidates</li></li></ul><li>Level 3 Talent Mining<br />Implicit Search<br /><ul><li>Searching for and identifying candidates based on what isn’t explicitly mentioned
Not everyone will express their experience in their resume or profile. However, you can search for predictive clues to potential experience</li></li></ul><li>Level 3 Talent Mining<br />Implicit Search<br /><ul><li>If you were in need of an Accountant with experience with SAP, after performing Level 1 & 2 Talent Mining and searching directly for explicitly expressed experience with SAP, you can exclude SAP from your queries and instead search for people who have worked at companies that you know use SAP for their accounting software, leading you to additional qualified candidates</li></li></ul><li>Level 3 Talent Mining<br />Benefits<br /><ul><li>Finds new/additional candidates
Finds candidates that Level 1 and Level 2 approaches cannot and do not find
Taps into Hidden Talent Pools/”Dark Matter” of databases and sites</li></li></ul><li>Level 3 Talent Mining<br />Challenges<br /><ul><li>Can’t be automated
Requires deep understanding of intrinsic limitations of resumes and profiles
Skill that can only be developed over time from observation and experience </li></li></ul><li>Level 4 Talent Mining<br />Natural Language Search<br /><ul><li>User-defined semantic search at the sentence level</li></ul>Semantics is the study of meaning of language inherent at the word, phrase, and sentence level. Sentence level semantics is the most powerful and predictive.<br /><ul><li>Searching for responsibilities and capabilities, not just keywords and titles</li></li></ul><li>Level 4 Talent Mining<br />Responsibilities = Verbs & Nouns<br /><ul><li>Responsible for installing and configuring over 100 Exchange servers
Audited several not-for-profit organizations for tax compliance
System design and performance modeling using DoDAFnotation</li></li></ul><li>Level 4 Talent Mining<br />Benefits<br /><ul><li>Produces highly relevant results by tapping into powerful sentence-level semantics
Searching for responsibilities and capabilities, not just keywords and titles
Targets what people DO, not just what they SAY</li></li></ul><li>Level 4 Talent Mining<br />Challenges<br /><ul><li>No automated solution exists at this time
Requires search engine that supports proximity
Example: manag* near SAP near (implement* or deploy*)
Requires more experienced and insightful sourcers/recruiters to perform</li></li></ul><li>Level 5 Talent Mining<br />Indirect Search<br /><ul><li>Searching for the “wrong” people to find the “right” people
3 year old resume or profile of a person who had 2 years of experience now represents someone with 5 years of experience
Under/overqualified people with the right skills and experience may know others who are at the target level of experience
Targeting people who likely work with or know the professionals you need to find
Searching for software engineers to lead you to software testers</li></li></ul><li>Level 5 Talent Mining<br />Benefits<br /><ul><li>Leads to discovery of people who could not otherwise be found via Levels 1 – 4 Talent Mining
Level 5 Talent Mining<br />Challenges<br /><ul><li>Can be laborious
Not guaranteed to produce results</li></li></ul><li>The Future of Sourcing<br />Talent Intelligence &Analytics<br />
Business Intelligence<br />To understand the new concepts of Talent Intelligence and Talent Analytics, it is important to understand the established concepts of Business Intelligence and Analytics<br />
Business Intelligence & Analytics<br />Business intelligence (BI) refers to computer-based techniques used in discovering, identifying and analyzing mostly internal & structured business data to gain insight and to support better business decision-making<br />Examples: reporting, business performance management, text mining, and predictive analytics<br />
Data Warehouse<br />Business Intelligence & Analytics are enabled through the collection of data from multiple sources into a data warehouse, which is a specialized and centralized repository data, designed to facilitate reporting and analysis <br />
Talent Intelligence & Analytics<br />Computer-based techniques used in discovering, identifying, analyzing and gaining insight into internal & structured human capital datato make better hiring decisions, faster<br />
Talent Warehouse<br />A specialized and centralized repository of human capital data specifically designed to enable talent mining/intelligence<br />Populated with current employee data and information fed from social networks, resume databases, the Internet, etc.<br />
Competitive Intelligence<br />In contrast to Talent Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence is gained by gathering, analyzing and disseminating information, with or without support from technology and applications, and focuses on mostly external all-source information and data (unstructured or structured)<br />
Talent Warehouse<br />A Talent Warehouse contains the deepest, most structured human capital data of any data source, and is more searchable<br />
Talent Warehouse<br />The deeper, more structured, and more searchable the data, the more control you have over exerting predictive control over critical candidate variables<br />
Current State<br />There are “Talent Intelligence” and “Human Capital Analytics” solutions currently available today<br />However, these focus exclusively on workforce management, workforce planning, retention modeling and talent scorecarding<br />
Current State<br />There are no Talent Intelligence and Analytics solutions available today designed specifically for Talent Discovery, Identification, and Acquisition…but there should be! <br />
Future State<br />The next frontier in Human Capital & Talent Analytics is to harness the power of human capital data and transform it into an informational and competitive advantage – by enabling companies to quickly and predictively discover, identify, and acquire top talent<br />
The Power of Data<br />“What if you could increase revenue by 66% using your data to make confident, fact-based decisions?”<br />Source: SAS ad<br />
The Power of Data<br />“What if you could increase revenue by 66% using human capital data to make confident, fact-based recruiting decisions?”<br />
The Power of Data<br />“What if you could see up to a 400% ROI by using business analytics to achieve your goals?”<br />Source: SAS ad<br />
The Power of Data<br />“What if you could see up to a 400% ROI by using talent analytics to achieve your recruiting goals?”<br />