Big data: How is it changing hiring and recruitment

Data Science   |   
Published April 10, 2020   |   

In many forward-thinking companies, hiring and recruitment of new personnel isn’t quite what it used to be. Rather, it has become a far more advanced and technological process than ever before. Gone are the days of going into a company with a resume in hand and chatting with the receptionist about job opportunities. Most major companies are well past that.
Instead, many companies have evolved into the technological world we live in today. Human resources are largely automated in certain areas, hiring being one of them. This means that nearly everything related to how you qualify for your job comes down to a computer algorithm and how well you are able to play the game.
Obviously, this can mean a lot of different things to different people. From a company’s perspective, these changes can be innovative and really increase the speed of hiring and the quality of candidates that make it through the initial cut. For applicants, it can mean changes in how you describe your qualifications in order to get past algorithms that may not always be flexible.

Big Data Takeover

How exactly is big data being incorporated in our world today? Well, nearly every industry in our economy is starting to capitalize on this powerful technology from marketing professionals to recruiters and even to healthcare providers. It can be a great way to organize and analyze large amounts of information and come up with useful solutions to problems and questions.
For recruiters in particular, big data is being used to filter through thousands of resumes that would have taken a team of humans weeks to weed out. Many companies are turning to middlemen such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and even Facebook-based recruitment pages in order to reach out to and select qualified candidates. Big data can help develop targeted ads, much like it does to market products and services, that go to people that the algorithm indicates are likely to be qualified for the job.
This entire strategy can help ensure that the best candidates are seeing your job announcement and applying. It can also help to limit the people who aren’t really qualified for the position, making this a profound tool for many HR reps who are constantly overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants to sort through and to rank for any given position. Big data can even track which recruitment site is providing the best candidates who are not only contributing the most to the company, but who are sticking around rather than looking for positions elsewhere — a useful metric for all employers.

Building a Better Resume

For those applying to jobs, all of this can mean a number of things, some of which are good and some of which are rather difficult to deal with. For example, a good algorithm will pick up the variations in your word choice from the job announcement. You can use synonyms without much problem. A poorly written one, however, may kick you out of the running because a word you use in your resume isn’t picked up by algorithm, and therefore it considers you unqualified for the job. Ultimately, it is all about getting the algorithm to work in your favor.
It can also help to put extra effort into making your resume shine. There are plenty of ways to do this without pasting a massive paragraph-sized wall of text about how great you are into your resume that would make any recruiter’s eyes spin. Don’t be afraid of small summaries, but try to capitalize on the bullet points as much as possible. Furthermore, quantify your achievements as much as possible: how long did you do something and when did you do it?
Another important aspect of a quality resume that will be picked up from the algorithms and passed straight through HR teams to the interview stage is listing technical skills properly. Not everyone understands all of the technical jargon and accomplishments associated with the latest computer language you learned, but many people are able to weed through a technical skills section. Incorporate your skills into your position descriptions, but also list them individually in a technical skills section that clearly spells out exactly what you know.

The Personalized Touch

Automation, big data, and artificial intelligence are weeding out bad resumes. Make no mistake. Some companies estimate that these technologies can eliminate nearly 75 percent of applicants before a human even looks at them. This is a reason to take your resume organization and clarity seriously. That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t room for personalization.
Every office wants some level of personality within their company culture, not just a bunch of boring robots who can get a job because they are able to beat a hiring algorithm. There is some level of proof that regardless of how creative our teams are, there are certain qualities and combinations that are likely to produce a successful team. These can usually be picked up by a big data algorithm with a high degree of accuracy.
Big data is becoming a valuable tool in nearly every industry including hiring and recruiting. For those applying for jobs, this can mean that your resume needs to be nearly perfect for success. Many employers are loving the results, however. Big data has enabled them to hire stronger candidates who are likely to stick around at a more efficient rate. Love it or hate it, the technology is going to stick around for a while.