How Data Can Help Recruiters Find Better Candidates

Posted by Ginni G on May 27 2015


The aim of a recruiter should always be to find the best candidate for the job. This means finding someone that not only has the skills and experience to become a valuable team member, but also who fits within the culture of the company hiring. This can be a tricky proposition, usually involving a number of interviews and extensive background research into the candidate as well as the hiring company. Still, as companies like Gild, a programmer discovery engine have found, ideal candidates can sometimes slip through the cracks, even with top recruiters. That's where big data comes in.

What is Big Data?

Big data is an all-encompassing term that refers to large data sets that, through the use of technology, we are beginning to be able to assess for patterns. Big data has started to allow many different industries to be more efficient and targeted in their efforts. And now that is extending to the recruitment process as well.

How Recruiters Use Data

Particularly in technical fields, there are very specific skills that a candidate absolutely must have to qualify for certain positions. These skills are highly quantifiable but do not always show up on a typical resume. More and more, a technical recruiter can turn to big data to determine whether a candidate's technical skills are up to snuff. This includes combing through not only standard job application information like resumes and LinkedIn profiles but also data that is readily available online from many programmers like GitHub profiles and open source code. These types of searches can help to capture those candidates who might not make it through typical filters because they don't have the right education or a certain number of years of experience. Perhaps more importantly, the data algorithm can help to eliminate the biases that can sometimes keep top candidates out of positions where they would be a good fit, including proven biases around gender, ethnicity, and age. By collecting objective data, candidates can be compared on merit before human bias can enter the equation.

Keeping a Personal Touch

As any good recruiter knows, while data can certainly be helpful in determining a candidate's eligibility and even for uncovering candidates that might otherwise go unnoticed, there is no true substitute for personal interaction. Instead, verifiable data can help to find even more viable candidates on their quest to make the perfect match.

There will always be a human component to recruiting because every employee will have to work with other employees. But the more that we are able to look towards unbiased measures to find the very best candidates, the more everyone will be able to thrive.


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