Like much of the language used in recruiting and HR, it’s easy to be intimidated by terms like “big data,” “social API” and “CRM.”
But don’t worry if that futuristic-sounding jargon goes over your head. You can still learn from these new trends and apply these ideas to improve your recruiting systems, data and processes. And that will help you reach your end goal: bringing in quality candidates.
Here’s how to use big data to become a better recruiter:
1. Reject your predecessors’ rut and embrace new tools
Don’t settle for the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Be a leader of new methods and ideas. If your suggestions can harness and improve the data that already exists, you’ll be the new rockstar in the office and make your coworkers’ lives easier.
Whether you have someone showing you the ropes or you’re all on your own, everyone has a different way of managing the data that comes into their office. Find what works best for you and your team.
Select tools that can be accessed from multiple sources so the data you gather is not isolated. For example, a shared Google Drive spreadsheet might be a better tool than an Excel document saved on your hard drive. Using new technology often makes it that much easier to collaborate with both your peers and your candidates.
2. Clean up your database and systems so you can use them more effectively
With the amount of data at our fingertips today, human processes simply aren’t enough. Too much information exists, and human error mixed with underutilized systems can make for a messy and unusable pool of data. It’s called “big data” for a reason; there’s a whole lot of it!
You might be surprised to see people on your team have vastly different ways of doing things, and you’ll probably even encounter data that’s not centralized or standardized. Find a way to create a central place where you can all contribute (ideally your ATS or a CRM). Embrace CRM systems, tools and plugins to make sense of all this data.
Streamline the input of data that’s commonly inputted incorrectly, like phone numbers or state abbreviations. Suggest that everyone on the recruiting team use the same process and format when entering data about potential applicants. If everyone knows how the data is arranged, it’s easier to “shop” your applicant tracking system.
Strive to learn more than simply how to use the tools available to you. Knowing how to improve and extend their use is the goal. As you grow in your career, this vision will set you apart from your peers and help you become more effective at your job.
3. Develop a stronger brand image
Employer branding has become a huge part of recruiting. The easier the application process is for candidates, the more attractive your company will look to job hunters. You can use big data in a way that’s beneficial to both recruiters and applicants.
This is even more reason to clean up and declutter your database. When your data is clean, top talent doesn’t get contacted by multiple recruiters, sourcers and hiring managers. You’ll have far fewer incomplete or incorrect records, resulting in fewer unqualified or mismatched interviews. Plus, candidates won’t have to complete an application, send in a resume, upload a profile and answer 20 questions for multiple people within the organization.
You could take it one step further and allow target candidates to add data to their own profiles. Gerry Crispin, a pioneer in Candidate Experience (which many agree is at the heart of good employer brands), dubbed this “Trust in Registry.” Employers will, of course, use this information as part of healthy recruiting processes, and there will be far fewer “cold calls” and repeat interviews when the candidate profile is complete. This practice will help to build trust and increase communication.
Dave Mendoza is a multi-award-winning talent acquisition thought leader and global speaker. He provides talent strategy roadmaps and customized innovations on behalf of leading Fortune 500 companies, and recently wrote Futurecasting: How the rise of Big Social Data API is set to Transform the Business of Recruiting.