With big data redefining the game of selection, the traditional recruitment process will soon be a thing of the past.
The traditional method of hiring a suitable applicant has included a wide selection of criteria, from academic achievements and prior work experience, to physical appearance and individual personality traits. In the past, HR managers have relied on a mix of their experience and gut feeling to make the hiring decision. And while their predictions have turned out right in some cases, they have also often chosen the wrong people.
The main reason for failure has often not been restricted to skills shortages, but rather, the new employees’ personalities.
Mark Murphy, author of Hiring for Attitude, recently revealed in an interview with Forbes that, according to his research, out of 20,000 new hires, nearly half of them failed within 18 months. And 89% of the time it was due to problems related to attitudinal issues.
With organisations closely monitoring their bottom lines, including the cost of hiring, training, and replacements, the hiring process has become a matter of real concern for business owners everywhere. This means HR managers not only have to select the people with the right skills, but also those who would be the right “organisational” fit for an organisation.
This is where big data steps in.
The analytical approach not only assures a better search result in terms of applicant quality, but also throws in several new insights, many of which could have gone previously unnoticed.
An article in the Wall Street Journal illustrates this compellingly. Working with Xerox, the data-mining specialist firm Cornerstone uncovered several data insights that helped the company cut attrition rate by one-fifth in its pilot program.
For instance, it highlighted that experience didn’t play any significant role in hiring a good call centre worker and that an employee who didn’t have a long commute was more likely to stick with the job longer.
The success of the pilot program prompted Xerox to adopt this evidence-based recommendation strategy for all its future hires. We are seeing more and more recruiting companies leverage big data solutions to make better decisions and remove unintentional bias from the hiring process.
Apart from the advantages it offers to making a successful recruiting decision, big data can also be used to predict a given candidate’s response pattern to job postings, use online sources to determine whether he or she will be successful, or even figure out how much a company should pay a particular employee.
A recent whitepaper published by eQuest states that big data marks a “historic opportunity” to make the “most rigorously evidence-based human-capital decisions ever.” This will, in turn, create significant competitive advantages – ”not only in the war for talent, but also in the organisation’s ability to execute its business strategies more effectively.”
A good candidate constitutes the core of any successful company, and HR managers play a key role in developing that core. However, with big data insights by their side, these managers can not only help the companies achieve success, but transform their role from a business to a strategic partner in the process.