Is Big Data Going to Shape the Future of HR

Do you know what a zettabyte is? A terabyte, as most of us are aware of, is made of 1,000 gigabytes; a petabyte is a thousand terabytes; and a 1,000 petabytes make for 1,000 exabytes. Well, a zettabyte makes for a thousand exabytes. Why are we telling you this? Because about 3.2 zettabytes of data is stored all across the world. Pretty whopping when put into perspective, isn’t it? This pretty big amount of information, originating from countless sources, all bundled into reports, is used - among other things - to help the HR with the employee recruitment.

How it Works

In essence, big data hasn’t changed the way the HR works all that much, except in terms of efficiency and, thus, reliability. The old way of the HR basically boiled down to shuffling through file cabinets and relying on your own ability to put all the gathered information into a single pool of knowledge. With big data, the filing cabinets have been replaced by a vast amount of information that can be found on the Internet. This is how the recruiting process works today:

  • The Internet – The social media has been integrated in the recruiting process. Although LinkedIn is the target platform of most employers, Facebook and Twitter are being used by the HR to come up with valuable data.
  • Gathering data – This is where the “big” in big data comes from. Computers are used to aggregate and process details from candidates’ digital resumes, expanding the data. This is done by means of many HR software packages available out there. Some allow tracking employee licenses, permits and training, while others allow you to handle things such as onboarding, offboarding, paid time-off, payroll, etc. This data is kept in a cloud-based central hub.
  • Games and tests – These help the HR analyze the potential employees and can be found on big data.
  • Algorithms – Everything else basically boils down to automated processes based on matches, patterns, keywords and scores, which help with narrowing down the candidate lists.

Influence on HR

We are all well-aware of the fact that picking top-notch candidates can reflect beneficially on your business. Finding the perfect fit, however isn’t an easy task. This is where big data analysis kicks in – when it comes to the recruiting process, this is simply a game of numbers – the more numbers you have at hand, and the more precise they are, the better the team you’ll be able to recruit.

To elaborate on this, if we assume that every single characteristic of a candidate can be measured, which is true to an extent, picking the adequate worker is significantly easier. Add to this the fact that the technology has allowed us to compute these statistics pretty fast, and the benefit of big data becomes clear.

Big data allows a recruiter to come up with a wide selection of candidates in no-time, and by examining the necessary qualifications and the latest industry trends, an HR professional can easily outline a full profile of a candidate.

The use of the big data doesn’t end here – after the lists of desired candidates are formed, a recruiter can easily access the data (in terms of similar job openings on the market) and see what the competition is offering – in this way, an adequate salary offer can easily be formed, saving the company a ton of money.

With big data, the HR profession no longer has to rely solely on a handful of information obtained from the CV and the cover letter. The skill that the employees of today are looking for in their HR teams are based on their information gathering capabilities.

Of course, the benefits of big data do not end here. Big data is also used for development and training plans – each position varies in terms of desired skills and this is exactly what big data is of huge help with.

CVs, cover letters and recommendations are no longer the most used means of gathering information about candidates. Big data us perpetually growing and the amount of information follows in suit – nowadays, it is much easier to get an in-detail outlook, when it comes to candidates, which saves both time and money.

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