How Firms Recruit Employees in the Age of Big Data and Analytics ?

How do firms recruit employees in the age of Big Data? While this might seem to be a question with a simple and obvious answer, the reality is that the entire recruitment process is a complex and detailed activity that needs close analysis and deep explanation to understand what is that firms do when they start the recruitment process.

Indeed, recruitment is a dedicated function reporting to the overall Human Resources function in many organizations since they would like to get the “process right the first time” which means that they invest money and resources into the effort in a bid to recruit the most suitable candidates.

Floating the Ads and Reaching out to Applicants

To start with, the initiation of the recruitment process starts with the floating of ads advertising the positions that the firm is looking for in addition to the job specifications that particular to that role.

While advertising might seem an activity that once the content is decided, the ad agency takes over, the reality is that firms do spend an inordinate amount of time on fine-tuning the content as well as the media in which such advertising happens.

For instance, it is common for firms to evaluate multiple channels of media such as print, digital, mobile, internet, and outdoor media to ensure that the ads reach the target audience as well as is broadcast to as many locations and audiences as possible.

Vetting the Resumes

Once the ads are put out, the difficult task of receiving and vetting the resumes starts. Indeed, resumes reach the firms in hundreds and thousands and it is nigh impossible for the HR function to go over each resume.

Research has shown that a resume is evaluated within a minutes time by many of the line managers and the managers whom they are sent to for vetting.

Further, in recent years, the process of using Big Data and Analytics to vet resumes has been put in place to minimize the time spent as well as more importantly, to select the appropriate resume.

In other words, by using analytics and other tools, the belief is that human bias, subjectivity, and indeed, the very real aspect of “back door” entry are all eliminated or at least reduced has been the driving force for many firms to procure advanced algorithmic based tools to select the resumes.

Psychometric Testing using Analytics and Tools

What happens after the resumes are shortlisted for the next round is the human-centered part of the value chain wherein the applicants are called for interviews or are asked to take online tests as the second stage of vetting.

Indeed, it has become the norm in recent years for firms to mandate the test taking and online methods to ensure that technical and personal skills are evaluated before the applicants are called for face to face interviews.

This means that applicants whose resumes have been shortlisted often have to take a psychometric test in addition to an online test that is based on personality profiling and technical skill evaluation respectively.

Before we discuss the psychometric testing, it is important to note that increasingly even this stage of the process has been automated by many firms to save time as well as to increase accuracy in addition to determining relevancy of the “fit” between the applicants and the organization and the role for which they are being recruited.

What You Need to Know as an Applicant

Many prospective applicants usually understand the psychometric testing as an evaluation of their aptitude and personality.

While this is true, the fact that sophisticated psychometric tools have made it possible for firms to evaluate the applicants on a broad-based spectrum of personal and technical skills and attributes.

Indeed, some firms even test the emotional and psychological competence of the candidates through the psychometric testing in addition to asking them to submit case studies and role plays of the positions and the real world situations that might arise.

Thus, those of you who are looking for jobs be prepared for a broad spectrum testing and while this is not technical skill testing for which you can prepare in advance, our advice is that remain focused and as honest as possible in your responses since the tools that are used are not that easily fooled by skewed and jumbled responses.

In our experience, some firms also test for such aspects wherein the tools can detect if a particular applicant is “gaming the test” or in other words, is trying to beat the system.

Be Careful what you Put out on Social Media

Apart from this, the other key point to note is that it is better for those who are looking for jobs to ensure that their social media profiles and online information about them is as noncontroversial as possible since firms have started using social media to profile the applicants.

For instance, while you might have had a “wild time” during the last semester of your course smug in the confidence that you have landed a job, information related to such activities should not be featured prominently in your social media profiles since any tidbit of information that can jeopardize your candidature can indeed do so when firms look for such information using analytics.

While all this might seem as though the machines have taken over, it is important to note that everybody is pressed for time, and you included often use apps to apply for jobs that are as fast and as efficient as possible.

Thus, the key term for this age is that there is a movement towards efficiency and hence, be prepared to receive as much as you use the online and mobile channels for such efficiencies.


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