Big Data and Talent Acquisition: An Effective Synergy To Make Better Hires!

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A broad definition of talent acquisition describes it as a process that applies the human resource management (HRM) procedures to hunt candidates in order to fill the skills gap in an organization. Unlike a regular hiring process, talent acquisition mainly focuses on the strategic goals of hiring a candidate.

Besides, it is different from the regular affairs of hiring in that it primarily takes into consideration the talent and skills rather than the degree/certificates that a candidate possesses. This strategic approach to hiring helps talent acquisition professionals select candidates who can fulfill the need for specific skills in their organization.

On the other side, there are financial aspects of hiring a candidate which involve the finances that go into hiring, onboarding, inducting, training, and offboarding a candidate. All these processes put a financial weight on the organization. Therefore, it is important for talent acquisition professionals to find a cost-effective way of hiring talent in an organization and this is where the many facets of big data come into play.

The growing influence of big data in HRM has set new realities for talent acquisition professionals who can now make better hiring decisions based on scientific methods. Nowadays, a preponderance of businesses large and small are putting into practice the big data tools to source candidates, analyze their skills and talent, and even predict future hires.

For talent hunting professionals, big data turned out to be a big game-changer that has introduced new rules in the recruiting affairs. The increasing role of analytics tools has shifted their role from someone who makes a hire to someone makes a strategic hire.

According to Global Recruiting Trends 2018, 50% of hiring professionals rank the big data on top of their hiring strategy. The survey further elaborates on the role of big data in talent acquisition. According to the survey, the use of data increases the retention of employees by 56%. On the other hand, 50% of the recruiters are able to assess skill gaps, while the same percentage of hiring professionals is able to make better offers.

The survey also reveals that 46% of the hiring experts are able to learn the candidate needs, while 41% of the candidates perform better workforce planning. The survey also shares that 69% of talent professionals consider that data can improve their job.

How Are Big Companies Tapping Into The Big Data For Talent Acquisition?

Big companies are getting insights from big data into the job market, candidate behavior, and the other variables that are necessary to make effective hiring decisions. Here are examples of some big companies who are using big data in their hiring process:

IBM acquired Kenexa, a consulting firm, to get access to data of 40 million of workers. The data included information of employee at every tier from job applicants to managerial level. With help of the available data, IBM was able to find the best personality traits to look in a salesperson. The company deduced that being persistent is the most valued trait in a salesperson.

Xerox was able to cut down on its attrition rate thanks to the pilot program it ran to drill down the hard data regarding the candidate behavior. As a result of the program, the company was able to find a pattern of the candidates who were likely to retain in the organization.

Among the common factors that influenced the hiring decision of the company included the proximity of the candidate’s residence to office and a knack for creativity. With help of this pilot program, Xerox was able to cut it the attrition rate by 20%.

Juniper Networks made use of the LinkedIn analytics to keep tabs on the career path of its star employees and where they go after leaving the company. The acquired data helped the company build better strategies to retain their employees.

While the big giants are leveraging the many benefits of big data in their hunt for talent, it is about time that small and medium-sized businesses start making use of this scientific approach to hire and retain candidates.

Here are some of the ways businesses of all sizes can utilize the big data to attract promising candidates based on their skills and personality traits:

· Automate the Human Resource (HR) Affairs

Talent acquisition is a multilayered job that involves execution of various tasks at different levels. In a data-driven environment, the talent acquisition team works in tandem with the artificial intelligence to perform day-to-day tasks.

With data-enabled systems and processes, you can synchronize the application status of a candidate, filter the candidates, track an application, onboard a new hire, and make future decisions based on the data of previous employees. All the aforementioned things can save a big amount of your time and make your job significantly easier.

· Use Predictive Analytics to Make Better Hiring Decisions for Future

Decision-making is an important part of the hiring process. To make better decisions, it is important that you have complete information about the situation at hand. Being a hiring professional, you should have the right information to analyze the requirements of human capital in your organization along with its economics.

With help of big data, you can pinpoint the skill gaps in your workforce, analyze market trends, track the financial KPIs of hiring, and demographic traits. This information is critical for you to set the hiring quota of future hires, make the budgeting forecast, and identify the key talents and skills to look for in candidates.

· It Can Help You Move Out From the “Eleventh Hour” Hiring Approach

Having the right information empowers you to make timely hiring decisions. It gets you rid of the impulsive decisions that arise as a result of demands at the last minute. With predictive analytics, you make hiring decisions based on the strategic goals of your organizations and not on the pressures that come with the urgency of a situation.

Let’s say you are an apparel retailer who needs one more fashion designer in his team. During the off-season, it will seem more reasonable for you to not make a hire for the moment but it will delay your creative process in the long run. Besides, you can’t predict the future as there are fluctuations in the job market.

In a data-enabled hiring process, you have the beforehand information to foresee the needs of your company in the coming time and keep an eye on the job market trends. So when the time arrives, you will not get panicked and make an impulsive hire who does not fit into the goals of your organization.

· You Can Get Insights from Social Media

One of the biggest challenges of talent acquisition professionals is to hunt the right people who have right skills and talent to meet the requirements of a job. For those talent-hungry professionals, social media provides a gateway to poach some good candidates.

Thanks to big data, businesses can now learn about crucial information regarding the search behavior of the promising candidates. Online employment websites like Talent Bin uses the hard data on social media to learn about the candidates based on the information available on their profile. The information helps the firm attract the right candidates for a specific nature of job.

· You Can Post Job Ads To A Target Group

Today, organizations create talent networks to engage potential candidates who can turn out to be their future employees. By using the available analytics of the talent community, a company can create target groups who are likely to get attracted by a job advertisement.

For example, if you are a financial service that has a presence on LinkedIn where you enjoy a big pool of talent network who are interested in marketing-related jobs, then it is your opportunity to rope in the targeted people by publishing job ads related to marketing-specific jobs.

If, for example, you post a job description for a content writer with a knack for storytelling, it will be easier for you to hunt someone who can write in such style. The outcome of the hiring will result in a well-suited candidate who can deliver you work according to your requirements.


Big data has opened new avenues for the talent acquisition to attract promising candidates based on the skills gap, financial factors, and demographic metrics of a job market. The emerging big data tools and resources have made it significantly easier for them to select the potential candidates. Considering the growing influence of big data in today’s corporate culture, the future looks promising for talent acquisition professionals.

About the Author

Ishika Agarwal is a Data Scientist, Blogging enthusiast and an Educator at Coursework Online. A veteran professional in the data science world, she has profound insights into the ways big data can be used in marketing industry.



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  1. thank you so much for this article.

  2. This is too much good………Thanks a lot