Why Big Data and Talent Acquisition are Transforming Recruitment

Adam Gordon

CEO, Candidate.ID

The term big data has been banded around quite a lot. It may seem a bit confusing, even slightly daunting, but it really doesn’t need to be. Big data is what it says on the tin. It is data which is extracted to make better decisions. Knowledge is power, as they say.

In talent acquisition, big data is vital. It reduces time, it helps recruiters to make better hiring decisions and it can also be a much more cost-effective way to recruit. The cost of recruitment can be incredibly high and all too often, the result is less than satisfactory.

The True Cost of Recruitment

– Recruitment Agencies – it can cost as much as £9,000 in recruitment fees for one recruit, on a salary of £30,000
– Job Boards – can be around £100 per job posting, up to £4,000 for CV database access
– Training and Onboarding – it is estimated to cost around £1,000 for the training and onboarding of a new member of staff
– Time to Hire – it can take as much as 28 days to find a new hire, this costs the company money in lost productivity.

These are costs which most companies just can’t afford to digest anymore, especially since they often don’t get the desired return.

The Challenges with Talent Acquisition

The ability to acquire talent is not easy, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Talent acquisition focuses on finding people with the right talent and skills to join the business and there are all sorts of issues which go with this. Firstly, we are in a candidate’s market now, with fewer candidates actively looking for work. This can lead to employers making the wrong hiring decisions, as they are under extreme pressure to fill vacancies. As many as 85% of managers have admitted to making bad hiring decisions and the costs of this is much higher than most businesses think. Candidates are also a lot savvier these days and they will take the time to read reviews about companies before they even start to engage.

Big Data and Talent Acquisition

With all the challenges faced by talent acquisition teams, it makes sense to start exploring other avenues to find quality hires and this is where big data plays an important part. Recruiters can analyse data to drill down on the characteristics and demographics of their current employees, so they gain a better understanding of what to look for with future hires. It can also be used to create target groups for advertising, rather than just hoping for the best.

They can use big data for succession planning by analysing their future recruitment needs and skills gaps, so there is less need for panic recruitment and greater strategic planning. Analysing the data of leavers is also important for retention too. Recruiters can gain a better understanding of the characteristics of the companies’ people join and how they can adapt their packages through big data.

Talent acquisition teams using big data can make huge transformations in their recruitment processes. If you’re not yet doing this, you might want to ask yourself why!


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Adam Gordon

CEO, Candidate.ID