feature photo Oct 24 2013 5 threads of HR Technology

Recruiting, which is always the most competitive of the HR silos is already trying to make sense of a world that violates our preconceptions.

Like most functions, organizations and people, the HR Department is buried in new somewhat relevant data. The organization’s management will waste little time before they mandate the discovery of uses for this external data. Recruiting, which is always the most competitive of the HR silos is already trying to make sense of a world that violates our preconceptions.

What used to be private is now public. What used to be assumed is now measured. What used to be implied can now be made literal.

Today’s data tsunami seems to get much of its volume from social media. Services like Dice’s Open Web (or Gild, Entelo, TalentBin.com, HiringSolved, Swoop, RemarkableHire) aggregate social data much the way that Indeed aggregates job data. Relentlessly scraping social sites for information about people, these services claim to give the Recruiter deeper and better access to insight about a particular candidate.

LinkedIn sells the data. Monster, CareerBuilder and even Indeed sell data about candidates. The problem isn’t new or is it? We think that the volume of data coupled with our lack of ability to digest it all means that this is more than a bigger version of an old issue.

And, data about our people or their connections is just the beginning. The contemporary HR Department has to be prepared to incorporate data like the following:

  • Traffic and commuting data (possibly for each individual employee)
  • Social network data (for more than sourcing)
  • Investment data (including a clear picture of which employee owns how much of the company)
  • Industry market trend data (for workforce planning)
  • Labor Market Data (who are the competitors and what does supply look like?)
  • Free or low cost Training available through various sources (YouTube, Khan Academy)
  • BYOD device data (to assess risk when circumstances require it)
  • Aggregate health data (from suppliers like Kaiser) to fill in Workforce
  • Social Media data about current employees (not to mention the spillage from internal collaboration systems
  • Supply Chain people data (for the management of the health of the ecosystem)

And, that’s just the beginning. Individual employees will increasingly be a part of the development of learning modules and/or figuring out what works from the marketplace.

In order to blend the flow of external data with the material we already have captured in our systems, new concepts will have to be forged. In order to fully deploy our people, we’ll need to know more about them. At the same time, we’ll be taking more of their input.

The mechanics of data integration are currently up in the air. Providers like Broadbean develop integration tools that give recruiting departments a multidimensional view of their performance. The process harnesses data that’s been lying around as well as data from new sources.

Data makes its own gravy. That means that each of the new data flows will also kick off powerful metadata (like anonymities health care data to help uninsured companies cover their employees). The more that external data is intertwined with internal data, the better our prognostics will be.

The Series:

Re-Engineering HR: Five Threads of Technology