Recruitment is changing

Recruitment can be costly. The average cost of replacing a staff member, according to Oxford Economics, is over £30,000, but recent CIPD surveys report that 70% of HR directors have hired someone who did not meet expectations, and that one-in-ten new recruits is considered “a poor hiring decision”.

Using and exploiting ‘big data’ and new approaches such as strength- based interviews – focused on the person – are changing the way recruitment works; as CIPD puts it, we expect employees to be flexible, collaborative and innovative. Why would we recruit them using methods that emerged a century ago and have been consistently derided as outdated ever since?

Following the principle that past outcomes are the best predictor of future success, organisations are beginning to use employee data to improve their recruiting and selection processes. For example, reviewing ten years of CV or résumé data for an organisation’s sales force may show patterns in education, experience or job history that influence employee success in a sales role, which can then be used to improve selection criteria when recruiting new sales professionals.

It is said that ‘big data’ played a significant role in the 2015 general election, and there is a growing consensus that recruitment and workforce planning will find talent analytics or ‘big data’ a powerful tool to make use of the amounts of data organisations hold to help them find (and keep) the most talented employees.

This analytical approach is one way to overcome the inevitable subjectivity bias in recruitment and is comparable to the data-driven approach that has taken off in sport: it is about finding patterns and information in data you didn’t know existed. The first step is to identify any gaps in data collection, then to start collecting it to produce significant patterns that can be used to inform decision-making, perhaps including a profile of the ideal candidate for a role.