We’ve discussed the use of big data for recruiters to find job candidates. Now, according to surveys by business research companies like CEB and a recent Forbes NetApp article, many companies are using big data to locate and leverage talent within their own companies.
Here’s how it works.
Companies are combining the efforts of recruiters, who source contractors for new and temporary projects, with those of programs like IBM’s Talent Suite or BambooHR’s customizable software. These programs transform employee profiles into powerful tools that offer insight beyond a worker’s job description or self description. These tools scour the internet for social media profiles, comments, blogs, and more in order to build a “skill profile” for each employee. The software then allows managers to submit searches for particular skills and land on current employees (company wide) that possess these skills. Good managers will help develop these skills in superstar employees, instead of letting them get under the radar and eventually lost to the competition.
In the construction and hi-tech industries in particular, this objective and efficient form of talent location is aiding or replacing traditional employee-written profiles and lists of aptitudes – which are highly subjective, quickly dated, and not nearly as accessible.
Big data will play an increasing role in HR and recruiting, but it’s not without its kinks. There are privacy concerns. There’s the idea that companies should find ways to present each opportunity to all employees, not just the other way around. Then there’s the fact that while 65% of participants in a recent CEB study thought big data was critical to talent management, only 44% were actually using the data to hire. That will likely change as analytics play a bigger and bigger role in HR and recruiting.