Article: Next-gen recruitment: A case of potential disruption in the market

Talent Acquisition

Next-gen recruitment: A case of potential disruption in the market

New recruitment technology companies are leveraging Big Data and Analytics and increasing effectiveness of talent acquisition. Will they replace the existing models of recruitment? We find out
Next-gen recruitment: A case of potential disruption in the market

By integrating Analytics into the recruitment process and maintaining data of hires, companies can analyze their recruiting patterns, and their hires’ performance and traits


Big Data is going to add a new dimension to the way talent acquisition is done and be an innovation to the existent process


Recruitment start-ups have been making a lot of buzz in the recruitment industry. For instance, three more recruitment companies – HackerRank, ZenRadius and Bevy were in the news last month as they attracted significant investments. The interesting bit about these companies is that such technology recruitment companies are all data-driven platforms. They all utilize Big Data, Machine Learning and Analytics, in their own ways, to cater to the talent acquisition problem of organizations. The intriguing bit is that they are a part of a bigger pool of data-driven tech recruitment companies dawning a new generation of recruitment technology.

This next generation of recruitment technology is bringing a fresh plate of innovation to the HR table; this is especially relevant in the context of HR transitioning (or rather expected to transition) into a data-centric function.

Innovation in recruitment

Broadly, Big Data is being leveraged in the recruitment technology market in three ways, and innovation has followed in every one of them. The following are the ways by which this is happening:

1. Recruitment companies creating their own talent pool and sourcing and screening using Big Data and Analytics. Some recruitment companies like HackerRank are building their own talent pool, which in this case comprises developers who regularly solve code-related problems and are analyzed alongside. Recruiters, when in search of tech talent, can pick candidates based on their merit. “Recruiters can come and post challenges on HackerRank in order to identify top talent, and their performances are analyzed automatically and results are instantly made available to the recruiter,” said Alfred Alexander, Head – Marketing, India and APAC, HackerRank. Recruitment based on meritocracy is one big step forward according to Alexander, and it could redefine tech talent acquisition.

Big Data also enables recruitment teams to have specific talent pools built for their organization which are complementary to their company culture. “The talent pool is a data-driven pool of candidates who are in sync with the company culture and are similar to its existing employee base. This pool keeps on enriching with every new hire and also with time,” claims Sumit Gupta, Founder and CEO, GrownOut. This puts the recruiter in the driving seat and the need to work reactively the next time a job opens up is eliminated.

2. Organizations integrating Big Data and Analytics within their HR processes. Ensuring consistency in the kind of talent hired is something where companies have gone amiss. By integrating Analytics into the recruitment process and maintaining data of hires, companies can analyze their recruiting patterns, and their hires’ performance and traits. As the data of employees is amassed, data intelligence analyzes patterns and makes decisions. “Big Data allows companies to know if the candidate is a cultural fit and/or matches the diversity aspect of the team and company,” says Vijay Sharma, Co-founder, Belong.  

3. Job boards and social and professional networks utilizing Big Data and Analytics to make use of the available talent pool. Job boards are also using Big Data to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Big Data and Analytics are enhancing the search quality of online job boards and consequently enabling the recruiter to find the best people who suit a particular requirement faster. “It uses analytics and linkages with different yet relevant keywords to help recruiters expand their reach while narrowing their target at the same time,” said Ajay Kolla, CEO and Founder, Wisdom Jobs, a “4th gen recruitment portal”.

Job boards and professional networks might not really be a part of ‘the next generation recruitment technology’ and even might be on the verge of becoming a thing of the past, but they are trying to stay in the game by leveraging Big Data and reshaping the way they function. Big Data, independent of how it is being leveraged, enables better talent targeting, detailed candidate profiling, and interconnectivity. These give just a glimpse of how Big Data can revolutionize the whole process of talent acquisition.

A possible answer to the talent problem

Organizations have been grappling with the challenge of sourcing talent, and speed of hiring. As a matter of fact, they have been identified as the top two recruitment challenges according to research.1 ‘Talent Technology State of Recruiting’ survey states that an average recruiter spends 37 percent of his/her time in sourcing; also, filling skilled jobs and C-suite jobs has been identified as the hardest.

Data-driven technology, in principle, helps reduce the time spent in sourcing, and screening candidates based on the skill (both functional and soft) requirement of a company. Not only does it overcome the time constraint, it also improves the quality of hire. According to PiQube’s Founder and CEO, Jayadev Mahalingam, this product is eight times faster as compared to a human being. HackerRank, a tech talent pool and recruiting platform, also has success stories owing to its data-driven model. For instance, “VMware, a product company, screens 75 per cent faster after adopting HackerRank. Another company named CodeNation, has trimmed its campus hiring time per candidate from 12-14 hours to 3-4 hours by using HackerRank as a technical skill assessment tool and utilizing Analytics to measure results,” explained HackerRank’s Alexander.

The magnitude of innovation brought forth by this new wave of recruitment technology can be both observed and measured. Reality remains that this ‘next generation recruitment technology’ is much more than just a fad and it might as well be the long term solution of what organizations are looking for to address their talent problem.

A case of disruption in the market?

If there were any doubts surrounding the ability of data-driven technology, the results are available in public domain to clear the dilemma. According to Deloitte’s Talent Analytics research, companies that go through the process of “datafying” their HR organization are witnessing 2-3 times better results in quality of hire, leadership pipelines, and employee turnover.2

According to the People Matters’ HR Technology Study, hiring is the topmost function where organizations are looking to increase technology investment. As many as 63 per cent organizations are looking to invest in hiring technology. The objective is to hire quality talent fast, and these next generation technology companies might have just the right solution for organizations looking to improve recruitment. There is every reason to believe that companies would resort to the next generation technology of Big Data and Analytics to fulfill their talent needs. All these developments point to one direction – Big Data can bring a paradigm shift in the way talent acquisition is done in organizations. But to say that this next generation technology is disrupting the market would be going a step too far. This technology, in some cases, is an extension to the system that is already in place, and it cannot function in the absence of the already-existent talent pools on online job boards, and social and professional networks.“ Internet job boards or professional networks are essentially sources of applicant information. And Big Data recruiting cannot replace these sources,” argues Wisdom Jobs’ Kolla. Also, there has been a steep rise in the adoption of social professional networks as a source of quality hires – 44 per cent in 2014 from 36 per cent in 2013, according to LinkedIn’s “India Recruiting Trends” survey. In a nutshell, social and professional networks, and online job boards aren’t being displaced, not by current trends. In reality, Big Data is going to add a new dimension to the way talent acquisition is done and be an innovation to the existent process. Henceforth, data-driven technology recruitment solutions are making a huge case of altering the functionality of the recruitment market for good, but not good enough to displace it in its entirety.

For companies looking to integrate datafication to their HR processes and extract the full potential of Big Data, they will have to be patient. The results aren’t instant. “They mimic a hockey stick growth curve. As the product learns and picks up patterns, it scales quickly and dramatically to give results with greater relevance and accuracy,” claims Belong’s Sharma. If organizations are aiming to permanently deal with their recruitment problem, they might need to take the giant leap forward now. In the process, we might even witness a potential case of disruption in the market caused by this next generation of recruitment technology. It is too early to preempt, but it would also be a big mistake to rule it out.





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Topics: Talent Acquisition, HR Analytics, Technology, #TAWeek

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