Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: The Not-So-Scary Future of Talent Acquisition

Unless your title is Data Scientist, terms like “big data” and “artificial intelligence” seem like big scary beasts that live in haunted woods that you should avoid like the plague.

Truth be told - neither are very scary, once you get past the initial intimidation factor. Let’s start with data. There really isn’t any reason to be afraid of data, other than it can reveal some powerful truths, and sometimes the truth is a little scary! Data itself isn’t scary. In the world of talent acquisition, data is being used in a variety of ways including understanding candidate desires, building better offers, and predicting candidate success. However, the most frequent way companies are using data in talent acquisition is to increase employee retention.

Here’s why you should be using big data to increase employee retention.

So much data is right under your nose!

It might take a little bit of effort to compile it, but so much valuable data is sitting right at your fingertips. From performance to compensation to even commute times, start cross-referencing these data points to see if there are visible trends in employee tenure.

Collecting the data you need is so much easier than it used to be.

Forget old-school surveys and consultations. Software makes it possible for you to quickly collect and analyze a variety of information through employee profiles, pulse surveys, or exit surveys. Just make sure to look for a solution that is user-friendly and easy to implement so you see the best response rates.

Using data will allow you to be proactive instead of reactive.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I had no idea Sally wasn’t happy here!” Most of your team members aren’t going to run around spouting off their grievances. If you are frequently checking in with your team though, you can start to monitor changes and identify trends. If you want to improve retention, you have to catch team members who are on a downward trajectory before it’s too late.

And now for the really scary one… ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. (Admittedly, it does sound scary… like our computers are going to come alive and take over our brains.) AI and machine learning are really designed to make our lives easier. Specifically, in the HR world, AI can take reduce the time it takes for you to do mundane tasks through automation and predictive processing - allowing you to focus on the more important tasks and therefore making the process more human, instead of less human. For example, chatbots can answer some of the repetitive questions asked by candidates. Another huge benefit of AI is that it can help reduce unconscious bias. When parsing resumes or analyzing interview answers, a computer is going to stick to the facts instead of being persuaded by other factors.

Don’t be intimidated! Jump in and start playing with data or AI - just take it slow, and don’t bite off more than you can chew! Pilot your new technologies with small groups and experiment until you find the right solutions for you a

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