The hiring landscape is changing rapidly and corporate lawyers are feeling the impact. The environment is complicated and so are the tools that employers use to sift through mountains of resumes. Time is short for most recruiting professionals and finding the best candidates has become increasingly competitive. Often, it’s the first employer to find a candidate, and make an offer, that is able to recruit top talent.
So employers are rapidly turning to vast data stores and software to assist them in culling out the chaff and leaving only the desirable candidates behind. Some refer to this as the “Big Data” movement.
What is driving the move to Big Data? First, most candidate assessment tools are extremely old and outdated. The software is based on decades-old assumptions and processes and don’t take into account the way candidates want to find jobs and the way the modern workforce communicates and lives.
Additionally, the modern workplace has changed and the metrics we’ve typically used in the past to assess performance have changed. Technology has changed what jobs demand, the work hours people choose, where they work from, etc. Tradition tools aren’t equipped deal with these changes.
The workforce has changed as well. Generations of workers have come and gone since recruiting tools were updated and the present generation operated on very different values, assumptions, and goals that workers in past eras.
But despite antiquated tools and a dramatically different workforce, the legal challenges of hiring continue to grow increasingly complex. Candidate screening can create legal challenges in itself.
Here are some examples:
In the 1950s, only 12% of teenagers tested agreed with the statement “I am an important person” compared with the more modern statistic in the 1990s when teenagers agreed 75% of the time with the statement.
Work-life balance and the importance of work itself in a person’s self-esteem is on the decline. Hard work and what one does have become less prized personal attributes and have been replaced with other, softer aspirations.
As recently as 2008 there was a 30% increase in the mean narcissism score of a random sample of college students.
Almost twice as many young people reported that they wanted a job where they could work “slowly” than did the prior generation.
So what is Data Mining and how does it affect the modern hiring process? In the recruiting and sourcing process technology can crawl the internet searching for resumes and candidates who match a particular job description. In the screening and selection process, data mining can match resumes to the best job posting, rank applicants based on words or phrases in data retrieved about them (including resumes). These algorithms can also be dynamic, they can “learn” over time to make better and smarter decisions.
Employers are using Big Data to look for an applicant’s current attributes such as: abilities, skills, knowledge, experience and accomplishment. They can also use technology to predict future behaviour such as: attitudes, motivation, personality, interests, and preferences