In the time it takes you to read this sentence, NASA will have gathered approximately 1.73 gigabytes of data from nearly 100 currently active missions. But big data is no longer just for NASA. Inevitably, analytics have become easier to use and understand, meaning that the big data phenomenon has become a big deal when it comes to recruitment.

Big data is a subject we have touched upon recently in our blog, as our post ‘Big Data in HR: Headache or Head Start’ pointed out: “the realities of big data use have not been fully articulated within businesses, meaning opportunities are being missed to maximise the usefulness of these innovations.”

Big data is a big deal, so it is important that companies are aware that businesses of all sizes and in all industries can benefit from making big data part of their recruitment strategy.

Before big data landed, the onboarding process had been based around simply the CV, chemistry of the interview, and the age-old law of square pegs and round holes – i.e. finding the ‘perfect fit’. Although this method is still widely adopted by companies undertaking the recruitment process, it is a method that lends itself to possible human error and lapses of judgement. CVs may be discarded depending on the time of day they are received, and equally the ‘perfect fit’ may not perform on judgement day (the interview).

It can make both HR departments and applicants uncomfortable to think of the recruitment process as being about ‘big data’, as it is often assumed that it is an impossible task to have a data-driven process that can include both a company’s brand personality, and the personality of the candidate. After all, nobody likes to think that their individual skills, personality and mannerisms can be detailed on a spreadsheet. But the fact remains that this is now possible, and if this information enables businesses to find the ‘perfect fit’ and mitigate the risk of incurring the cost of a bad hire, then this should be embraced.

Every company has its own unique internal culture that employees are a part of, and those employees should, in theory, embody the values of that culture. Big data can ensure businesses will get those values from a new employee by providing extremely insightful data that can pinpoint which candidates have specific traits that fit with a company’s ethos.

Additionally, big data can be used to analyse the movement of employees and predict future trends regarding candidate availability which makes it a useful tool for succession planning. It is vital that companies are proactive when it comes to their recruitment strategy rather than simply reacting to vacancies which can arise often without warning, and big data can play a critical role in this.

HR departments and recruiters should look to follow NASA’s lead in using big data to gain big insights in order for their recruitment strategy to truly take off.

To learn more about why strategic recruitment critical and how to go about transforming your recruitment process, download our latest eBook for tips on improving performance with the use of enhanced analytics and data management.