Big Data- In the Eyes of HR, Are We People Or Numbers?


Here at Captain Dash we never cease to be amazed at how big data continues to revolutionize every aspect of business processes- including Human Resources. Some big data doomsdayers fear that HR departments rely too heavily on data to aid in their hiring decisions. By using data analytics tools, HR departments can cut down the time and effort needed to hire new recruits. Data can be used to analyze the locations of possible candidates and discern who may need to relocate, scan online networking sites to see which candidates are active and respected in their fields, and even piece together a candidate personality profile based on their online profiles.

Likewise, analysis of past years' employee performance data can piece together a construction of the ideal candidate based off of elements ranging from which universities produce the most successful employees to which personality traits have lent themselves to success at the company.

These big data wet blankets have expressed concern that data analytics eliminates the human element of HR processes. Indeed, there are some companies that rely solely on numbers and scores to influence their hiring decisions. However, some of the most powerful companies with the deepest pockets (and therefore the most technology at their disposal) still rely heavily on human interaction when seeking recruits. Google, for example, uses data analytics to identify potential candidates and then narrow the pool of applicants in their initial round of recruitment. However, past those preliminary rounds they revert to the "human approach" and conduct telephone and in-person interviews with potentials. Google has a sensible, moderate approach- they understand that data analytics can eliminate a whole lot of work yet also understand that people are not a sum of their achievement scores. There are many subtleties to a person that only an in-person interview can reveal.

Some people fear that the rise of big data means that they too will soon be viewed as just a number. However, what stands between us and a George Orwell "1984" -esque future is the value placed on the human element. Common sense tells us that a 30 minute interview can reveal things that years of data could have failed to predict- Tech powerhouses like Google know this and so do we, so I think we can rest easy knowing that we are safe for now!

Truth, Justice, and the Data Way!

Your Captain