The Complete Guide to Big Data and Recruiting

Posted by Deepthi Murthy on Sep 2, 2014 10:08:34 AM

BIG DATA: the buzzword
Big data refers to dealing with information or data on a very large scale; extracting it from very large data sets (terabytes to petabytes) and making it more valuable to businesses. With staggeringly high amounts of data to be processed involving different forms of data (text, video, audio), big data technology helps process very large volumes of information at an extremely rapid rate.


  • Precision: Big data helps businesses make more informed decisions by providing more precision to data extracted.
  • Structured Segmentation: Big data allows users to segregate data and information by giving it more structure and segmenting it by audience into even narrower niches.
  • Value Addition: Significant value is added when large amounts of data are made easier to use and thereby, evaluate.

BIG DATA: Recruiting

It is critical for businesses to quickly adapt to the ever changing methods of recruiting and hiring in order to stay on top of their game because it has become much less productive to use decade old recruiting methods. With changing concepts and finer expertise being achieved in technology, networks, databases, hardware and software make it possible to access hundreds of millions of records — resumes, candidate profiles, job openings, etc. instantly.

Thousands of bytes of data are crunched when recruiters look for a candidate with the right skill set. For example, when a recruiter uses a recruiting tool like TalentBin to look for candidates for high tech positions, the application of big data can be well observed.  The candidate’s public profile, LinkedIn profile, presence on social media networks, digital footprints and comments that they have made on the topic on any online technology platform becomes integrated and the retrieval of this information is significantly more structured compared to a regular resume search performed using any standard search engine.  By evaluating such large amounts of data, a recruiter can more efficiently provide the best individuals and identify top candidates for the role.

Due to the speed of processing, big data recruiting can contribute immensely to making the hiring process faster. By providing a comprehensive exhaustive portfolio for a candidate, big data can cut down the time spent in searches by a huge margin, which means that the recruiter is more confident about not having pursued the wrong prospect.  This method does not do away with traditional methods of reading through a resume, but allows the recruiter to go beyond that one page impression and achieve a more comprehensive view of each candidate.

Engaging With a Candidate

It is almost impossible to predict whether a candidate will really perform well and go on to prove to be an asset for an organization. Because a vast majority of hiring decisions are made on gut feel, personal experience, and belief systems, big data assists a recruiter in making those decisions in a more efficient and effective manner.

  • Single access: Big data makes it possible to combine internal data from a company’s database with data from job boards, social media, and other sources all in one platform. This helps create a vast, yet easily manageable data pool all on just one interface.
  • Candidate Engagement:  The wide diversity of information within big data can provide interesting insights into the kind of candidates a recruiter is considering. With an increasing number of social networks and personal blog platforms being introduced, a candidate’s personality and areas of expertise can be better known before the interview which helps make a decision about a good fit. This is time saving for the hiring process and also allows a recruiter to get a feel of the candidate’s professionalism and skills even before connecting via the phone or an email, which makes for a smooth screening experience.
  • Skill set differentiation: By placing a lot of importance on skill sets and not traditional measures of success, big data can help a business successfully deviate from set methodologies and hire the best the market has to offer.


With more and more data being available for consumption now than ever before, some might assume that a recruiter might easily become victim to information overload. Big data recruiting, however, actually enriches the recruiting process by feeding the right amount of data to the recruiter and delivering the best by sifting through millions of bytes of information. With social media emerging as a powerful tool to engage in candidate search, it now makes sense to look to big data for analyzing social networks and presenting a 360 degree view of the candidate without the need for spending time, having to scroll through all social networks that a candidate may maintain a presence. Big data contributes to smart recruiting over traditional methods which are time consuming and less cost effective than newer methods.

And while the use of big data in recruiting may appear complex at a surface level, the smart use of information being made available and properly implemented will only benefit the process of recruiting by leaps and bounds.

Topics: Recruiting