Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Using Data to Market and Recruit Top Talent

“Big data” is becoming an emerging term in the human resources and staffing industry. While it is used by huge companies like Xerox to determine which job candidates are best suited for open job opportunities, it can now also act as the first step to recruit top-notch talent to your small business or startup. Used correctly, HR data can help you effectively market and recruit the right people for the right jobs.

Though you could pay a headhunter or talent acquisition firm thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on recruitment, most of the work can be done through online recruitment at minimal cost to your small business or startup. With that in mind, you have to change how you brand and market your company in the vast expanse of the world wide web. And like it or not, in today’s job search, what happens on the web doesn’t stay there. Your branding and marketing online make a big difference in the real world too.

Fortunately, “big data” for your small business or startup doesn’t have to mean big dollars, big spreadsheets or big waste of time. You can scale “big data” to your HR data in-house. Personnel Today recommends taking your own HR data and assessing which recruiting channels work and which don’t. Obviously, you have to get rid of what doesn’t work, regardless of how long or how loyal that particular channel has been through the years.

If you’re not already, Personnel Today encourages small businesses and startups to keep track of recruitment and hiring metrics, like “how quickly you get candidates, where you get them from and which sources most often give you the candidates you want to interview.” Once you have this data, you’ll know how to market your company, and therefore recruit top talent by identifying where, how and what works in your job postings and hiring process.

Personnel Today continues with the key metrics that need to be used when creating job descriptions. Because today’s job search is almost completely carried out online, job postings are crucial to nabbing that top talent. This is where you want to pool a lot of your marketing and branding efforts. As Personnel Today states, “Job titles and descriptions are marketing messages.” They suggest:

  1. Consider what job candidates would enter into a search engine to find your jobs. Build your job post titles and descriptions from these keywords.
  2. Don’t try to be crazy and creative with your job descriptions. Keep them clear and concise.
  3. Keep your job description to the necessary requirements and exclude all of the “nice to have” qualities and skills. You want to recruit top talent, not scare them off.
  4. Give job candidates a glimpse of what you have to offer too. You don’t just need them; they need an opportunity that benefits them just as much as you.

As your small business or startup moves forward with your hiring processes, remember that “recruit” should be synonymous with “marketing.” It’s not just about wooing top talent; it’s about finding them in the first place. Using “big data,” you’ll be able to effectively and efficiently market or recruit that top talent that your small business needs.

Do you think big data can make a difference in hiring processes? Why or why not? Share now in our comments!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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