Human Resources

Unexpected Innovation: How the Cloud and Big Data are Changing Recruitment

It’s exciting when a new technology buzzword pops up. We want to know what it is, how it works and we can’t wait to drop it into a conversation. But for businesses, the tangible benefits aren’t always immediately clear. Certainly, cloud computing and big data are concepts that have been kicking around for some time, despite the fact many remain uncertain about the bottom line business benefits they might engender.

But what’s interesting is an increasing amount of companies are actually taking advantage of the cloud and big data, and what’s more surprising is that savvy employers are actually using these innovations to give them a competitive advantage in fostering their most critical asset: their talent.  

What’s driving innovation in recruitment? Necessity. You may not think it, but in today’s uncertain economy it’s more challenging than ever before to recruit the right talent. During the recession many companies made reductions in middle management and are now operating at absolute capacity. This means that they need new hires to join with a minimal learning curve as they don’t have the resources to train them up. These coveted skilled workers typically already have jobs and are often reluctant to make a move.  

One way employers are using tech innovation to their advantage is by coupling semantic search with cloud-based technology.  Enterprises have massive amounts of data to draw from these days. At the start of my career the only way to apply for a job was to print out a CV and mail it in – now there are multiple talent streams and companies are inundated with information. Think about the data employers get through their corporate hiring sites, their social channels, and their recruitment vendors – not to mention the influx of CVs to their HR departments.  For large enterprises, there’s also the challenge of tracking the availability and progression of current talent. 

Companies are now able to coalesce this information in one place using the cloud, and can wield the power of semantic search to pull out powerful insights and quickly hone in on the right talent.

Semantic search goes beyond key word analysis and allows companies to examine massive data sets with much greater accuracy and in much less time. It lets employers pull and prioritise data from all these pipelines in a matter of seconds. A company combining the cloud with semantic search could fill an opening with the ideal candidate even if that person applied for a different job through an entirely different channel at a different location. Not only that, but they could see into their own workforce, and drill down into the skillsets and experience of their current workers to see if an external search is even necessary.

Moving to cloud-based solutions is also unlocking strategic business insights unimaginable not long ago. For example, companies looking to expand their workforce in a new region can make better informed decisions by analysing data from their own internal talent streams and factoring it against external labour market insights. They can determine which area has the most demand for their new office or factory and what location will attract the best workers. Further, companies can more accurately assess the effectiveness of their current recruitment campaigns, and can recalibrate their marketing efforts if necessary. They also can spot potential skills shortages across their departments, and engage in pre-emptive recruitment activities.   

Some people probably wouldn’t expect to see leadership in innovation from the recruitment sector but that’s exactly what we’re seeing. For us, as recruitment professionals, it’s an exciting time where our industry can take its rightful place as one of the critical pillars of a company’s success – ensuring organisations have the right talent at the right time and providing a key competitive edge.


Alan Townsend is Senior Vice President Sales Readiness and Business Operations for Monster, Europe


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Alan Townsend

Alan Townsend is Senior Vice President Sales Readiness and Business Operations for Monster, Europe

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