What is AI & Big Data Talent Identification?

First, let’s demystify artificial intelligence (AI). AI is when a machine can do things in a way that is indistinguishable from human behaviour. It is the sum of machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and / or contextual awareness.

Now let’s debunk the second buzzword. Big data refers to exceptionally large sets of data that can be analysed (usually by a combination of humans and computers) to identify patterns, trends, associations and random affinities.

There are many new recruitment tech start-ups stating the use of AI and / or big data to help employers source and engage with talent. But how much true AI is there in recruitment at the moment? Our advice is ‘beware the buzzword’.

Stage of Hype: Slope of Enlightenment


Expert’s View

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Owen Poole, Marketing Director – Employer Brand, Thales

When I reviewed the The RecTech Hype Cycle, this piece of hype in particular caught my eye. The sentiment is right, let’s be more analytical before we make important decisions, and better still let’s do more to identify correlations and perhaps even anticipate trends.

But beware the hype. Big data has been around for decades, and has been used most effectively by organisations that already have large amounts of data, for example retail sales data in supermarkets, or passenger data on public transport networks. The fact is that most organisations don’t have enough HR data sets (i.e. employees!) to meaningfully apply big data analytics.

Whilst other types of analytical approaches might be well worth a closer look, there are, however, a few steps required before starting. Data capture throughout the business in a meaningful and consistent way is the most obvious step, then understanding what measures are important and how to interpret them in a strategic way. Often visualisation techniques are useful in identifying useful trends.

Many organisations are realising that the ATS and ERM systems hold the key to doing more with the data within the organisation. My suggestion is that doing more with this data would make a great piece of project work for undergraduate students, and for recruitment marketing would be a huge step forward to help target, challenge, and justify investment.

Finally, like all statistical analysis, the more data you have, the more you can do with it. Larger organisations are more likely to have the systems in place and the headcount to justify these approaches. Just don’t believe the hype, though, “Big Data is the new Black”, and next season it’ll be something else.

Further reading 


#RecTechHypeCycle2018 #ExpertsView #SlopeOfEnlightenment

Director of Digital Strategy

Nathan helps organisations optimise their recruitment marketing strategies by leveraging technology, creativity and data. In his role at employer marketing agency AIA Worldwide, Nathan has played pivotal roles in developing content marketing and social media strategies for large multinational corporations, as well as being a driving force behind a number of careers website projects and hiring strategies powered by the agency’s proprietary automated recruitment marketing software, TalentBrew. Catch him on Twitter, where he tweets all things digital marketing, branding and tech.