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 with our decision making! Better still, let’s do more to identify correlations and trends that can help target effort and resources.

But my own view is “beware the hype!” Big data analysis techniques are used most effectively by organisations that have significantly huge amounts of data (ie petabytes), for example retail sales data in supermarkets, or passenger data on public transport networks.

Whilst there might be enough data to apply big data methods in a meaningful context for recruitment, depending on your objective, other types of analytical approach might give valuable insight. There are, however, a few points to bear in mind before starting.

Ensuring data capture takes place throughout the enterprise in a meaningful and consistent way is the first step. Next, build an understanding of what metrics are important to you, and give some consideration as to how to interpret the identified metrics in the context of your overall strategy and market. Consider how to present these metrics so they are easily understood. Often visual or graphical representations are useful to help spot trends.

Many organisations are realising that ATS and ERM systems contain a wealth of potential insight, by forcing consistent data capture and through generation of business reports. Making sense of the data in-context then becomes easier, and a useful next step might be to undertake deeper analysis and perhaps identify patterns and hotspots.

Be creative! Whilst larger organisations may have the systems and resources in place to dig deeper into their data, there are alternatives. For example, doing more with your data would make a great piece of project work for students or interns. For recruitment marketing this would be a useful step forward to help challenge assumptions, better target resources, and justify further investment.

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.