Big Data Won’t Replace Staffing Experience

statsWorking in a business development role for a staffing analytics company, I spend a lot of time talking to people in the industry about metrics and data.

A common refrain I hear over and over again from prospects is, “I’ve been in this industry for 20 years, and I know what I’m doing. I don’t need software spitting numbers at me to know how to do my job.”

This viewpoint baffles me. No one ever said analytics are going to supplant your 20 years of experience. What they will do is offer pointers about why all those techniques you’ve learned over the years are effective.

To explain that another way, consider gravity for a minute. Humans have always known that if you jump, something pulls you back onto the ground. We learned that through firsthand experience.

It wasn’t until Newton came along and figured out how to quantify the force of gravity that we were able to understand it and overcome it. The same principle applies to number-crunching in the staffing industry — big data and analytics aren’t meant to replace the skills and experience you develop over the years, their purpose is to strengthen them and add nuance to them.

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Another way to think about that point is to consider the conversations you have with prospects.

You might tell a prospective client, “We can get you top quality candidates in less time than anyone else in the industry,” but your prospect is hearing that from everyone. You make a much stronger case for yourself if you’ve got the numbers to support your point, “We will get your position filled in less than two weeks, and less than 5% of our candidates fail to meet client standards during the course of their placement.”

The same principle applies for managing your team internally. Recruiters respond more to, “We place 60% of candidates we source from LinkedIn research, but only 15% from Monster,” than they will to, “You should focus your time on sourcing from LinkedIn, it’s better than Monster.”

To all those who say that number-crunching software isn’t going to tell you how to do your job, you’re right — it won’t replace top-notch interviewing skills or niche industry experience. But it will complement that experience and tell you how to do your job more efficiently and effectively.

If you strive to become more data-driven but simply don’t know where to start, the 10 questions in this eBook are a great place to start. I hope you enjoy it, and that it adds to your staffing arsenal.

MORE: What does big data have to do with your contingent workforce? 

Max Andrus

Max Andrus
A staffing analytics specialist with InsightSquared, Max Andrus helps small to midsize staffing and recruitment firms bring their performance up a level by leveraging data and analytics.

Max Andrus

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One Response to “Big Data Won’t Replace Staffing Experience”

  1. […] make one thing clear, Big Data will never replace experience. In fact, Big Data is just a buzzword, so I’ll stop using it from here on […]

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