Smart staffing: How big data is changing the staffing industry

Intelligent data opens up unexpected possibilities in the HR world. There is particular potential in the coaching and consulting sector. Temporary staffing companies can benefit especially from this.

In the next few years, market intelligence will become a significant growth market for the staffing industry. Big data will play a key role here. For the HR world, the special challenge is the data required. In addition to comparatively easy-to-observe surfing behavior on the Internet, information about a candidate’s professional career, his motives and values, and dependable information about his work performance are required for promising results. The evaluation of such data sets with artificial intelligence and machine learning opens up unexpected possibilities for HR consulting: interactive career coaching, team & change management, and custom-fit matching are just a few possible fields of application. The greatest advantage for temporary staffing companies: In their existing business model, a large part of the required data is already collected a millionfold today – across the entire talent pool and the companies that use it. Therefore, professional personnel service providers are a step ahead of internal HR, human clouds, and career networks when it comes to data quality and breadth. Artificial intelligence and machine learning ensure a profound analysis and determine who will perform best when under which working conditions.

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More personal thanks to data. Big data also opens up new possibilities for anchoring personal contact with candidates and customers still deeper in the existing business model. The clean and complete collection of key information is the prerequisite for meaningful analyses that are valuable for business. Therefore, in the future, a central task of the personnel consultant may be to assist with the development of candidates and customers and make this development traceable in digital form. This symbiosis of (hu)man and machine will reinforce the basis of the personnel service provider’s business relationships in two ways: On the one hand, the data collected forms the heart of the “market intelligence” service. On the other hand, the (hu)man will still be an unmistakable success factor for the temporary staffing company – a necessity if technology can hardly be distinguished between competitors in the long run.

From personnel consultant to personal trainer. The example of big data shows: The traditional business model of the temporary staffing company and new services do not necessarily contradict each other; instead, they could be complementary. What will change is the profile of the personnel consultant – there will be a shift toward coaching and consulting. In addition to technical challenges – some of which can be solved by software providers – today every temporary staffing company can already take two steps in order to be prepared for the big data future: the careful collection of comprehensive data all about candidates and customers and the sliding shift of the focus of personnel consulting toward deep-reaching coaching and consulting. With these measures, the cornerstone will be laid for services in the market intelligence sector.

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Dr. Marius Osterfeld

Dr. Marius Osterfeld
Dr. Marius Osterfeld is an economist with SwissStaffing, the Swiss federation of staffing service providers.

Dr. Marius Osterfeld

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