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Intro to Data-Driven Recruiting

This blog post is based on the first episode of the data-driven recruiting podcast hosted by CodeSignal co-founders Sophia Baik and Tigran Sloyan. You can find and listen to this specific episode here or check out the video version embedded below.

Gut feelings are out. Data driven recruiting is in.

At least, it should be. Here’s why. Let’s walk through a typical hiring process for most organizations. A job opens up, gets posted online, and resumes start coming in fast. Recruiters tasked with reviewing resumes have to eliminate most of them and do so based on their own experience and perspective.

Here’s the problem. Those resumes are reviewed without the use of objective data and inevitably get sorted with a bias. Maybe the candidate went to the same school that the reviewer did. Or their name sounds familiar. Perhaps the reviewer is in a better mood on Friday thaen they were on Monday. They’re not trying to be unfair – in fact, they likely have no idea that they’re making decisions based on these unconscious factors – they’re simply human.

Data driven recruiting seeks to replace a system that operates with unconscious bias, familiarity and inconsistency. Why? Because frankly, we want you to hire the right people. And we want those people to get a fair shake.

Replacing the traditional hiring method with a data driven process means you won’t miss out on the people that are actually qualified. On average, about 90% of candidates are eliminated during the resume review stage. Without an objective – and unbiased – review, you could be sending the right people straight to the recycle bin.

As a result, those who make it to an interview stage may not be the best fit. But you won’t know that until after you’ve made a significant time investment. Recruiters, interviewers and managers can spend a lot of time talking and meeting with candidates just to decide they aren’t a good fit. And all that time may be spent before even identifying what the candidate objective was in the first place. Which means, everyone may disagree on whether or not they hit or missed the goal! Talk about exhausting.

Old school hiring methods can hurt diversity too. Why? Because familiarity breeds comfort. Science even tells us the shape of someone’s face can influence our bias. Talk about subconscious hiring!  

Objective data is the solution. Start asking questions like, “How do I know I’m right?” when it comes to a candidate, versus, “I’m great at hiring because I’m a good judge of character.” You may believe that but data says your unconscious bias isn’t your best friend when it comes to hiring.

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