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Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

As a leading recruiter we frequently get calls from panicked organisations that have been surprised by the departure of some of their key talent and subsequently desperately require new skills, and fast.

While we’re more than happy to recruit on an ad-hoc basis and to plug problematic issues in the workforces of companies up and down the country, there has been a relatively recent development that could remove this issue from occurring quite so often.

Using big data

Analytics have been widely adopted in a range of industries, almost every one to be fair, and recruitment has been lagging behind this trend and is only now appearing to catch up with the growing use of big data that they have at their disposal.

The growth of recruitment analytics stems from an initial understanding of supply and demand. When a person leaves an organisation, or the business is growing, it will inevitably require new skills and utilising a data driven approach can help to tackle these hiring issues before they become serious and affect the productivity of the company. Its uses vary dramatically and analytics can be adopted to ascertain when senior executives are eligible to retire, for example, which would therefore allow it to plan well in advance of this happening.

Identifying skills and talent

More commonly, analytics are used to collect information on what expertise the company has at hand and then cross reference this with the skills it requires and the talent it will likely lose in the short to medium term future. This information is based on a wide range of factors including an individual’s propensity to change roles so far in their career, qualitative factors like whether they’ve appeared more disengaged with their work, and even things like whether they’ve recently updated LinkedIn, which could be a sign that they’re considering a new role. These factors combined – along with a whole host of other information – allow companies to map their entire business and identify any roles that they may need to fill in the future. And, by doing this, they can find ways to cross train, redeploy or hire and plan for potential future shortages. Recruitment analytics isn’t a be all and end all solution, but it can make a significant difference and as the ideas and programmes used to deliver this information mature, it will only become ever more effective. It won’t be adopted by all organisations, but it can’t be argued that at least having an idea of what your employees are likely to do and what their chances are of leaving can prevent panicked hiring and ensure your organisation is prepared for the worst.

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