Andrea Tjoeng speaks at the QUT Future of Working conference

LIVE online profiles will be more important than traditional CVs to guide future hiring decisions thanks to the value of big data, the QUT Future of Working conference heard.

Andrea Tjoeng, General Manager of SCOUT Recruitment Software, described the march of big data into hiring practices to the conference which looked at how digital transformation would dramatically change the future workforce.

Big data was the key, she said, “to mine to create insights to drive our businesses forward”. And this would come most into play in talent recruitment and management, key functions of any business.

Ms Tjoeng said the value case for better use of data was easy to make: 54% of job applicants stretched the truth in their applications, 22% of new hires left a new position within two months and 46% within 18 months.

And the costs of that employee turnover ranged from 30% to 150% of a base salary.

She equated the rise of big data in recruitment to its use in the travel industry where websites such as Expedia could quickly identify a user and predict her needs from her past behaviour and other behaviour of others like her.

The recruitment formula of the past had relied on a combination of combing CVs and “gut feeling” about a candidate but it would be usurped by experiences such as that at technology company Xerox which had stopped looking at CVs before deciding whether to interview.

By focusing less on a candidate’s experience in a like role, Xerox had found it hired employees more inclined to stick with the company, reducing attrition and the costs that went with 20%. Approaches now in development would help employees create live digital profiles which would confirm what deals and activity they had been involved in, what promotions they had received and how their performance and behaviour was rated in existing roles.

“In the future, success for candidates will be less about their CVs and more about the footprints they have left in cyberspace,” Ms Tjoeng said.

But there was also an obverse effect. Candidates would be able to find out more about potential employers, the performance of their businesses and their relationship with existing and past employees as the quality of data improved.

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