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How Big Data Is Disrupting the Tech Hiring Process for Startups

This shift to Big Data in recruiting deals with people & borrows themes from social networks, enterprise software, & SaaS models

Talent recruiting is undergoing a major shift with the introduction of Big Data, turning a traditional industry on its head.

Previously, recruiting was primarily conducted through open directories like Monster.com, where candidates were spammed according to keyword matches. Then the job market got more competitive - for those doing the hiring.

In the late '90s and early 2000s, the web industry ballooned. In addition to a handful of large, traditional technology companies, there was suddenly a plethora of small businesses building web tools and services.

The demand for talent to match this industry growth has created a large imbalance in hiring: there simply aren't enough developers or designers to fill these positions. Today, often the only way for a startup to land a good developer is to poach or import them.

As demand for talent continues to outpace supply, there is a new field of entrants in recruiting that are leveraging Big Data to get businesses closer to the holy grail of finding the right person willing to accept their job offer.

The big picture on Big Data in recruiting

The hiring game today boils down to crunching data.

New services are cropping up that scour the web for information that developers share online and then make finding talent much easier by layering analytics on top of that scraped data. For example, one service crunches data that's indicative of upcoming career changes and sends notifications when talent looks like they are ready to leave their current gig.

Throwing Big Data at the sourcing problem is a big step forward to find that "low hanging fruit." This approach not only makes the small business more efficient at identifying potential candidates and giving better contextual information, but it also gives them tools to scout those who are not looking but may be interested in new opportunities.

However, hiring companies are still left with the unenviable task of cold calling a candidate and getting their attention among a field full of other big corporate recruiters with access to the same sourcing weaponry.

How data can act as an advocate for talent

Another approach to recruiting in this new world of Big Data is the talent-side model. In this scenario, talent signs up for a service based on its utility, whether that's community, being auctioned to the highest bidder, or flexibility in engaging with many companies for gigs. Big Data is used at the categorization and matching level to make sure employers and talent are indeed a good fit, resulting in happier employers and talent as well as less spam.

This solution has the advantages of creating a proprietary flow of talent with the potential network effects of creating a community and does not involve the cold outreach.

Approaching talent hunting this way allows anyone to play the game at any scale, from startups looking to build a platform to an individual recruiter looking for an edge.

The talent recruiting game has evolved and those trying to find, attract and hire talent have new powerful tools at their disposal.

Recruiting today involves less large-scale, "spray & pray" outreach, and more of a targeted rifle shot.

Unlike the cloud revolution, this shift to Big Data in recruiting deals with people and borrows themes from social networks, enterprise software, and SaaS models, with talent as the prize. Better outcomes are enabled when a higher level of personalization can be applied to the recruiting process.

Developers and designers know they are in demand and can walk into almost any company and get a job. Whoever best advocates for them will win the talent war.

More Stories By Manuel Medina

Manuel Medina is Founder & CEO of GroupTalent. With his 15 years of business development, finance, and sales expertise, he ensures that project owners on GroupTalent always find the most talented team for the job. Prior to GroupTalent, Manny ran America's Business Development for Windows Phone and became keenly aware of the value talented developers working for Microsoft Game Studios. When he's not sifting through oodles of talented developer profiles on GroupTalent, he tries to be a regular contributor to PandoDaily.

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