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Digital Recruiting is Not Mission Impossible

By: Jerry Thurber Thursday January 2, 2014 comments Tags: hr innovation, hr trends and ideas

Digital RecruitTomas Chamorro-Premuzic  wrote an HBR Blog called Digital Staffing: The Future of recruitment-by-Algorithm where he started out by mentioning that "Americans are now spending more time on social networking sites than on all other sites combined" and that "As a consequence of spending so much time online, we now leave traces of our personality everywhere (and that) these online behaviors are of increasing interest to recruiters and employers, who are desperately trying to translate them into "digital reputations" and use them to find talent online."

Dr Chamorro-Premuzic felt there were three primary reasons that employers are likely to find their future leaders in cyberspace.


  • First, the web makes recruiting easier for employers and would-be employees. 

  • Second, the web makes recruiting less biased and less clubby. 

  • Third, web analytics can help recruiters become more efficient. 

I could not agree more. About 14 months ago I partnered with a colleague of mine who is a PhD in artificial intelligence to begin building a data access and retrieval solution to help recruiters. We focus on using artificial intelligence with recruiting. Our first product, Referral Link, focuses on leveraging internal referral networks. But we have several more ideas planned. The information available in public and private networks - our electronic footprint - is exploding, and while there are still several important issues to resolve around privacy, data miss-use, data ownership, etc. the growth of social data mining for recruiting, employee engagement, employee development, contract staffing, you name it, is going to explode in the next 2 to 3 years.


In his HBR Blog, Dr Chamorro-Premuzic predicts that "We will soon witness the proliferation of machine learning systems that automatically match candidates to specific jobs and organizations. Imagine that instead of receiving movie recommendations from Netflix or holiday recommendations from Expedia, you receive daily job offers from Monster or LinkedIn -- and that those jobs are actually right for you." LinkedIn, of course is already doing this - just not very well yet. But it will get better, and companies like mine will be layering new products on top of these networks to improve these data services even further. Keep an eye on employee referral linking software. This will be an interesting field in the next 2 to 3 years.

I look forward to the day when I can wake up in the morning, choose the "job" I want to do for that day, and head to sleep knowing I will have new options again the following day.

Good morning, Mr. Hunt. Your mission, should you choose to accept it....

About the Author: Jerry Thurber