This is a guest post by James Mayes. James has been active within the recruitment industry and have recently served as Head of Client Solutions for BraveNewTalent and a founding Director of TweetJobs. He is passionate about social media, candidate experience and contextual content.
I’ve seen a variety of discussions recently focussed around what data should be captured when building a talent community. There’s the obvious professional information and interests which always come high on the list. Some platforms talk of capturing social assets, such as a blog address or Twitter handle. More and more, I’m seeing Facebook used to kick off a user’s account creation – though oftentimes, I think this is driven by the vendor’s desire to easily enable social sharing in the hope of aggressive user growth than for any smart data reasons.
I’ve always been more interested in other data pockets which can be captured. What articles has the individual read? Which videos have been watched? Were the user reactions positive, or negative? Much can be learned here, both about the value of an employer’s proposition to the talent market, but also about the suitability of the candidate. Not the suitability expressed deliberately on a profile or in an interview, but by actions, by the pieces of content an individual shows interest in. Surely this is a great guide to future professional interests, an indicator of preferred career direction and thus long term suitability.
I’ve maintained for a long time now that as storage is getting ever cheaper, a platform should capture as much data as possible at any given moment (with the caveat that this requirement be balanced against the user experience – much data gathering can be invisible to the user). My basis for this is that without access to the data, options are limited. Once data is available, it’s possible to explore, to experiment, to see what patterns emerge.
Love to hear your views on this – but before I sign off, I’ll share some thoughts conveyed to me via an attendee at the recent Apple developer’s conference. Physics and chemistry are intrinsically linked. Physics represents your universe of items. The atoms, the bits, the bytes, the everything. Chemistry details the way these things interact. Without the physics, there can be no chemistry. If you want chemistry in your Talent Acquisition, you’ll need to get the physics there too!