You can’t avoid hearing about big data these days. It’s everywhere.
I read recently about a company using it to help women find the perfect fitting bra and a website applying it to identify the favourite hangouts for hipsters around the world. Presumably the latter is so that travellers know which areas to avoid when they’re on holiday!
According to IBM, 90% of the data in the world has been created in the past two years. Data analysis is getting bigger day by day and will play an increasing part in our lives in the years to come.
One industry that is on the data bandwagon is recruitment. It even has it’s own buzz phrase for it: ‘people analytics’.
This is all well and good, (apart from the ugly buzz phrase), and I am absolutely in favour of making the recruitment process better for hirers and candidates. There’s a ‘but’ coming and it’s this.
As an article in Wired said: “You can’t just ‘data mine’ your way to the right candidate; you need the right tools to analyse it, and the right people who can provide meaningful insight.” That’s one issue, and I’ll talk more about this in a moment.
Another problem is that although some (though not all) recruitment companies use data to analyse candidates and their suitability for a job, this doesn’t overcome some of the glaring weaknesses of the traditional recruitment model. In fact, you could say that data itself is one of the main causes of these weaknesses.
All recruitment consultants are under pressure to meet data-driven KPIs. These include sending out a certain number of CVs, arranging a target number of interviews, and making a minimum number of calls to hirers and candidates, etc.
So, although much of the data is available to enable recruiters to offer a better service, they’re not using it to do so. One of the familiar gripes we hear from clients about other recruiters is that they waste their time. They present candidates that don’t meet their criteria or candidates who do, but who have no interest in taking the job they’ve been pushed to apply for.
We agree with Wired when it says: “Big data — when used properly — is a good thing for everyone involved. Recruiters can save time, companies will get positions filled by the right candidates more quickly, and candidates will be matched with the jobs of their dreams.”
How then does a recruitment company apply big data and the internet to make the recruitment experience better for hirer and candidate alike?
We believe that NQSolicitors.com is the answer, in particular for law firms recruiting junior lawyers at NQ to 2 PQE.
NQSolicitors.com is a discreet online platform that matches solicitors from NQ to 2 PQE with law firms looking to hire. Candidates create an anonymous profile and upload their CV. Hirers can view these anonymous profiles for free and if they are interested in reviewing a candidate’s CV they can request its release. The CV will only be sent to the hirer if the candidate authorises its release. We think of it like a sophisticated dating site, but for recruitment.
So what are the advantages of this approach?
The main one is that it allows the hirer to be as prescriptive as they wish when running a search, with regard to candidates’ qualifications and experience. These are almost always key factors for law firms when hiring at this level.
When registering with the platform, candidates complete a profile which details their academic record and experience as a trainee, and their work preferences in relation to location, salary, department and the type of firm that they would like to join.
The candidate’s anonymous profile will only be matched with a hirer if the vacancy for which the hirer is recruiting matches the candidate’s work preferences. If say the hirer is only interested in seeing NQ Solicitors who graduated with a first-class degree from an Oxbridge or Russell Group university, or solicitors who gained experience of leveraged finance work while training at a Magic Circle firm, the platform will automatically filter candidates who meet the hirer’s requirements.
By using data to identify candidates who meet the hirer’s requirements, and vice-versa, both parties save time and avoid many of the common recruitment frustrations. The fact that we match mutual requirements is important too. It sets NQSolicitors.com apart from job boards and LinkedIn, where you may find candidates who meet your specific criteria, but where you have no idea whether they are actually interested in what your firm is offering.
Big data has a huge role to play in legal recruitment, of that there is no doubt. The important thing though is how it is applied.
It is free for hirers and candidates to register with NQSolicitors.com. Hirers can run a search free of charge and will only be charged a fee of 12.5% of the candidate’s first year salary should they hire a candidate through the platform. Once a candidate has agreed to release their CV to a hirer, NQSolicitors.com is there to facilitate throughout the hiring process by briefing candidates, arranging interviews and dealing with the flow of feedback.