Sunday, February 16, 2014

We’re Hiring!
Digital Analytics for Human Resources

An increasingly prevalent topic in business intelligence is HR analytics, the practice of building predictive models to find the most suitable employees. There are a number of tools involved in the process, from video games to brainteasers, to obscure psychological questioning. [1] But before companies can predict whether candidates will be successful, they need to receive the applications. How does the job application process even get started? Online, of course!

Metric for Success
There are different ways to look for a job online. Which one works best? It probably depends on the websites’ key business requirements, and how they measure success. Is a job search website’s KBR to fill open positions? What are their outcomes for calculating conversion? These questions are addressed in the following categories:

First Party Job Listing
Companies advertising their own open positions offer the most direct way for an applicant to reach a prospective employer. The KBR for the job boards on a single company’s website is probably to obtain a high number of qualified applications. While the upside for the job seeker is firsthand contact with a company, the downside is obvious. It is hardly feasible to have knowledge of all companies with relevant open positions. A typical conversion process might be:
Third Party Job Listing
There are many websites available for browsing job listings. They can generally be described as “large”, “niche”, and “don’t bother”, the last of which are loaded with ads and serve no useful purpose. While niche websites have proven to be more successful for particular industries [2], the large websites, such as and, seem to have KBRs that are not necessarily about meeting the customers’ needs. Increase revenue through advertising certainly isn’t. Increase revenue through charging employers at least provides a service. [3] But do they care if jobs are matched? When success means achieving the highest number of people searching for jobs, it can only mean failure for all but a few of those job seekers. A typical conversion process might be:
Social Media - LinkedIn
Many have questioned whether LinkedIn is too similar to the large job boards, while trying to distinguish itself as something more. [4] Considering that LinkedIn charges not only recruiters for listing jobs, but also job seekers for the best resume positioning, their KBRs probably include increasing revenue through premium accounts. At some point the high number of premium accounts will diminish the benefit of being “premium”. The best aspect of LinkedIn could be building connections for networking. [5] Which might say more for old-fashioned networking than LinkedIn.

Who is Customer Centric?
As digital analytics has evolved, it has become apparent that the success of a website depends increasingly on customer satisfaction. [6] Perhaps the niche job boards are helping to fill that role in the job search industry. Perhaps there’s an approach that hasn’t been developed yet. Until that time, job seekers would be wise to explore and understand their options. For many professions, the best exposure could be a personal website, in addition to the application and resume. [7] Of course, if the company happens to be hiring digital analysts, the website had better be optimized using all possible means. And that’s only the beginning of the inevitable HR analytics process.