In today’s interconnected world, your Google search from last night becomes a targeted social media ad today. Data about what you research, buy and post has become a valuable commodity and a topic of increasing attention. As big data and personalization have gained momentum in marketing and customer acquisition, the same ideas are catching on in talent acquisition—especially as power shifts in the employment marketplace.
A new and powerful trend is emerging that recognizes the mutual benefit of collecting and returning data to job seekers and employees, thereby widening access to the insights that stem from the data. You deserve to know about you, especially when it can help advance your career and work life.
Sharing Data Builds Reciprocity
There’s value in giving individuals their own data. Whether they’re an entry-level applicant or a longtime manager. Some information like our birthdate or college major are readily known to us, but many others are not. Behavioral data like weekly screen time may be passively collected. It may gain value only in aggregate like, for example, data about travel speeds on your commute. Other data requires context and analysis to be informative, like our responses to questions in a survey or assessment.
Giving back previously untapped personal insights helps people make smarter decisions and can improve quality of life at work. What could that look like? A data analyst reads insights from her own personality assessment and learns that her pattern of personality pairs with successfully completing a leadership development program—which the company is able to glean from aggregate insights. She gains motivation to enroll in this training herself and becomes more effective in her job.
Sharing this data cultivates a stronger workforce from pre-hire onward. Job seekers hone in on the right position, new employees onboard more seamlessly and current workers engage long-term in career development—all while attributing substantial goodwill to their employer.
Democratizing Career Development
With a streamlined candidate experience, personality assessments can democratize career development. Hourly workers and those in positions of less seniority stand to benefit considerably from insights about their workplace habits, challenges and compatibility with others. Yet these positions often garner only low-level screenings like background checks. Organizations that help workers understand their tendencies and where best to apply their talents will drive a more motivated, better-performing workforce and higher retention—yielding better outcomes than a context-free background check.
Applying personality data insights puts organizations many steps ahead. From person-specific insights to collective workforce data, companies gain advantages in recruitment, candidate experience and selection, onboarding, career development and retention. Consider some questions that can be addressed:
What personality markers in applicants are higher risks for problematic behaviors?
Which dimensions are common among developing leaders?
Is this well-credentialed candidate really a good fit for our culture?
The array of insights used on both sides of the marketplace has far-reaching power.
Person-Centric Digital Transformation
“Disruption, in the end, is a shift in power in relationships,” explains Analyst Charlene Li in providing perspective on major business practice transitions. Quantified personality data that is shared can be the fuel that powers such a shift. When companies capture this data quickly and at scale, these surveys can provide value to both workers and organizations.
HR and talent leaders are beginning to speak of digital transformation, but this term is often misused or misunderstood. It doesn’t just mean using SaaS to run HR processes in the cloud via an HRIS or ATS tool. It means acknowledging that data is collected and stored in disparate systems. And, to unlock true value the data cannot be isolated. True modern day talent tech platforms must have APIs to allow for the collection, storage and insights derived from data to work within any primary system-of-record.
API-centric platforms that facilitate portable and integrated ways to gather data present new opportunities: to move personality data and accompanying career development from a series of one-offs to an ongoing process that companies can adapt to their own changing needs and those of their workers. In this case, personality assessments and the resulting data serve as an example, but this logic applies consistently to other talent technology solutions.
Put Your Data Where Your Mouth Is
Here’s a quick framework for how HR and talent leaders can embrace the digital transformation:
Know how your systems-of-record work and be sure you invest in the one(s) your team actually uses.
Before buying, ask vendors how they get data (from other vendors) into and out of their platforms. Do they have APIs? Can they easily accommodate collecting and storing “people data” that’s not fundamentally part of their system today?
Consider how your decisions will affect your candidates and employees. Think through how data you collect will help them personally.
People reside at the core of what makes a company strong. By putting people into the equation at every step, businesses build value and invest in their futures. That means collecting and using data in user-friendly ways. Organizations can have their cake and eat it too—engaging people while gathering data, improving efficiency and developing strategy through data-driven decisions, and finally returning data to individuals to reap more benefits.